98% NBCOT-OTR exam pass rate in 20181

Groundbreaking research opportunities

Hands-on learning in eight world-class Therapy Skills Labs

Students in the Master of Science in OT degree program.


Master of Science inOccupational Therapy

Take a 360, virtual tour of the Stanbridge University campus.

Experience Stanbridge:
Virtual Tour

Take a virtual tour of Stanbridge University’s campus! Explore our world-class skills labs and facilities and get a first hand look at campus life!

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Stanbridge features a virtual dissection table for anatomy education.

Welcome to the Future of Education: The Anatomage Table

The Anatomage Table is the world's first and only virtual dissection table for an in-depth look at human and animal anatomy. High resolution, 3D models and scans elevate your educational experience to the next level.

Stanbridge students volunteer to support the community.

Together, We Make a Difference: Award Winning Community Service

Stanbridge University has been named to the 2015 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service for the seventh consecutive year. The award is the highest federal affirmation a college or university can receive in recognition of its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement.

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Why Stanbridge?

Find your calling as a leader in Occupational Therapy (OT)

In the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program, you’ll learn new and innovative ways to help those in need accomplish what they love to do most. Under the guidance of expert faculty, you’ll have the opportunities to apply core OT concepts to groundbreaking research projects, practice with emerging rehab technology and gain the confidence to lead in a dynamic and in-demand profession.

Take a Virtual Campus Tour: Explore Stanbridge!

Video: Occupational Therapy Student Enhances Adaptive Surfing Camp

Occupational Therapy Student Enhances Adaptive Surfing Camp

Video: Occupational Therapy Community Engagement Student Fellowship with the WAVES Project

Occupational Therapy Community Engagement Student Fellowship with the WAVES Project

Video: Occupational Therapy Students Earns Federal Recognition For Service

Occupational Therapy Students Earns Federal Recognition For Service

Video: Stanbridge OT Grad Student Receives CAPPS Memorial Scholarship

Stanbridge OT Grad Student Receives CAPPS Memorial Scholarship

Video: California Campus Compact: OT Student Fellows Help Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

California Campus Compact: OT Student Fellows Help Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

Video: A Celebration of Achievement: Commencement Exercises

A Celebration of Achievement: Commencement Exercises

Blaze New Trails in Occupational Therapy Research

Research with universities across the country, local community partners, and emerging technology to explore and solve issues with OT concepts and practices. Previous graduate thesis studies include human behavior in deep-space exploration, mentorship of young adults with intellectual disabilities, and MusicGlove™ Therapy for children.

Stanbridge Student OT Association

Join a collaborative, active, and engaging group of fellow OT students and work together to serve local community needs and raise awareness of occupational therapy.

Driving Simulation Lab

In the first Driving Simulation Lab in Orange County, you can gain a unique, hands-on education in driving assessments and treatments. Learn how to help clients who have experienced strokes and other neurological incidents with the multidimensional aspects of the occupation of driving.

Virtual Reality Meets Classroom Concepts

Experience the next innovation in learning inside one of the largest virtual reality labs for medical training in the U.S. Delve into high-fidelity, virtual-holographic 3D models and animations of over 1,000 biological and anatomical structures.

Sensory Immersion Lab

The Sensory Immersion Lab offers you a first-hand exposure to new occupational therapy treatments for persons with mental illness, dementia, as well as children with autism and other sensory disorders.

Eight Real-World Therapy Skills Labs

Immerse yourself in fully-equipped, simulated home environments for hands-on education with therapy equipment, tools and assessments used in the field.

Multi-Term NBCOT OTR Exam preparation

With a 98% NBCOT-OTR exam pass rate in 2018,1 we’re committed to your success. Throughout each term you’ll prepare for the next step after graduation.

Small Class Sizes with High Faculty-to-Student Ratio

Learning in small groups in your clinical labs optimizes your time with instructors and gives you a deeper understanding of skills.

Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Gain a competitive edge as you learn OTA/OTR treatment dynamics by training and collaborating with students from our Occupational Therapy Assistant program.

Serve Your Community with Your Skills

Providing the local community with healthcare services brings concepts learned in class to life in real healthcare environments.

An Early Focus on Career Development

One-on-one guidance gives you the tools to make a positive, lasting impression on future potential employers.

Innovative Digital Classrooms

Each classroom operates with a SMART Board, laptop workstations, and digital exams with instant score results. Access to online PowerPoint presentations with note-saving availability, instant student polling and the digital Learning Resource System heightens the academic experience

The Writing Center

In your graduate program, having exemplary writing skills is crucial to your academic success and career growth. The Stanbridge University Writing Center gives you access to support and resources that will help you improve and develop your paper writing. With best practices for developing and expressing ideas, learning the APA format, and improving punctuation and grammar usage, our goal is to help you better prepare for your coursework, research, thesis presentations, or capstone research.

Inside the Classroom

Masters OT students California

Hands-on demonstrations of emerging rehabilitation technology like Flint Rehabilitations MusicGlove™ lets students learn new and creative ways to treat clients.

Masters OT Virtual Reality Learning

In the Virtual Reality Lab, you can interact with high-fidelity, 3D models to gain an in-depth look at the inner workings of anatomy and biology.

Masters OT students movement analysis

Students utilize a canoeing activity in the Newport Bay Harbor to practice activity analysis and limb control to determine typical movement patterns.

Masters OT students scuba therapy

As part of their service learning project, OT students traveled to Catalina Island to partner with the Wounded American Veterans Experience SCUBA Project to help combat wounded veterans with amputations, spinal cord injuries, PTSD, and traumatic brain injuries lead more meaningful lives using SCUBA therapy.

Masters OT students life skills

Students partner with the Life College program to get real-world client treatment experience as they work with young adults with intellectual disabilities to teach them independent living skills.

Masters OT students cadaver lab

OT students learn in-depth human anatomy from synthetic and real cadavers in the Human Cadaver Lab on campus.

OT students research NASA

In partnership with Fordham University, OT students research human behavioral readiness for deep space exploration for the Mission to Mars, under the mentorship of NASA astronaut and visiting professor Dr. Yvonne Cagle (far right) and Dean of the Graduate School of Social Service at Fordham University, Dr. Debora McPhee (center).

Master OT students thesis

Graduate students presented their thesis research at the 100 Year Starship Symposium.

Master OT students driving simulation

The Driving Simulation Lab on campus helps train OT students to work with clients who need assistance with safe driving.

Masters OT simulation patients

In the Simulation Lab, instructors lend a voice to the high-fidelity simulation manikins, testing their students with real-time patient feedback.

Stanbridge Student Occupational Therapy Association

The Stanbridge Student Occupational Therapy Association (SSOTA) executive board leads fellow students in working together to promote OT to the local community while hosting networking and service events.

California masters OT beach exercises

OT students practice range of motion exercises on the beach.

California masters OT simulated home

One of the Therapy Skills Labs features simulated environments including a bathroom and kitchen to practice helping clients at home.

Masters OT team building

Confidence and communication skills—two things vital for a good OT are fostered through team building activities at the Orange County Ropes Course.

Students practice client care on a high-fidelity human simulator as an instructor provides them with real-time feedback by speaking through the manikin.

Students practice client care on a high-fidelity human simulator as an instructor provides them with real-time feedback by speaking through the manikin.

Masters OT mobility limitations

Stanbridge OT students visited local beaches, stores, and gyms to experience how mobility limitations impact daily life for the clients they serve.

California OT Masters graduation

Students celebrate their academic achievement with their loved ones and program faculty at their hooding ceremony.

Masters OT therapy skills lab

Students develop their skills by training with professional therapy adaptive equipment in this Therapy Skills Lab.

Masters OT California professional network

Students enjoy social and professional networking events on the Stanbridge University campus.

Nursing Program High Tech Classroom

Classrooms equipped with advanced learning technology, including SMART Boards, help students focus on their coursework and instruction.

Stanbridge University Student Resource Center

The Learning Resource Center provides students with private collaboration rooms, quiet study rooms, and a computer lab.

Program Guidebook



Program Duration2

119.5 Quarter Credit Hours (The approximate time to complete the program will vary according to the start and end dates of a cohort and ranges from 26-28 months, including national holidays, breaks between terms and Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. Schedules will be provided upon orientation.)

Program Schedule3

Term 1 through Term 5

Didactic courses – 2 or 3 days a week (exact days of the week vary by term)

Level I Fieldwork – 1 week each in Terms 2, 3, and 5

Term 6 through Term 7

Level II Fieldwork – 12 weeks in Term 6 and 12 weeks in Term 7

One or more courses in this program are delivered online. Please visit www.stanbridge.edu/admissions to take the Online Readiness Quiz to determine whether you can meet the hardware, software, and competency requirements for taking online courses.

Offsite Fieldwork

Fieldwork shifts are scheduled Monday through Friday in accordance with fieldwork site hours. Some weeks may require additional hours. Locations, days, and time shifts are not guaranteed. Fieldwork sites will be confirmed no earlier than two weeks prior to the start of the term. Fieldwork site schedules are subject to change.

NBCOT OTR Exam Prep and Retention Rates

NBCOT OTR Exam Prep and Retention Rates

The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT®) is a not-for-profit credentialing agency that provides certification for the occupational therapy profession. The Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) examination serves the public interest by developing, administering, and continually reviewing a certification process that reflects current standards of competent practice in occupational therapy.

As one of the final milestones before becoming an OTR, the exam’s questions focus on your decision-making ability in various client care scenarios under critical conditions. The OTR exam requires that you understand the basic principles of occupational therapy, client-centered intervention plans, evidence-based practice interventions and overall professional standards.

With a 98% NBCOT-OTR exam pass rate in 20181, we’re committed to your preparation for certification. You’ll receive a comprehensive end-of-program review and continuous examination preparation. These services are complimentary for students.


Annual Retention Rates

Graduation Year Students Entering/Graduating Graduation Rate
2016 32/32 100%
2017 64/60 94%
2018 64/60 94%
Total 160/152 95%


The entry-level occupational therapy master’s degree program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. 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 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. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.



Ready to learn more about the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree program? To get started, please attend one of the information sessions offered on campus. Click here to sign up for the next available session.

If you are ready to begin your application process, click here.

Admissions Timelines

Applicants must meet the following deadlines for the next start date. Applicant deadlines subject to change.

Process Due Date
Application Deadline June 10, 2019
Applicant Interviews December 7, 2018 to July 12, 2019
Applicant Notification July 16, 2019
New Student Orientation July 23, 2019 - July 25, 2019
Start of Class July 29, 2019

Admission Criteria

Prospective applicants must provide and complete the following to apply.

1. A baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

2A. For General Applicants: Successful completion of all prerequisite courses with a grade of C or higher. Each prerequisite course must be equivalent to 3 semester or 4.5 quarter credits and must have been completed within five years of the date of planned enrollment:

Human Anatomy (with laboratory)* Physiology*
One course in Anthropology or Sociology Abnormal Psychology
Introduction to Statistics Lifespan or Developmental Psychology

*If Human Anatomy and Physiology are taken as a combined course, they must be taken for two consecutive terms and must have a laboratory course in each term.

2B. For Applicants Bridging from Other Healthcare and Human Services Fields: Some time limits on prerequisites may be waived if applicants have been continually employed or licensed/certified in certain healthcare or human services fields (OTA, PTA, Chiropractor, Acupuncturist, Athletic Trainer, etc.) since completion of the undergraduate program. Applicants will need to provide documentation for admission to the MSOT program.

3. An official Graduate Record Exam report with the following preferred minimum scores is required of all applicants who do not have a master's or doctoral degree:

Quantitative: 144 or higher
Verbal: 150 or higher
Analytical Writing: 3.5 or higher

Please use the following GRE codes to submit your official GRE Scores depending on your method of application:

GRE Code 3642 - Official transcripts will be sent directly to Stanbridge University

GRE Code 2057 - Official transcripts will be sent to the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS)

4. Take the Online Readiness Quiz. Click here to start.

5. A minimum of thirty (30) hours of documented volunteer experience or observation in an occupational therapy-related or other health care setting. At least sixteen (16) of the thirty (30) total hours must be in direct observation of an Occupational Therapist Registered/Licensed (OTR/L) in a practice setting.

6. An application essay to be submitted as a writing sample. The content of the application essay will be specified during the application process.

7. Three letters of recommendation from faculty members, therapists, and employers.

8. Successful completion of an interview with the Program Director or designee.

Potential Impact of a Felony Conviction on a Graduate's Eligibility for Certification and Credentialing.

All students must sign a release form confirming knowledge of the felony conviction on eligibility for certification and credentialing. Please click here to see the form. Please note, students will sign this form during their orientation.

Questions? Please contact our Admissions Representatives at 888-789-6208 if you have any questions regarding the admissions process for this program.

Financial Aid

Financial Aid

A diploma or degree can open doors to exciting career opportunities, and greatly increase your earning potential. We understand that funding your studies can be overwhelming, which is why Stanbridge University has a dedicated Financial Aid team to guide you through various options and help identify the best financial aid package for your needs.

Our team is there to answer questions as you fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and plan your financial aid package. Stanbridge University has the following financial aid programs available to those who qualify:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Direct Loans
  • Federal Direct Parent (PLUS) Loans
  • Sallie Mae Loans
  • Cal Grants

WIOA Title-I financial assistance programs and activities are an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request for individuals with disabilities.

Transfer Information

Transfer Information

Diploma and Degree Programs Transfer of Credit

Students may request an evaluation of their previous coursework for possible transfer credit, provided that before the beginning of their program at Stanbridge University, they give the Registrar of the university proof of satisfactory completion (such as an official transcript from a school that is regionally or nationally accredited, PACE and DANTES courses, a course of study or training in the Armed Forces of the United States) or American Council on Education (ACE) credit recommendation, and equivalency of the coursework to the Stanbridge University course.

Students requesting evaluation of their transcripts must provide a description from the school catalog for each course for which transfer credit is requested. If the course description from the school catalog is not sufficient by itself to evaluate whether the course is equivalent, a course syllabus or outline of each course for which transfer credit is requested will be required. ACE credit recommendations will be considered only for General Education course credit, not technical or core course credit or Associate of Science in Nursing (ADN) program prerequisite science course (SCI prefix) credit.

Transfer credit will be granted only for those courses:

  • for which a grade of "C" or better ("C+" in prerequisite science courses and "B" for nursing courses in the ADN program) was earned or proof of passing a vendor’s certification examination is provided; and
  • which are determined to be equivalent in content and academic level to those required in the student’s program at Stanbridge University.
  • Certain courses in specific programs may have to be completed within 2 – 5 calendar years of the date of the student's start of coursework at the university in order to be accepted for transfer credit.

For more information on transfer credit and information specific to the diploma or degree of interest, please read the current Stanbridge University catalog.

US Military/VA Students

US Military/VA Students

Stanbridge University recognizes the heroic service and sacrifices that our nation's active and veteran military personnel and their families have made for our country. Transitioning from the military to civilian life and starting a career can be challenging. That is why Stanbridge University provides guidance for servicemen and women and their families to help them prepare for a degree.

For all US military veterans and eligible students, Stanbridge University will:

  • conduct an evaluation of previous education and training;
  • grant appropriate credit;
  • shorten the training period proportionately; and
  • notify the VA and student accordingly.


The Trailblazers:

Groundbreaking Occupational Therapy Research

As a culmination of the degree program, Occupational Therapy students complete a thesis project partnering with universities across the country, local community programs, and emerging technology. Each team explores issues and potential solutions to a wide range of topics with OT concepts and practices. Read more about these projects here.

Research Background.


The Explorers:

Occupational Therapy for The Mission to Mars

As humanity prepares to launch the first long-duration space mission to Mars, graduate students Macy Burr, Howard Koh, Rochelle Telles and Maria Absi examine how Occupational Science can identify strategies that minimize disruptions in task performance for the astronauts. Their research, in conjunction with Fordham University, offers insight to challenges astronauts encounter while living in space, and offer occupational therapy based interventions for life during their travels.

Research Background.


Guiding Hands:

Life Skills for Young Adults with Austism

Life College is a program that provides assistance for young adults with intellectual disabilities, teaching them how to live more independently, and transition into adulthood. Master of Science in Occupational Therapy graduate students Dee Kim, Michelle Estacio and Megan Kile developed plans to focus on independent living skills, including self-care, community integration, safety awareness, and more.

Research Background.


The Advocates:

LGBTQIA Cultural Competence

Occupational Therapy is hindered by a lack of understanding the needs of the LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) community. Graduate students Teresa Dela Pena, Alexander Barajas and Katie Scheuring developed an educational curriculum to ensure an accepting therapeutic environment, and provide culturally sensitive, client-focused services.

Research Background.


Shifting Gears:

Driving Safety for the Elderly

Many elderly drivers are unaware that the changes that come with age - vision, cognition, and physical functioning - can have a serious affect on their safety. Stanbridge University graduate students Arlene Gonzalez, Ally Kerby, Christina Smith and Robbie Mezher researched how Occupational Therapists are in a unique position to be recognized for the skills they bring to determining the safety of drivers, and meeting the needs of an aging population.

Research Background.


Creature Teachers:

Animal-Assisted Therapy for Stroke Rehab

Occupational Therapy graduate students Michelle McClafferty-Helley, Mayra Poggio, and Cristan Villanueva are working towards the goal of establishing animal-assisted therapy (AAT) as a viable treatment modality that is useful in chronic stroke rehabilitation, and creating an occupation-based AAT treatment protocol.

Research Background.

Student Resources

Guidance for Your
Academic and Professional Goals

Stanbridge University focuses on providing you with a rigorous education and the unwavering support of our Student Services and Career Services to help you prepare to start a career as a leader in your industry. We provide you with a suite of comprehensive services from the moment you begin your training, to the day you graduate, and beyond.

Student Services

Academic Advising

One-on-one advising with a faculty advisor or Student Services representative is available when you need it most. You can discuss academic or personal issues at any time, and we’re here to listen, help, and ultimately guide you to the resources you need.

Tutoring Services

When you need help on coursework, concepts, or clinical skills, Student Services offers you a wide range of options for both didactic and clinical tutoring. Course instructors and program faculty are available for one-on-one and group didactic tutoring. If your program has medical math requirements, and you need assistance to better understand medical dosages, extra tutoring is available for you. Clinical tutoring gives you one-on-one time with our instructors in our simulation and skills labs. And to help give you more insight into difficult concepts and study tips when you need it, our robust peer tutoring program pairs you with experienced students and graduates.

Academic Success Coordination

To foster your academic success, Student Services is ready to help you with time management, study and reading skills, test-taking strategies, and test anxiety management. When you need assistance, we’ll set up one-on-one coaching sessions to plan out strategies, learn how to use online apps to inventory your time, and practice applying these resources to your coursework and exams.

The Writing Center

Having exemplary writing skills is critical to academic success and career preparation. The Writing Center on campus gives writers of all skill levels, academic support for paper writing skills, including best practices for developing and expressing ideas, learning the APA format, and improving punctuation and grammar usage.

Student Assistance Program

The Student Assistance Program is a free, comprehensive, and fully confidential counseling service that helps you manage and resolve challenging situations. Because we understand balancing academic excellence and a life outside of school can be overwhelming, we are committed to your well-being. The SAP includes:

  • Free counseling services
  • Prescription drug discount program
  • Identity theft recovery
  • Financial consultation
  • Legal services

Learning Resource System

To better serve our students, we developed a comprehensive Learning Resource System that is uniquely effective in providing academic support. It includes the on-campus Learning Resource Center (LRC), the Online Library, and the Online Learner. The LRC provides you with spaces including quiet rooms, collaboration rooms, and a computer lab for individual and group study. You can use these resources to help guide your coursework, research, study, and exam preparation.

Career Services

Career Advising

From the beginning of your program you’re paired with a Career Service Officer to help guide you with career advising and preparation. In each term of your program, you’ll work with your Career Service Officer on specific goals including resume and portfolio building, networking, and interviewing. Our goal is to help you prepare for a seamless transition to a rewarding career.

Digital Portfolio Builder

As an exclusive resource to our students and graduates, the Stanbridge University Digital Portfolio Builder helps you organize and present your academic experience from Stanbridge University and professional achievements into a modern and sleek online portfolio. As you progress, your academic achievements including GPA, completed courses, community service activities, and continuing education certifications are automatically updated in your portfolio. Along with guidance from your Career Service Officer, you can easily add and edit your achievements. The Digital Portfolio Builder also automatically creates a resume for you from the data collected during the portfolio creation process. You can email your digital portfolio in a single link to your future, potential employers for a unique and strong first impression. Click here to view a sample digital portfolio.

Mock Interview Sessions

Our Career Services department guides students and graduates through personality mapping, salary negotiations, role-playing, and other specialized interview techniques to enable them to take control of the job interview. We make sure you’re confident to put your best foot forward.

LinkedIn Profile and Networking

LinkedIn is an essential tool for any active job-seeker. Career Services works with students and graduates to build LinkedIn networks to connect them to colleagues and potential employers.

Job Leads

Graduates receive access to continually updated job listings and career opportunities, including recruiting organizations and Southern California companies with whom we have built relationships.

Alumni Association

The Alumni Association provides continued access to the university’s resources, news, and special events while facilitating a dynamic network amongst graduates. Members receive benefits, including extended career services, access to exclusive alumni workshops, social media networking, and invitations to complimentary professional networking events. Our mission is to foster a lifelong, mutually beneficial relationship between alumni, current students, and Stanbridge University. Click here to visit the Stanbridge University Alumni Association.

Campus Location

Located in Orange County, the heart of Southern California.

The campus of Stanbridge University is in Irvine, California minutes away from Orange County’s vibrant cities including Costa Mesa, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Anaheim, Huntington Beach, Orange, Whittier, Tustin, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Buena Park, Aliso Viejo, San Clemente, Yorba Linda, Stanton, Newport Beach, Westminster, La Mirada, La Habra, and more!

Stanbridge University

2041 Business Center Dr. Irvine, CA 92612

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Ready to get started in Occupational Therapy?