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Occupational Therapy FAQ

School of Graduate and Continuing Studies

 

Questions: 

What is the length of the program?
Do you have an online, part-time, evening, or weekend program?
Do I need a degree for this program?
Do I need to have a specific degree for admittance into the program?
Is there a specific degree that will increase my chances of getting admitted to the program?
Are GRE scores or similar test scores required?
Is there an undergraduate program in Occupational Therapy at Stockton?
May I transfer into the program as an undergraduate?
Does it increase my chances of getting into the program if I am a graduate of Stockton?
My cumulative GPA is less than a 3.2. Can I still apply to the MSOT program?
What are the prerequisite courses that I need to take for admission to the MSOT program?
Do courses taken at Community Colleges count toward the required pre-requisite courses?
I have a grade of less than a B in one (or some) of my pre-requisite courses. Can I still apply to the MSOT program?
Do I need to do observations of Occupational Therapists prior to applying?
Can I observe a Physical Therapist and count those hours towards my observations in an OT setting if an OT is present?
If I do more than the required 40 hours of observation will that increase my chances of being admitted to the MSOT program?
Do I need to complete all of my 40 hours of observation prior to applying to the program?
Do you assist applicants in finding places to complete their observations?
Who can complete my reference form?
Can my references write a letter or reference in lieu of completing the required reference form?
Can I claim New Jersey residency on my application?
Can I take my CPR course online?
When are students admitted to the program?
Is it possible to set up a meeting with someone from the MSOT program to answer my questions or review my transcripts and qualifications?
Can someone from Stockton review my transcripts and qualifications prior to applying to the program?
When is the due date for application to the MSOT Program?
Do all of the pre-requisite courses and observation hours need to be completed by the November 17, 2014 application deadline?
Do all of the supplemental application materials need to be submitted by the November 17, 2014 deadline?
How soon after the application deadline will I know if I have been accepted?
Is Stockton's MSOT Program accredited?
Is there a certification examination required once I complete my MSOT education?
What is the pass rate for Stockton MSOT Program graduates taking the NBCOT exam?
Do graduates of Stockton MSOT Program find employment once they graduate and begin a job search?
Do you have any statistics in regards to the satisfaction of Stockton MSOT graduates with their education and subsequent employment?
Do you have any statistics in regards to the satisfaction of employers of Stockton MSOT graduates with their preparedness to perform effectively as an Occupational Therapist?
Does Stockton College offer its MSOT program graduates any options for enhancing their knowledge in the Occupational Therapy field?
Should I apply to other OT programs?
Where can I get information about occupational therapy as a profession?
Who should I call if I have additional questions?


Answers

What is the length of the program?
Two and one-half years: four semesters of full-time academic study (two years) followed by six months of full-time clinical training (fieldwork). Students take 18 Graduate credits per academic semester.

Do you have an online, part-time, evening, or weekend program?
No, the MSOT program is a full-time, on site program.  Classes occur during the week.  Most days students are in class from 8:30-5:00 with a break for lunch.  Fieldwork training is full-time for two, twelve week assignments, and the schedule is dependent upon the fieldwork training site to which the student is assigned. There also may be some occasional evening or weekend group work to complete.

Do I need a degree for this program?
To matriculate into the MSOT program, you must already have a Bachelor’s degree. However, students may apply in the final semesters before receiving a Bachelor’s degree.

Do I need to have a specific degree for admittance into the program?
No, as long as you have completed the prerequisite requirements any Bachelor’s degree may be considered.

Is there a specific degree that will increase my chances of getting admitted to the program?
No specific degree will increase your chances of being accepted into the program.

Are GRE scores or similar test scores required?
No, students applying to Stockton’s MSOT Program are not required to submit GRE or any other test scores.  However, applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit official results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or proof of successful completion of a recognized English as a Second Language (ESL) course. International students should click here.

Is there an undergraduate program in Occupational Therapy at Stockton?
No, Stockton does not have an undergraduate program in occupational therapy. As of January 2007, entry into the professional level of occupational therapy practice requires a post baccalaureate degree. Therefore, the occupational therapy program (MSOT) is an entry-level master’s degree program specifically designed for the person who has an undergraduate degree. For those students considering what type of Bachelor’s degree to pursue, some degrees offered at Stockton may be helpful in your career as an occupational therapist. Those majors that have coursework conducive to completing the required prerequisites include: psychology, biology, public health, health sciences, or other health-related fields.

May I transfer into the program as an undergraduate?
No, since there is no undergraduate program in Occupational Therapy, this not possible. However, you may transfer to Stockton to complete your undergraduate degree with the intention of applying to the MSOT program.

Does it increase my chances of getting into the program if I am a graduate of Stockton?
Because Stockton is a public institution in the State of New Jersey higher education system, some  additional consideration is given to residents of New Jersey and graduates of Stockton College. The number of out of state applicants and non-Stockton graduate applicants who are invited to an interview is somewhat dependent upon the number of New Jersey residents and Stockton graduates who apply in a given application cycle.  This number varies with each application cycle.  However, residing in New Jersey and/or graduating from Stockton does not guarantee admission to the Stockton MSOT Program.  We routinely accept out of state applicants and graduates of other colleges and universities.

My cumulative GPA is less than a 3.2.  Can I still apply to the MSOT program?
Beginning with the admissions cycle in Fall 2014, the 3.2 cumulative GPA is required for application to the MSOT program.  If your cumulative GPA is less than a 3.2 at the time of the application deadline of November 17, 2014 you should not apply to the MSOT program as your application will not be considered.

What are the prerequisite courses that I need to take for admission to the MSOT program?
Prior to admission to the program, the following courses must be successfully completed with a grade of  B (3.0) or better. Students applying to the MSOT program must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or better based on a 4.0 scale. The Stockton course acronym and number that corresponds with the prerequisite is provided for Stockton students.

The required courses prior to admission are:

  • Anatomy & Physiology -Two semesters are required; at least one semester must have a lab.  The B must be obtained in the Lecture portion of the course if lecture and lab are given separate grades. Choose an option.
    • Option 1: Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II: BIOL 1270/1275 (A&P I/Lab) and BIOL 2270/2275 (A&P II/Lab).
    • Option 2:  Human Anatomy with Lab (BIOL 2180/2185) and Principles of Physiology (BIOL 2150/2151).
    • HLTH 2221/2222 and PYSC 3331 will no longer be accepted as pre-requisite courses for the Anatomy and Physiology requirement. However, any student taking these courses prior to the Fall 2014 semester will be allowed to submit these courses for their pre-requisites. 
    • HLTH 2170 and HLTH 2270 will no longer be offered after the Spring 2014 semester. However, any student taking these courses prior to the Fall 2014 semester will be allowed to submit these courses for their pre-requisites.
  • Introduction to Psychology/General Psychology (PSYC 1100)- MUST BE THE INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY COURSE. We WILL NOT accept higher level courses as substitutions.
  • Abnormal Psychology (PSYC 2211)
  • Life Span Development (Human Development or Development Psychology across the Life Span) or Human Behavior in the Social Environment (PSYC 3322 or SOWK 1103). To meet this requirement, the course (or courses) must cover all stages of the lifespan (infants through geriatrics) and various areas of development (cognitive, psychological, physical, and social).
  • Introduction to Anthropology or Introduction to Sociology (ANTH 1100 or SOCY 1100)-MUST BE THE INTRODUCTION TO ANTHROPOLOGY OR SOCIOLOGY COURSE.  We WILL NOT accept higher level courses as substitutions.
  • Statistics or Applied Biostatistics (CSIS 1206 or HLTH 2305 or PSYC 2241 or PUBH 2330 or PUBH 2310) To meet this requirement, the course must cover statistical methods primarily and not research methods or simple math.
  • Please note that as of January 15, 2012, we no longer accept CLEP scores for pre-requisites for the MSOT program.

Do courses taken at Community Colleges count toward the required pre-requisite courses?
Yes, as long as the pre-requisite course was a credit bearing course and a grade of B or better was earned.

I have a grade of less than a B in one (or some) of my pre-requisite courses.  Can I still apply to the MSOT program?
Yes, as long as you intend to retake the course in which the grade is less than a B and receive a B grade prior to August 31.  However, having all pre-requisite courses with a grade of B or better results in a stronger application.

Do I need to do observations of Occupational Therapists prior to applying?
Beginning with the admissions cycle in the Fall of 2014, documentation of 40 hours of work/volunteer work or community service in a variety of occupational therapy settings with clients of different ages and diagnoses is required. Hours must be submitted on the Documentation of Clinical Hours form(s) found by visiting www.stockton.edu/grad and clicking "Graduate Programs" then "View Details".  PLEASE SUBMIT ONLY 1 DOCUMENT PER SETTING THAT INDICATES THE CUMULATIVE HOURS YOU COMPLETED IN THAT SETTING.

Can I observe a Physical Therapist and count those hours towards my observations in an OT setting if an OT is present?
No, all observations MUST be done specifically with an Occupational Therapist.  In addition, your Hours VERIFICATION Form MUST be signed by the Occupational Therapist who you observed.

If I do more than the required 40 hours of observation will that increase my chances of being admitted to the MSOT program?
No, only 40 hours of observation are required.

Do I need to complete all of my 40 hours of observation prior to applying to the program?
No, but it is a good idea to complete at least some of your observations as the MSOT faculty want to ensure that individuals applying to the MSOT program understand what Occupational Therapists do. Completion of all clinical hours at the time of application may result in a stronger file, but we have routinely accepted individuals into the program who have observation hours to complete at the time of acceptance.

Do you assist applicants in finding places to complete their observations?
No, applicants are required to find their own places to complete their observations.  Most applicants observe in rehabilitation hospitals, hand therapy centers, assisted living facilities, schools, and hospitals in their own communities.  It is best to contact the Occupational Therapy program or the volunteer office at that facility to find out the process required. Note: The MSOT Program does not provide individuals with letters to confirm that the observation hours are required for application to the MSOT Program.  Applicants are asked to direct the facilities to the MSOT Application Website and to read the observation hour form as proof of this requirement.

Who can complete my reference form?
Your reference forms MUST be completed by individuals who can attest to your academic excellence and/or work and volunteer experience and skills.  You can obtain your references from a college/university professor familiar with your academic performance, work or volunteer supervisor, or current employer.  We do not accept references from personal friends or family members even if they are an Occupational Therapist (unless you have completed your observation hours with them) or other healthcare professional.

Can my references write a letter or reference in lieu of completing the required reference form?
No, we require the reference form to be completed.  However, your reference can write a letter and include that in addition to the required reference form.  If we do not receive the form, then your application may be deemed to be incomplete.

Additional prerequisites include:

  • Completion of a CPR course (proof of current CPR certification or recertification is required by the date of admission, but include card if you have it upon application))- this course MUST be an in person course. We do not accept online courses.
  • Proof of New Jersey Residency- Applicants to the MSOT program who are claiming NJ residency MUST be a resident of NJ for the year prior to applying.  (In order to claim New Jersey residency, all applicants must submit a copy of their New Jersey driver’s license or identification card.  No other proof will be accepted.) All applicants, regardless of state of residency must submit a driver's license as a part of the application process.
  • Applicants must meet the Technical Standards requirements for participation in Stockton’s MSOT Program.  The Technical Standards document describes the abilities and capacities required for admission and retention in the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) Program.

I have a driver's license from a state other than New Jersey, but have been going to school in New Jersey for 4 years and have lived in New Jersey for the majority of the year.  Can I claim New Jersey residency on my application?
You can only claim residency in the state in which you have a driver's license and the state which you (or your parents if claimed as a dependent) claim as your permanent address on your federal tax returns (for the year prior to application to the MSOT Program).  Applicants must have lived in New Jersey for 1 year prior to application to claim New Jersey residency.  You can, however, apply to the MSOT program if you are a resident of another state. The MSOT program requires a driver's license to be submitted as proof of residency from all applicants regardless of state of residency.  We will not accept apartment leases or utility bills as proof of residency.  International students should contact the Office of Graduate admissions for information on what documents are required for international applicants.

Can I take my CPR course online?
No. Your CPR certification MUST be a classroom-based course where you will have access to a CPR manikin for practice of CPR technique. You can find a course in your area at the following link: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/CPRAndECC/CPR_UCM_001118_SubHomePage.jsp. We recommend the Basic Life Support course for Health Care Professionals. In addition, if you already have CPR certfication and your certification will expire prior to the end of your first semester in the program, you will need to renew your certification prior to August 31. CPR certification MUST remain valid during a student's time in the MSOT program so CPR renewal MAY be required during the time in which you are a student in the program.

When are students admitted to the program?
A new class of students (cohort) begins each fall. 

Is it possible to set up a meeting with someone from the MSOT program to answer my questions?
Since the MSOT faculty get so many inquiries into the MSOT program, it is not possible to meet every request for meetings.  Instead, we recommend that you attend one of the numerous Information Sessions or Open House events that occur throughout the year on our main campus. At these events, you will get an overview of the MSOT program as well as be able to ask questions to a program representative. You can find out when these Information Sessions or Open Houses are by visiting www.stockton.edu/grad and clicking "Request Information".

Can someone from Stockton review my transcripts and qualifications prior to applying to the program?
If you have specific questions about prerequisite course requirements, please meet with an academic advisor at the institution in which you completed those courses. You must provide that individual with the prerequisite course list and requirements from our MSOT website. This individual should be able to assist you with choosing the correct courses by comparing course descriptions at your institution to those course descriptions from Stockton's Course Catalog.

 When is the due date for application to the MSOT Program?
The due date is November 17, 2014 for Fall 2015.  Students interested in applying to the MSOT program should submit all materials on or before November 17 prior to the fall semester of desired entry. All application materials must be received or postmarked by November 17th.  Any materials postmarked/submitted after November 17 will not be considered, therefore it is best to begin the application process early.  All application materials should be sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions and not to the MSOT Program.

Do all of the pre-requisite courses and observation hours need to be completed by the November 17 application deadline? Do all of the supplemental application materials need to be submitted by the November 17 deadline?
For those admitted to the program, all prerequisite course requirements, observation hours, and supplemental materials (CPR Card, proof of degree, outstanding course grades and transcripts) are not required to be completed/submitted until August 31st prior to the fall semester start date.  The application, application essay, transcripts of completed courses, and reference forms MUST be postmarked prior to the November 17 application deadline.  However, completion of all pre-requisites and submission of all application and supplemental materials results in a stronger application.

How soon after the application deadline will I know if I have been accepted?           
After all applications have been reviewed, the most qualified students are invited to interview in late February. After interviews are completed, letters of acceptance are generally mailed by mid-March, but these timelines can be adjusted based on unforeseen circumstances (weather, emergencies, etc.). Please note that meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee interview or admission to the MSOT program.

Is Stockton's MSOT Program accredited?
Yes, Stockton’s MSOT Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at  4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449.  ACOTE’s telephone number, C/O AOTA, is (301) 652-2682.  The ACOTE website can be found at: http://www.acoteonline.org

Is there a certification examination required once I complete my MSOT education?
Graduates of the program 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 this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, most states require licensure in order 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 examination or attain state licensure.  Information about NBCOT or the NBCOT certification exam can be obtained at http://www.nbcot.org/.

What is the pass rate for Stockton MSOT Program graduates taking the NBCOT exam?
To see the performance of our graduates on the NBCOT exam, please visit the following link: https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx.  Stockton MSOT students typically officially graduate in December and take the NBCOT exam in the next calendar year. 

Year Number of Program Graduates Number of first-time test takers Number of first-time test takers who passed the exam Percentage of first-time test takers who passed the exam
2011 22 18 18 100%
2012 18 22 21 95%
2013 23 21 19 91%
3-Year 63 61 58 95%

Do graduates of Stockton MSOT Program find employment once they graduate and begin a job search?
98% of our graduates have found employment in occupational therapy positions within one month of their job search.

Do you have any statistics in regards to the satisfaction of Stockton MSOT graduates with their education and subsequent employment?
Based on a survey of Stockton MSOT alumni graduating December 2011 (conducted 12 months after graduation), 50% of our alumni have completed the survey. Of the nine items rating level of job satisfaction, the majority of alumni indicated being "satisfied" (4.21 on a 5 point scale) with each of the items. Of the 17 items rating level of preparedness with competencies for the job, the majority of alumni chose "well prepared" (4.33 on a 5 point scale) for all of the items.

Do you have any statistics in regards to the satisfaction of employers of Stockton MSOT graduates with their preparedness to perform effectively as an Occupational Therapist?
Based on a survey of employers of Stockton MSOT alumni graduating December 2011 (conducted 12 months after graduation), 24% of employers have completed a survey documenting the performance of our graduates. Employers rated our graduates an average of 3.66 on a 4.0 scale on 20 indicators of performance.

Does Stockton College offer its MSOT program graduates any options for enhancing their knowledge in the Occupational Therapy field?
Stockton College is pleased to offer continuing education courses for occupational therapy personnel. Courses offered are convenient, affordable, and provide updated and useful professional information. To see current continuing education courses, please go to www.stockton.edu/hshs.

Should I apply to other OT programs?                                                                
Obviously this depends on individual circumstances. Applications to OT Programs across the country have risen dramatically in recent years and this is the case at Stockton, which makes the application process extremely competitive.  Applicants may wish to have a strategy for obtaining their OT education elsewhere in case they are not admitted to Stockton.

Where can I get information about occupational therapy as a profession?                
The best source of written information about occupational therapy, the populations that occupational therapists serve and the focus of occupational therapy interventions is by visiting the website for the American Occupational Therapy Association at www.aota.org. There are many resources for students and consumers as well.

Students with additional questions not addressed above are encouraged to call 609-626-3640.