Occupational Therapy (entry level) — M.O.T.

Program director
Heather A. Javaherian-Dysinger

Academic fieldwork coordinator 
Aaron Moesser

Transforming lives through occupation, advocacy, and service. Loma Linda University’s Department of Occupational Therapy's mission aims to graduate compassionate, service-oriented leaders who demonstrate excellence and integrity to advance practice and facilitate occupational engagement among individuals, communities, and societies. Graduates will demonstrate critical thinking, leadership, and service to wholistically promote health and occupational justice. The engaged educational process will transform students into compassionate practitioners, advocates, and visionaries who utilize research and evidence-based practice to meet the needs of our changing society.

Curricular threads:  transformative nature of occupation; evidence-based practice and research; health, lifestyle, and wellness; and service-learning; advocacy, justice, and civic responsibility.

Clinical experience

Aligning with the unique mission of Loma Linda University, our students have the opportunity to experience fieldwork in community practices and emerging areas, as well as traditional sites. Students will participate in two Level I fieldwork experiences, exposing them to different areas of practice to observe and begin building an understanding of occupational therapy practice. Students participate in service-learning projects using their skills to create and implement programs for community partners.  Each student then completes two Level II fieldwork experiences. The fieldwork coordinator works with the student to arrange the fieldwork sites. Students are responsible for their own transportation and must complete the fieldwork within twenty-four months of the didactic course work. Students must also complete a background check and any specific facility requirements prior to beginning fieldwork.

CPR certification

Students are required to have current adult and child cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification for all scheduled clinical experience. All CPR certifications must be completed at a health-care provider level and accredited through the American Heart Association. Classes are available on campus at Life Support Education, University Arts building, 24887 Taylor Street, Suite 102.


For all scheduled fieldwork experience, students are required to have immunizations for MMR, TDAP, hepatitis B series, varicella; and a yearly tuberculosis test.

Program goals

  1. Graduate experts in the therapeutic use of occupation and theory to envision possibilities and transform lives and communities through service and advocacy.  Measured through program learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4.
  2. Graduate critical thinkers who engage in evidence-based practice.  Measured through program learning outcomes 1, 3, 4.
  3. Graduate advocates whose personal and professional use of occupation promotes health, lifestyle, quality of life, and wellness. Measured through program learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4.

Program learning outcomes

By the end of this program, the graduate should be able to:

  1. Articulate the importance of the history and philosophical base of the profession of occupational therapy, using occupation as the therapeutic basis of transformation and meaning.
  2. Describe the importance of balancing areas of occupation with the achievement of health and wellness for the clients in a holistic perspective.
  3. Design occupation-based intervention plans and strategies (including goals and methods to achieve them) on the basis of the stated needs of the client, and data gathered during the evaluation process in collaboration with the client and other health professionals.
  4. Use scholarly literature to make evidence-based decisions.

Professional registration and certification

Upon satisfactory completion of the occupational therapy entry-level M.O.T. degree, including completion of Level II fieldwork within 24 months of completion of academic preparation, and upon recommendation of the faculty, the graduate is eligible to take the national certification examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). The board offers computerized examinations on demand throughout the year. After successful completion of this examination, the individual will be a registered occupational therapist (OTR).

Many states require licensure in order to practice. The student should consult the Occupational Therapy Board for the state in which s/he plans to practice. The American Occupational Therapy Association provides recognition essential to the practice of occupational therapy in the United States and most foreign countries.

When the graduate applies to write the certification examination with NBCOT, s/he will be asked to answer questions related to the topic of felonies. Felony convictions may affect a candidate's ability to sit for the national certification examination or obtain state licensure. For further information on these limitations, contact NBCOT at 12 South Summit Avenue, Suite 100, Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150; telephone: 301/990-7979; website: <nbcot.org>. Graduates practicing in the state of California must acquire licensure from the California Board of Occupational Therapy. For further information, contact CBOT at 916/263-2294; e-mail: <cbot@dca.ca.gov>. The office address is 2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 2050, Sacramento, CA 95815-3831.

The Master of Occupational Therapy Program was re-accredited in May 2013 with a full 10-year accreditation status through May 2023.  The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE),  c/o Accreditation Department, American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), 4720 Montgomery Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449; telephone: 301/652-2682; website: <www.acoteonline.org>.

Admission is based on a selective process.  In addition to Loma Linda University and School of Allied Health Professions admissions requirements, the applicant must also complete the following requirements:

  • Earned a prior bachelor's degree in any major from an accredited college or university.
  • A minimum science prerequisite G.P.A. of 3.20, and a minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 3.20.
  • Complete program prerequisites no later than December of the year prior to submission of an application.
  • Complete observation experience—a minimum of 40 hours of documented observation in occupational therapy settings is required before application will be considered for admission.


The applicant must complete the following subject requirements at an accredited college or university:

Human anatomy*
Human physiology*
Human lifespan development
Medical terminology

First Year
Summer QuarterUnits
AHCJ 510Human Gross Anatomy9
OCTH 501Professional Foundations I3
OCTH 505Occupation-Based Activity Analysis3
OCTH 701Service in Occupational Therapy Practice1
Autumn Quarter
AHCJ 524Pharmacology2
OCTH 502Professional Foundations II: Human Occupation3
OCTH 510Functional Kinesiology1
OCTH 514Conditions in Occupational Therapy: Behavioral Health4
OCTH 522Analysis and Intervention: Behavioral Health3
OCTH 570Critical Inquiry and Evidence-Based Practice I1
Winter Quarter
OCTH 506Functional Neuroscience3
OCTH 508Splinting1
OCTH 511Conditions in Occupational Therapy: Orthopedic4
OCTH 521Analysis and Intervention I: Orthopedic3
RELE 564Ethics and Health Disparities3
Spring Quarter
OCTH 507Trends in Neuroscience2
OCTH 512Conditions in Occupational Therapy: Neuroscience4
OCTH 523Analysis and Intervention: Neuroscience3
OCTH 530Sensorimotor2
OCTH 712Level I Fieldwork1
Second Year
Summer Quarter
AHCJ 705Infectious Disease and the Health Care Provider1
OCTH 503Professional Foundations III1
OCTH 509Design and Technology2
OCTH 574Critical Inquiry and Evidence-Based Practice II3
Autumn Quarter
OCTH 515Conditions in Occupational Therapy: Infants, Children, Youth4
OCTH 524Analysis and Intervention: Infants, Children, Youth3
OCTH 534Introduction to Sensory Processing2
OCTH 545Current Trends in Occupational Therapy Practice3
Winter Quarter
OCTH 516Conditions in Occupational Therapy: General Medicine4
OCTH 527Analysis and Intervention: General Medicine3
OCTH 551Occupation and Wellness2
OCTH 575Critical Inquiry and Evidence-based Practice III2
OCTH 713Level I Fieldwork2
Spring Quarter
OCTH 560Occupational Therapy Advocacy and Leadership3
OCTH 576Critical Inquiry and Evidence-based Practice IV2
OCTH 702Service Learning I3
RELR 536Spirituality and Everyday Life3
Third Year
Summer Quarter
OCTH 517Introduction to Physical Agent Modalities1
OCTH 552Professional Transition3
OCTH 703Service Learning II3
Autumn Quarter
OCTH 721Level II Fieldwork Experience 18
Winter Quarter
OCTH 722Level II Fieldwork Experience 28
 Total Units: 122

A minimum G.P.A. of 3.00 is required quarterly as well as cumulatively throughout the program.

Normal time to complete the program

Three (3) years (11 academic quarters) — full-time enrollment required