Occupational therapy assistants play a key role in providing occupational therapy services in every area of practice with people all across the lifespan. They support occupational therapists and clients by providing OT treatment services as indicated on the treatment plans developed by the occupational therapists.  They also provide feedback to the OTs, the clients, and the healthcare team about progress made in treatment.

At the University of Missouri, we have developed two degree options to help you towards your goal of becoming an occupational therapy assistant (OTA).  Our Bachelor of Health Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant (BHS-OTA) degree is an entry level degree option for individuals to prepare and obtain their licensure as an OTA.  The demand for highly-trained OTA’s and increasing accreditation requirements prompted the American Occupational Therapy Association to vote in support of entry-level education for OTA’s at the bachelor’s level, in addition to the traditional associate’s degree. Our BHS-OTA degree is the first such program at a public institution in Missouri, and one of only a few in the nation. “The BHS-OTA program opens the door for affordable, high-quality, evidence-based OT education with an entry-level degree that leads to immediate professional health care employment or further education in OT.” Dr. Tim Wolf, Occupational Therapy Department Chair.

 

Curriculum

See the BHS-OTA Professional Curriculum, broken down by semester.

Admission requirements

Applicants to MU’s Occupational Therapy Assistant program are reviewed holistically.  We take the time to get to know you as an individual through your application, not just a number on a score sheet.  We are searching for applicants that possess personal attributes of respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence, as well as the ability to perform essential functions fit for a career in occupational therapy. The admission committee reviews applications that contain the following:

  1. Application
    • Includes personal information, educational background, work and volunteer experience.
    • PLEASE CHECK BACK FOR OUR APPLICATION LINK
  2. Prerequisite Courses
    • All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to STARTING the OTA program with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applications can be submitted with some prerequisite courses still in progress.
    • Prerequisite Course List
  3. Transcripts
    • Cumulative GPA that includes ALL undergraduate completed coursework must be a minimum of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
    • Unofficial transcripts need to be submitted with the OTA application.
    • Official transcripts will be required upon acceptance into the program.
  4. Essay
    • 2-3 page essay that discusses why you are interested in becoming an occupational therapy assistant and your understanding of the occupational therapy profession.
  5. Potential Interview
    • Applicants may be invited for interview at any time during the admissions cycle.

Admission cycle

The Department of Occupational Therapy will begin accepting application for the Occupational Therapy Assistant program on August 1 each year. Each cohort of 44 accepted students will begin the OTA program in the Fall semester following the application cycle. The admission cycle closes annually on May 1st but due to the rolling admissions process used by the admissions committee, the program could potentially fill the 44 spots prior to the end of the cycle. Rolling admissions allows for early determination for exceptional applicants.

  • New completed applications will be reviewed each month beginning with the start of the admissions cycle.
  • Candidates may be considered from time of application until the end of the application cycle.
  • Applicants may be invited for interview at any time during the cycle.
  • Applicants will be notified of the initial status of their application within 45 days of their completed submission.

Prospective students are encouraged to read the MU OT Student Handbook thoroughly before enrolling to ensure that they can meet the requirements of an MUOTA Student. All University of Missouri Occupational Therapy Assistant students are required to read, acknowledge, and abide by the policies set forth in the Handbook. These include policies on essential functions, academic standards, professional behavior, background checks, drug screens, immunizations, BLS training, and insurance, among others. If you have questions about your ability to meet any of these requirements, please email us at muot@health.missouri.edu.

Start your application

Additional information for submitting applications will be made available shortly.  Applications will be accepted starting August 1.

Accreditation

The baccalaureate-degree-level occupational therapy assistant program has applied for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org. The program must be granted Candidacy Status, have a preaccreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapy assistant administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT), located at One Bank Street, Suite 300, Gaithersburg, MD 20878. NBCOT’s telephone number is (301) 990-7979 and its Web address is www.nbcot.org. After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, all 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.

Students must complete 16 weeks of Level II fieldwork as well as a baccalaureate project within 24 months following the completion of the didactic portion of the program.

Program fees

The Occupational Therapy department follows the University of Missouri’s Undergraduate tuition and fees for the Occupational Therapy Assistant program. Up to date information can be found at MU Cashiers Office: Tuition and Fees. Tuition and fees are subject to change at any time. The total cost of the degree may fluctuate based on changes to tuition before starting and while you are in the program.


Our transitional Bachelor of Health Science on an Occupational Therapy track is a degree designed exclusively for licensed OTAs who hold an associate’s degree. This 100 percent online and self-paced program allows for completion of your Bachelor degree while continuing to work as an OTA. This flexibility allows for completion of an occupational therapy focused bachelor’s degree to support career advancement for OTAs.

Curriculum

Admission requirements

This program is designed for applicants who already have their Occupational Therapy Assistant licensure.  Therefore the admissions process is overseen by the University of Missouri’s Office of Admissions.  Detailed admission requirements can be located at Mizzou Online

Start your application

Accreditation

The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. 

Program fees

The Occupational Therapy department follows the University of Missouri’s Online tuition and fees for the Occupational Therapy Assistant program.  Up to date information can be found at MU Cashiers Office: Tuition and Fees.  Tuition and fees are subject to change at any time. The total cost of the degree may fluctuate based on changes to tuition before starting and while you are in the program.

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