MS in Occupational Therapy

Get ready to practice as an occupational therapist

UIC’s Master of Science in occupational therapy is designed for students who have a bachelor’s degree in another subject. Our curriculum prepares you for a national certification exam and practice as an OT.

Learn to integrate practice, theory and research, and transform practice in a wide variety of settings. Gain skills to engage in ethical, reflective, and high quality practice. Get ready to become a leader and advocate.

We’re committed to helping you become a culturally responsive practitioner, able to meet your clients’ diverse occupational needs and achieve full participation in society, especially within underserved and urban communities. You’ll get an education that prepares you to engage in evidence-based practice to serve individuals, families, and communities across the life-span and in diverse contexts.

Stats and Facts

ScreenABLE attendee standing up holding a sign that reads "I am screeable"
Empowering women with disabilities
ScreenABLE Saturday event provides free mammograms to women with disabilities
ranked occupational therapy program among public universities according to U.S. News and World Report
pass rate for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy Exam within 12 months of graduation for the past 3 years
Staci Molinar head shot
2016 AHS New Alumn award recipient Staci Molinar '12 helps soldiers while they serve in combat zones and as they transition to civilian life
of all students receive scholarships or travel awards to attend professional conferences

Your career

If you’re an analytical thinker, a “people person,” and enjoy solving problems creatively and collaboratively, you’ll find occupational therapy to be an extremely rewarding career. OTs enhance the self-reliance and fulfillment of people who need help to develop, recover or maintain the skills of daily living that many of us take for granted. They address physical, physiological, social and emotional conditions that inhibit an independent life.

Consistently ranked as one of the top professions, occupational therapy is a growing and in-demand field. Many OTs work within hospital and clinical settings, but there’s an increasing need for OTs in non-medical settings such as:

  • School systems: Working to support students’ ability to successfully participate in their classrooms and other school environments
  • Community-based organizations that support older adults: Collaborating with older adults—and their families—to support their efforts to successfully age in place and participate in their communities
  • Home and community-based settings that serve pediatric clients: Working in natural settings to promote a child’s development and the occupational performance of children, families and communities

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015 median pay for OTs was $80,150 per year.

Learn from the best

  • Elizabeth Walker-Peterson

    Elizabeth Peterson

    Director of Professional Education for the entry-level master’s program and 2016 recipient of the UIC Award for Excellence in Teaching

  • Kathy Preissner

    Kathy Preissner

    Fellow of the UIC National Endowment for the Humanities program on the history of Hull-House

Understanding by doing

Our 23-month, full-time MS program features innovative teaching, student participation and teaching strategies that emphasize embedded, real-life learning. Problem-based learning courses provide you with opportunities to work in small groups with faculty facilitators to analyze case studies. These studies prepare you for the variety of settings where occupational therapists work and the range of clients who receive occupational therapy services.

Maria Larson

We're here for you

Still wondering what an MS in occupational therapy can do for you? Advising is available by email, phone or through individual appointments.

You can contact Maria at:


The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program is accredited 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. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is‌.

Program Outcomes

The following shows program outcomes for students enrolled in our Master of Science program leading to certification for the past three years. Students that complete the program typically graduate from the program in July following 23 months of full-time study. Occasionally students are delayed in completion of the program or delayed in taking the certification examination. Consequently, the number of students matriculating into the MS program in a given year may be different from the number of individuals graduating or taking the certification exam.

Refer to the tables below for important program outcomes.


Graduation Year Students Graduating/Entering Graduation Rate
2014 38/38
38 students in the Class of 2014 began the MS program in 2012. Each of those students graduated in 2014.
The graduation rate for the 38 students who began the MS program in 2012 was 100%
2015 38/38
38 students in the Class of 2015 began the MS program in 2013. Each of those students graduated in 2015.
The graduation rate for the 38 students who began the MS program in 2013 was 100%
2016 37/38
37 students in the Class of 2016 began the MS program in 2014. With one exception, each of those students graduated in 2016.
The graduation rate for the 38 students who began the MS program in 2014 was 97%
TOTAL 113/114 99%
Reflects overall graduation rate for the three cohorts of 38 students who entered the MS program in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Program results from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) can be found online at