What to Expect

Thinking about joining our program? Find out what you can expect as a student at UIC

Our MS in occupational therapy program doesn’t require a thesis or project—just 72 credit hours of coursework. That includes four fieldwork placements, and the opportunity to take elective courses in and outside of our department. Our program is 23 months long. You must complete the program within five years of enrollment.

Our curriculum is designed to give you a strong theoretical base and advanced clinical reasoning abilities, as well as hands-on skills. You’ll become an excellent therapist and leader in any setting, whether community‐based, school‐based or medically‐based.

Here’s where it all starts.


OT 500 Theories of Occupational Therapy 4 hours
OT 501 Occupational Performance in Adults and Adolescents 3 hours
OT 502 Medical Conditions: A Self-Paced Self-Study Course 1 hour
OT 506 Development of a Therapeutic Self 3 hours
OT 507 Introduction to Occupational Therapy Practice 2 hours
OT 510 Research in Occupational Therapy 4 hours

Cadaver lab

If you need to take a cadaver lab, you’ll take KN 496 as well. KN 496 begins in the fall semester and concludes in the spring.


OT 502 Medical Conditions (continued from Fall)
OT 511 Occupational Performance in Children 4 hours
OT 512 Human Structure and Function 5 hours
OT 515 OT Practice: Psychosocial Aspects of Occupational Performance 3 hours
OT 516 Synthesis I: Case Discussions 1 hour
OT 519 Fieldwork Level IA 1 hour
Optional Elective (in OT or other department) 2-4 hours

Example electives

OT 528 Race, Culture, and Health Disparities 2-3 hours
OT 563 Disability and Global Health 3 hours
OT 571 Knowledge Translation for Disability and Rehabilitation 3 hours
OT 594 Special Topics in Occupational Therapy: Pediatric Processes of Care 2 hours

Starting fieldwork

To begin clinical experiences and fieldwork, you must satisfy requirements including but not limited to drug screening and background checks for history of criminal offenses. Those results may affect your ability to participate in clinical and fieldwork experiences.


OT 524 and 526 are taught in a 5 week block before you start fieldwork. OT 529 and OT 539 are 2 – 2 week full time fieldwork experiences.

OT 502 Medical Conditions (continued from Fall)
OT 524 Contexts of Occupational Therapy Practice 2 hours
OT 526 Assistive Technology and the Environment 3 hours
OT 529 Fieldwork Level IB 1 hour
OT 539 Fieldwork Level IC 1 hour


OT 522 OT Practice: Functional Movement and Mobility 5 hours
OT 523 OT Practice: Cognition and Perception in Action 4 hours
OT 535 Synthesis II: Case Studies Across Practice Context 2 hours
OT 538 Intro to Advanced OT Practice 1 hour
OT 564 Leadership and Management in OT 3 hours
OT 595 Seminar in Occupational Therapy
Credit awarded for attendance at colloquia and seminars across 3 semesters
1 hour

Example electives

OT 553 Program Evaluation: Documenting the Impact of Human Services (alternates every other fall) 3 hours
OT 561 Disability and Community Participation: Policy, Systems Change, and Action Research (offered in the fall in odd numbered years) 4 hours
OT 568 Learning, Teaching, Curriculum Design, Delivery and Evaluation (offered in the fall in even numbered years) 4 hours


Each Level II fieldwork is 12 weeks long, 40 hours per week, and 8 credits.

OT 549 is 4 credits and must be repeated in the summer. It’s one 12 week fieldwork rotation with the registration spread across spring and summer semesters (4 credits each).

OT 548 Fieldwork Level II-A (Jan – Mar) 8 hours
OT 549 Fieldwork Level II-B (April – June) 4 hours

Congratulations! If you’ve completed all your coursework and fieldwork on schedule, you’ll graduate in late July!


OT 549 Fieldwork Level II-B (April – June) 4 hours
OT 555 Synthesis III: Post-Fieldwork Advanced Clinical Reasoning Seminar/Intensive Case Study Sessions 2 hours