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MS Program in Occupational Therapy

The occupational therapy program at UNC-Chapel Hill is a two-year program leading to a Master of Science degree in occupational therapy. The program is designed for the person with an undergraduate degree in a field other than occupational therapy, and is a rigorous course of graduate study comprised of 64 credits, including 12 credits of fieldwork II, taken within two calendar years. The program is designed for full-time study.

Requirements for graduation from the program are as follows:

  1. Successful completion of all courses in the MSOT curriculum.
  2. The equivalent of six months of FW II  (full-time)
  3. A research project as an Approved Substitute for a Thesis, or a thesis with prior approval from the faculty.
  4. Master’s Comprehensive Self-Assessment (MCSA: professional development portfolio)

A master’s degree candidate at UNC-CH has 5 calendar years starting with the date of initial registration to complete the degree requirements, but MSOT students must complete all Level II Fieldwork within 24 months following completion of academic preparation in order to graduate from the program.  Most occupational therapy students complete graduation requirements by the end of the second summer session, two calendar years after beginning the program.

Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for occupational therapists administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of the exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, most states require licensure in order to practice. State licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination, in addition to character references and criminal record checks.

More information about certification can be obtained by contacting: NBCOT, The Eugene Casey Building, 800 South Frederick Avenue, Suite 200, Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150(301) 990-7979  Website:

* A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s eligibility for certification or state licensure. We suggest that applicants contact the NBCOT with questions regarding eligibility for professional credentialing. In addition, most clinical sites require criminal background searches as a condition of completing fieldwork within the site.


The occupational therapy program at UNC-Chapel Hill is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association. The program was re-accredited in 1986, 1993, 2001, 2011, and 2021. Accreditation is granted to those occupational therapy educational programs that demonstrate substantial compliance with the Accreditation Standards for a Masters Degree-Level Educational Program for the Occupational Therapist.

More information about accreditation can be obtained by contacting: ACOTE at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929 (301) 652-2682. Website:

Student Outcomes

The total number of graduates from our occupational therapy program during the three-year period of 2021-2023 was 68, with an overall graduation rate of 100 percent.

Class of 2021 24/24 100 percent
Class of 2022 24/24 100 percent
Class of 2023 20/20 100 percent
Total 68/68 100 percent

Program results from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy are available here.

Institutional and Professional Licensure Disclosures for Enrolled and Prospective Students

Completion of the requirements of the UNC-CH MSOT Program satisfies the professional licensure requirements in North Carolina as well as the states, districts, and territories of the United States, and allows our graduates to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®) Examination by the NBCOT®.