Occupational Therapy Assistant Degree Program

Do you enjoy helping people of all ages? Are you looking for a profession that will make a difference? The Occupational Therapy Assistant program prepares students to assist clients recovering from injury or disability in regaining life skills for independent living. An OTA is an educated and licensed clinician who works under the direction of a licensed occupational therapist.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Degree Program Offerings

This program is offered at the following locations:

Residential Campus

About This Program

CMU’s baccalaureate-degree-level occupational therapy assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is www.acoteonline.org. Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapy assistant administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.  

Upon completion of the general education requirements and OTA specific coursework, students must also complete 16 weeks of Level II fieldwork, as well as, a baccalaureate project within 12 months. Once completed, students will graduate with a Bachelor’s in OTA and will be eligible to sit for the NBCOT licensing exam.  



The CMU OTA program provides a unique opportunity for students to gain all the benefits of campus life on a four-year liberal arts campus while completing their OTA degree. On campus residence halls, student organizations, opportunities for leadership and service, a career development office and much more can be a part of your CMU experience. CMU provides students with the opportunity to choose a specialty track that compliments the OTA program curriculum; setting them apart in the job market.

OTA students at Central receive a strong foundation in the liberal arts and sciences, including a focus on issues related to diversity. You’ll be educated as a generalist with broad exposure to the delivery models and systems used in settings where OT is currently practiced and where it is emerging as a service. Students learn to apply evidence-based occupational therapy interventions to address the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, sensory, and other aspects of performance to support engagement in everyday life activities that affect health, well-being, and quality of life.

The technical courses within the OTA program allow for hands-on learning in the classroom and laboratory. Students also participate in simulation activities and clinical experiences, which give them a real-world view of the OTA profession. OTA students participate in four full-time clinical education affiliations with a total of 640 hours of both observation and hands-on experience. In addition, CMU OTA students have the unique opportunity to use their classroom knowledge and skills with people in the community where they learn.

As a CMU OTA major, you will have opportunities to:

  • learn during lecture, laboratory, collaborative, community and fieldwork experiences
  • become eligible to sit for a national licensure exam to become licensed in the state where you practice
  • receive a degree in one of the most rapidly growing professions in the U.S. and internationally
  • work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, schools, nursing homes, psychiatric facilities, rehabilitation centers, and outpatient clinics
  • improve the lives of  people, from children to the very old
  • learn how to make a living and live a meaningful life

Degrees Available

Other CMU Programs:

Admission Requirements

Admission to CMU is selective. Our admission staff carefully reviews and evaluates each application on an individual basis. Please review all requirements prior to applying for admission.

CMU Admission Requirements

After being accepted to CMU, students wishing to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree as an OTA must meet the additional requirements for acceptance into the OTA program.

OTA Admission Requirements

OTA Bachelors Level Program Outcomes

Graduation Year

Students Entering / Graduating

Graduation Rates

NBCOT % Passing






OTA Associate Level Program Outcomes

Graduation Year

Students Entering / Graduating

Graduation Rates

NBCOT % Passing






2 / 2




2 / 1**




2 / *




3 / 3



**** The OTAAS program was place on inactive status and No students admitted or graduated in 2022. The last AAS OTA cohort graduated in May 2021; the first BS OTA cohort entered in Fall 2021.

*** As of spring 2023, the 2021 graduating cohort has not taken the NBCOT exam.

** One student changed majors and chose to complete a BSN degree. 

* Students accepted into the 2019 OTA Program Cohort transferred to other Universities; one student changed majors and the other was accepted into an MSOT program after her third semester in the OTA program.

Program results from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) can be found on the NBCOT website

Central Methodist University’s BS OTA and OTAAS programs are Accredited by:

The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, Md. 20814-3449


Accreditation status a may be viewed at; https://acoteonline.org/