Overview of the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Program


*Students have the option of pursuing an entry-level Master’s Degree (Master of Science in Occupational Therapy [MSOT]) or an entry-level Doctoral Degree (Doctor of Occupational Therapy [OTD]) in occupational therapy. All students must first be accepted into the MSOT program to be eligible to apply to the OTD program during the second semester of the MSOT program. Those students who are admitted to the OTD program will transition to the OTD program in the third semester.

The MSOT is a 24-month, full-time, campus-based program. The first four semesters are on campus in primarily face-to-face courses while the last two semesters consist of fieldwork placements, most of which are across the state of North Carolina.

Students are expected to be available to visit campus five days a week, although that is not always required.

The MSOT program is located on the west campus – near the Brody School of Medicine and ECU Health Medical Center – within the College of Allied Health Sciences that shares a state-of-the art building with the College of Nursing and Laupus Health Sciences Library. We encourage all individuals who are considering applying to the programs to visit our Department of Occupational Therapy.

We also encourage you to explore our website thoroughly to determine if the programs’ vision and mission, structured curriculum, and faculty members’ research and scholarly agendas will be a good match for your educational needs and occupational goals.


The entry-level Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association. The MSOT program received full 10-year accreditation in 2014-2015 indicating that it is compliant with the Accreditation Standards for a Masters Degree-Level Educational Program for the Occupational Therapist. Graduates of the MSOT 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 the national certification examination, 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.

For more information about accreditation, please contact: ACOTE, American Occupational Therapy Association, 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 510E, Bethesda, MD 20814, Phone: (301) 652-AOTA. ACOTE website address is www.acoteonline.org.

Estimating the Program Cost

Tuition and Fees

Every semester, the university updates the costs of tuition and fees. The MSOT program covers 6 semesters. Please recognize that tuition and fees for the summer sessions are calculated differently than for regular fall and spring semesters. The guide below will help you determine the anticipated tuition cost by using the numbers located under “Main Campus” on the Tuition and Fees website. Please make sure you look at the appropriate fees (undergraduate/graduate and in-state/out-of-state). Here you will find PDFs with the costs by semester. This information is for estimation purposes only, and some variability may exist by student. The Graduate School also offers a website on Tuition and Fees.

Cost Estimate 2024-2025 (PDF)

Professional School Tuition Fees

There is a required fee for professional students in the College of Allied Health Sciences. These fees vary by program. As a student in the professional occupational therapy programs, all students are charged a tuition differential based on the number of credits for the semester. The fee ranges approximately $500-$1000 per semester. This cost is NOT included on the Tuition and Fee Schedule sheets identified above. Please keep this in mind when calculating anticipated costs.


The books you purchase for the MSOT program will become part of your professional library. Many of them are used in multiple courses and will be excellent resources for fieldwork and as you begin practice after graduation. It is anticipated you will spend approximately $1,600 in books with the majority of that cost being the first 2 semesters.


Students are not responsible for locating their own fieldwork placements. The MSOT program will provide fieldwork placements for students through a collaborative process of selection. Most of the fieldwork placements do occur within the state of North Carolina, and you should recognize there may be extra cost associated with travel to a fieldwork site or housing during the time of the placement. Students enrolled in fieldwork will also be paying tuition for credits during that time.


Depending on the research project in which a student is participating, there may be associated research costs that should be under $200 per student. The research advisor works to keep the cost of research down for the students.

Essential Functions and Technical Standards for Program Admission and Continued Enrollment

The Essential Functions and Technical Standards for admission and continued enrollment establish the expectations and requisite abilities considered necessary for professionals in the field of occupational therapy. All students must be able to achieve competency in the Essential Functions and Technical Standards in all areas, such as cognition, critical thinking, physical and emotional demands, ethical standards, communication, safety, etc., needed to evaluate and treat those with physical and mental disabilities and analyze medical data to determine realistic rehabilitation goals for clients. The full document of the Essential Functions and Technical Standards can be found here.