Occupational Therapy (MSOT)

School Overview

The Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy is named in honor of Dr. S. P. Auerbach and his family in recognition of their outstanding support of the School's entry-level curriculum, which was established in 1995. The Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy (ASOT) entry-level MSOT program facilitates the development of dynamic occupational therapy leaders who exemplify professional accountability across diverse service delivery contexts.

Occupational therapists are essential leaders in service delivery and management roles in a wide range of settings such as community agencies, healthcare centers, home healthcare, hospitals, industry, independent living centers, private practices, psychiatric programs, public and private schools, rehabilitation centers, and skilled nursing facilities. The occupational performance challenges (i.e. activities of daily living, work, play/leisure) of individuals, groups, and populations across the lifespan are addressed by the occupational therapist.

The Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy (ASOT) offers two entry-level degree options for individuals seeking a career in occupational therapy. Additionally, an advanced master's degree is offered for individuals who already have an occupational therapy bachelor's degree.

Entry-Level Programs

  1. A combined BS/MSOT degree can be earned by individuals who have not completed an undergraduate degree in any area of study. Upon completion of ASOT prerequisites and University Studies' requirements, the student can complete the professional phase of the program on a full-time basis in thirty months. Part-time study options are available on an individual basis. Upon successful completion of the BS portion of the program (120 credit hours), the student will be awarded a Bachelor of Science in Health Science. After successful completion of the remaining courses (36 credit hours), the student will earn a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) degree (total of 156 credit hours).  The final cohort of BS/MSOT students will be admitted Fall 2018.
  2. Students with a completed bachelor's degree in a field of study other than occupational therapy may directly enter the thirty-month program (90 credit hours) at the graduate level and earn a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy.

ASOT prepares students to become outstanding occupational therapy practitioners in varied health, educational, and community settings. The academic curriculum includes a significant focus on practice and emphasizes reflective learning by actively doing. School faculty work collaboratively with each student to develop strategies which enhance the student's learning and success in the profession. The MSOT provides the practitioner with the entry-level knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for practice, supervision, research, and/or teaching.

Advanced (Post-Professional) Master's Degree Program
This program is designed for individuals who have already completed a bachelor's degree in occupational therapy. It is designed to prepare the graduate to assume leadership in the profession by assuming key roles in clinical practice, research, education, or administration. Occupational therapists' responsibilities in these roles are to assure high quality services for client groups and to advance the practice of occupational therapy.

The academic program consists of 36 hours, including elective courses, with a thesis or master's project. Students may specialize by completing at least twelve (12) credit hours in an area of interest of pediatrics/educational practice focus; assistive technology, business management, neuroscience, or psychological health. Elective courses are offered and may be taken within other Spalding University programs including business, communication, education, and psychology. Elective course selection is made by advisement, on an individual basis, to design a program of study that meets the student's unique needs and interests. Program application criteria and procedures are available from the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy.

Program Accreditation and Examination Eligibility
The School's entry-level programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (telephone: 301-652-2682; www.acoteonline.org) of the American Occupational Therapy Association located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, Maryland, 20814-3449. Entry-level MSOT graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. After passing this exam, the graduate is credentialed as an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR) and may apply for state licensure.

Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy Admission Policy

In response to the ACOTE mandate that the entry-level degree requirement for the occupational therapist will move to the doctoral level by July 1, 2027, the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program is in the process of transitioning to the doctoral level. New admissions to the master’s degree program are no longer being accepted. Please refer to the Doctor of Occupational Therapy for further information.

Spalding University’s Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy (ASOT) offers a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program. Students with a completed bachelor degree in a field of study other than occupational therapy may enter the entry-level master’s program (MSOT) according to the application and selection process below. Applicants are eligible to apply to the program when at least nine (9) prerequisite courses are complete and documented by grades posted, and is registered for all remaining prerequisite course(s) and undergraduate degree requirements. Program admission procedures are consistent with University policy. Please refer to Spalding’s University Catalog https://catalog.spalding.edu/?id=1217 for Graduate Program Application and Admission policies. 

The ASOT Admission Committee recommends students for admission to the MSOT program two times each academic year. Successful applicants will enter the program the following academic year either Fall or Spring, based upon the admission cycle one in which one is applying. Admission to the university is necessary before enrollment in the program. Applicants will not be discriminated against because of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability. If an applicant is selected and admitted into the program, yet is unable to begin in the cohort cycle assigned for reasons other than academic standing, the initial acceptance into the ASOT program remains good for two additional admission cycles (cohorts). After the second admission cycle, the student must reapply to the program. After completing all components of the MSOT admission process, graduate students’ application materials are submitted to Spalding University’s Graduate Committee by the ASOT Admissions Committee for university admission as a graduate student; once approved by the University Graduate Committee, acceptance into the MSOT program will occur. 


A. ASOT Admission Committee is responsible for deciding on all MSOT program candidates and recommending applicants to the Graduate Committee for admission into the Spalding University’s Graduate School. ASOT Admissions Committee composition includes all full-time occupational therapy faculty. 
B. Each applicant must submit a completed ASOT MSOT program online application before being considered for official admission to the program. 
C. Application deadlines for each admission cycle are posted on the university’s website at https://spalding.edu/occupational-therapy-admission-requirements/
D. Program Admission is competitive based on an applicant’s CORE GPA, interview scores, online writing sample, as well as ASOT Admission Assurance policies for individuals who have completed an undergraduate degree at Spalding, and the MSOT Mission Alignment Enrollment Policy. CORE GPA is calculated based on grades earned in prerequisite courses. 
E. The completed application will include necessary information regarding the student. The required documentation includes unofficial transcripts from all previous schools attended, and a summary of all the pertinent coursework in preparation for the program, documented completion of 20 observation hours, and any additional information that may be requested by the admission committee. 
F. The applicant must submit all materials through the Spalding University online application process. Every candidate offered a seat in the program must submit all official academic transcripts directly from every previously attended college/university to the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy (Attn: Joe McCombs) 901 South Third Street Louisville, KY 40203.

G. The student must meet the basic entry level standards published in the university catalog. All criteria must be successfully met for the application to be considered. 

H. Successfully meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission to the MSOT program. Admission decisions are based on a competitive ranking process. 
I. Applications received after the stated deadline will NOT be considered for the admission cycle. 
J. Selected applicants who withdraw or drop any prerequisite courses registered for at the time of application will lose their program seat. 
K. Selected applicants who, after completing all prerequisites, has a CORE GPA that falls below the 3.0 minimum standard, will lose his/her program seat. 


A. Initial Review of Application - This review will consist of the following items: 

1. Assurance that all the required components of the application are complete. If there are components missing at the time of the application deadline, the application will NOT be considered for the MSOT admission cycle. 
2. Verification of successful completion (meeting GPA minimum standards) of at least nine (9) prerequisite courses that registration for the remaining prerequisite courses. 
3. Calculation of CORE GPA. If an applicant’s CORE GPA does not meet the 3.0 minimum standard, the application will NOT be considered for admission. [CORE GPA is an applicants’ calculated GPA in all completed program prerequisite courses at the time of application].

B. Student Interview 
Selected applicants for the second round of the process are required to complete an electronic interview. Applicants must have access to a computer with Internet access, a web camera, and speakers to complete the ASOT Interview. Interviews take approximately 15-20 minutes, and responses are scored by at least two (2) independent members of the ASOT Admissions Committee using a Likert Scale that complies with interviewing best practices. The applicants’ final interview score is based upon an average of the independent reviews. 

C. Writing Assignment 
Selected applicants for the second round of the process are required to complete a writing sample with alternating questions for each application admission cycle. Applicants must have access to a computer with Internet access to complete the electronic writing sample. The sample is timed and will not last longer than 16 minutes. The sample is scored by a qualified independent writing reviewer and is based on a standard rubric for content and grammar. 

D. Application Evaluation 
Applicant ranking’s calculated using the CORE GPA in the required prerequisite courses completed at the time of application (55%), application interview (30%), writing sample (10%), and MSOT Mission Alignment Enrollment Policy (5%). All applicants are ranked according to a total possible score of 1000 points.


Based on admission enrollment capacity, the highest-ranked applicants receive an invitation to the program for the cohort-specific admission. If an applicant completed the entire admission process (application, interview, and writing sample) and was NOT offered a spot within the admission cycle cohort, their application will NOT be carried over to the next admission cycle without re-applying to the program. Communication with the MSOT Chair on how to strengthen their application from a constructive critique of the electronic interview or writing sample during the next admission cycle is encouraged.


Each applicant admitted into the program will be notified in writing by the University from the Office of the Provost and program chair. The MSOT program chair notifies those not offered a position via e-mail. Applicants must acknowledge and accept the cohort slot within the timeframes communicated in the acceptance letter. A timely written response and tuition deposit are required from applicants to confirm their acceptance of a program slot. If the applicant does not actively accept conditions of admission within the timeframe communicated in the acceptance letter, the acceptance offer will be revoked, and the next qualified applicant is contacted for consideration.


Any applicant who answers yes to the following character review questions must communicate with the ASOT program chair before submitting an application to the MSOT Program and will be required to complete the NBCOT Early Determination process. http://www.nbcot.org/early-determination-character-review

The character review consists of four key questions:

1. Have you ever been convicted of a felony? (NOTE: Applicants must answer affirmatively even if convictions have been pardoned, expunged, released, or sealed.)
2. Have you ever had any professional license, registration, or certification denied, revoked, suspended, or subject to probationary conditions by a regulatory authority or certification board?
3. Have you ever been found by any court, administrative, or disciplinary proceeding to have committed negligence, malpractice, recklessness, or willful or intentional misconduct, which resulted in harm to another?
4. Have you ever been suspended and or expelled from a college or university for non-academic reasons?

All applicants offered admission into the program must complete a criminal background check before program entry. Any accepted applicant who does communicate the answer yes to the four stated questions or misrepresents criminal background information in any way will forfeit his/her program acceptance.


Effective beginning with the April 2018 application cycle (Spring 2019 program start), ASOT offers admission assurance to MSOT program applicants. Admission assurance is a process that assists Spalding University undergraduate students or graduates who have the desired goal of entering the graduate occupational therapy program. This process assures an MSOT applicant who meets the criteria below a guaranteed spot within the graduate program. All admission application materials are required for submission during the admission cycle the candidate plans to enter. Spalding University undergraduate students who have completed (or will complete before professional program start date) any undergraduate degree in which 90 credit hours were completed at the University are eligible for admission assurance. Applicants who meet the following criteria will automatically receive a program slot for the admission cycle. Applicants are eligible for the MSOT Admission Assurance process if he/she has:

• Earned, or will have, an earned undergraduate degree from Spalding University, conferred before MSOT program start,
• Completed at least 90 credit hours of the earned undergraduate degree at Spalding University, 
• An overall GPA of 3.0 or higher, 
• A CORE GPA (pre-requisite courses) of 3.4 or higher,
• Participated in at least 20 hours of approved (by ASOT Chair) volunteer experiences while enrolled at Spalding University. These hours are not considered part of the 20 hours of observation required for program admission, 
• Applicants who completed an accredited occupational therapy assistant program, are currently licensed as an occupational therapy assistant, and have completed the Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree at Spalding with at least 56 credit hours earned at Spalding University,
• Applicants who have another health career, are currently licensed as a health provider, and completed the BSHS or another undergraduate degree with at least 60 hours earned at Spalding University,
• Admission assurance candidates, even with the guaranteed spot within the program, are required to participate in an interview and the writing sample process. 

Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy Masters of Science Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Program Admission Criteria

Admission CriteriaPoints
Core GPA550
On-Site Writing150
MSOT Mission Alignment Policy50
Total Possible Points1000

All candidates making application in the cohort admission window will be ranked according to the above criteria. The top 40 applicants will be asked to accept a seat within the program. 

Spalding University is a diverse community of learners dedicated to meeting the needs of the times in the tradition of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth through quality undergraduate and graduate liberal and professional studies, grounded in spiritual values, with emphasis on service and the promotion of peace and justice. The MSOT entry-level program facilitates the development of dynamic occupational therapy leaders who exemplify professional accountability across diverse service delivery contexts. ASOT students are actively engaged with faculty, peers, and others in their learning and are constantly evolving into skilled practitioners with the ability to lead and promote the development of the community and profession. Program graduates possess the ability to select, adapt, and create the knowledge necessary to:

  • Demonstrate leadership skills and attributes
  • Demonstrate professional knowledge, skills, and attitudes
  • Gather, analyze and synthesize information, ideas, and decisions
  • Apply ethical principles including the role of values in the construction of knowledge and making of decision

The MSOT entry-level program seeks to serve diverse communities through the development of diverse learners within each graduating cohort. With this focus in mind, the MSOT entry-level program reserves 5% of the total admission criteria ranking for mission alignment initiatives. The following points are given to program applicants who fall within the following categories:

Admission CriteriaPoints
First Generation College Student10
Economically disadvantaged*10
3-12 earned credits at Spalding(5)
13-24 earned credits at Spalding(7)
Greater than 24 earned credits at Spalding10
From a Medically Underserved Area in KY, IN, TN or OH (as defined by HRSA)10
Under represented practitioner group(s) as identified by AOTA's Centennial Vision (Hispanic/Latino, Black/African American, Native American, Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander, Asian, Multi Race, Male10
Total Possible Mission Alignment Points50

*See attached chart

The MSOT entry-level program seeks to serve diverse communities through the development of diverse learners within each graduating cohort. With this focus in mind, the MSOT entry-level program reserves 5% of the total admission criteria ranking for mission alignment initiatives. The following points are given to program applicants who fall within the following categories:

Size of Parents' or Student's family*Income Level**

*Includes only dependents listed on Federal Income tax forms.
**Adjusted gross income for calendar year 2012

Admission to ASOT's MSOT Program is awarded on a space available bases. Spaces are assigned according to the current year Occupational Therapy Admission Policy. If admitted, students must submit a tuition deposit, an admission acceptance statement, a signed statement of professionalism, and commit to completing healthcare related compliance activities prior to program start in order to reserve their position in the program.

Prerequisite Courses for the Entry-Level Programs
The following CORE courses (or equivalent) must be completed with a Core GPA of 3.0 or higher prior to officially entering the professional phase of the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Program:

  • BIO 261 Human Anatomy (3 credit hours)
  • BIO 262 Human Anatomy Lab (1 credit hour)
  • BIO 263 Human Physiology (3 credit hours)
  • BIO 264 Human Physiology Lab (1 credit hour)
  • CHEM 106 Chemistry for the Allied Health Sciences, or any general 100-level or above chemistry course (3 credit hours)
  • MATH 113 College Algebra, or a higher math (3 credit hours)
  • MATH 231 Statistical Techniques (3 credit hours)
  • ANTH 211 Cultural Anthropology OR SOC 201 Introduction to Sociology (3 credit hours)
  • PSY 103 Psychological Systems (3 credit hours)
  • PSY 202 Life Span Development (3 credit hours)
  • PSY 458 Abnormal Psychology (3 credit hours)
  • PHIL 154 Ethics (3 credit hours)
  • ENG 109 College Writing I (3 credit hours)
  • COM 201 Effective Speaking (3 credit hours)
  • PHY 204 Physics for Rehabilitation Sciences, or general physics that covers the properties of light, water, temperature, sound, electricity, and force mechanics. (3 credit hours)

Any course substitutions are at the discretion of the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy Chair or MSOT Program Director.

Academic Requirements
An overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale must be maintained. If a student earns less than a “B” in two or more courses, continuation in the Occupational Therapy Program is not permitted. Continuation within the entire professional program follows the policies of the Graduate School. All Level II fieldwork courses must be completed within 24 months following the completion of all other academic coursework. Students within the professional program who are unable to complete the course curriculum progression as outlined, must join the next available cohort course offerings. Independent study courses to accommodate students who must stop out of the program are not permitted.

Entry-level Programs Assessment

All entry-level evaluation/intervention and fieldwork courses are competency-based and must be successfully completed in a sequential pattern. After successful completion of all ASOT entry-level program requirements and degree conferral, the student is eligible to sit for the national certification exam in occupational therapy administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). This exam establishes the entry-level competency of the occupational therapy practitioner. The MSOT graduate must also make application to state regulatory boards in jurisdictions where they plan to work as an occupational therapist.

Students have the right to appeal decisions related to admissions, progression or continuation to the ASOT Admission and Continuation Committee. A written letter of appeal (per University policy) is submitted by the student to the committee.

Program Sheets
Bachelor of Science in Health Science/Occupational Therapy (Entry-Level BS/MSOT Program)
Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (Advanced/Post-Professional)
Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (Entry-level)