Oct 01, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [Current Academic Year]

Occupational Therapy [BS + MOT]

Established in 1941, Eastern Michigan University’s Occupational Therapy Program has a long-standing tradition of excellence, providing competent and caring professionals to the local community and throughout the State of Michigan and across the nation.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook predicts that occupational therapists’ employment will grow 17.5 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. This prediction is based on the increasing demand for services for older adults, persons with chronic diseases, and children and adults with autism. Also, emerging practice areas for occupational therapists in driver rehabilitation and fall prevention continue to develop. Occupational therapists are employed in diverse settings, including but not limited to: hospitals, schools, rehabilitation facilities, long-term care facilities, home health care, and areas of prevention and wellness. Occupational Therapy was rated in the top 100 best jobs overall by U.S. News and World Report (2023).

There are two routes of entry to the occupational therapy degree. Student applicants are integrated into one cohort once admitted into the program. Please carefully review the tracks below to identify which option fits you.

Option 1 - Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)

This option is available to applicants with an earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college/university or appropriate international institution is required. Candidates may apply while their degree is in progress, but degree completion, demonstrated by transcript evaluation, is necessary before starting the Occupational Therapy Program. This track culminates with a Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT degree).  If choosing this option you will fill out the Masters of Occupational Therapy OTCAS application.

Please see the Graduate Catalog for more information.

Option 2 - Combined Occupational Therapy (COT)

The Combined Occupational Therapy (COT) track is often referred to as the 3+2 program. The COT track is designed for undergraduate students who do not yet have a bachelor’s degree. This track culminates with a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) degree. If choosing this option you will fill out the Combined Occupational Therapy (COT) OTCAS application. To be eligible to apply as a COT student:

  • Before starting the OT program in January, the student must complete a minimum of 90 Undergraduate credit hours. If the student submits an application to OTCAS with less than 90 credit hours, they will need to include a plan for completing the 90 credit hours before the start of the winter semester (January). A student is not eligible to begin the program until after completing the 90 undergraduate credit hours.
  • Before starting the program in January, students must complete all general education courses. General education courses can be completed in the fall semester as applications are under review.
  • Applicants who are not already admitted to EMU will need to complete an undergraduate application as an undergraduate student. The applicant must also meet with a general academic advisor to identify how previous coursework will transfer to EMU and determine the remaining general education coursework that may be needed. Failure to follow this direction results in a denied application.

Please see Program Admission below for more information regarding this program.


Many of our occupational therapy students take advantage of engaging in the community and classroom through organizations such as the Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA), Pi Theta, and the Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity (COTAD). Students develop clinical and critical thinking skills through part- and full-time fieldwork during five semesters in the program. They have opportunities for interprofessional education with programs within and outside of the University.

Information/Group Advising Sessions for Occupational Therapy Intent Students

Information/group advising sessions and the online video series introduce the EMU Occupational Therapy Program’s application process.

All interested applicants are strongly encouraged to view the online video series or attend a scheduled Advising Session.


The EMU Occupational Therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number, c/o AOTA, is (301) 652-AOTA, and its web address is www.acoteonline.org.

School Information

Health Sciences 313 Marshall, 734.487.4096 

Colleen Croxall, PhD, Director

Advisor Information

Tricia Foster, PhD, MOT, Occupational Therapy Program Director, 235 Rackham, 734.487.7593

Sharon Holt, MHS, OTRL, 260 Rackham, 734.487.3398

Program Admission

The Combined Occupational Therapy (COT) requires a two-phase admission process. A student cannot apply to EMU as a combined occupational therapy student until all requirements are met, reviewed by the occupational therapy faculty, and a program admission invitation is extended. Carefully review the criteria below to identify how you could apply to EMU to complete pre-admission coursework before submitting your application.

Admission Process

The admission process has three components:


  (Due by 11:59 pm on June 9, 2023)


Admission Criteria

Applicants are assessed on a comprehensive assessment and interview of selected applicants, including the following criteria:

  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 from the last 60 semester/90 quarter units of coursework at the application time. The average successful applicant is expected to have a GPA much higher than 3.0.
  • Completion of all pre-admission coursework with a B-, 2.7, 80%, or better grade. (See Pre-admission Coursework)
  • Three references/evaluations. Students must submit at least three references to OTCAS. We recommend applicants obtain references from individuals who can provide information about an applicant’s abilities, interpersonal skills, and qualities in the classroom, workplace, and community that would make them a good fit for EMU’s occupational therapy program.
  • Observation/Volunteer Experience. A minimum of 20 total observation hours with an Occupational Therapist or Occupational Therapy Assistant in at least two different settings must be completed within three years of the application deadline. Applicants who complete OCTH 100  or OCTH 201L2  at Eastern Michigan University will be recognized as having completed the observation requirement for the application.
  • Submission of supporting information. The supporting information section on OTCAS provides an opportunity to include previous and current life experiences, including employment, volunteerism, extracurricular, leadership, internship, research, honors, awards, achievements, licenses and certifications, and a personal statement.
  • Interview. After a review of OTCAS applications, program faculty will contact selected applicants for an online interview. Additional information regarding the interview process can be found above.

Additional Program Information for Admitted Students

Program of Study
 - Occupational therapy advising for occupational therapy-intent students is performed by the OT intent advisor or the College of Health and Human Services Advising Center. Upon acceptance into the occupational therapy program, students are assigned a faculty advisor.

Scholarships - The Occupational Therapy program offers a number of scholarships to students who are admitted to the program. Information is annually distributed from the OT program to students who are currently enrolled in the occupational therapy program. There are also a number of University scholarships available to students. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for information.

Fieldwork - All occupational therapy students must complete two Level II Fieldwork experiences within 24 months following completion of the didactic portion of the program. Students have the right to request part-time or full-time fieldwork. Students who desire part-time fieldwork must make this request in writing to the fieldwork coordinator prior to placement arrangement.

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) - The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT) administers the national certification examination for occupational therapists in the United States. Upon successful completion of the academic and fieldwork requirements, graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapist, administered by the NBCOT. After successful completion of this exam, the graduate will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). All students must pass the NBCOT certification examination to practice in the profession of occupational therapy. In addition to passing the NBCOT certification examination, most states require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. Character background information is reviewed by NBCOT to determine a person’s ability to sit for the examination. If you have any potential impediments, such as a felony charge or conviction, charges of malpractice or willful intentional misconduct, we strongly recommend that you contact NBCOT at www.nbcot.org to determine your eligibility to sit for the national examination. Contact Information: NBCOT | One Bank Street, Suite 300 | Gaithersburg, MD 20878 | 301.990.7979

Undergraduate Degree -

The requirements listed below will appear on a student’s undergraduate transcript.

According to university policy, students must earn a minimum of 120 credit hours at the 100-level or above for a bachelor’s degree. Completing this combined program’s minimum credit hour total (Undergrad + Grad) will likely require students to complete more than 120 credit hours as an undergraduate.

General Education Requirements:

For specific requirements, see General Education  or view the General Education Worksheet [PDF] .  

Major Requirements: 31 hours

The following courses are taken during the student’s professional year one. Admission to the Occupational Therapy program is required before beginning these courses. Students must earn a minimum grade of  “B-” in each course.

Students in this major are exempt from the requirement that undergraduate students take no more than fifteen credit hours (15) in 500-level courses.

Minor Requirement:

This major does not require a minor.

Graduate Degree -

The requirements listed below will appear on a student’s graduate transcript.

Students must ensure they have completed the necessary graduate credit hours that, when combined with those taken as an undergraduate, equal or exceed the minimum number of credit hours required for this combined program. Sometimes, a student may need additional coursework beyond the minimum requirements listed below to meet the total hour requirement.

Degree Requirements: 40 hours

The following courses are taken during the student’s professional year two. Students must earn a minimum grade of  “B-” in each course.

Combined Program Total: 164 hours

Critical Graduation Information

Each undergraduate student will be responsible for fulfilling the requirements (or their equivalents) of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration at a college or university or a subsequent catalog, including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.

In the event an undergraduate student does not complete the degree requirements within seven years of the date of their original registration at a college or university, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their major/minor in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.

Minimum requirements for all bachelor’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University

Some majors and minors require more than the minimum in one or more of the areas below; students are urged to consult this catalog for the requirements of their particular programs.

  • Earn a minimum total of 120 credit hours at the 100-level and above.
    • Courses numbered below 100 are not counted toward this degree requirement.
    • At most, eight credit hours of physical education (PEGN) activity courses are counted toward this requirement.
  • Meet the requirements of the General Education program (see information below), including completing a Writing Intensive (GEWI) course in the student’s major.
  • Earn a minimum of 60 credits from a four-year college or university; courses taken at community colleges cannot be used to meet this requirement (Some formal program-to-program articulation agreements modify this requirement. See specific agreements for details).
  • Earn a minimum of 30 credits from courses taken at EMU.
  • Complete 10 of the last 30 hours for the degree from courses taken at EMU.
  • Have a minimum of 30 unique credit hours in their major and 20 unique credit hours in their minor for a total of at least 50 unique credit hours between them. Some majors that require 50 or more hours themselves do not require a minor. A double major automatically satisfies the need for a minor unless one of the two majors requires a specific minor. Students should check the requirements of the selected major in the undergraduate catalog to see if a minor is required. 
  • Earn no more than 60 credit hours in one subject area (prefix). Credits over the 60 maximum will not be counted toward the minimum of 120 credits required for a bachelor’s degree.
  • Earn the minimum number of credits in 300-level and above courses in each major and minor as specified below - these credits must be earned in distinct courses; that is, no course can be used to fulfill this requirement in more than one major or minor.
    • Earn a minimum of 6 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each minor
    • Earn a minimum of 9 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each major that requires a minor.
    • Earn a minimum of 15 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each major that does not require a minor
  • Transfer credit will be awarded for courses taken at colleges and universities that are accredited by one of the recognized regional accrediting bodies only if the courses are college-level (equated to 100-level or above at EMU) and the student earned a “C” (or 2.0 on a 4 point scale) or better. Transfer credit may be awarded on a case-by-case basis for college-level courses in which a “C” (2.0) or better was earned at institutions outside the U.S. or at non-accredited U.S. institutions; individual departments/schools conduct the internal review of such courses within EMU, and additional documentation may be required. Please note: EMU awards only credit for transferred courses; grades are not used to calculate an EMU GPA.
  • Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in courses taken at EMU to graduate. In addition, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 must be reached in each major and minor. Only courses a student takes at EMU and those applied to their major or minor are used to calculate their major and minor cumulative GPAs. (Note: some programs may require a higher GPA - check with your program advisor.)

General Education Requirements - EMU’s General Education Program requires students to choose from a menu of approved courses in several different areas; do not assume that other courses in the same department or similar names will fulfill these requirements. A detailed description of General Education requirements is available in the General Education  section of the catalog.

Students who transferred to EMU may have modified general education requirements based on Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) or articulation agreements; consult your academic advisor for additional information.