Graduate College | Henrietta Schmoll School of Health

Occupational Therapy (Entry-Level)

Occupational therapy is a growing and rewarding profession. It uses all the skills of living needed to learn, work, play, socialize, sleep and care for oneself and others to help people develop to their fullest potential. Occupational therapists (OTs) work with people of all ages and ability levels in many settings. Occupational therapy services may be provided in individual or group sessions, or on a broader scale at the system or population level.

With St. Catherine University's nationally ranked Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy (MAOT) or Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD-EL), you receive an excellent entry-level education in occupational therapy based on an occupational science and liberal arts foundation. Our OT graduate students are proficient in:

  • Leadership and collaboration
  • Ethics and social justice
  • Diversity and global perspectives
  • Critical and creative inquiry
  • Effective communication
  • Occupational therapy evaluation, intervention planning and outcomes
  • Purposeful lifelong learning

Program Details

  • Format: Weekday classes
  • Location: St. Paul campus
  • Credits: 72 (MAOT) or 100 (OTD-EL)
  • Completion time: 2.5 years (MAOT) or 3.25 (OTD-EL)

what can I do with a graduate degree in Occupational Therapy?

As an OT, your influence goes beyond rehabilitation to help people continue healthy relationships and engage in their favorite activities. You develop the capacity to understand clients holistically, as individuals who are influenced by their environment and motivated by what gives them meaning.

The demand for OTs is increasing as baby boomers age and the field expands, adding opportunities for you to practice in a variety of environments. With a graduate degree in occupational therapy from St. Kate's, you lay the foundation for a meaningful career as a caring, creative and knowledgeable professional.

how will I study?

St. Catherine’s Entry-Level OT programs prepare you to be certified as a registered occupational therapist. The 72-credit MAOT can be completed in 2.5 years in a weekday format, with courses meeting on our St. Paul, MN campus. The 100-credit OTD-EL can be completed in 3.25 years in a weekday format, with classes meeting on our St. Paul campus and online.

The graduate OT science-based curriculum is interwoven with the University’s liberal arts education, and gives you a foundation in four major populations and practice areas: pediatrics, geriatrics, mental health and rehabilitation. You’ll complete courses in each specialty, examine critical research and engage in practical fieldwork to hone your ability to practice in multiple areas. Teams of students work together to problem-solve sample cases, examining how clients fit into society, what issues they have in the workplace and at home, and what funding they need.

Multicultural experiences in communities across the U.S. and abroad deepen your understanding of how culture influences healthcare delivery. Opportunities for fieldwork in diverse settings allow you to deepen your understanding of populations and cultures, and share caring strategies with health professionals here and abroad.

The OT Entry-Level degrees are rigorous, full-time programs. Students must plan carefully to balance the demands of graduate school with other work, family and community obligations.

If you are interested in pursuing the MAOT or OTD-EL but do not yet have a bachelor's degree, we offer streamlined "dual degree" options. Qualified students complete a bachelor's degree, including OT prerequisite courses, and then, if accepted, complete the OT graduate degree. This option is offered in the College for Women.

why St. Kate’s?

At St. Catherine University, you will grow as a leader who engages with intention, acts with justice and serves with compassion. You will build personal relationships with faculty and students alike, while you become immersed in active and collaborative methods of learning.

The OT graduate programs are offered within the Graduate College through the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health.

Did you know?

  • St. Catherine's Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy has a 70+ year history of excellence in occupational therapy education and leadership in the profession. The department has the most comprehensive array of occupational therapy programs in the country, with options at the associate, master's and doctoral levels.
  • Our occupational therapy program was ranked 22nd by U.S. News and World Report in 2016, on par with programs at major research universities.
  • Three AOTA presidents were St. Catherine alumni or university leaders, and seven St. Catherine faculty members have been recognized as AOTA Fellows.
  • Our faculty are editors and authors of major occupational therapy textbooks, and they engage in cutting-edge scholarship to promote health and participation in the areas of underserved and immigrant communities; aging, global and inter-professional initiatives; and family-centered programs.
  • Our current students and alumni are frequent presenters at professional conferences, active in occupational therapy and interdisciplinary professional associations, and sought after by employers

Tuition and Financial Aid

For the 2019-20 academic year, the tuition rate for the 72-credit MAOT or 100-credit OTD-EL is $1,089 per credit. Tuition rates are subject to change each June 1. Additional costs for the program will include fees for student services and technology, books, etc.

Many graduate students are eligible for financial aid, usually in the form of student loans. Another potential source of funding is tuition benefits from current employers. Students are also encouraged to research scholarships available through the occupational therapy local or national organization.

Program Accreditation

The MAOT program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. (AOTA).

The Department of Occupational Therapy has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status of an OTD-EL program 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

The OTD-EL program must have a pre-accreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR).


All states require licensure in order to practice; state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Please note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

Learn more about Accreditation and Outcomes for this program

more information

OT Degree Requirements

OT Degree Requirements

The Entry-Level OT degrees include courses and experiences to build your professional competencies.

How to Apply

How to Apply

The Entry-Level OT programs have specific prerequisite and admission requirements.



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