The program of study in the Cox College Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) places students first while fostering clinical and experiential reasoning that is informed by scholarship and service in interdisciplinary and multicultural settings to meet the demands of local and global society today and in the future.

Occupational Therapy is among the hottest jobs in healthcare industry with a median pay of $75,400/- in 2012 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

Description of the Profession

Occupational Therapy (OT) is a health and rehabilitation profession. Occupational therapists provide skilled treatment to individuals of all ages facing physical, cognitive or psychosocial challenges thereby enabling them to lead independent, productive, and satisfying lives.

Occupational therapists use “occupations” of self-care, work, and play/leisure activities to increase independence, enhance development, and/or prevent disability. Occupational therapists empower and enable clients through innovative intervention activities, task adaptation strategies, environmental modifications, assistive devices, and technologies.

For more information on occupational therapy visit the American Occupational Therapy Association web site. The site has an excellent collection of OT Fact Sheets that describe how occupational therapists function in different settings and with different client types.

Vision and Mission of the Occupational Therapy Department

The Department of Occupational Therapy aligns with Cox College in its vision as leaders of health care education and in its mission of commitment to excellence by meeting the educational needs of students and the health care community.

The Department’s vision is to rise as a preeminent leader in occupational therapy education with a mission of graduating occupational therapists who are competent in providing evidence-based care at interdisciplinary and multicultural settings, and are committed to lifelong learning in order to enhance the health and well-being of local and global communities. The curriculum for the MSOT degree program is available here.


The entry-level Master of Science Occupational Therapy (MSOT) Program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449.

The accreditation process, which takes approximately two years, is designed to start before the first class of students enters the program and completed before the first class graduates. In our Candidacy Application we described to ACOTE how Cox College in its Master’s-Degree-Level Educational Program plans to demonstrate compliance with the ACOTE Accreditation Standards. The Program will now continue with the next step, the “Initial Review Process” and continue through the accreditation process. Finally, the program will upon acceptance of the initial review pursue the final step in the accreditation process which is an onsite accreditation visit by ACOTE. This is expected in Spring 2017.

An occupational therapy program must be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) prior to students’ graduation for its students to be eligible to sit for the national certification examination offered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). In addition, most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT national certification examination.

If you have questions regarding the accreditation process you can contact ACOTE at or 301-652-AOTA. Please note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT national certification examination or attain state licensure. If an applicant is concerned that something in their background might prohibit them from sitting for the licensure exam, they may find helpful information from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy at: 


APPLICATION DEADLINE MARCH 4, 2016 for Fall 2016 admission

The application process, prerequisite courses, and other requirements for admission are described in the MSOT checklist found on the Admissions page of the website.

Application to the MSOT program requires concurrent admission to the Cox College Graduate Department. Applicants must complete two different online application forms, one at the Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service website (see MSOT checklist) and the Cox College Graduate Application.

For questions please contact: Dr. Beth Torcivia at or 417/269-3457 or 417/269-3441.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the start date of the MSOT program?
The program is scheduled to start in Fall 2015.

Q. What does entry-level mean?
“Entry-level” means graduation from an ACOTE accredited OT program. This entitles the graduate to sit for the required national registration exam and apply for state licensure. In Missouri, graduates may apply for a temporary license and work as an OT. Upon passing the NBCOT exam, therapists are eligible for full licensure.

Q: Do you accept online courses for prerequisites?
Yes, if the course was from an accredited college or university. Note: We do not accept courses that require a lab component (example: Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, etc.).

Q: Can I apply for the MSOT program even though I have not yet completed my prerequisite courses?
Yes, you may apply before you complete your prerequisites. If you are accepted, you will be issued a “conditional acceptance.” This means that you will be officially accepted upon completion of your prerequisites. You must submit your transcript showing your completion and grade to Cox College Admissions before you enroll for classes.

Q: What do I need to know about financial aid?
To apply for financial aid, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on the web at and list Cox College as a recipient. (Our school code is 013877).

To inquire into student loans and alternate loans, contact our Financial Aid department at 417/269-3401 for assistance.

Q: What is the structure of the MSOT Program?
The total time from beginning to end will be 2.5 years and spans 6 semesters; 4 semesters of full-time coursework and 2 sessions of fieldwork and online work.

Q: What is the required fieldwork experience?
All students are required to complete four Level I and two Level II fieldwork rotations in order to graduate and be eligible to take the national board examination.

The two Level II fieldworks’ (FW II) of supervised clinical rotations are of 3 months each. During the student’s Level II Fieldwork, he or she may be placed in a site that is not within commuting distance of his/her residence. Very few sites provide free housing. It is the sole responsibility of the student to arrange for their housing prior to the start of their FW experience.

Students are expected to have a reliable means of transportation to and from classes and fieldwork experiences. It is, therefore, imperative that you budget for related transportation and living expenses for all your fieldwork experiences during this program.

More Information and Details

Cox College Student Handbook
Springfield, Missouri Information
Living in Springfield