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Occupational Therapy Degree

Occupational Therapy Degree

Occupational Therapy Degree

Entry Level Degree Program

Occupational therapy is the use of occupation-purposeful activity or interventions to promote health and achieve functional outcomes. Achieving functional outcomes means to develop, improve, or restore the highest possible level of independence of any individual who is limited by a physical injury or illness, a cognitive impairment, a psychsocial dysfunction, a developmental or learning disability, or adverse environmental condition. Occupational therapists work cooperatively with other members of the healthcare team.

The Occupational Therapy Entry Level Master’s Curriculum (MS) at ASHS is a 28-month, full-time, continuous program.

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The mission of the Occupational Therapy Program reflects the mission of A.T. Still University of Health Sciences and supports the philosophy of whole person healthcare, incorporating the body, mind, and spirit. The curriculum is designed to prepare occupational therapy practitioners to be able to provide high-quality healthcare by meeting consumer needs in changing healthcare delivery settings. Integral to the provision of high quality healthcare is a holistic treatment approach and a focus on evidence-based practice.

The Occupational Therapy Program provides a strong foundation of critical inquiry applied to the practice, education, and administration of healthcare. The program is committed to integrating technology in instructional processes and occupational therapy treatment. Inherent to this mission is the commitment to prepare graduates to work with individuals who have differing healthcare needs and diverse cultural backgrounds.

  • University Catalog+

    • University Catalog Program guide

      Review the University Catalog to learn more about the Occupational Therapy Entry Level Master’s Curriculum (MS) Read detailed course descriptions and obtain answers to many of your questions regarding application and tuition.

  • Accreditation +

    • A.T. Still University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission,

      230 S. LaSalle Street; Suite 7-500
      Chicago, IL 60604

      Phone: 800.621.7440
      Fax: 312.263.7492


      The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, P.O. Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220, phone 301-652-2682. ACOTE Website:

      Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for occupational therapists administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) following the completion of their academic coursework and fieldwork experiences. NBCOT is located at 800 South Frederick Ave., Suite 200, Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150. The NBCOT may be reached at 301.990.7979. After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). Most states require licensure to practice. Contact should be made with state specific licensing boards regarding the license requirements and application process.

  • NBCOT Examination Rates +

    • The total number of new graduates who completed and passed the NBCOT certification examination in the years 2014 to 2016 was 97/97 which is an overall pass rate of 100%.

      Graduation Year Students Entering/Graduating Graduation Rate
      2014 32/31 97%
      2015 32/32 100%
      2016 34/33 97%
      Total 98/96 98%
  • FAQs+

      1. How long is the program? The OT program is 28 months, full-time, continuous, in length.
      2. Will I be able to work while I am in school? Some students manage to work part-time while enrolled in the program. Job flexibility is extremely desirable.
      3. When do I need to complete my prerequisite courses? Prerequisite courses must be completed prior to beginning classes at ATSU.
      4. Can I take prereqs at a community college? Is there a preference? You may take your prerequisite courses at the community college, and there is no preference.
      5. Can I take prereqs at your institution? No, prerequisites are to be taken at a community college and/or 4 year university. Our courses are only open to students enrolled in our programs.
      6. What undergraduate majors do you recommend to be a more competitive applicant? A student may have any degree, as long as all admissions requirements and prerequisite courses are fulfilled. There is no preference for any particular major.
      7. I have a question about a prerequisite course, what should I do? You may contact the OT department at 480.265.8086 to make an academic advising appointment, or simply fax us your transcript at 480.219.6100 for an academic advisor to review. Please include name, contact info, and your specific questions.
      8. Do you offer financial aid? Where can I find scholarship information? Yes, we offer financial aid to our students. Learn more about housing.
      9. Does ASHS have on campus housing? We do not have on campus housing, however we do assist students in finding housing and roommate matching. Learn more about housing.
      10. How many hours of experience do I need? How do I document hours? You are required to have 20 hours of observation with an OT. Observation hours in multiple settings are recommended. This will be documented on your application.
      11. What are the clinical opportunities in the program? We have over 250 clinical sites throughout the US, in a variety of both rural and urban settings.
      12. I’d like to visit campus, who should I contact? Contact the admissions office at to set up a visit to campus, or you may contact Leslie Hicks at or 480.265.8086. We look forward to sharing information with you about our OT program!
      13. Why do you require contact hours with an occupational therapist as part of the admission requirements? Exposure to various settings provides students with an enriched understanding of the role of OT with different age groups, different healthcare systems and different diagnoses. In addition, this experience is advantageous to students to reinforce their selection of this profession prior to commencing the program and making the financial commitment.
      14. When do you start accepting applications for the upcoming fall admission class? Applications are accepted beginning in mid-August and continue until the class is filled.
      15. How many students do you usually admit each year? Each year we target accepting 34-36 students. Our goal is to keep class size small to enable us to give the individual attention to each student. An alternate list is maintained to fill any last minute open slots.

Occupational Therapy Degree Faculty

  • Dean +

      • Randy D. Danielsen, PhD, PA-C, DFAAPA Randy D. Danielsen, PhD, PA-C, DFAAPA
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        Dr. Danielsen is dean of the Arizona School of Health Sciences. Since graduating from the University of Utah Physician Assistant (PA) Program in 1974, Dr. Danielsen has distinguished himself as a clinician, PA educator, author, and editor. He received his BS in Health Science (cum laude) from the University of Utah in 1978, his Masters in PA Studies (MPAS) from the University of Nebraska with an emphasis on Internal Medicine in 1997, and his PhD from the Union Institute & University in 2003 with an emphasis on Medical Education. He completed sixteen years with A.T. Still University as academic coordinator (1995-1997), chair of physician assistant studies (1997-2004), and as dean of the Arizona School of Health Sciences (2004-2010) and recently returned as Dean of ASHS. He was honored in 2010 by A.T. Still University with Emeritus Professor status. He has served on the board of directors of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) and as a board member and chairman for National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

        Earlier in his career, Dr. Danielsen served as president of the Utah Academy of Physician Assistants, the Arizona State Association of PAs, and as chair of the Arizona Regulatory Board for PAs. Retired after 28 years of service in the US Air Force and Army National Guard with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Dr. Danielsen also is a former president of the Veterans Caucus of the AAPA and was honored with the Caucus’ Civilian PA of the Year Award in 2003.

        Dr. Danielsen was named Outstanding PA of the Year by the AAPA in 1993 and by the Arizona State Association of Physician Assistants in 2011. He currently serves as PA editor-in-chief for Clinician Review. Dr. Danielsen has published over sixteen peer-reviewed articles, eighteen journal editorials, two book chapters, and most recently his first book, entitled The Preceptor’s Handbook for Supervising Physician Assistants, published by Jones & Bartlett Learning. Recently he was selected as a Senior Consultant with the Academy for Academic Leadership.

  • Vice Dean +

      • Ann Lee Burch, PT, MPH, EdD Ann Lee Burch, PT, MPH, EdD
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        Dr. Burch is Vice Dean of the Arizona School of Health Sciences. Her primary responsibility is to serve as Chief Operating Officer of the School under the direction of the Dean. In addition, she leads several University or School wide initiatives including the Diversity Initiative Task Force and the ASHS Adelante Project. In her role, Dr. Burch represents the School in the Dean’s absence.

        Dr. Burch received her Doctor of Education (EdD) from Columbia University, Teachers College in 2005. She received her Masters of Public Health (MPH) from Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health in 2002 and her Masters of Physical Therapy (MS) from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1989. She was a postdoctoral fellow with the Research Group on Health Disparities at Teachers College, Columbia University.

        Dr. Burch received her BA in Psychology from the University of Rochester. Prior to her appointment as Vice Dean, Dr. Burch served as the Chair of Physical Therapy from 2008-January 2012. Prior to coming to ATSU, Dr. Burch was the Director of Physical Therapy at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has held administrative and/or faculty positions at the International Center for the Disabled in NY, NY, Mercy College in NY, and Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY.

  • Chair +

      • Jyothi Gupta, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA Jyothi Gupta, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

        Jyothi Gupta, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA is the chair of the occupational therapy (OT) department. Dr. Gupta has extensive experience in higher education, and nearly 20 years experience in OT education. She has held national elected positions at the American Occupational Therapy Association, most recently as the chair of the Commission on Education. She is also the elected chair of the Executive Board for the Society of Study of Occupation:USA.

        Dr. Gupta’s scholarship explores contextual influences on occupational engagement and participation​. She collaborates with underrepresented groups to understand the challenges in their context to access and opportunities for experiencing occupational potential, well-being and social inclusion. As an educator she is committed to helping students realize their social responsibility in building communities with optimal living conditions that promote health development and enhanced well-being across the lifespan for all members of our society.

  • Program Director +

      • Rachel Diamant, PhD, OTR/L, B.C.P. Rachel Diamant, PhD, OTR/L, B.C.P.
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        Dr. Diamant has been part of the occupational therapy program faculty at ATSU since 1998. She teaches courses related to pediatric practice for the residential OT program and for the online advanced masters in occupational therapy program. Prior to teaching, Dr. Diamant has been an occupational therapy practitioner for over 25 years with a work focus on children with disabilities and their families. She is Board Certified in Pediatrics as recognized by the American Occupational Therapy Association. Dr. Diamant is pediatric NDT certified and has done research projects in the areas of sensory processing, autism, and movement disorders. She is the co-author of Positioning for Play: Interactive Activities to Enhance Movement and Sensory Exploration, an activity text for therapists working with young children and their families. Ms Diamant received her masters of science degree in occupational therapy from Boston University and her doctorate degree in health psychology/behavioral medicine through Northcentral University.

  • Faculty +

      • Rachel Diamant, PhD, OTR/L, B.C.P. Rachel Diamant, PhD, OTR/L, B.C.P.
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      • Bernadette Mineo, PhD, OTR/L, Bernadette Mineo, PhD, OTR/L,
        Associate Professor and Director, Online Post-Professional Programs
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      • Emily Schulz, PhD, OTR/L, CFLE Emily Schulz, PhD, OTR/L, CFLE
        Associate Professor
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      • Mary Zewicki Greer, PhD, OTR/L Mary Zewicki Greer, PhD, OTR/L
        Assistant Professor, Clinical Education Coordinator
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      • Mary Voytek, OTD, MC, OTR/L Mary Voytek, OTD, MC, OTR/L
        Assistant Professor
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      • Brandi L. Buchanan, OTD, OTR/L Brandi L. Buchanan, OTD, OTR/L
        Assistant Professor
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      • Ingrid Van Duyne, DHSc, MRC, OTR/L Ingrid Van Duyne, DHSc, MRC, OTR/L
        Assistant Professor
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      • Tania Shearon, MOT, CHT, PYT-C Tania Shearon, MOT, CHT, PYT-C
        Assistant Professor
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      • Mica Rutschke, MS, OTR/L Mica Rutschke, MS, OTR/L
        Assistant Professor
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  • Staff +

      • Leslie Hicks, BA Leslie Hicks, BA
        Administrative Assistant

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      • spacer image for page layout Darien Belluomini, BS
        Program Coordinator

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      • Michelle A. Zacofsky, BA Michelle A. Zacofsky, BA
        Administrative Coordinator, Occupational Therapy

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Occupational Therapy Admissions

  • Requirements +

      1. Candidates accepted for admission will have earned a baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation.
      2. Applicants must have achieved a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA, and a 2.75 science GPA (on a 4.00 scale).
      3. Applicants are required to submit all official college or academic transcripts.
      4. Applicants are required to submit official GRE scores. Any scores older than three years prior to the matriculation year will not be accepted. The GRE Code for ASHS is 3743. (There is no department code.) For applicants with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher, the GRE is optional.
      5. Applicants are required to obtain a minimum of 20 contact/observation hours in the occupational therapy field.
      6. Applicants must secure two (2) letters of reference. One of these letters must be written by: a present or former science faculty member, academic advisor, or employer. The other reference letter should come from a professional from the occupational therapy field. Letters from an educational consulting service will not qualify. New letters of reference must be submitted for each application year.
      7. Applicants who are considered potential candidates will be invited to visit ASHS to participate in an applicant interview process. For applicants residing out-of-state, telephone interviews may be arranged in lieu of the on-site interview.
      8. Applicants must complete all prerequisite courses by the end of the quarter prior to matriculation.
      9. Applicants are expected to be computer literate and experienced in word processing. All curricula require extensive computer usage. Accepted applicants are required to have a laptop computer prior to the first day of class.
      10. Students must obtain and maintain CPR certification. Verification must be submitted to ASHS prior to enrollment.
      11. Applicants are required to submit to a criminal background check at their own expense. Applicants need to be aware that having a felony conviction might impact a graduate’s future ability to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy Exam and/or ability to obtain state licensure to practice.
      12. All students are required to demonstrate proficiency in English when applying to the Arizona School of Health Sciences, A.T Still University. You can find information on the methods by which you can demonstrate your English Proficiency in the General Admissions section. International Admissions Requirements
      13. Applicants who wish to be considered for more than one ASHS program must submit a separate application and fee, official GRE scores, transcripts and references. Acceptance to ASHS is to a specific program and is not transferable to any other program. Application materials are not transferable from one application year to another.
      14. Applications for the Occupational Therapy Entry-Level Program are processed on a rolling admissions basis, but applicants are encouraged to apply early. Point of entry into the program is only once each academic year with classes beginning in late August.

      Review minimum technology requriements.

  • Application +

    • Program enrollment is based on a rolling admissions policy. Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received, thus applicants are encouraged to apply early.

      For additional information contact an Enrollment Counselor: 480.219.6000 or

  • Tuition and Expenses+

    • Tuition for the 2016-2017 year is $30,326 for the first year, $30,326 for the second year, and $10,498 for the third year. Tuition is assessed annually with an additional educational supply fee of $1,050. Tuition and fees are pro-rated for part-time enrollment. This does not include the cost of books and other supplies. Tuition and fees are subject to change.

  • Financial Assistance+

    • The Arizona School of Health Sciences participates in the Professional Student Exchange Program administered by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), under which legal residents of western states without a public professional school in this field may receive preference in admission and reduced tuition at this institution. To be certified as eligible for this program, the student must write to the WICHE Certifying Officer in his/her state of legal residence for the program application form. The number of students to be supported in each state in this field depends upon state appropriations. For addresses of state certifying officers consult the WICHE Professional Student Exchange Program, P.O. Box 9752, Boulder, CO 80301-9752 (telephone: 303.541.0210), or the WICHE website at

      Financial support, including private and federal loans, is available for students accepted into the Occupational Therapy Program at the Arizona School of Health Sciences through the Student Financial Assistance Office. This office helps students develop a comprehensive financial assistance package based on individual needs. More info…

      Requests for information regarding loans and other financial assistance should be directed to:

      Director, Student Financial Assistance ATSU 800 W. Jefferson St. Kirksville, MO 63501 800.626.5266, ext. 2529

The Family and Culture

Three medical students wearing white lab coats smiling, posed for a picture. Female medical students wearing white lab coats, smiling while consulting with a patient. Students gathered around a woman lying underneath an x-ray machine. Three medical professionals examining the ear of an elderly man. Physical Therapy students working together. A young woman wearing a white lab coat, talking with a small boy holding a teddy bear. Male medical professional examining a mouth mold. Physical therapy doctor examining the knee of a young woman. Group workshop featuring people seated in rows of chairs with their arms stretched out.


  • Blackboard Demo Course +

    • An iPad logging into ATSU's app with an open book displayed in the backgroundATSU has set up a demo course of our Blackboard
      Learning Management System for interested students.

      Please go to our guest demo site, and login with:

      Username: demo
      Password: atsudemo

      Connect Now

Occupational Therapy Curriculum Overview

  • Prerequisite Courses+

      • Human Anatomy: One course with lab, minimum of 4 semester/6 quarter hours.
      • Human Physiology: One course with lab, minimum of 4 semester/6 quarter hours. (Note: Human Anatomy/Physiology I And II may substitute for the above two courses)
      • Science: One additional course (in addition to Human Anatomy/Physiology) for a minimum of 3 semester/4 quarter hours.
      • Human Development: One course, minimum of 3 semester/4 quarter hours (Course options: Developmental Psychology, Child Development, or another course with a lifespan development perspective)
      • Introduction or General Psychology: One course, minimum of 3 semester/4 quarter
      • Abnormal Psychology: One course, minimum of 3 semester/4 quarter hours
      • Introduction to Sociology or Cultural Anthropology: One course, minimum of 3 semester/4quarter hours
      • Medical Terminology: One course, minimum of 1 semester hour/ 1 quarter hour
      • English: Two courses of composition, grammar/literature, minimum of 6 semester/8 quarter hours
      • Humanities: Two courses (e.g., philosophy, religion, literature, fine arts, logic, ethics, foreign language), minimum of 6 semester/8 quarter hours
      • College algebra or higher: One course, minimum of 3 semester/ 4 quarter hours (a statistics course can be used for this prerequisite)
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