Jun 12, 2024  
2014-2016 Graduate Catalog 
2014-2016 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Occupational Therapy

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: School of Graduate & Professional Studies


Professor   Kris Vacek, OTD, OTR/L, CLT (Chair)
Associate Professor   Lynne Clarke, OTD, M.S., OTR/L
Assistant Professor   Katherine Ryan-Bloomer, Ph.D., OTR/L
    Mylene Schriner, Ph.D., OTR/L
    Ketti Johnson Coffelt, OTD, M.S., OTR/L
Assistant Professor/ Academic Fieldwork Coordinator   Liz Zayat, M.S., OTR/L

Occupational therapy (OT) is a science-driven, evidence-based profession that enables people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them to promote health and prevent— or live better with—illness, injury or disability. Occupational therapists work together with the client to design strategies for everyday living and customize environments to develop and maximize their potential to lead independent, productive, and satisfying lives. Today’s therapists work in a variety of settings including clinical practice, administration, education, research and private practice.

Our vision is to make a difference in the lives of our students and the academic and professional communities we serve through an educational experience that supports, challenges, and mentors learning, leadership, and service. Rockhurst’s Department of Occupational Therapy builds on this Jesuit tradition by combining a strong foundation in the liberal arts and sciences with a professional master’s curriculum emphasizing critical thinking, problem solving, and ethics. These themes, integrated throughout the curriculum, culminate in the student’s ability to clinically problem solve in traditional and emerging practice settings.

As an OT student at Rockhurst, you will have the opportunity to contribute to the community’s health and wellness, conduct research with a mentor, present findings at state and national meetings, manage and staff a student-run free health clinic and complete fieldwork assignments at clinical sites across the country.

The OT Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association, located at 4720 Montgomery Lane,  Ste. 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449; (301)-652-6611, www.aota.org. Graduates of the Program will be able 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 this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). Most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. When you apply to take the certification examination with NBCOT, you will be asked to answer questions related to the topic of felonies. For further information, you can contact NBCOT at 12 South Summit Avenue, Suite 1000, Gaithersburg, MD 20877, (301) 990-7979.

Admission to the Program

The Occupational Therapy Education Program accommodates multiple points of acceptance for interested students. The Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) curriculum, including fieldwork, takes approximately 24 months to complete, including summer classes.


  • Post-Baccalaureate Students
    Students from accredited universities are welcome to apply to Rockhurst University. Typically, students apply while in the last year of their undergraduate degree with a plan to enter the graduate program upon completion of the majority of their undergraduate degree.
  • Freshman Pre-Admission for Rockhurst University Undergraduate Students
    Exceptional students who plan to attend Rockhurst University for their undergraduate degree may be awarded a freshman early-admission guarantee for the Master of Ocupational Therapy (MOT) Program based on a combination of ACT or SAT scores, high school grade point average, and prerequisite courses. Pre-Admission students must meet the requirements for maintaining Pre-admission as outlined by the Department of Occupational Therapy. Students complete the application process the year preceding entrance into the MOT Program. The deadline is September 1st.
  • OT Scholars for Rockhurst University Undergraduate Students
    Rockhurst students with outstanding academic work may apply for advanced admission status through the OT Scholars Program if they have earned sophomore status and have maintained a cumulative and science GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. To apply for acceptance into the OT Scholars program, students submit a letter of intent to the Occupational Therapy Program office at the beginning of their Sophomore year. OT Scholars must meet the requirement for maintaining OT Scholar status as outlined by the Department of Occupational Therapy. Students complete the application process the year preceding entrance into the MOT Program. The deadline is September 1st.
  • Transfer Pre-Admission for Rockhurst University Undergraduate Students
    Students transferring to Rockhurst may apply for pre-admission if they have completed two years of undergraduate coursework and have attained a cumulative and science GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. To apply, the student submits a letter of intent to the Occupational Therapy program office before the conclusion of their first semester at Rockhurst. Transfer students must meet the requirements for maintaining transfer pre-admission as outlined by the Department of Occupational Therapy. Students complete the application process the year preceding entrance into the MOT Program. The deadline is September 1st.

Requirements for Admission

Enrollment is limited, and meeting the minimal requirements does not guarantee admission into the Occupational Therapy Education Program. Admission is based on academic and personal qualifications considered necessary for successful, competent practice as an occupational therapist.

  • Ability to complete a Rockhurst baccalaureate degree concurrent with enrollment in the first year of the OT Program OR have completed a baccalaureate degree at an accredited college in a discipline other than occupational therapy.
  • Complete prerequisite courses (see below);
  • Complete all materials in the application packet for admission into the OT Program, through OTCAS.org; Rockhurst undergraduates may submit a paper application;
  • Participate in a personal interview;
  • TOEFL scores of at least 550 must be submitted by international students whose first language is not English;
  • Candidates are evaluated based on overall achievements; however, grade point average is valued in the application process. The Occupational Therapy Education Department recommends a minimum grade point average of a 3.0 in prerequisite courses.


All prerequisite coursework must be completed before the beginning of the program.

Prerequisite Courses: (numbers reflect semester credit hours)

  • English Composition (6)
  • Fundamentals of Communication (3)
  • Statistics (3)
  • Ethics (3)
  • Abnormal Psychology (3)
  • Introductory Sociology or Anthropology (3)
  • Developmental Psychology (3)
  • Introductory Physics w/Lab (4)
  • Biology w/Lab (4)
  • Physiology w/Lab (4)
  • Anatomy w/Lab (4)

Rockhurst undergraduates must take Biology I and II (8 hrs.)

(Human Anatomy and General Physiology are strongly recommended for successful completion of the Occupational Therapy program.)

Admissions Process

Rockhurst University’s Master of Occupational Therapy Program accepts a new class each summer semester. The admissions cycle begins the summer prior to the year of entry into the occupational therapy program. Rockhurst undergraduate students, includinging freshmen pre-admits, OT scholars, and transfer pre-admits, may obtain an application  to the graduate program can be obtained through the Graduate Admissions Office. Rockhurst applications are required  September 1 of each admissions cycle for Rockhurst OT Pre-Admit and OT Scholars. It is recommended all other Rockhurst applicants also submit by September 1.

Applicants outside of Rockhurst University are required to apply to the MOT program through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) www.OTCAS.org.

The OT Admissions Committee begins reviewing applications each cycle once they are verified by OTCAS and received by the Graduate Admissions Office. Applicants are responsible for checking OTCAS.org for the dates when the admission portal opens annually. The final deadline date for OTCAS applications for Rockhurst’s MOT program is January 1 of each cycle.

The OT Department will conduct two interview sessions, once in December and again in February. Interview dates are announced at the start of the admissions process and qualified applicants will be selected to interview for either of these dates throughout the application review process.

Interested students may request additional information about the program by contacting:

Office of Graduate Admission
Rockhurst University
1100 Rockhurst Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2561
(816) 501-4100 or 501-4097

Department of Occupational Therapy
Telephone: (816) 501-4059
Email: occupational.therapy@rockhurst.edu

Promotion in the Program

To progress toward the Master of Occupational Therapy degree, a student must:

  1. a. Complete the baccalaureate degree by the end of the first year of the OT program if the student is obtaining a baccalaureate degree and completing the undergraduate sequence at Rockhurst. 
    b. Complete their baccalaureate degree prior to enrolling in the OT Program if the student is pursuing a baccalaureate degree from Rockhurst or an institution other than Rockhurst.
  2. Complete all prerequisite courses prior to entry into the OT Program.
  3. Maintain a 3.0 semester and cumulative grade-point average for all OT Program courses. All courses in the OT Program curriculum must be completed with at least a grade of C, including passing grades on all fieldwork experiences. Any grade below a C results in dismissal from the OT Program.
  4. Consistently demonstrate professional behavior when interacting with faculty, staff, students, and clients/patients. These behaviors reflect the capacity to deliver a high standard of health service and are as important as traditional academic standards in determining criteria for promotion and continuation in the OT Program.
  5. Comply with all requirements for fieldwork placement. These requirements will include at least one background check, to be completed in the Fall, Year One. Additional requirements may include a drug screening, CPR certification, TB testing, and proof of immunizations.
  6. Students should be aware that a criminal background check will be required. The presence of any criminal conviction on the student’s record may affect his/her eligibility for participating in clinical internships, becoming certified or licensed, and/or securing a job in the student’s field.


The Master of Occupational Therapy degree requires a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or greater to graduate. All degree requirements must be completed within 48 months for full-time students and 60 months for part-time students from the beginning of the first semester in which a student is enrolled. The Level II Fieldwork must be completed within 24 months after completion of academic preparation. The Occupational Therapy Education Program Student Handbook contains additional supplementary information about the OT Program.


    Master of Occupational Therapy

    Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: School of Graduate & Professional Studies