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Occupational therapy is a dynamic healthcare profession that promotes expertise in meaningful daily activities. Occupational therapists work with clients and families to promote wellness, prevent illness or injuries, and to restore function or adaptation skills. The term “occupation” refers to activities in which individuals participate in their daily lives. OT’s ability to foster a client’s performances in self care tasks, work or school performance, to drive, to participate in leisure activities, or to maintain home environments are examples of common occupations. The activities individuals’ value helps to define who they are and the quality of their lives. Occupational therapists work with clients and their families to promote health, restore performance, roles, responsibilities, to remediate limitations to independence, and to adapt for impairments or disabilities. OT services assist clients and their families to:
- Prepare a homemaker with paralysis to perform household tasks and meal preparation using modifications, adaptive devices or assistive technology.
- Educate an older adult with a stroke to dress, bathe, and eat again.
- Help a young adult with emotional adjustment issues to cultivate school or work skills, develop effective coping strategies, to participate appropriately in social interactions, and to manage individual roles and responsibilities.
- Assist children and their teachers and family members to foster improvement in sensory processing, balance, or motor skills to improve learning, writing, and socialization.
OTs often lead interdisciplinary healthcare teams in a variety of health and community based systems.
Occupational therapists are employed in hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, developmental-delay centers and mental health facilities, public school systems, home health agencies, private practice, industry and the community.
The field offers rapid advancement into supervisory and administrative positions for therapists with advanced experience and education. Growing opportunities exist in private practice, consultation, research and higher education.
After recently being ranked No.18 in Laurence Shatkin’s, Ph.D., “150 Best Recession-Proof Jobs” (JIST, 2008), U.S. News & World Report named occupational therapist to its “Best Careers 2009” list. This is the second consecutive year occupational therapy has received this honor.
The GHSU Occupational Therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). All OT students must complete Level II fieldwork within 24 months after completing academic preparation. Graduates of accredited programs may take the national certification examination for occupational therapists administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT). Graduates who pass this exam are registered occupational therapists. Most states, including Georgia, require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT examination. A felony conviction may preclude taking the exam or obtaining state licensure.
For additional information, contact:
4720 Montgomery Lane
P.O. Box 31220
Bethesda, MD 20824-1220
National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT)
12 South Summit Avenue
Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150
GHSU Graduate Application Fee: Please check the Office of Admissions website: http://www.georgiahealth.edu/Admissions/
Applicants should complete the Graduate Admissions Application and the supplemental form for the Department of Occupational Therapy.
Application Deadline: Application files must be completed by January 15th to be considered for Fall Entry. Applications are considered complete when all official transcripts, completed reference forms, and official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score reports are received by GHSU.
Applications are reviewed as they are received- highly qualified applicants may be invited for interviews prior to application deadline; thus, early application is strongly encouraged. Applications and supporting materials received after the program deadline may be considered on a space-available basis only.
MINIMUM requirements for admissions consideration:
- A grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) on all previous college work and an average of at least 2.5 on math and science courses are required for consideration.
- A minimum Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score of 900 (combined verbal and quantitative) is required for full admission.
- Applicants do not need to complete a baccalaureate degree prior to admission into the OT program. Prior to enrollment, the applicant must have completed a minimum of 90 prerequisite hours at another accredited institution.
- References from three individuals who can rate your academic and work skills.
- Volunteer hours are strongly recommended.
- Interviews are a mandatory part of the application process and are by invitation only. Interview results will be factored into the final committee decision for admission.
- Applicants whose first language is not English must submit official TOEFL scores. A minimum score of 213 on the computer-based exam or 550 on the paper exam is required for admission consideration.
Program Specific Requirements
- Applicants do not need to complete a baccalaureate degree prior to admission into the OT program. Prior to enrollment, the applicant must have completed a minimum of 90 prerequisite hours at another accredited institution including completion of specific required prerequisite courses as outlined by the Department. These courses will be counted toward the applicants’ 90 hours of college credit. Qualified applicants will be invited to attend a mandatory interview session which includes group problem solving activities, a writing sample, and personal interview with faculty members.
- Basic understanding of medical terminology is required as part of the occupational therapy curriculum. This requirement can be met by taking a course prior to enrollment or by completion of a self-paced module by the end of the first semester.
- Computer literacy, particularly word processing, and use of multimedia presentation software is expected of all students at the time of admission.
- The Department of Occupational Therapy Admissions Committee selects the applicants who seem best qualified for the profession and the program from among those who apply. Admission is based on all elements of the application including the applicant’s prior academic performance at the college level, volunteer or related experience, references assessing work and academic skills, writing skills, Georgia residency and veteran status. The interview session is also factored into the committee’s decision.
- GPA: The Department considers qualified applicants to have an overall GPA of 3.0 or above, and a math/science GPA of 2.5.The Department may consider candidates with lower GPA based on extenuating circumstances, test scores (GRE), strengths in other areas, or other factors. In such situations the student may be admitted on probation.
- GRE: The Department considers qualified applicants as having an overall GRE score of 900 or above. Applicants with GRE scores between 850 and 900 MAY be considered based on extenuating circumstances, grade point average, strengths in other areas, and other factors. In such situations the student may be admitted on probation.
In addition to demonstrating personal characteristics appropriate for a health professions career, students must satisfy general and specific technical standards for this program. All applicants are strongly encouraged to read and attest to the GHSU Department of Occupational Therapy’s Technical Standards and the following Disclaimers of Certification and Licensure. All students admitted into the MHSOT program must sign these documents prior to enrollment. Visit www.georgiahealth.edu/sah/ot/TechnicalStandards.html to review these requirements.
GHSU participates in all federal student aid programs as well as state and private programs. GHSU helps students fund their education through grants, scholarships, loans, a service commitment program and/or employment.
Application files must be complete by January 15th to be considered for Fall entry. Applications are considered complete when all official transcripts, completed reference forms and official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score reports are received by GHSU.
Applications are reviewed as they are received. Highly qualified applicants may be invited for interviews prior to the application deadline; thus, early application is strongly encouraged. Applications and supporting materials received after the program deadline may be considered on a space-available basis only.
Apply online at www.georgiahealth.edu/Admissions, or contact:
Office of Academic Admissions
170 Kelly Building–Administration
Georgia Health Sciences University
Augusta, Georgia 30912
Toll free: 800-519-3388
Prerequisites for Occupational Therapy
The Department of Occupational Therapy requires completion of 90 college-level semester hours prior to admission to the program. Required courses are identified below, as well as suggested courses to complete the 90-hour requirement.
Students must complete a total of 90 semester hours of prerequisites.
General Core Courses:
- English Composition I
- English Composition II
- American History
- Anatomy with lab or Anatomy and Physiology course with lab
- Chemistry with lab
- Physics with lab
- Kinesiology/Exercise Physiology/Biomechanics (Anatomy 2 w/ Lab may be substituted)
- College level math
Additional Required Courses:
- Introduction to Psychology
- Abnormal Psychology
- Human Growth and Development (across the lifespan) or Developmental Psychology
- Sociology, Anthropology, or other Social Science
- Speech or Communications
- Ethics, Philosophy, or Religion
Suggested Courses to Complete 90 Hours
Science: Additional Sciences: Kinesiology, Biomechanics, Exercise Physiology, Biology II, Chemistry II, Physics II, Anatomy or Physiology II, Neuroscience, Physical Science
Humanities: Communication, Fine and Applied Arts, Foreign Language, World Literature, Philosophy, Art or Music Appreciation, History, Logic, Religion
Social Science Courses: Additional Psychology courses, Anthropology, Group Process, Social Problems, Cultural Diversity, Sociology, Counseling, Critical Thinking
Health and Wellness Course (** PE courses are not accepted toward prerequisite hours)
* Basic understanding of medical terminology is required as part of the occupational therapy curriculum. This requirement can be met by taking a course prior to enrollment or by completion of a self-paced text during the first semester of enrollment.
* Computer literacy, particularly word processing, and use of mulitmedia presentation software is expected of all students at the time of admission.
* CPR certification and completion of a first-aid course are required prior to enrolling.
Estimated Tuition and Fees
For estimated tuition and fees, please see the Tuition and Fees section of this catalog.