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Frequently Asked Questions


What is unique about Florida International University’s OT Department?

Florida International University’s Occupational Therapy Department is built on the idea that we will establish excellence in occupational therapy education, research and scholarly activities as well as prepare culturally competent entry-level practitioners who will provide evidence-based occupational therapy services to a locally and globally diverse community.

The professional entry-level Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program (MSOT) prepares entry-level occupational therapists to work with patients, families, groups, and/or organizations. It equips individuals with the tools, knowledge, and skills to promote health, wellness, and functional independence. Eligible candidates will have completed a bachelor degree in any field from a regionally accredited university, as well as the required prerequisites. Graduates of the MSOT are eligible for certification by the national board (NBCOT).

What is the time-line for the admissions process for entry-level MSOT?

  • First Friday in February
    • Application deadline. All materials must be submitted to OTCAS and supplemental application must be submitted to the FIU Graduate School.
  • Early March
    • Review and admission of qualified applicants will begin for fall term admission.
  • Early April-May
    • Acceptance letters are mailed.
  • Mid June
    • Information packets are sent to incoming students.
  • Late August
    • New Student Orientation /Classes begin.

What are the coursework prerequisites for entry-level MSOT?
To be considered for admission to the entry-level MSOT program, students are required to complete the following prerequisites. Courses must be taken within five years of application to program:

  • Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)
  • Human Growth & Development (3 credits)
  • Biology with Lab (4 credits)**
  • Human Anatomy and Lab (4 credits, 3000 level or higher)
  • Human Physiology (3 credits)**
  • Statistics (3 credits)
  • Pathology (3 credits)
  • Medical Terminology (1-3 credits)
  • Neuroscience (3 credit, 3000 level or higher)

**Anatomy & Physiology I & II with lab will meet biology and physiology requirements

*Prerequisite courses not taken at FIU must be approved by the occupational therapy admissions committee as meeting our content requirements. If you have a question or concern regarding your prerequisite, please contact us.

Is it required to complete all prerequisites prior to applying to the entry-level MSOT program?

We do require that you have three out of the following four prerequisites completed prior to applying:

  • Human Anatomy and Lab (4 credits, 3000 level or higher)
  • Human Physiology (3 credits)
  • Pathology (3 credits)
  • Neuroscience (3 credit, 3000 level or higher)

*You must complete all prerequisite courses prior to beginning the entry-level MSOT program.

 We understand that you may be in the process of completing some of the requirements and that is OK.

What documents are necessary to apply and how are they submitted?

There are two applications that must be completed in order to apply to the program. One application is submitted through the OTCAS system and a supplemental application is submitted through the University Graduate School.

For OTCAS Application:

  • OTCAS must receive the application, references, and transcripts by first Friday in February. Once your application is complete, OTCAS will verify your documents before releasing them to Florida International University. Please note that Florida International University cannot access unverified applications. Applicants should confirm their status as verified with OTCAS.
  • Your OTCAS application does not need to be verified by the application deadline, but it must be completed and received.
  • For any questions about the receipt, processing, and verification of your application, please contact OTCAS Customer Service at (617) 612-2860, otcasinfo@otcas.org.

For University Graduate School application:

  • Complete and pay the additional $30 University Graduate School application fee by the OTCAS Application deadline in the first Friday in February.
  • Send official copy of your GRE

Is there a minimum required score for the GRE?

No. We only require that you take the GRE revised General Test (not a subject tests) and that you submit your scores to the University Graduate School. Our school code is 5206. GRE scores are valid for five testing years after the date your exam was taken. If it has been more than five years, you must retake the GRE.

When should I complete my GRE by?

We recommend that you complete your GRE by December, so that there is enough time for the University Graduate School to receive your scores prior to the deadline. GRE scores must be received by the First Friday in February to be considered for admission to the program.

Do my transcripts go directly to the OT Department?

No. Your transcripts are sent to the University Graduate School. We do not receive your transcripts. You must also submit all official transcripts to the University Graduate School from any higher level institution that you attended once you have been accepted into the program.

What degree will I earn?

For the entry-level master’s program, you will earn a Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT). Upon completion of the program, you will be eligible for certification by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).

Besides the prerequisites, what are you looking for in an ideal candidate?

The admission committee carefully reviews all applicant files. The program is academically rigorous, and we want to make sure that students, if admitted, can be successful. One indicator is the GPA – research suggests that prior success (i.e. in the prerequisites) can indicate the ability to be successful in the program. We want to see that most of your prerequisites be completed at the time of application. However, other indicators are also important to us. We look for evidence of leadership and volunteer activities, prior work or life experiences that enhance the applicant’s profile, and a thoughtful, well written essay.

 

Is there a waitlist for the program?

The OT program does maintain a waitlist of eligible applicants for the application cycle. As we offer admission, we know that some applicants will make other choices or change their plans. We then begin to offer applicants on the waitlist admission until the class is full. We do not specifically “rank” the list, although we do take into consideration if all coursework, degrees, prerequisites are complete. This would indicate readiness to come into the program if a spot opens up. There have been times where we don’t know if the class is full until the first day of the first semester. Sometimes a person can’t start and we accept off the list at the last minute. We close the waitlist and finalize admission decisions on the first day of classes in the fall semester.

What type of OT shadowing experience do I need?

Though we do not require you to have prior OT shadowing experience, it is highly recommended. Shadowing can be done in a variety of fields, and we will take this into consideration while reviewing the applications.

Will there be an interview portion of the application process?

No. We are currently not conducting interviews as part of the application process.

Where is the entry-level MSOT program offered?

The entry-level MSOT program is offered at Florida International University's Modesto A. Maidique Campus, located at 11200 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33199. The majority of the classes will be held in the Academic Health Center, Building 3 (AHC 3).

At this time no program courses are offered at the Biscayne Bay Campus. 

How do I arrange a tour of the campus?

Campus Tours
Campus tours are available at both the Modesto A. Maidique and the Biscayne Bay Campuses. The tour lasts approximately two hours and includes an information session with an Admissions Counselor. Be advised, this is a walking tour, so dress accordingly. If you require special accommodations, please let the Campus Life Department know in advance. All tours are conducted by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. As such, they cannot provide information regarding the application process or admissions requirements for graduate students. You can find the Tour Request form at the following link: http://admissions.fiu.edu/discover/tour.html or e-mail tours@fiu.edu with any questions.

Campus Tours PLUS!
Upgrade your tour to receive more information about a specific major! Campus Tour Plus includes the campus tour described above given by the Office of Admissions, plus a meeting with a department representative. (This is an information session, NOT an advising session.) The tour available for Occupational Therapy is held the First Friday of the Month. You can find the Tour Request form at the following link: http://admissions.fiu.edu/discover/tourplus.html or e-mail tours@fiu.edu with any questions.

How do I request more information?

You may contact the OT Department at (305) 348-6068 or email us at occupthe@fiu.edu . Additionally, all of the information is available on the website: http://cnhs.fiu.edu/ot/index.html

Are classes offered part-time, online, or at non-traditional hours?

The students accepted for the entry-level Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) attend full-time with primarily day-time hours. There are currently no weekend classes.

What financial aid is available?

The Office of Financial Aid handles all inquiries regarding loans, scholarships and other financial aid. There are several options available. Please contact financial aid at (305) 348-7272, or check their website at http://finaid.fiu.edu/ for details specific to your needs. You can also go to the Office of Financial Aid, Florida International University at the Modesto Maidique Campus in PC 125, Miami, FL 33199.

What are the requirements for international students?

International students are accepted subject to space and fiscal limitations. The Graduate Admissions Office, as part of the admissions process, evaluates foreign credentials internally at no cost to the applicant. Applicants with foreign educational credentials in a language other than English must provide a translation from a recognized translation agency or official translator. Students must have a baccalaureate degree or equivalent from an institution recognized in their own country as preparing students for graduate level study.  International graduate student applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit a score for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A total score of 80 on the TOEFL or 6.3 overall on the IELTS.

 

Where can I find more information about OT as a profession?

The American Occupational Therapy Association is an excellent resource for persons considering entry into the profession, which is found at the following link www.aota.org. Click on the student link to access information regarding job outlook, salaries, work environments, and academic programs.

How are faculty and students involved in research?

The Occupational Therapy faculty and the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences is committed to the vision of scholarly inquiry by promoting, expanding and validating the scientific base of knowledge and practice of the healthcare disciplines through the discovery, organization and transmission of research-based knowledge, skills and values. Both faculty and students have excellent opportunities to participate in research as part of their NWCNHS experience. They are both able to develop and identify evidence-based practice questions and research projects. There is a research class during 4 of the 5 semester (excluding fieldwork).  The research project begins in the fall semester of the second year and continues to the spring semester.

Does FIU offer an OTD program?

No. An OTD program is being conceptualized and is not accepting applications at this time. Please continue to check FIU’s Occupational Therapy website for updates.

I’m not from the Miami area, where can I find information on student life?

Information is available on FIU’s website at www.fiu.edu . Click on the Future student link at top and go to the campus life website. You can also contact the Office of Student Affairs at (305) 348-2797 or go to http://www.fiu.edu/~studaff/.

Who can I contact with questions about the department?

Dr. Ingris Treminio, Graduate Coordinator of the Occupational Therapy Department, is the primary contact for questions regarding the Occupational Therapy Master’s Program. Questions can be directed by phone: 305-348-6068 or via e-mail: occupth@fiu.edu . 

I am applying to the professional master’s in OT, and I took Anatomy/Physiology I & II at a community college. Do I have to take Anatomy at a 3000 level?

 
Yes. If you took Anatomy/Physiology I and II, those courses will count toward the Biology and the Physiology prerequisites. You will need to take Anatomy at a 3000 level since it is an upper division course.

I am an FIU student and took PCB 2099, will that count as the Physiology prerequisite?

YES, PCB 2099 will count for the Physiology prerequisite. However, we prefer that you take HSC 3549 –Physiology for Health Professionals.

What should I major in at FIU since you do not offer a Bachelor in Health Sciences?

Although you can receive your Bachelor’s in any field, we recommend that students major in related fields such as Psychology, Liberal Studies, Biology or Anthropology/Sociology and incorporate the prerequisite courses as elective coursework.

I was enrolled in an OT graduate program. Can I transfer my credits to FIU?

A maximum of six (6) graduate credits with grade of “B” or higher may be transferable. These credits must be approved by the OT Graduate Coordinator. For questions on whether the credits are transferable, please contact Dr. Lynne Richard by phone at (305) 348-6068 or via e-mail at lyrichar@fiu.edu .

How do I schedule an appointment with an advisor?

All applicants who live in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area are expected to attend an advising session prior to meeting with an individual advisor. Students who live outside the area can call the department and ask to speak with an advisor (305) 348-6068. We also hold monthly advising sessions; the dates can be found on our website at http://cnhs.fiu.edu/ot/admission-and-advising/advising/index.html or you can email occupthe@fiu.edu and ask for details.

How long is the professional master program?

The program is full-time with seven consecutive semesters including six months of fieldwork.

What exactly does the fieldwork entail?

There are two levels of fieldwork (Fieldwork I and Fieldwork II) that take place over the course of the program. Fieldwork I is a part of your coursework and is meant to assist in your understanding of OT concepts and course content. Fieldwork II is at the completion of your course work and allows you the opportunity to apply your knowledge in a clinical setting under the supervision of a licensed OT. We have a wide range of connections throughout the community and are usually able to place students in locations and practice areas of interest.

Can I do my fieldwork outside of Florida?

We have contracts with occupational therapy facilities across the USA, as well as internationally. All fieldwork placements are arranged by Dr. Alma Abdel-Moty, our academic fieldwork coordinator.

Can I work while I am in the program?

While we do not recommend working while in the MSOT program, we do understand some students may financially need to work. The program is full-time and very time consuming; however we have had students who were able to balance work and school. It is entirely dependent on the type of student you are and whether or not you think you can be successful in finding the right balance between work and schooling.