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School of Graduate and Professional Studies

Master of Occupational Therapy

Master of Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy professionals work with people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, autism, the loss of limbs or other disabilities. The professional (entry-level) Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program will provide you a diverse experiential curriculum that challenges you to develop the professional knowledge, leadership, and ethical behaviors necessary to be purposeful and competent practitioners. Additionally, diving into these health professions early on will allow OT students to rapidly develop their skills in real-life situations.

This educational process, grounded in the college’s liberal arts tradition, will prepare you to collaborate inter-professionally within your communities. Our OT program links education, research, and practice; enabling you to grow throughout your career while providing occupation-based services to clients across the lifespan.

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Accreditation Status 

The entry-level occupational therapy master’s degree program is accredited 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. Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). 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.

Level II fieldwork must be completed within 24 months of completing of the on-campus academic program.

Entering Year/Graduation Year | Students Entering/Graduating | Graduation Rate

2023/2025 | 38/TBD | TBD

2022/2024 | 44/TBD | TBD

2021/2023 | 44/42 | 95.4%

2020/2022 | 40/39* | 97.5%*

2019/2021 | 40/40 | 100%

*One student will graduate in 150% of the time and will count for 2021/2023 cohort.

Program results from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) can be found online at: nbcot.org/Educators-Folder/SchoolPerformance 

For more information about the accreditation process please contact:

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200
North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929

How it Works

  • The program takes 24 continuous months to complete.
  • Enrollment begins in the fall of each year and occupational therapy students complete the degree in August of the second year. 
  • 58% of the courses are residential, 35% of courses are online, and 7% of courses are blended.
  • Fieldwork placements in and around Naperville and Chicago are integrated with coursework, allowing you to apply course concepts to practice.

Fast Growing Profession

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)

  • Upon graduation, OT students can log into NBCOT and review requirements for registering and taking the OT certification examination.
  • To find out how you can obtain a license in the state of Illinois, visit the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Resources. To obtain a license in another state, you will need to research that particular state’s requirement.

Occupational Therapy, M.O.T.

The Master's in Occupational Therapy (MOT) is a two year program including two summer terms. All courses in the program are required and sequential. The program requires completion of 82 credit hours through courses offered online, traditional and blended, as well as two 12-week Level II Fieldwork experiences.

Occupational Therapy Academic Calendar

Occupational Therapy courses are offered in 16-week sessions. The master's degree program is a continuous, 24-month program beginning in the fall semester.

Year 1 - Fall Semester: 15 credit hours

Course Number Title Credit Hours
MOCT 500 Introduction to Occupational Therapy Lecture 3
MOCT 501 Theories in Occupational Therapy (online) 1
MOCT 502 Documentation/Reimbursement/Appeals (online) 2
MOCT 520 Assessment Theory (online) 1
MOCT 530 Assessment Application 2
MOCT 504 Functional Anatomy 3
MOCT 503 Health, Wellness, Literacy Lecture 3

Year 1 - Spring Semester: 16 credit hours

Course Number Title Credit Hours
MOCT 524 Neuro Dysfunction Theory (online) 3
MOCT 521 Pediatric Theory (online) 3
MOCT 531 Pediatric Assessment and Intervention 3
MOCT 534 Neurological Dysfunction Assessment and Intervention 3
MOCT 600 Evidence-Based Practice Application (online) 3
MOCT 620 Level I Fieldwork: Pediatrics 1

Year 1 - Summer Semester: 13 credit hours

Course Number Title Credit Hours
MOCT 522 Mental Health Theory (online) 3
MOCT 523 Physical Dysfunction Theory (online) 3
MOCT 533 Physical Rehabilitation Assessment and Intervention 3
MOCT 532 Mental Health Assessment and Intervention 3
MOCT 622 Level I Fieldwork: Mental Health 1

Year 2 - Fall Semester: 12 Credit Hours

Course Number Title Credit Hours
MOCT 525 Geriatric Theory (online) 3
MOCT 601 Pro Advocacy, Ethics, and Cultural Implication (online) 1
MOCT 602 Management (online) 1
MOCT 603 Specialty Interventions 2
MOCT 621 Level I Fieldwork: Adult 1
MOCT 535 Geriatric Assessment and Intervention 3
MOCT 604 Preparation for Academic Work 1

Year 2 - Spring Semester: 14 credit hours

Course Number Title Credit Hours
MOCT 630 Level II Fieldwork 12
MOCT 695 Research Project and Grant Writing 2

Year 2 - Summer Semester: 12 credit hours

Course Number Title Credit Hours
MOCT 640 Level II Fieldwork 12

Applying to Master of Occupational Therapy

Searching for the right occupational therapy program in Illinois? We are looking for students for our occupational therapy degree program who possess academic, leadership and ethical qualities necessary to become registered occupational therapists. We use a rolling admission process where completed applications are reviewed throughout the admission cycle, so we advise you to complete your application as early as possible.

Important Dates

  • July 21, 2023: OTCAS available for fall 2024 candidates
  • September 22, 2023: Verified OTCAS application priority deadline
  • June 7, 2024: Verified OTCAS standard deadline 

Students who have a verified OTCAS application on or before the priority deadline date of September 22, 2023 will be considered for early admission.

Applicants who submit a verified OTCAS application after the priority deadline date of September 22, 2023 will be considered for admission on a rolling basis. The standard deadline date to submit a verified and complete OTCAS application is June 7, 2024. Verified and complete OTCAS applications are reviewed throughout the admission cycle. Admission decisions are made within two weeks of application review and until the class is filled. To be competitive, students are advised to complete their application as early as possible.

Prerequisite Courses

Prerequisite coursework must be completed within 5 years of matriculation to the Master of Occupational Therapy program and have a grade of C or above. Prerequisites may be in progress when you apply but must be completed prior to the start of the degree program if you are accepted. We do not accept advanced placement credit to fulfill prerequisite coursework. All in-progress and future prerequisite coursework must be documented in the OTCAS application. Each course may only satisfy one prerequisite.

  • 8 credit hours - Human Anatomy and Physiology*
  • 3 credit hours - Sociology or Anthropology
  • 3 credit hours - Developmental Psychology
  • 3 credit hours - Abnormal Psychology
  • 3 credit hours - Statistics

*Can be satisfied by either Human Anatomy with a lab and Human Physiology with a lab or Human Anatomy and Physiology I with a lab and Human Anatomy and Physiology II with a lab

We do not accept transfer credits toward the fulfillment of graduate-level coursework. Academic credit is not provided for applicants' work, experiential, or volunteer experience.

Application Process

1. Begin Your OTCAS Application

All applicants must apply online via the online application service OTCAS. Review all OTCAS and North Central College-specific instructions prior to completing the application process.

Submit the following documents to OTCAS:

  • Official transcripts showing an earned, four-year, bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university prior to matriculation. Evidence of earning a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
  • Three letters of reference:
    • One letter from an occupational therapist
    • Second letter from a professor who has taught the applicant or an academic advisor
    • Third letter from either a supervisor or someone who can speak to the applicant’s work ethic
  • Personal statement as prompted in the OTCAS application.
  • Supplemental essay that answers the following: What experiences have you pursued in order to prepare for providing culturally competent and equitable care for people experiencing health disparities because of minoritized identities, disabilities and/or class?
  • Minimum 30 hours of documented observational/volunteer experience:
    • Twenty (20) hours must be in an occupational therapy setting
    • Ten (10) hours must be in a community service setting

GRE test scores are not required.

2. Application Review

Completed applications are reviewed throughout the admission cycle. Applicants who submit a complete and verified OTCAS application by the priority deadline date will be considered for early admission. Admission decisions are made within two weeks of application review and until the class is filled. Applicants must meet all the admission requirements listed to be considered for admission.

3. Program Engagement

We want to get to know you, and we want you to get to know us! Applicants will be required to demonstrate engagement with the program via one of the following options after acceptance and deposit:

  • Attend a virtual event/webinar
  • Attend an onsite event/open house
  • Schedule and attend a virtual meeting with a faculty member
  • Schedule and attend an in-person meeting with a faculty member
  • Tell us your story - We know things that are on the application do not always fully show your experiences. What makes you want to be an OT? All stories are valuable. Use any of the following to tell us your story:
    • PowerPoint
    • Written Narrative
    • Video
      • Email final submission to msheperd@noctrl.edu.

International Applicants

Applicants who are not United States citizens and/or who graduated from a college or university in a country other than the United States also must submit the following to be considered for admission:

  • Official course-by-course evaluation of foreign transcripts by WES (World Education Service) or ECE (Educational Credential Evaluators). Occupational therapy students may be required to submit additional academic documentation/information.
  • Official results of the TOEFL or IELTS. The minimum TOEFL score is 80 or IELTS band score of 6.5 or higher. 


Applicant Resources 

Have questions about applying to OTCAS? Check out our recorded information session to learn more about the OTCAS process and get answers to common application questions. 

Watch Recording

Cost of Attendance

When considering the financial cost of attending graduate school, one number does not tell the whole story. Cost of Attendance provides a more complete picture of all costs, direct and indirect, for one academic year at North Central College.  Numbers are subject to change on an annual basis.


2023-2025 Cohort Cost of Attendance 

Direct Costs

Direct costs are expenses that will be included on your semester bill, such as tuition and fees.

Year One (Fall/Spring Semesters) Year Two (Summer/Fall/Spring Semesters) Year Three (Summer Semester)
Tuition $28,892.00 $35,100.00 $10,440.00
Program Fee $130.00 $130.00 -
Wellness Fee $100.00 $100.00 -
Yearly Total $29,122.00 $35,330.00 $10,440.00
Total Direct Costs of Program: $74,892.00


Indirect Costs

Indirect costs are expenses that will not appear on your semester bill but should be considered. Examples of indirect costs include housing, supplies, and personal expenses. Indirect costs vary by student lifestyle, living arrangements, and educational choices. Below are estimated indirect costs for students enrolled in graduate programs at North Central College. It is encouraged that students consider opportunities to minimize other costs and borrowing.

Year One (Fall/Spring Semesters) Year Two (Summer/Fall/Spring Semesters) Year Three (Summer Semester)
Housing and Food $8,932.00 $13,398.00 $4,466.00
Transportation $3,304.00 $4,956.00 $1,652.00
Personal Expenses $4,536.00 $6,804.00 $2,268.00
Books and Supplies $600.00 $900.00 $300.00
Student Loan Fees $216.00 $324.00 $108.00
Yearly Total $17,588.00 $26,382.00 $8,794.00


Total Cost of Attendance

The cost of attendance will be used by the Office of Financial Aid to determine the maximum amount of financial aid you can receive within the specified year. Note: If your actual cost differs from what is listed under indirect cost that is okay. We encourage you to explore budgeting tools that will help you manage your expenses.

Year One (Fall/Spring Semesters) Year Two (Summer/Fall/Spring Semesters) Year Three (Summer Semester)
Cost of Attendance $46,710 $61,712 $19,234


Please visit Financial Aid to learn more about the financial aid process and resources available.

The Office of Financial Aid can be reached at 630-637-5600 or by emailing finaid@noctrl.edu.

Matriculation Process

The matriculation process occupational therapy schools in Illinois begins after a student receives the notification of acceptance. If a student either fails to satisfy the below matriculation requirements or omits/falsifies information required on official admission documents, the student automatically forfeits his/her seat in North Central College’s Master of Occupational Therapy program.

Required Documentation

To complete the matriculation process for the master's program, the student must return the signed matriculation agreement and submit the following:

  • Nonrefundable deposit fees of $500. The entire deposit is applied toward the student’s tuition if the student enrolls.
  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended.
  • Signed technical standards form.
  • Complete medical file that includes proof of immunization/immunity.
  • Proof of medical and disability insurance coverage.
  • Access to computer and acknowledgement of technology requirements.
  • Students requesting a F1 visa must submit a Declaration of Financial support, a bank letter certifying the amount of funding for the first year of studies, a photocopy of passport identification page, visa pages and I20 form, if applicable.
  • Authorize and pass the criminal background check, international police clearance, drug screening and/or fingerprinting background check.
  • Any additional documents requested by the School of Graduate & Professional Studies.

Background Checks

Health care facilities require North Central College students to provide background checks, drug testing, fingerprinting and other information in order to participate in clinical rotations at their sites. Successful completion of fieldwork experience is required for the Master of Occupational Therapy degree at North Central College and is a prerequisite for being able to sit for the National Board Certification in Occupational Therapy exam to practice as an OT professional. Students who refuse to consent to background checks and/or drug testing will be dismissed from the degree program.

Felony Convictions

Applicants should be aware that a felony conviction might affect their ability to sit for the NBCOT certification exam or attain state licensure. For more information about how to become a certified occupational therapy professional, contact the National Board Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and the state licensure board in the state you wish to practice. For entering students with a concern, NBCOT can be contacted directly for information related to the Early Determination Review process.

Technology Requirements

The Master of Occupational Therapy curriculum is delivered both in person and online. Applicants who receive and accept an offer of admission are expected to be proficient at using a personal computer.

Browser Requirements:

Online courses will be available in Blackboard. If your computer does not have the proper hardware, Blackboard may run slowly or may not run at all. Prior to using Blackboard on your computer, compare your current system configuration with the software and hardware recommended specifications.

Blackboard Support recommends the following hardware and software requirements in order to access courses on Blackboard.

Connection Speed

Once you have ensured that your computer has the proper operating system and hardware to run Blackboard, you should verify that your internet connection is fast enough to support Blackboard. A connection speed test is available. If your internet connection is slower than the recommended speed, you may encounter difficulties when loading pages, especially during peak usage times.