The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education’s (ACOTE®) mandated that the profession take action to transition toward a doctoral-level single point of entry for occupational therapists by July 1, 2027.  Building on Boston University’s solid foundation and reputation, the OT Department is leading the way by transitioning the MSOT to an Entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program.

Technical Standards for the MSOT Program

The following “Technical Standards” have been formally adopted by the Department of Occupational Therapy at Boston University College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College. Applicants and students for the MSOT degree must have abilities and skills in the areas of cognition/judgment/observation, communication, interpersonal/attitudinal attributes and physical and sensory motor skills as described therein. These Technical Standards are necessary for full participation in the academic and fieldwork/clinical aspects of the Occupational Therapy Program at Boston University and must be demonstrated on a consistent basis. Applicants and students should review the Technical Standards for the MSOT program carefully and identify if additional supports are needed to meet these Standards consistently for any portion (classroom and clinical/fieldwork) of the MSOT program. Students who have a disability may request reasonable accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Students are encouraged to contact the University’s Office of Disability Services to arrange an individualized consultation to discuss any support services or accommodations they may need.

  1. Problem solving ability sufficient to organize and complete multiple tasks (such as projects and assignments and interventions relating to client care) from multiple courses and/or fieldwork/clinical, accurately and within assigned time frames.
  2. Adherence to safety precautions and ability to use appropriate judgment with clients, family members, and other stakeholders during lectures, application sessions, and clinical/fieldwork experiences (including independent studies and fieldwork/clinical).
  3. Ability to handle possible stress and anxiety of an intensive curricula including the academic (classroom and independent studies) and fieldwork/clinical (Level I and Level II fieldwork/clinical and special programs such as service learning experiences) aspects by demonstrating effective and adequate coping and time management skills.
  4. Ability to self-reflect and apply feedback to academic and fieldwork/clinical situations in order to develop appropriate strategies for professional growth.
  5. Ability to generalize and apply academic knowledge to fieldwork/clinical situations.
  6. Ability to initiate and attend to a task until completion.
  7. Ability to observe and participate in application sessions and fieldwork/clinical experience settings determined essential by the faculty. Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and other sensory modalities. Student must be able to observe a patient accurately both at a distance and close at hand, noting non-verbal as well as verbal signals.

  1. Ability to speak and write the English language intelligibly, hear sufficiently, and observe patients closely to elicit and transmit information; describe changes in mood, activity, and posture; and perceive nonverbal communication as well as possess reading skills at a level sufficient to accomplish curricular requirements and provide fieldwork/clinical care for clients. Capable of completing appropriate medical records, documents, and plans according to protocol, in a thorough and timely manner. Comprehend and use the English language in an understandable manner both verbally and in writing, including grammar and organization in an efficient time frame specific to the task.
  2. Ability to communicate sensitively, effectively, efficiently, and appropriately with peers, faculty, supervisors, other professionals, clients, and their significant others on a one-to-one basis, in a small group, large classroom setting, and large group and to respect the confidentiality of client/patient information.
  3. Ability to initiate and actively participate in classroom and fieldwork/clinical settings.

  1. Ability to use intellectual capacity, exercise good judgment, and promptly respond and adapt to the client’s needs under potentially stressful circumstances. Must be flexible in being able to adapt to changing environments and client factors, and respond in the face of uncertainties inherent in fieldwork/clinical practice.
  2. Ability to work within fieldwork/clinical environments that involve exposure to persons with physical and mental disabilities. Must also be able to appropriately deal with situations involving pain, grief, death, stress, communicable diseases, blood and body fluids, and toxic substances.
  3. Ability & willingness to work with a diverse client population including persons of various ages, disabilities, sexual preferences, ethnic, racial, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  4. Ability and willingness to modify behavior/ performance in the classroom or the fieldwork/clinical setting after feedback from the instructor or fieldwork/clinical supervisor.

  1. Manual dexterity and motor planning sufficient to manipulate evaluation and intervention equipment.
  2. Hearing and visual acuity and visual field sufficient to respond independently to an emergency situation signaled by a change in an individual’s appearance, pulse, blood pressure, an individual’s verbal, non-verbal, or physical communication of distress, and/or environmental event.
  3. Ability to lift 20 lbs. independently and to place objects of this weight at various levels including floor and overhead.
  4. Ability to perform 50% of a physical transfer of a patient/client up to 200 lbs. with assistance or with assistive devices; i.e., from a wheelchair to toilet or tub while maintaining good body mechanics.
  5. Capacity to attend and actively participate in all lecture and application sessions including real time tests and fieldwork/clinical situations.


Boston University’s last MSOT class matriculated in Fall 2015.  We are leading the way by transitioning the MSOT to an Entry-level Doctoral Program in Occupational Therapy (OTD).  If you have questions, please visit our Entry-level OTD webpage or contact:

  • Entry-level OTD Admissions Committee/OT Office at
  • Entry-level OTD Program Director Ellen Cohn at