The Occupational Therapy program at UMMC's School of Health Related Professions (SHRP) offers the state's only doctoral level degree program for occupational therapists (OT). Its rigorous education program for full-time students keeps pace with the rapidly growing trend calling for entry-level doctoral preparation for occupational therapists.
Graduates of the three-year doctoral program are uniquely trained to design activities for individuals or groups to maximize occupational performance in self-care, work, leisure and other daily occupations. The enhanced ability to help clients engage in productive and healthy occupations is of particular value in Mississippi, where health disparities are rampant and access to resources and services is challenging.Employment opportunities are available in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, outpatient facilities, mental health programs, private practice, long-term care facilities, home health agencies, industry and school settings.
The Occupational Therapy doctoral program accepts 40 students during its annual admission. A bachelor's degree from regionally accredited school in the United States is required for admission into the doctoral degree program.
Classes generally take place during the week between the hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
In addition to the core skills required of an entry-level occupational therapist, the doctoral curriculum includes an increased emphasis on leadership and advocacy skills; broadened research efforts and dissemination; advancement into diverse, non-clinical areas of practice to promote wellness and population health; and skills in management and public policy.
The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) is the accrediting body for entry-level occupational therapy programs in the United States. All new entry-level occupational therapy doctoral programs must be granted Candidacy Status, have a pre-accreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status for graduates to be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). The initial accreditation process will be ongoing throughout the first three years of the program; this process and timeline is standard across all newly developed programs seeking ACOTE accreditation. Visit the ACOTE website for more information about its accreditation process.
The UMMC Department of Occupational Therapy is completing a teach-out plan for the Master of Occupational Therapy Program. Admission into the MOT program has been discontinued and replaced with a doctoral level degree admission process.