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Stroke, brain injury, birth injury, accidents, disease, disability—any of these can change a person's life in a single moment. Governors State’s Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) prepares the Occupational Therapists who will guide clients through long-term recovery and shape and lead the profession in years to come. Our graduates are well-versed in the sciences and skills that enable clients to restore function and adapt to the new realities and limitations that follow life-altering events. The MOT program places a strong emphasis on advocacy, communication, critical reasoning, and lifelong learning—skills and activities that distinguish our graduates and empower them to become highly effective professionals.

Occupational therapists come from a variety of backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common: a mission to help change lives. You must hold an undergraduate degree for admission to the MOT program, and while no specific undergraduate major degree is required, certain course prerequisites must be acquired prior to admission.

Reach your career goals.

Occupational Therapy is consistently ranked among the top professions in the United States. In 2017 alone, it was included in rankings by Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, MSN Money, and Glassdoor, among others. If you are an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) wishing to advance your career, you can achieve your bachelor’s degree through Governors State’s Interdisciplinary Studies program—the next step on your way to becoming an Occupational Therapist.

Why get a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy?

As a graduate student of the MOT program, you will gain an appreciation for the individual and gain an understanding of cultural identities and the role they play in shaping therapy. Our graduates work to make the profession and its services available to all and to eliminate the health disparities that exclude many from the level of care and participation they deserve. 

Data collected in 2017 reflected the median annual salary of Occupational Therapists at $81,910 with an average range of $67,140 – $99,300 (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Chicago’s median salary for Occupational Therapists is $84,250.

Delivery Format

The Master of Occupational Therapy degree is an intensive, 102 credit hour program that provides students with the comprehensive knowledge and skills they need to become licensed, practicing members of the profession who help clients master the tasks of daily living. Admittance to the program takes place once a year, with courses beginning in the summer session.

The MOT curriculum is sequential. Duringthe first year, coursework lays a strong foundation in the sciences, ethics, the processes of Occupational Therapy, and multiculturalism. Students gain a thorough understanding of anatomy, physiology, movement analysis, and neuroscience.Second year coursework builds on the first year’s foundational courses and teaches students to apply their skills in increasingly complex environments. Several clinical experiences are integrated into second year coursework, and students learn through case method learning and evidence-based research.The final year is primarily fieldwork that bridges the theoretical with real-life practice. 


The MOT program was recently awarded a Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students grant through the Health Resources & Services Administration. The award of $2.688 million will be dispersed over five years, beginning with the incoming Fall 2020 semester. Ten MOT students–new and/or current–will receive this year’s SDS scholarship, with the number of recipients next year increasing to 15 through the year 2025.

For questions regarding the application process, please contact Dr. Caren Schranz at

  • CHHS_OT_LaurenGreen

    Lauren Green, Occupational Therapy student

    My experience in the Master of Occupational Therapy program at GSU has been amazing and incomparable. Our small class sizes ensure a quality learning experience, and the professors are truly invested in us—they go to great lengths to make sure we understand and are competent with the information needed to succeed and grow as a student and knowledgeable occupational therapist. We also take part in countless community experiences where we apply our skills and knowledge to various settings in the community. Not only are the experiences eye opening and rewarding, but these opportunities allow a learning experience that could never be simulated in a classroom.

  • CHHS_OT_CarenSchranz

    Caren Schranz, Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy

    Our well-established Occupational Therapy program is fueled by faculty members who are passionate about OT, invested in student learning and connected to the community; their strong research agendas and collaborative research with students is integrated with community partners. In addition, our facilities, including our state-of-the-art ADL (Activities of Daily Life) lab provides students with opportunities to practice providing care for clients in a setting that is authentic to their future careers.

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