University of Texas at El Paso Academic Catalog

Academic Catalog

Master of Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy is a dynamic profession and an integral part of modern comprehensive health care. Occupational therapy is the use of purposeful activity or interventions designed to achieve functional outcomes which promote health and prevent injury or disability, and which develop, improve, sustain, or restore the highest possible level of independence of any individual who has an injury, illness, cognitive impairment, psychosocial dysfunction, mental illness, developmental or learning disability, physical disability, or other disorder or condition. Occupational Therapy services are provided in a variety of settings, ranging from medical facilities to community health agencies, schools, and private practice.

The Occupational Therapy Program offers a Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) degree. The MOT program begins in the summer. While enrolled in the program, students complete courses in foundational and clinical sciences and general occupational therapy evaluation, treatment and evidence-based practice. Clinical courses address occupational performance in the areas of mental health, pediatrics, and adult orthopedic and neurologic conditions. Most of the third year consists of fieldwork education. Prior to graduation, students complete two full-time, 12-week clinical rotations. Placements in El Paso, TX cannot be guaranteed, and relocation and living expenses are the student’s responsibility. Graduates of the program 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). In addition, most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination.

The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE),                            

c/o Accreditation Department
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449
(301) 652-AOTA (2682)

A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure in Texas. Questions may be answered by contacting the Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners, 333 Guadalupe, Suite 2-S10, Austin, TX 78701. You may also call TBOTE at 512.305.6900.

Admission Requirements

  1. Completed a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited educational institution.
  2. Completed Occupational Therapy application by set deadline (Instructions for OTCAS can be found here).
  3. Official transcripts from all universities or colleges attended (must be sent to OTCAS).
  4. Minimum of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale - overall and prerequisite GPA.
  5. GRE Official Scores within 5 years (must be reported to OTCAS and using the DO Code 1218).
  6. Forty verifiable clock hours of volunteer or paid experience in an occupational therapy setting, supervised by a licensed occupational therapist.
  7. Three references (letters of recommendation). One must be from a licensed occupational therapy practitioner. All reference requests are handled electronically by OTCAS. Please carefully follow instructions provided by OTCAS.
  8. TOEFL is required for all international students when English is not the official or first language. Scores are considered on a case by case basis.
  9. To request a course substitution, complete the “Prerequisite Substitution Request Form” with supporting documents (i.e., course syllabus and/or description), and scan and email them to: for approval. Once a decision has been returned to you, upload the decision documentation to OTCAS. Deadline for course substitution can be found at OT website.

Additional Requirements

1. To engage in clinical rotations, which are a crucial element in the curriculum, all accepted Occupational Therapy students must pass a background check and drug screen prior to matriculation. Applicants will be responsible for the costs in obtaining a background check report and drug screen. In addition, students are required to obtain immunization required by the state of Texas and clinical affiliates. Information is available at the College of Health Sciences Compliance Web site.

2. Students are required to maintain an overall 3.0 GPA throughout the program.

Prerequisite Courses

Applicants for the program should have completed the following prerequisite courses:

Medical Terminology *1
Human Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab **4
Human Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab4
Introduction to Psychology3
Abnormal Psychology (or Equivalent)3
Other Social Sciences ***3
Statistics for Non-Math Majors3
Human Development Across the Entire Life Span3
Total Hours24

Successful completion of a medical terminology competency exam will substitute for this prerequisite.


Courses must cover the nervous, muscular and skeletal systems.


 Courses incorporating group dynamics and research in social sciences are strongly recommended.

Degree Plan

Required Credits: 85

Masters-Occupational Therapy (All DRSC courses require a grade of C or better; all OT courses require a grade of B or better unless otherwise specified)
Required Courses:
DRSC 53013
DRSC 53883
DRSC 5389Research in Health Science3
DRSC 53903
DRSC 5396Medical Kin & Biomechanics3
DRSC 5495Anatomy for Health Sciences4
OT 5102Surface Anatomy1
OT 5136Preceptorship Studies1
OT 5204Span for Occup Therap Profess2
OT 5301Anal & Adapt of Occupation I3
OT 5302Anal & Adapt of Occupation II3
OT 5310Concpts & Fndts of Occup Pract3
OT 5312Psychosocial Aspects of Occup.3
OT 5314Concpts & Fndts of Cmnty Engmt3
OT 5315Legal/Ethical Issues Hlthcare3
OT 5316Leadership in OT3
OT 5320Occupation Perfor/Older Adults3
OT 5324Occup Perf in Early Childhood3
OT 5325Occup Perform in Sch Age Child3
OT 5424Occup Perf in Mental Health4
OT 5485Research & Evidence-Based Prac4
OT 5628Occupational Perf for Adults I6
OT 5629Occupational Perf in Adults II6
OT 5640Fieldwork II Rotation I6
OT 5641Fieldwork II Rotation II6
Total Hours85


Dahlia Castillo
Contact:  915-747-8517
Education: OTD, Mount Mary University

Assistant Professor

William (Bill) Roberts
Contact Information:; 915-747-8153
Education: BS, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; Ph D, Colorado State University

Clinical Assistant Professor

Dahlia Castillo
Contact Information:; 915-747-8517
Education: BS, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center; MS, The University of Texas at El Paso; OTD, Mount Mary University

Cecilia Fierro
Contact Information:; 915-747-7263
Education: OTD (Doctorate in Occupational Therapy), Rocky Mountain University

Timothy Tu
Contact Information:;
Education: BS, University of California, Los Angeles; M.Ed, Concordia University Irvine; MS, California State University Dominguez Hills; ScD, Baylor University

Occupational Therapy

Physical Address: 1101 N Campbell, Office #304, El Paso, TX 79902
Mailing Address: 500 W. University Ave, El Paso, TX 79968
Phone: 915.747.7268