Whatever your clinical practice setting, whatever your desire for greater professional expertise, the post-professional Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) degree program at the University of Puget Sound is designed to help you achieve your goals.
The MSOT (post-professional) program is flexible to meet your scheduling requirements and can be completed in one year of full-time study or longer if attending part-time. Whatever your practice interest, the program will offer opportunities for you to increase your knowledge and sophistication in clinical reasoning, theory, clinical applications, and research. The faculty have constructed the curriculum to strengthen connections to the roots of occupational therapy through client-centered, occupation-based, and evidence-based practice. Long recognized for its leadership in teaching and producing both qualitative and quantitative research, the entry level Master’s program received an unprecedented 10 year accreditation at its last review. Now the faculty are eager to work with experienced therapists to build the evidence base of our profession.
The sole prerequisite for study in this program, beyond your degree in occupational therapy, is an introductory course in statistics. The graduate Record Examination is not required for application.
The basic curriculum requires eight courses: one in advanced clinical theory and clinical reasoning, two in your area of concentration (pediatrics, assistive technology, mental health, rehabilitation, etc.), one elective, and four in a research sequence which includes a rigorous project. Some seminars are held jointly with entry-level graduate students in their second year of study, and all of the coursework has been designed to draw upon your clinical experience. The research project can be designed for implementation in the practice area of your interest, through your work setting or our on-site clinic. One does not need to be currently in clinical practice, however, to enroll in this program. In fact, it may be the best route back to practice for therapists who have taken a break in their professional careers. (Read about the research projects of some recent graduates.)
Students may begin the program in fall, spring or summer. Summer classes are planned to take into account the schedules of school–based therapists. In fact, two of the first six graduate students in the program are school OTRs, one with a busy private practice as well.
Well… for one thing they are an interesting, experienced, mature and diverse bunch! Here are brief bios of three of the first six post-professional Master of Science students in our program:
Barbara Mohr-Modes’s first exposure to the OT profession came during a college orientation program in her Pacific Northwest high school; but her journey in the OT profession has carried her far afield. She enrolled in the baccalaureate OT program at University of Puget Sound, where studies in sensory integration and neurological rehabilitation captured her attention. Her first OT position was in community mental health, where even as a novice therapist she was responsible for designing day programs for adults and children with emotional illnesses. When Barbara met her husband, a German citizen, life changed dramatically. She moved to Germany, had two daughters and obtained a unique position as an OT in a child and family diagnostic and therapeutic counseling center. She worked with families and their children who had delayed development, learning disabilities, or attention disorders. The therapeutic interventions used were based on concepts of sensory processing and sensory integration. Barbara also taught at a private occupational therapy school for a time and in a special education program. She gave talks under the auspices of the International Society of Sensory Integration on an integrated OT/Special Ed model of intervention she helped to design. Through an alumni letter, she heard about the Post Professional Master of Scienceprogram at UPS and says that she knew immediately that her “isolation as a lone American OT in southern Germany was about to be over.” Barbara’s supportive family rallied around her venture into more professional development andeducation after 26 years in practice, and sent her off to University of Puget Sound, back to her personal and professional roots. Her enduring interest in the power of play has escorted Barbara through this professional journey on both sides of the Atlantic. She will do research on the use of free play in OT interventions and explore cultural influences on children’s play patterns.
Since Lucretia Berg (above, in solid shirt) graduated from the University of Washington in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy, she has focused her career on serving pediatric clients directly. Working in a neuromuscular center for the majority of her career, she was able to develop areas of expertise in adaptive computer technology and in treatment issues related to congenital limb deficiencies. Lucretia has enjoyed presenting on these topics both to therapists in the Puget Sound region and at national venues. For example, Lucretia presented a paper on computer technology at Closing the Gap, a national conference on assistive technology, and another on brachial plexus palsy at an annual AOTA conference. Lucretia's passion for working with young clients with brachial plexus palsy led her to return to school in our post-professional Master's program in OT at Puget Sound. She selected Puget Sound because of three interrelated features of the curriculum: the program’s intention to help busy working professionals earn graduate degrees, the student’s potential to create an educational program focused on personal interests, and the possibility of degree completion within one year. Lucretia looks forward to returning to her practice with a deeper knowledge of the practice of occupational therapy. Her research will explore the task disabilities and role participation of young children with congenital brachial plexus impairments.
Chih-Huang (Jeffrey) Yu is from Taiwan. He admits that when he saw it in a career brochure in his high school guidance center, he had no idea what occupational therapy was. Still, the brochure mentioned use of activities from wheel-thrown pottery to singing and that sounded like fun. Jeffrey was pleased to be chosen, based upon national exams and the decision of his government, for OT school, the career he had hoped for. He studied at the Chung-San Medical and Dental College, in Taichung. He found that anatomy and biomechanics were among his favorite subjects, due in part to the artistry of his professor who could draw flawless illustrations of joints, tendons and ligaments. Fate stepped in shortly after Jeffrey graduated with his Bachelor of Science degree in OT. An accident occurred while armed services personnel were transporting explosives and many soldiers had to be treated for burns. Jeffrey worked as the only OT in the burn center of the highest level military hospital in his country. He learned a great deal working closely with a hand surgeon. After a required two-year stint in the Army, he worked in various settings until his professor invited him to come practice in the college-affiliated hospital. He worked there for three years, rotating from the neurological service to pediatrics and back to hands. He became increasingly intrigued by problems in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. For one thing he noticed that friends and family members with the disorder seemed unwilling to comply with the typical splinting protocols for rest. Jeffrey came to Puget Sound with a very focused goal in mind for his graduate education: He wanted to design and test novel splints for carpal tunnel syndrome. He worked closely with two local hand therapists and his Puget Sound professors and is currently testing his design. He has research subjects on both sides of the Pacific! Preliminary data are promising for both compliance and effectiveness.
Read about more student research projects...
Get in touch with us
Please contact Nancy Beers in the University of Puget Sound Office of Admission at 800.396.7191 or firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application packet. You may send your questions and signals of interest to the Director of Post-Professional Education, Yvonne Swinth, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, (email@example.com). Applications are accepted year round, but letting us know of your interest early allows us to plan efficiently and make the most of the flexibility of scheduling to meet your needs.