Graduate Program

Degree Offered

  • Master of Occupational Therapy (M.O.T.)


Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree.
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA on the last 50 graded credit hours taken (A strong academic record is essential, but does not guarantee acceptance).
  • Prerequisite courses must have been completed within the past 5 years with a grade of B or better.

Residency Requirements

  • To be considered for admission to the Occupational Therapy Graduate program, applicants MUST:
    • be a resident of New Mexico for at least one year at the time of application,
    • OR be a resident of a member WICHE state (Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, and Wyoming),
    • OR have strong ties to New Mexico and file Residency Appeal Form

Students may apply while enrolled in undergraduate courses to complete a baccalaureate degree or prerequisite courses if all courses will be completed by the end of the spring semester prior to beginning the program. The application deadline for Fall admissions is December 1. Students are admitted once a year with classes beginning in the fall semester.  

Up to 26 students are admitted each year into the Occupational Therapy Graduate Program.

Selection is based on:

  • Transcript evaluation.
  • Personal Statement (OTCAS form).
  • Written materials, 3 letters of reference (one from a health professional) and application – (including your life experiences, volunteer/work experience, community involvement, and regional bilingual skills).
  • Personal interview and spontaneous writing sample.

The top candidates are invited to the Occupational Therapy Graduate Program at the University of New Mexico for an interview and an extemporaneous sample of their writing ability in mid-February. Final selection is made from this group of candidates. 

The selection process does not discriminate against any student on the basis of gender, marital or parental status, race, color, religion, age, sexual orientation, national origin or disability.

If you wish to apply to the UNM Occupational Therapy Graduate Program, you must apply online through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service, known as OTCAS. To learn more about the OTCAS application process, please go to the OTCAS Web site. The UNM Occupational Therapy Graduate Program reviews applications after they have been verified by OTCAS.

In addition to submitting a program application through OTCAS, applicants must apply and be accepted into graduate studies by the University of New Mexico Office of Graduate Admissions.


The Occupational Therapy Graduate Program offers a traditional 2.5-year schedule which involves an intensive, full-time load taken in a designated sequence. It is not recommended that students work while in the traditional program. Students who choose to work part-time need to understand that work schedules cannot conflict with required courses or fieldwork assignments.

The part-time track is designed to be completed in 9 consecutive semesters. A maximum of 10 semesters is allowable. The required 6 months of Fieldwork Level II is included in the 10-semester maximum. Please note that the third year of the part-time track is essentially full-time, and that Fieldwork Level II must be completed on a full-time basis.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees are subject to change without notice. Tuition is determined by the Board of Regents each April for the following school year beginning in Fall. To verify current tuition, visit the Bursar's Office Web site. Additional expenses, including course fees, health insurance, books, and supplies, recur annually. See our Web site for a detailed breakdown of these expenses. For financial aid information, contact the financial aid department at (505) 272-8008.

Pre-Professional Curriculum

Prerequisites provide a general foundation in behavioral sciences and are essential for success in the Occupational Therapy Graduate Program. Applicants must complete all prerequisite courses with a minimum 3.0 grade in each course by the end of the spring semester preceding entry into the program. All prerequisites must have been successfully completed within the past five years. 

Required Prerequisite Courses
BIOL 237 / 247L Human Anatomy and Physiology I for the Health Sciences / Lab I 4
BIOL 238 / 248L Human Anatomy and Physiology II for the Health Sciences / Lab II 4
ENGL 219 Technical and Professional Writing 3
PSY 220 Developmental Psychology 3
PSY 332 Abnormal Behavior 3
STAT 145 Introduction to Statistics 3
Total 20

Professional Curriculum

The Occupational Therapy Graduate Program offers the Master of Occupational Therapy degree under Plan I (Thesis) and Plan II (Project). The student must submit a written research document that is approved by their committee, and successfully complete the Occupational Therapy Student Performance Assessment (OTSPA). Occupational therapy course work is taken in a designated sequence.

Core Professional Curriculum

Year 1 Fall (16 credit hours)
OCTH 514L Introduction to Occupation and Health 3
OCTH 524L Kinesiology of Occupation 3
OCTH 534 Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice 4
OCTH 544L Occupation Across the Life Span 5
OCTH 594/599 Graduate Seminar/Master's Thesis 1
Year 1 Spring (14 credit hours)
OCTH 554L Person, Family, Systems Centered Care 2
OCTH 564L Applied Occupations I 6
OCTH 634L Neuroscience of Occupation 2
OCTH 522L Neuroanatomy 3
OCTH 594/599 Graduate Seminar/Master's Thesis 1 *,**
Year 1 Summer (1-5 credit hours)
OCTH 594/599  Work on Thesis or Project 1-2*,**
Plan II Elective **may be taken in any semester 1-3
Year 2 Fall (16-17 credit hours)
OCTH 604L Applied Occupations II 5
OCTH 614L Applied Occupations III 5
OCTH 624L Advocacy, Communication and Leadership 3
OCTH 654 Organization and Administration 2
OCTH 594/599 Graduate Seminar/Master's Thesis 1-2 *,**
Year 2 Spring (11-12 credit hours)
OCTH 664L Applied Occupations IV 6
OCTH 674L Community Health 4
OCTH 594/599 Graduate Seminar 1-2 *,**
Master's examination, Occupational Therapy Student Performance Assessment (OTSPA)
Year 2 Summer (12 credit hours)
OCTH 675 Fieldwork Level II 12
Year 3 Fall (12 credit hours)
OCTH 675 Fieldwork Level II 12
Total (minimum) 83

* Plan I Master’s Thesis (6 credit hours, continuous enrollment in OCTH 599)
** Plan II Master’s Project (minimum 3 credit hours of OCTH 594, plus 3 credit hours Elective)

Graduation Requirements

Graduation requires successful completion of a minimum of 83 credit hours including required didactic course work, assessments, and Master's Examination. Students must complete all Office of Graduate Studies requirements, including Plan I or Plan II requirements, with a minimum 3.00 GPA.

Plan I: Master's Thesis

  • 53 credit hours didactic course work
  • 6 credit hours minimum OCTH 599 (Master's Thesis)
  • 24 credit hours Fieldwork Level II (two 12 week sessions)

Thesis option requires:

  • Continuous enrollment in OCTH 599 (Master's Thesis)
  • Defense of the master's thesis and approval by a faculty committee
  • Master's Examination: Occupational Therapy Student Performance Assessment (OTSPA)

Plan II: Master's Project

  • 53 credit hours didactic course work
  • 3 credit hours minimum OCTH 594 (Research Project)
  • 3 credit hours graduate-level elective
  • 24 credit hours Fieldwork Level II (two 12-week sessions)

 Project option requires:

  • Completion of the master's research requirement and approval by a faculty committee
  • Master's Examination: Occupational Therapy Student Performance Assessment (OTSPA)

Additional Fieldwork Information

Fieldwork is an important part of occupational therapy education. Short term fieldwork (FW I) is arranged in coordination with specific academic courses. Full-time fieldwork (FW II) follows successful completion of academic course work and the OTSPA.

  • Students are responsible for tuition, transportation to and from fieldwork sites, and living expenses while on fieldwork. Fieldwork opportunities are usually available in New Mexico; however, students may be assigned to fieldwork in other states.
  • All required FW II must be completed within 24 months of completion of the academic courses.
  • Each FW II placement is usually three months in length (total of six months).


    OCTH 499. Occupational Therapy Independent Study. (1-4)

    OCTH 508. Interdisciplinary Leadership in Family and Community Partnerships. (1)

    OCTH 514L. Introduction to Occupation and Health. (3 [4])

    OCTH 518. Interdisciplinary Leadership in Advocacy and Public Policy. (2)

    OCTH 522L. Neuroanatomy. (3)

    OCTH 524L. Kinesiology of Occupation. (3)

    OCTH 534. Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice. (4 [3])

    OCTH 538. Interdisciplinary Leadership in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities-Didactic. (3)

    OCTH 544L. Occupation Across the Lifespan. (5)

    OCTH 554L. Relationship Centered Care. (2)

    OCTH 564L. Applied Occupations I. (6)

    OCTH 594. Graduate Seminar. (1-3 to a maximum of 10 Δ)

    OCTH 599. Master's Thesis. (1-6, no limit Δ)

    OCTH 604L. Applied Occupations II. (5)

    OCTH 614L. Applied Occupations III. (5)

    OCTH 624L. Advocacy, Communication and Leadership. (3)

    OCTH 634L. Neuroscience of Occupation. (2)

    OCTH 650L. Special Topics in Occupational Therapy. (2-6, to a maximum of 6 Δ)

    OCTH 654. Organization and Administration. (2)

    OCTH 664L. Applied Occupations IV. (6)

    OCTH 674L. Community Health. (4)

    OCTH 675. Fieldwork II. (12 to a maximum of 36 Δ)

    OCTH 690. Independent Study. (1-4, no limit Δ)

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Office of the Registrar

MSC 11 6325
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Phone: (505) 277-8900
Fax: (505) 277-6809