Occupational Therapy

Empowering Performance & Participation in Life

Occupational Therapy

This is an entry-level master’s degree program taught by faculty who are nationally recognized in the occupational therapy profession. Our mission is to prepare entry-level graduates to provide occupational therapy services with distinctiveness and compassion, in a variety of professional practice environments.

The program provides a foundation of skills in general practice competencies, leadership, and creative and critical thinking processes, to facilitate the development of an innovative, entry-level occupational therapist. Additionally, graduates demonstrate a commitment to the common good, creative life-long learning, and high ethical standards for professional practice.

Our graduates come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Most commons degrees include psychology, biology, exercise science, interdisciplinary studies and therapeutic recreation, but the program has had students from all majors.

Every year roughly 250 people apply for 32 spots.

The Master of Occupational Therapy Program is a 2 1/2 year lock-step, in-person, full-time program that begins in the summer each year at Eastern Washington University in Spokane on the scenic Spokane Campus.

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What can I do with my degree?

Occupational Therapy (OT) is an evidence-based, client centered profession that facilitates participation in day-to-day life activities throughout the lifespan.  Humans are occupational beings who drive meaning and value from the things they do.  The ability to engage in meaningful occupations is an important determinant of overall health, well-being, and life satisfaction.

Occupational therapists used skilled intervention to:

  • Develop, teach and implement interventions for a variety of people who have differing physical abilities and/or mental health considerations
  • Modify and adapt home, work, school and play environments
  • Improve independence in self-care, home care and work performance

Additional information on the settings in which occupational therapists work can be found here: https://www.aota.org/practice/practice-settings

The American Occupational Therapy Association – Vision 2025

As an inclusive profession, occupational therapy maximizes health, well-being, and quality of life for all people, populations, and communities through effective solutions that facilitate participation in everyday living.


  • Effective: Occupational therapy is evidence-based, client-centered, and cost-effective.
  • Leaders: Occupational therapy is influential in changing policies, environments, and complex systems.
  • Collaborative: Occupational therapy excels in working with clients and within systems to produce effective outcomes.
  • Accessible: Occupational therapy provides culturally responsive and customized services.
  • Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity: We are intentionally inclusive and equitable and embrace diversity in all its forms.

American Occupational Therapy Association. (2017). Vision 2025. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71, 7103420010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2017.713002 Retrieved on 5/10/2019 from https://www.aota.org/AboutAOTA/vision-2025.aspx

Why Study Occupational Therapy?

Affordable Education

The EWU Master of Occupational Therapy degree is one of the lowest tuition rates in the country.

Learning Environments

Students engage in coursework and community experiences designed to build practice skills across the lifespan in physical, mental, and preventive care across the region.

Skilled Instructors

Our faculty are nationally recognized and respected in the profession.

Fieldwork Experience

After completing two years of coursework, students will complete a minimum of 24 weeks of fieldwork internship with over 100 sites to choose from in the region.

Excellent Job Opportunities

Our graduates have a high pass rate on the licensing exam and find jobs in a variety of health care and rehabilitation facilities, rural and underserved communities.

About Us

Our Mission

To develop person-centered occupational therapists of the highest integrity who practice with a strong occupation-based foundation from which they support and promote quality of life and full participation.

To prepare students for a broad scope of practice with consideration for addressing the needs of the underserved.

To deliver an academic program which meets a spectrum of educational needs for students and professionals, in collaboration with community partners, while demonstrating teaching and learning excellence.

To develop emerging practitioners to critically review and provide innovative and cost effective client services.

Our vision is to build a globally active community of students, faculty, and community partners who demonstrate a respect for diversity, a passion for learning, and a commitment to person-centered, occupation-focused, and evidence-based practice.


EWU’s Occupational Therapy Program is friendly, dynamic and innovative. Students engage in coursework designed to build practice skills in mental, physical and preventive care across the lifespan.

Emphasis is placed in community-based, client-centered activities through interactive class activities and community experiences. The program strives to integrate an interdisciplinary service delivery model that is essential for successful practice in rural, underrepresented and underserved areas.

EWU OT is near downtown Spokane and close to some of Washington’s most beautiful lakes and mountains, with excellent hiking and skiing opportunities.

  • Altruism involves demonstrating concern for the welfare of others.
  • Equality refers to treating all people impartially and free of bias.
  • Freedom and personal choice are paramount in a profession in which the values and desires of the client guide our interventions.
  • Justice expresses a state in which diverse communities are inclusive; diverse communities are organized and structured such that all members can function, flourish, and live a satisfactory life.
  • Dignity of the client by treating him or her with respect in all interactions.
  • Truth – In all situations, occupational therapy personnel must provide accurate information in oral, written, and electronic forms
  • Prudence – Occupational therapy personnel use their clinical and ethical reasoning skills, sound judgment, and reflection to make decisions in professional and volunteer roles

Source: AOTA


The total number of graduates from the EWU MOT program during the 3-year period 2020-2022 was 88, with an overall graduation rate of 94%.

Class ofEntering/GraduatingGraduation Rate*
Total 88/9494%

*Graduation rates reported per calendar year (January 1 – December 31)

National Board Examination

EWU’s graduates are able 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). Most states require a license in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.

EXAMINATION REQUIREMENT: Following completion of academic coursework, all students must successfully complete their Level II Fieldwork within 24 months before taking the Certification exam. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain a state license.

The pass rate of graduates who passed the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification examination as new graduate test takers in 2021 was 100%. Recent certification exam results can be found at NBCOT’s website.

NBCOT New Graduate Pass Rates for January-December 2022:

Total number of new graduates testing = 28
Total number of new graduates passing (% passing) = 28 (100%)
Total number of new graduates failing (% failing) = 0 (0%)
Total Score Average = 491
Average Passing score = 491

NBCOT New Graduate 3 Year Pass Rates Per Calendar Year:

2022 = 100%
2021 = 100%
2020 = 94%

One Bank Street, Suite 300
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
General Website Link: www.nbcot.org
Exam results: EWU NBCOT exam results

American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) www.aota.org

The American Occupational Therapy Association is the nationally recognized professional association for over 60,000 occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants in the United States and U.S. Territories. The mission of AOTA is to support a professional community of members and to develop and preserve the viability and relevance of the profession. The organization serves the interests of the members, represents the profession to the public, and promotes access to occupational therapy. Currently the EWU OT department purchases student memberships for all EWU OT students for their 1st and 2nd year in the program and we highly recommend that students maintain membership to gain access to diverse member-only benefits such as reduced costs for AOTA texts and student rates at the AOTA National Conference held in April each year.

Assembly of Student Delegates (ASD) www.aota.org

The membership of the Assembly of Student Delegates (ASD) is made up of the student members of AOTA. Annually, the ASD Delegate from each educational program in the United States represents the school at the ASD Pre-Conference Delegate Meetings at the Annual Conference of AOTA.

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) www.nbcot.org

The mission of the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy is to serve the public interest. NBCOT provides a world-class standard for certification of occupational therapy practitioners. This organization also develops, administers and continually reviews a certification process based on current and valid standards that provide reliable indicators of competence for the practice of occupational therapy. NBCOT administers the national certification examination.

Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA)

A Student Occupational Therapy Association officially began at Eastern Washington University during the 2000-2001 academic year. All Occupational Therapy students are members of SOTA which provides opportunities for students to promote the profession and to engage in professional development activities during the academic year. As a formal organization, SOTA members must abide by the Eastern Washington University Clubs and Organizations Handbook. SOTA’s website on EagleSync can be found at https://orgsync.com/99731/chapter.  Students wishing to become involved in SOTA may contact any current SOTA officer or the faculty sponsor.

Washington Occupational Therapy Association (WOTA) www.wota.org

The Washington Occupational Therapy Association supports the professional community of occupational therapy practitioners throughout the state of Washington. The organization facilitates enhanced service delivery and promotes improved access to occupational therapy services. WOTACON, the annual WOTA conference, is held each October.

EWU MOT Cost of Attendance

Click this link for Academic Year 2022-23 MOT Cost Sheet (subject to change).  Details and questions about the spreadsheet may be addressed to EWU’s Student Financial Services.

Details for cost of attendance for graduate programs is found on our Graduate Tuition & Aid page (subject to change).  

Program and course fees are added on top of tuition and mandatory fees.

Individual course fees for lab supplies etc. are posted on each course section in the schedule (go to the Course Search function in EagleNET). Input the required parameters, select the course and look for the amount listed under “base fees.”


Eastern Washington University Occupational Therapy program participates in the Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP) through the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) Program. WICHE helps students to enroll in selected out-of-state professional programs not offered in their resident state. Outbound students and their families save money through reduced tuition arrangements.

Information about WICHE Program

If you are a resident of Alaska, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Hawaii, Nevada, Montana, Nevada or Wyoming, you are encouraged to contact the certifying office in your state or the WICHE Office in Boulder, CO at the following address:

WICHE Student Exchange Program
P.O. Box 9752
Boulder, CO 80301-9752

Graduate Student Requirements, Policies and Procedures: EWU Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog

MOT Program Requirements, Policies and Procedures: Occupational Therapy Student Handbook 2022-23

Any party who has a vested interest in the Department of Physical Therapy at Eastern Washington University may file a complaint against the program or an employee of the program. Complaints can come from constituents within the program (e.g., faculty members, staff members, students) or outside the program (e.g., employers of the program’s graduates, off-campus supervisors, professionals, etc.). The nature of the complaint determines the steps that should be taken:

  • Students who have complaints regarding sexual harassment should contact the Office of Human Resources, Rights, and Risks at Eastern Washington University.
  • Students who have complaints regarding grades received in courses or practicum should follow the university’s grade appeal policy, which can be found in the university catalog or by contacting the Office of Academic Affairs.
  • Students who have complaints of a general nature should follow procedures in the Student Handbook.
  • Faculty and staff members who have complaints against other faculty or staff members or against the department chair should follow the university’s grievance procedures. Contact the Office of Academic Affairs or the Office of Human Resources, Rights, and Risks for further information.
  • Any party who believes that the Occupational Therapy Program is not in compliance with any number of accreditation standards should address their concerns to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).

The Professional Occupational Therapy Program at Eastern Washington University is fully accredited by:

The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)

6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200
North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929
P: 301.652.6611
General Website link: acoteonline.org
Accreditation Link Specific to EWU MOT

The Accreditation for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) is an Associated Advisory Council of the Executive Board of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).  ACOTE is recognized as the accrediting agency for occupational therapy education by both the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).