MSOT Program Technical Standards

A student must have specific essential abilities and skills of the varieties listed to participate in the occupational therapy program. Students should be able to demonstrate these abilities at the time of admission and at all times during matriculation. Reasonable accommodations may be made; however, the student is expected to perform activities and tasks without compromising safety of self or clients. A student must notify the MGA Department of Accessibility Services if a disability is present in order to determine what accommodations may be reasonably made. Other abilities not listed may be required in certain occupational therapy settings.


Demonstrate critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment including processing information, problem solving, and prioritizing multiple tasks on a daily basis. This includes the ability to take initiative and work independently, as well as with others, in the classroom, community, and in clinical settings.

Examples: identifying cause-effect relationships, evaluating situations including client responses to interventions, modifying intervention plan as needed according to client needs


Demonstrate communication abilities sufficient for interactions in verbal, nonverbal and written form with grammatical correctness, such as client/family teaching; communicating with clients and the health team, documenting and reporting, reading, understanding, and interpreting written and oral communication/reports, communicating effectively with peers, faculty, staff, and fieldwork educators, among others. Able to competently use computer hardware, software, electronic databases and other media.

Examples: summarizing medical records information, explaining occupational therapy procedures, documenting evaluations, assessments, and intervention sessions, educating clients and caregivers, reporting on the status of clients in team meetings, communicating with peers for group assignments, communicating with faculty and fieldwork educators through email and phone


Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals, families, groups from variety of backgrounds in an empathetic manner, such as sensitivity to individual differences, recognition of individual dignity and worth, providing emotional support, adapting to changing and stressful environments. Displaying honesty and integrity consistent with ethical standards for occupational therapy practitioners. Ability to accept guidance and supervision from faculty and clinical educators.

Examples: demonstrating sound judgment in regards to safety of self and others, exhibiting respect and value for cultural, socioeconomic, and spirituality factors as well as lifestyle choices, managing emotions when dealing with the unexpected, responding to an emergency, demonstrating empathy and concern for the individual experiencing health problems, accepting supervision from faculty and fieldwork educators, displaying appropriate language, attire, and behaviors in all situations.


Demonstrate sufficient motor function to include fine and gross motor abilities, functional mobility and stamina sufficient to provide safe and effective care to clients with acute and chronic conditions in a variety of health care, educational, or community settings. These abilities would include skills such as kneeling, crawling, bending, reaching, climbing, performing coordinated and repetitive movements, standing and walking for prolonged periods, safely handling, moving, and transferring individuals up to 150 pounds, and safely and efficiently manipulating equipment and supplies.

Examples: transferring clients from one surface to another, moving quickly in response to an emergency, assessment and intervention in activities of daily living with clients, carrying out infection control measures, using adaptive equipment, adjusting posture/position as needed for safety

Demonstrate appropriate observational abilities sufficient for provision of client care, such as performing physical assessments and interventions, inspection, detecting physical and behavioral changes and safety hazards, reading written client care materials. Ability to safely perceive, assimilate, and integrate a variety of information from clients and the environment. Ability to functionally use visual, auditory, tactile, and other sensory/perceptual information to enable observations.

Examples: reading and interpreting information in medical records, performing appropriate interventions related to practice setting, assessing body conditions and changes, receiving and interpreting verbal messages, responding to alarms and monitors, using telephone/email, and/or other methods of communication, setting equipment parameters