Master the skills and expertise required to practice as an occupational therapist through Saint Joseph’s accelerated occupational therapy program. Enter the program as a first-year undergraduate student to earn a BS in health science (BSHS) and Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) in just 5.5 years.
Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Saint Joseph’s University’s Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program is an excellent option for those who currently hold a bachelor’s degree and have taken our prerequisite courses who seek a career in occupational therapy. This program will equip you with the skills to become a registered occupational therapist (OTR) and earn a Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) degree in just 2.5 years.
You will study human development, movement analysis, neuroscience, clinical medicine, evaluation & assessment, rehabilitative techniques and more. The program also involves a 6 month fieldwork component so you can apply the skills you learn in the classroom to real-world experiences working with patients.
After the program, you’ll be qualified to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) examination — an exam you’ll need to pass if you choose to obtain a license to practice occupational therapy in the U.S. Our first-time pass rate results for the MOT program since 2018 is 98.25%.
Through an established curriculum based on active learning, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills to make a meaningful impact on patient care. GRE scores are not required to apply and candidates are not required to interview.
If you are an incoming first-year student, Saint Joseph's University also offers a Bachelor of Science in Health Science to Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) that lets you earn a Health Science BS and an MOT in just 5.5 years.
What Sets Our Program Apart
Our condensed two-and-a-half-year curriculum allows you to enter the field faster, and our students typically receive several job offers before graduation. Because you graduate in December instead of the typical May date for other OT programs, you’ll have a head start on board exams, additional certifications, advanced training opportunities and the job market.
At Saint Joseph’s, you don’t have to wait to begin experiencing what it’s like to be an occupational therapist. You’ll have an opportunity to participate in clinical fieldwork experiences beginning your first semester, working with clients in community centers, schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and home care. You’ll complete two 12-week level II fieldwork experiences working with patients of all ages, from infants to the elderly.
Our curriculum allows you to take six OT intervention courses rather than the typical two or three offered by other OT programs. Courses are hands-on and cover:
- Contextual and rehabilitation approaches to interventions
- Developmental, psychosocial and cognitive issues
- Assistive technology
You’ll learn from and work with award-winning OT faculty who bring a wealth of knowledge from their own clinical practice and research spanning a variety of topics — from technology to social and occupational justice issues.
You will have the opportunity to publish research and collaborate with noted professors on grant-funded projects that align with your interests. Graduates have investigated topics such as:
- Aging and health
- Technology use by children with disabilities
- Upper extremity orthopedics
- Integrative medicine
Simulation and clinical labs housed inside Glasser/Woodland Hall — from a pediatric sensory lab to a home care lab — give you a taste of working in a professional health care setting
Our program emphasizes multiple ways of learning through experience, and interprofessional education (IPE) opportunities can be found as early as your first year of study. You’ll get to work with different healthcare professional students in the physical therapy, physician assistant and pharmacy programs at Saint Joseph’s, as well as with students in other academic institutions. You'll also have the opportunity to engage in international service learning projects with other health care professionals.
What Can You Do with a Master’s in Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy is an in-demand health care field. Employment prospects for OT are projected to grow 17% from 2020 to 2030 — much faster than the average 7% for all occupations. It’s also considered one of the best health care jobs in the U.S.
With a master’s degree in OT, you can work as an occupational therapist in a number of diverse environments, including:
- Community health centers
- Clients’ homes
- Social services
OT professionals also work in research, academia, technology, communications, policy and administration.
If you’ve already received a bachelor’s degree and have taken our prerequisite courses, you can complete the MOT program in just two years of continuous study plus a fieldwork component. You will attend class full time and complete 89 credits of coursework. You’re also required to complete two level II fieldwork courses for a total of 24 full-time equivalent weeks off site in the community after didactic coursework is completed.
Courses in the MOT program are primarily delivered onsite, with two classes provided online. After graduating from the program, you’ll be qualified to sit for the National Certification Exam for Occupational Therapists.
Technology Competency Requirements
It is required that students have internet access and satisfactory computer skills to complete course requirements. Assignments may include online work, presentation formats, researching the literature and sending files electronically. Communication with instructors is done via email or internet meetings.
To assist with online learning throughout the program, all new incoming MOT students are required to complete the specified orientation course on the University’s learning management system.
View required courses for this program in the academic catalog. Please contact us if you have any questions about the program curriculum.
The tuition for MOT students entering fall 2023 is as follows.
- $45,750 - Year 1
- $45,750 - Year 2
- $30,500 - Year 3
*Pricing does not include room and board; health insurance; or any professional, clinical or transportation fees. Visit our Tuition & Fees page for a detailed cost breakdown. Please note that the Tuition and Fee page reflects the 2023-2024 costs, which will be changing for students beginning the program in Fall 2024.
Financial aid may be available to you to help offset the cost of your degree. Explore your options on our Financial Aid page.
Have you completed a year or more of service with a recognized service organization? You may be eligible for our mission discount.
Alumni of Saint Joseph's are eligible to receive 10% off the cost of this program through our alumni discount.
Check with your employer to see if they are an Edcor or a Bright Horizons EdAssist member, which may entitle you to a discount on graduate programs.
Note: discounts cannot be combined.
The Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). ACOTE is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
More information can be obtained at:
c/o Accreditation Department
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200
North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929
All states in the United States require a license to practice occupational therapy. Each state also has specific legislation describing the process for obtaining a license to practice and specific licensure application requirements.The primary criterion for obtaining a license in any state is passing the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy Examination (NBCOT). Learn more about OT licensure requirements and our NBCOT exam pass rates for the MOT program.
You must meet the following requirements to be considered for admission to the MOT program:
- Have a bachelor’s degree in one of the sciences, sociology, psychology or other related fields from an accredited university or college
- Complete all prerequisite courses listed below by the start of the program in May
- 3.0 Cumulative and Prerequisite GPAs with at least a C or higher in all prerequisite courses
- A minimum of 50 hours of shadow experience with documentation from a licensed occupational therapist professional prior to the start of the program in May.
- You may use the Occupational Therapy Shadowing Form to document any additional or required shadowing hours that you complete. Forms from other schools are acceptable so long as they include all of the information needed.
- Two letters of reference are required (letters from OT practitioners highly preferred)
- OTCAS essay: A statement as to why the student wants to enter the profession of occupational therapy. Within this statement applicants are expected to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of occupational therapy gained from observation, reading, and personal or family experiences.
Required prerequisite courses should be completed by the end of the spring term preceding enrollment at Saint Joseph's University including:
- Anatomy & Physiology, with lab (8 credits)
- Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)
- Intro to Sociology or Cultural Anthropology (3 credits)
- Physics (with or without lab) (3 credits)
- Psychology of Human Growth and Development (Developmental Psychology course that covers the whole human lifespan) (3 credits)
- Statistics (3 credits)
- Medical Terminology (2 credits)
GRE scores are not required. Candidates are also not required to interview.
Please contact us for a list of prerequisite courses that you need to complete by the end of the spring term preceding enrollment at Saint Joseph’s. This list will be available on the Academic Catalog in mid-June. You must also have internet access and satisfactory computer skills to complete course requirements.
The application deadline for admission to Saint Joseph’s MOT program is March 30, 2023 for the class that begins in May 2023.
Applications for 2023—2024 will be available via the Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) in July. No supplemental application is required. Please submit all documentation directly to OTCAS.
Admission decisions are made as applications are completed, therefore it is recommended candidates apply early. Candidates are not required to interview.
Graduate applications must be submitted by March 1 for review.
If you’re applying as an international student, you must provide proof of English Language Proficiency and Certification of Finances along with your application. Check the Graduate Admission page for additional requirements.
Why Study Occupational Therapy in Philadelphia?
Here in Philadelphia, you’re in the heart of the health science industry, surrounded by more than 250 medical facilities. The city’s diverse population and rich health care employment opportunities offer a unique environment to gain OT experience in a variety of settings including hospitals, rehabilitation centers and long-term care residences.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Analyzing a workspace for ergonomic safety. Helping a patient, post-surgery, find a way to cook dinner that doesn't cause pain. Designing a community program that gets people with developmental disabilities living independently. Occupational therapists can play a role in all this and more.
Occupational therapists assist people in getting back into the flow of life. You’re vital in providing new solutions to doing everyday tasks and to preserving people’s independence as their physical abilities change. As an occupational therapist, you may work in a hospital, community health center or in social services. You can also pursue a career as an educator, trainer or researcher.
Yes. Employment prospects for OT are projected to grow 17% from 2020 to 2030 — much faster than the average 7% for all occupations. On average, more than 10,000 openings for occupational therapists are projected each year over the decade.