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Undergraduate Course Catalog 2016-2017

College of Health and Human Services


Occupational Therapy (OT)


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Chairperson: Kerryellen Vroman
Associate Professor: Sajay Arthanat, Lou Ann Griswold, Shelley E. Mulligan, Barbara Prudhomme White
Assistant Professor: Vidyalakshmi Sundar
Clinical Associate Professor: Elizabeth A. Stewart, Therese Willkomm
Clinical Assistant Professor: Paul Bonzani, Alexa Trolley-Hanson, John Wilcox

Occupational therapy enables individuals of all ages to engage in everyday activities across the life span in the areas of work, self-care, home management, and leisure. The main goal of occupational therapy is to support people as they gain or regain skills and abilities to participate effectively within their natural context. This process often involves adapting tasks or an environment to optimize a person's ability to fulfill his/her social roles and engage in those activities that are meaningful and support health and wellbeing. A program of studies in occupational therapy includes a foundation in the liberal arts; biological, behavioral, and health sciences; and discipline-specific studies in occupational science and occupational therapy.

The occupational therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). The Council may be contacted c/o Accreditation Department, American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), 4720 Montgomery Lane, Bethesda, MD 20824-3449, (301) 652-2682, website: Graduates from an accredited program are eligible to sit for the certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a registered occupational therapist (OTR). Most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination.

Combined Bachelor of Science/Master of Science Program
The University of New Hampshire Department of Occupational Therapy offers a combined bachelor’s degree/master’s degree program. Students must complete both a bachelor's of science and the professional master’s degree in occupational therapy to be eligible to take the National Board Certification of Occupational Therapists examination, which is required to practice as an occupational therapist. Students may enter as first-year students or transfer within UNH into the B.S./M.S. program at the end of the sophomore year, space permitting in the program. Students interested in transferring into this program should contact the Department of Occupational Therapy for information about transfer requirements and application deadlines. This information is also available on the department website

Preprofessional Curriculum
Students begin the B.S./M.S. curriculum with three years of preprofessional courses, which include courses in biological and social sciences as well as occupational therapy. In addition to meeting the University Discovery Program requirements, students take the following core courses during their first three years:

ENGL 401, First-Year Writing
PSYC 401, Introduction to Psychology
BMS 507 and 508, Human Anatomy and Physiology
OT 500, The Behavior and Development of Children
OT 501, Development Tasks of Adulthood
OT 510, Exploring Occupational Therapy and Occupation
OT 610, Occupation, Identity, and Disability
KIN 706 Neurology and  KIN 707, Neurology Lab
Statistics (such as HHS 540, PSYC 402, or SOC 402)

Additional requirements (Details on satisfying these requirements are provided by the student's academic adviser and are outlined in the OT Department Policy and Procedure Manual. All students receive a copy of the manual in their first year, and it is also available on the OT student organization site online.)

An experiential learning/occupation-based learning course for 3-4 credits (This is a course that requires cognitive learning that is translated into a motor skill. Many courses can meet this requirement);
A health/social policy course (This is a course that address social and health policy, such as HMP 401 or SW 525);
Any university minor or a self-designed concentration area for a total of 20 credits;
Minimum 4-hour OT shadow/observation experiences in three different practice settings (forms and introduction letter for these observations are available on the occupational therapy student organization online.
Volunteer or work experience in a health and human service organization is recommended, although not required.

Professional Curriculum
Students in the B.S./M.S. curriculum with a GPA of 3.0 or higher transition into the professional program during their undergraduate education. They complete the following courses:

OT 741, Human Occupation 
OT 710, Occupational Therapy Practice and Professional Roles
OT 751, Mind Body Systems Neurologically-Based Function and Dysfunction
OT 752, Human Movement and Environmental Effects on Everyday Occupations (co-requisite lab OT 752L) 
OT 792, Level I Fieldwork  (January-term)
OT 760, Occupational Therapy Psychosocial Evaluation and Intervention (co-requisite lab, OT 760L)
OT 785, Research Methods and Application to Practice
OT 745, Administration and Management for Occupational Therapy Practice

One of the following two courses:   

OT 771, Enabling Participation in Community Groups (co-requisite lab, OT 771L) or
OT 730, Assistive Technology for Enhancing Occupational Performance (co-requisite lab, OT 730L)

The Discovery Program capstone requirement is satisfied through the completion of coursework for OT 741, Human Occupation. This course also fulfills the writing intensive in major course.

At the end of the senior year, students are awarded a bachelor of science degree in occupational science. Students then apply to the Graduate School as advanced-standing students in the professional master’s program. An overall minimum grade point of 3.0 is required for admission to the master’s degree program, and students must attain a minimum grade of B- in all OT classes, and meet professional behavior expectations. Students must have no more than 8 credits of B- coursework in OT senior-level courses. Please refer to the Graduate Catalog for additional information about the master’s program and the final 1.5 years (three semesters) of the professional occupational therapy curriculum including fieldwork requirements.

Students entering as first-year undergraduate students have 5.5 academic years (11 semesters) to complete the professional curriculum, including level II fieldwork. They then will be eligible to sit for the certification examination administered by the National Board of Certification of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT). A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to complete fieldwork, sit for the NBCOT certification examination, and/or obtain state licensure.

Students are responsible for transportation to off-campus practicum and fieldwork locations.

Curriculum review and revision is undertaken annually. The department works closely with students during academic advising sessions and shares information about any policy and requirement changes during registration periods as well as throughout the academic year. Students also are expected to take an active role in verifying expectations and should check with their department advisers each September for updated policies and requirements. Program requirements and policies for retention in the major are in the OT Department Policy and Procedure Manual, which is available online. 

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