Jul 21, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year] 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog [Current Academic Year]

Occupational Therapy Combined [BS + MOT]

Location(s): In-person/hybrid

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 nationwide.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook predicts that occupational therapists’ employment will grow 12 percent from 2022 to 2032, 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 Such as driver rehabilitation, virtual reality, refugee resettlement, customized adaption solutions through 3D printing 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 4th in the Best Health Jobs and #19 in the top 100 Best Jobs overall by U.S. News and World Report (2024). 

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. 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 you choose this option, you will complete the Masters of Occupational Therapy OTCAS application.

Please see Occupational Therapy [M.O.T.]  for more information.

Option 2 - Combined Occupational Therapy (COT)

The Combined Occupational Therapy (COT) track is often called the 3+2 program. The COT track is designed for undergraduate students who still need a bachelor’s degree. This track culminates with a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) degree. If you choose this option, you will complete 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 at least 90 Undergraduate credit hours. If the student submits an application to OTCAS with less than 90 credit hours, they must 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 not already admitted to EMU must 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 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 7501 Wisconsin Ave, Suite 510E, North Bethesda, MD 20814. ACOTE’s telephone number, c/o AOTA, is (301) 652-6611, and its web address is www.acoteonline.org.

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 1, 2024)


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 of volunteering or observation 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 201  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 reviewing OTCAS applications, program faculty will contact selected applicants for an online interview. Additional information regarding the interview process can be found above.

School Information

Health Sciences 313 Marshall, 734.487.4096

Colleen Croxall, PhD, Director 

Advisor Information

Dr. Renuka “Ray” Roche, PhD, MS, OTR/L, FNAP, Associate Professor and Occupational Therapy Program Director, 251 Rackham, 734.487.7741

Sharon Holt, MHS, OTRL, Senior Lecturer and OT Intent Advisor, 260 Rackham, 734.487.3398

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 several scholarships to admitted students. Information is distributed annually from the OT program to students currently enrolled in the program. Information is annually distributed from the OT program to students who are currently enrolled in the occupational therapy program. There are also several 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 of completing 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 before 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 successfully completing the academic and fieldwork requirements, program graduates 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. NBCOT reviews character background information 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 contacting NBCOT at www.nbcot.org to determine your eligibility to sit for the national examination. Contact Information: NBCOT | 7501 Wisconsin Ave, Suite 510E, Bethesda, MD 20814, 301.652.6611

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, please see the Undergraduate Catalog or print a 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. 

Combined Program Total: 164 hours

Critical Graduation Information

The following are 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 the on-line catalog for the requirements of their particular programs.

  • Earn a minimum total of 124 credits at the 100-level and above. Courses with numbers below 100 will not be counted toward this degree requirement. At most 8 credit hours of physical education (PEGN) activity courses will be counted toward this requirement.
  • Meet the requirements of the General Education program (see information below).
  • Complete a Writing Intensive (WI) Course in your major.
  • Earn a minimum of 45 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; students should check 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 in excess of the 60 maximum will not be counted toward the minimum of 124 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; the internal review of such courses is conducted by individual departments/schools within EMU, and additional documentation may be required. Please note: EMU awards only credits for transferred courses; grades are not used in the calculation of an EMU GPA.
  • Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in courses taken at EMU in order to graduate. In addition, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 must be reached in each major and minor. Only courses taken at EMU and those applied to a student’s major or minor, will be used in the calculation of 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 with similar names will fulfill these requirements. A detailed description of General Education requirements is available on the General Education section of the undergraduate 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.