Occupational Therapy, MOT

School of Medicine

Program Description:

The Occupational Therapy Graduate Program offers the Master of Occupational Therapy degree under a research project. The student must submit a written research document that is approved by their committee, and successfully complete the Occupational Therapy Student Performance Assessment (OTSPA). Occupational therapy course work is taken in a designated sequence.

Occupational Therapy Graduate Program
Core Professional Curriculum including Fieldwork II – full-time track (78 credit hours)
Must enroll in OCTH 594 for a minimum of 4 credit hours (2 credit hours are research based)
Must complete elective course work for a minimum of 3 credit hours

Total number of hours to complete degree requirements= 84 credit hours

Fall Year 1

OCTH 514L        Introduction to Occupation and Health       3 credits

OCTH 524L        Kinesiology of Occupation – w/PBL         3 credits

                             (PBL) Problem-Based Learning

OCTH 534           Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice    4 credits

OCTH 544L        Occupation across the Life Span                5 credits

OCTH 594           Graduate Seminar Orientation                    1 credits

Total                                                                                       16 credits


Spring Year 1

OCTH 522L        Neuroanatomy                                            3 credits

OCTH 554L        Relationship Centered Care                        2 credits

OCTH 564L        Appl Occ I-Orthopedic Practice                 6 credits

OCTH 634L        Neuroscience of Occupation                       2 credits

OCTH 594           Graduate Seminar                                       1 credits

Total                                                                                       14 credits


Summer Year 1

OCTH 614L        Appl Occ III-Psychosocial Practice            5 credits

Total                                                                                       5 credits


Fall Year 2

OCTH 604L        Appl Occ II-Neurological Practice             5 credits

OCTH 624L        Advocacy, Comm. & Leadership               3 credits

OCTH 654           Organization & Administration                  2 credits

OCTH 594           Graduate Seminar                                       1 credits

Total                                                                                       11 credits       


Spring Year 2    

OCTH 664L        Appl Occ IV-Pediatric Practice                  6 credits

OCTH 674L        Community Health– w/PBL                       4 credits

OCTH 594           Graduate Seminar                                       1 credits

Total                                                                                       11 credits


Masters Examination: Research Poster Presentations

Masters Examination: Occupational Therapy Student Performance Assessment (OTSPA)


Summer Year 2

     (12 credits Total)

OCTH 675           Fieldwork Level II                                12 credits


Fall Year 3

     (12 credits Total)

OCTH 675           Fieldwork Level II                                12 credits

Graduation Requirements

Graduation requires successful completion of a minimum of 83 credit hours including required didactic course work, assessments, and Master's Examination. Students must complete all Graduate Studies requirements, including the Master’s Project, with a minimum 3.00 GPA.

Master's Project

  • 53 credit hours didactic course work
  • 4 credit hours minimum OCTH 594 (Research Project)
  • 3 credit hours graduate-level elective
  • 24 credit hours Fieldwork Level II (two 12-week sessions)

 Project option requires:

  • Completion of the master's research requirement and approval by a faculty committee
  • Master's Examination: Occupational Therapy Student Performance Assessment (OTSPA)

Additional Fieldwork Information

Fieldwork is an important part of occupational therapy education. Short term fieldwork (FW I) is arranged in coordination with specific academic courses. Full-time fieldwork (FW II) follows successful completion of academic course work and the OTSPA.

  • Students are responsible for tuition, transportation to and from fieldwork sites, and living expenses while on fieldwork. Fieldwork opportunities are usually available in New Mexico; however, students may be assigned to fieldwork in other states.
  • All required FW II must be completed within 24 months of completion of the academic courses.
  • Each FW II placement is usually three months in length (total of six months).

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree.
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA on the last 50 graded credit hours taken (A strong academic record is essential, but does not guarantee acceptance).
  • Prerequisite courses must have been completed within the past 5 years with a grade of "B" or better.

Residency Requirements

  • To be considered for admission to the Occupational Therapy Graduate program, applicants MUST:
    • be a resident of New Mexico for at least one year at the time of application,
    • OR be a resident of a member WICHE state (Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, and Wyoming),
    • OR have strong ties to New Mexico and file Residency Appeal Form

Students may apply while enrolled in undergraduate courses to complete a baccalaureate degree or prerequisite courses if all courses will be completed by the end of the spring semester prior to beginning the program. The application deadline for Fall admissions is December 1. Students are admitted once a year with classes beginning in the fall semester.

Up to 26 students are admitted each year into the Occupational Therapy Graduate Program.

Selection is based on:

  • Transcript evaluation.
  • Personal Statement (OTCAS form).
  • Written materials, 3 letters of reference (one from a health professional) and application – (including your life experiences, volunteer/work experience, community involvement, and regional bilingual skills).
  • Personal interview and spontaneous writing sample.

The top candidates are invited to the Occupational Therapy Graduate Program at the University of New Mexico for an interview and an extemporaneous sample of their writing ability in mid-February. Final selection is made from this group of candidates. 

The selection process does not discriminate against any student on the basis of gender, marital or parental status, race, color, religion, age, sexual orientation, national origin or disability.

If you wish to apply to the UNM Occupational Therapy Graduate Program, you must apply online through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service, known as OTCAS. To learn more about the OTCAS application process, please go to the OTCAS Web site. The UNM Occupational Therapy Graduate Program reviews applications after they have been verified by OTCAS.

In addition to submitting a program application through OTCAS, applicants must apply and be accepted into graduate studies by the University of New Mexico Office of Graduate Admissions.

Contact Information:

Betsy VanLeit: Interim Program Director
(505) 272-9453