May 26, 2020  
2018-2019 University Catalog 
2018-2019 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Occupational Therapy (MS)

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Occupational Therapy (MS): Admission Requirements

The Department of Occupational Therapy is no longer accepting applications for its Occupational Therapy master’s program. See below for the admission requirements for the Occupational Therapy Doctorate program.

Occupational Therapy (MS): Academic Policies


The academic program is a 27-month program. Instruction is provided by occupational therapy faculty and faculty members from other departments and colleges within the University. Students must complete all program requirements within 39 months from the time they begin the program and part-time students 51 months from the time they begin. Any student who expects to go beyond this time frame must write to the program director to request an exception to the policy. A minimum of 117 quarter hour credits (78 semester hour credits)  is  required for graduation.

Academic Progression

Students will progress through the curriculum following the curriculum outline provided.

The faculty reserves the right to dismiss any student whose conduct, health or performance demonstrates lack of fitness for continuance in a health profession as identified by the faculty member and by the Rush University Code of Conduct. Any such student not voluntarily withdrawing will be dismissed from the University.

Only grades of A, B, C or P may fulfill degree requirements in all nonelective courses listed in the curriculum outline. Students will be considered in good standing at Rush University unless placed on academic probation. Academic probation is assigned to any student who earns a term grade-point average of 2.99 and below. Full-time students placed on probation must earn a cumulative average of 3.0 or above by the end of the next consecutive term. Part-time students placed on probation must earn a cumulative average of 3.0 or above at the end of the next two consecutive term. Students who fail to meet minimum cumulative GPA requirements within the time frame specified above will be automatically dismissed from the program.

Students placed on academic probation for the first time must meet with their adviser and establish an action plan prior to the beginning of the next term. If a student is placed on probation a second time, they must petition and meet with the Student Performance and Academic Review Committee, or SPARC and provide an action plan that is acceptable to SPARC in order to continue in the program. The student will also be responsible to meet on a regular basis with their adviser to monitor the progress of the aforementioned action plan’s implementation.

A student who is placed on probation for a third time for didactic coursework will automatically be dismissed from the program.  A student receiving a grade of D, F,  N, WF or WN in a required course must repeat the course at the next academic offering and earn at least a B (or Pass for pass/no-pass courses) to remain in the program. Only one D, F, N or WN is allowed for the entire program. In the event a student receives a second D, F, N, WF or WN at any other time in the program, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Occupational Therapy Technical Standards

Rush University is committed to diversity and to attracting and educating students who will make the population of health care professionals representative of the national population.

Our core values - I CARE (innovation, collaboration, accountability, respect and excellence) - translate into our work with all students, including those with disabilities. Rush actively collaborates with students to develop innovative ways to ensure accessibility and creates a respectful, accountable culture through our confidential and specialized disability support. Rush is committed to excellence in accessibility; we encourage students with disabilities to disclose and seek accommodations.

The following technical functions are required of all students enrolled in the Occupational Therapy program:

Acquire Information

  • Acquire information from demonstrations and experiences in courses, such as lecture, group and physical demonstrations
  • Acquire information from written documents and computer systems (e.g., literature searches and data retrieval)
  • Identify information presented in accessible images from paper, slides, videos with audio description and transparencies
  •  Recognize and assess patient changes in mood, activity, cognition, verbal and non-verbal communication

Use and Interpret

  • Use and interpret information from assessment techniques/maneuvers
  • Use and interpret information related to physiologic phenomena generated from diagnostic tools


  • Possess psychomotor skills necessary to provide or assist in holistic occupational therapy care and perform or assist with procedures and treatments
  • Practice in a safe manner and appropriately provide occupational therapy care and assessment in emergencies and life support procedures, and perform universal precautions against contamination


  • Communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and families
  • Communicate effectively with faculty, preceptors and all members of the health care team during practicum and other learning experiences
  • Accurately elicit information, including a medical history and other information to adequately and effectively evaluate a population’s, client’s or patient’s condition

Intellectual Ability

  • Measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize data related to the diagnosis and treatment of patients and populations
  • Exercise proper judgment and complete responsibilities in a timely and accurate manner according to the occupational therapy role
  • Synthesize information, problem-solve and think critically to judge the most appropriate theory, assessment or treatment strategy


  • Maintain mature, sensitive, effective relationships with clients/patients, families, students, faculty, staff, preceptors and other professionals under all circumstances
  • Exercise skills of diplomacy to advocate for patients in need
  • Possess emotional stability to function under stress and adapt to rapidly changing environments inherent to the classroom and practice settings


  • Demonstrate concern for others
  • Integrity, accountability, interest and motivation are necessary personal qualities
  • Demonstrate intent and desire to follow the Rush University and Occupational Therapy code of ethics

The technical standards delineated above must be met with or without accommodation. Students who, after review of the technical standards, determine they require reasonable accommodation to fully engage in the program, should contact the Office of Student Disability Services to confidentially discuss their accommodations needs.

Given the clinical nature of our programs, time may be needed to implement the accommodations. Accommodations are never retroactive; therefore, timely requests are essential and encouraged.

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