Occupational Therapy

Mission Statement

The Howard University Occupational Therapy faculty is committed to teaching, research, and community service directed toward the reduction of barriers that prevent individuals from achieving a mastery of occupation. The faculty is dedicated to addressing emerging health and health-related needs of blacks and underserved populations by promoting the role of occupation in the solution to human and social problems in local, national, and international communities.

About Us

The Howard University Occupational Therapy Program is proud to offer an accredited Occupational Therapy program leading to a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy (MSOT). The Department is uniquely privileged to be among the few providers of entry-level occupational therapy graduates in the Nation’s capital. The program has a rich history of excellence in leadership, graduating highly sought-after therapists, and developing national and international health professionals.

Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people across their lifespan participate in everyday activities that they want or need to do related to their occupation. Common occupational therapy interventions include helping people recover from injury to regain skills, helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, and providing support for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Services may include comprehensive evaluations of the client’s home and other environments (e.g., workplace, school), recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use and guidance and education for family members and caregivers. Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team.

Academic Policies

The academic policies in the Department of Occupational Therapy adhere to the guidelines and procedures outlined in the Division of Allied Health Sciences Admissions, Retention and Graduation Policies and the Occupational Therapy Graduate Retention and Graduation Policy*. Specifically:

  • Minimum grade in any course taken at accredited institutions to be considered for advanced standing is “C”
  • Minimum semester and cumulative GPA required for a good standing in the program is 3.0

*All students will receive a copy. Students are expected to read this document and understand the academic expectations for continuance in an academic program.

Statement on Felony Convictions

A felony conviction must be disclosed and may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy  (NBCOT, Inc.) exam, as well as the ability to attain state licensure.

Statement on Criminal Background Check

Please be advised that all students accepted into the Master of Science program will be required to complete a background check in order to participate in any clinical and/or fieldwork experiences.  The background check is conducted by an outside agency and should occur within the first year of acceptance into the program.

*Please refer to the OT Student Handbook for more detailed information on the Department’s policies and procedures

OT International Study Abroad Programs

The OT program at Howard has a robust international program with unique fieldwork and study abroad experiences in Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, South Africa, and Ghana where students examine issues of occupational and social justice and participate in service-learning projects.  Students have also traveled to Haiti for international service-learning projects.


OT International Studies in South Africa

Students in Ghana

Students in Costa Rica

Fieldwork Resources

Please visit the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. for more information about our fieldwork resources: https://www.aota.org/Education-Careers/Fieldwork.aspx


The Howard University Occupational Therapy program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). 

6116 Executive Boulevard
Suite 200
North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929
(301) 652-AOTA or (301) 652-2682 

The next accreditation self study and onsite visit are scheduled in 2025/2026.

Board Passage Rates: program results from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) can be found online at https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx.


To learn about our admissions process and apply to our program, please visit the Occupational Therapy program page.


Can I apply to Howard University’s MSOT program as an undergraduate student?

The Howard MSOT program is a graduate program. High school and undergraduate students wishing to enroll in the program must complete an undergraduate degree at an accredited university with required prerequisites. Students can pursue a BS degree in Health Sciences at Howard University and complete the prerequisites for entry to the Master of Science program. All students seeking a Masters degree (MSOT) must apply for Graduate admissions consideration to the entry-level Master of Science program.

How do I get accepted to the Master’s program?

To become accepted to the Master of Science program in Occupational Therapy, you must apply for admission consideration. Students considered for admissions must have at least a cumulative GPA of 3.0.

Do I need to apply to the Howard MSOT program through the Centralized Application System (OTCAS) ?

Yes. Howard OT program subscribes to the OTCAS effective August 2, 2010. Applicants for the 2011entering class need to apply online using the OTCAS application at  www.otcas.org. You will also need to complete the Howard MSOT Department Supplemental Application with OTCAS.

How long would it take me to complete the Master of Science degree program?

The time-frame for completion of the entry-level MSOT program at Howard is 2.5 years, which includes all didactic coursework, examinations, thesis or non-thesis requirements and fieldwork experiences. Students are required to complete all didactic coursework before beginning their fieldwork experience.

Can I transfer credits to the occupational therapy program at Howard University from another university or college?

Yes. Course credits can be transferred from an approved accredited university or college.Make sure you meet with an academic adviser in the OT department to determine what credits can be transferred. The process of transferring credits to Howard University from another University is called Advance Standing.

If I already have an undergraduate degree, do I have to take the prerequisite courses for acceptance to the Master of Science program?

Yes. You have to complete the prerequisite courses for acceptance to the MSOT program. Check with an academic advisor at Howard to determine what courses from your undergraduate degree meet the prerequisite requirements.

If I still have prerequisite courses to complete, can I apply to the Master of Science program?

Yes. However, you will have to complete these courses before entering into the Masters program.

Do I have to do a thesis to complete the Master of Science program?

No. Students can elect to complete a thesis or a non-thesis scholarly project.

Can I choose where I want to complete my fieldwork experience?

Students in the MSOT program can express their interests in specified sites, but the final decision rests with the faculty based on the determination of the best fit for the student.Students are place in settings, locally, nationally, and internationally, but are responsible for their own transportation, housing and maintenance (including meals).

Can I enroll in the entry-level Master of Science program part-time?

No. The MSOT program is a full-time program. The final year consist of a six-month fieldwork experience.

Are there scholarships available to help fund my OT education?

Yes. Please check the Howard OT website for more information on scholarships.