Occupational therapy is a health profession providing service to individuals and populations across the life span whose abilities to function physically, mentally, and cognitively have been impaired by injury, illness, developmental problems or the process of aging. Occupational therapy treatment enables individuals to maximize performance of skills required in daily living and in pursuit of work and leisure time activities.  Occupational therapy practitioners deliver services in many different settings, ranging from private practice to community health centers, hospitals and private homes.

The History of CSU's Department of Occupational Therapy

The Department of Occupational Therapy at Chicago State University started in 1982 under the leadership of Ms. Artice Harmon. The first class of four students graduated in 1984. The Department of Occupational Therapy provided an undergraduate degree in Occupational Therapy for 21 years and graduated over 400 students. Many of our alumni are in leadership positions at various levels in Illinois and elsewhere. In 2003, the Department of Occupational Therapy received approval for a combined Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences and Master in Occupational Therapy program (BS/MOT). The first class entered the new entry level Master of Occupational Therapy professional program in the fall semester of 2004.

CSU Department of OT Mission Statement

The Mission of the Chicago State University Occupational Therapy Program is to prepare a diverse student body to become competent occupational therapists who are skilled in and effective at meeting the needs of clients within rapidly changing service delivery systems. The program is designed to provide a transformative educational experience that develops entry-level therapists who possess foundational skills in the principles of the occupational therapy profession. We strive to produce graduates who exhibit the

ability to integrate knowledge into practice while using evidence, critical thinking, and reflective abilities necessary to take on a variety of roles (i.e., practitioner, consultant, educator, manager, researcher and advocate) within traditional and emerging service delivery systems.

Characteristics of the CSU Occupational Therapy Program

  • Each Fall and Spring semester of the professional program includes fieldwork experiences that provide apprenticeship experiences in which students apply the concepts that they learn in the classroom in authentic settings under the supervision of faculty or practicing clinicians.
  • Level I and Level II fieldwork experiences provide experiences in a wide variety of setting with individuals who are well and those with a wide range of health conditions and disabilities.
  • The professional curriculum is designed to help students develop the reasoning skills necessary to be resourceful professionals.
  • The department is committed to helping students develop the skills necessary to continue the process of life long learning.
  • Small student-faculty ratio allows close contact between students and faculty.
  • Faculty are committed to teaching and provide diverse, active learning experiences inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Students participate in collaborative applied research with faculty members.
  • The diversity of the student population enriches classroom experiences.
  • Educational experiences are enriched by faculty's involvement in current clinical practice and research.
  • Chicago State University is committed to keeping tuition rates affordable


The Occupational Therapy Program at Chicago State University is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association


Accreditation Department American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)

6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200

North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929 (301) 652-AOTA)


Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapists 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®). In addition, Illinois and most other states require licensure to practice. State licenses are often based on the results of NBCOT's certification examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT examination and/or their ability to attain state licensure.

Student Outcomes - Graduation

The following are outcomes for students enrolled in both our combined BS/MOT and MOT programs for the last 3 years. The curriculum is designed so that students who maintain full time status throughout the curriculum can complete all program requirements within 3 years. Students may be admitted as part time students or they may move to part time status during the program. Therefore, not all students entering the program in a given year will graduate within 3 years.

Graduation Students Entering Number of students who graduated Graduation Rate within 4.5 years Total Graduation
2020 32 12 NA 12 still in program
2019 35 25 71.4 2 still in program
2018 34 23 55.8 67.6

 Student Outcomes - NBCOT CERTIFICATION EXAM Results

Graduates of CSU's MOT program are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapists administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).