Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations) (AOTA, 2014). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities meet developmental milestones and to participate fully in school and social situations; helping people recovering from injury or illness to regain skills; addressing behavior and skill attainment for individuals with mental illness; and providing supports and adaptations for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.

 Missouri State University does not currently offer a degree in Occupational Therapy, but is in the process of developing an Entry-Level Master of Occupational Therapy program that is planned to begin in the Summer of 2015.  The Universityhas applied for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and has been granted Applicant Status.

 This is the initial step towards becoming an accredited program. Once accreditation of the program has been obtained, graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of the exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR). In addition, most states require a license to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to “sit for the NBCOT certification or attain state licensure”.

The Occupational Therapy program will be a part of the College of Health and Human Services, which provides exposure to and collaboration with multiple disciplines. Plans to construct a new state-of-the art facility to house the new program are currently underway.  New classrooms and laboratories will offer students the opportunity to learn in unique real-world settings, which include a simulated ICU with high fidelity mannequins and a rehabilitation courtyard that will be utilized for education, research, and treatment.  The program will be guided by expert faculty members, who have over 70 years of combined clinical experience in diverse settings spanning the lifespan from the neonatal ICU to geriatrics. 

Academic and Professional Information

Undergraduate Majors

The undergraduate major may be in any field, but each program designates a list of prerequisite courses that must be completed prior to entering the graduate program. Common undergraduate majors that are pursued by pre-OT students include:

  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Exercise and Movement Science
  • Athletic Training


Pre-Occupational Therapy Advisement

Please note that "Pre-Occupational Therapy" is considered an interest area rather than a major.  Students will choose a major offered by one of many departments that will prepare the students for admission into Occupational Therapy programs.  Students may contact advisors or departments listed below based on their interest in using that specific department's major(s) as a means to prepare for an OT program.

Hillary J. Mayes, MS
College of Health and Human Services
Missouri State University
Professional Building 110
901 S. National Ave.
Springfield, MO 65897

Office phone: 417-836-4176

Department of Biology
Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897

Office: 417-836-5126
Email: Biology@missouristate.edu

Department of Biomedical Sciences
Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897

Office: 417-836-5603
Email: BiomedicalSciences@missouristate.edu

Department of Kinesiology

Exercise & Movement Science
Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897

Office: 417-836-5346
Email: rhondaridinger@missouristate.edu

Department of Psychology
Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897

Office: 417-836-6841
Email: tburt@missouristate.edu


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