Program Accreditation

Sacred Heart University’s Graduate Occupational Therapy Program leading to the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) is accredited through 2026/2027 under “The Standards for an Accredited Educational Therapy Program for the Occupational Therapist - 2011” 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, telephone c/o AOTA (301)-652-AOTA and its web address is See Certificate of Accreditation.

The program is responsible for complying with all ACOTE accreditation standards and policies and interacting with ACOTE with integrity and honesty. The program will inform ACOTE of all major changes in curriculum, site locations, online/onsite formats, and the program director in a timely manner. The program will honestly and accurately represent the program and its ACOTE accreditation status in all its publications and web page available to the public.

In July 2018 the AOTA Board of Directors passed a resolution that the OTD mandate be placed in abeyance so that further investigation of issues related to the mandates be completed and recommendations be forwarded to AOTA’s Representative Assembly for consideration. On September 27, 2018, ACOTE accepted AOTA’s abeyance of the 2027 mandate requiring all entry occupational therapy programs to transition to the doctoral level. AOTA will continue to update the membership about the discussions surrounding the entry point for the occupational therapy profession and pending motions in the Representative Assembly as are available.

Sacred Heart University will continue to offer the MSOT entry-level occupational therapy degree program until ACOTE and AOTA complete their discussions and come to a final determination about the entry-level degree for the profession. ACOTE will continue to accredit both entry level master’s degree and entry-level doctoral degree programs as the two entry-level degrees for the profession. 

More Information about Accreditation

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy (ACOTE)
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449
Tel: 301-652-AOTA (2682)

Students must complete all fieldwork requirements within 24 month of completion of the didactic portion of the program. Graduates of the program are 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 graduate will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). All states require licensure in order to practice; however, most initial state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination.

A felony conviction might affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT exam and/or attain state licensure 

NBCOT® policy regarding background checks for all exam takers

Effective January 1, 2018

The NBCOT Board of Directors has approved the implementation of background checks as part of the exam process. This enhancement offers the unique opportunity to apply a national standard to all entry-level practitioners in support of NBCOT’s mission of public protection.

Background checks will be completed as part of the exam application process for all first-time applicants beginning January 1, 2018. Candidates reapplying for the exam will not be subject to a background check. There is no change to the application fee as a result of this addition. The 2018 exam application fee will remain $515 for online applications and $555 for paper applications.

The NBCOT character review will continue to be guided by the character questions found on page 8 of the Certification Exam Handbook. Additional review will be conducted only when an incident results in an affirmative answer to one or more character questions. 

For example, a candidate with a misdemeanor DUI (that did not involve harm to another) would typically not need to have the incident reviewed. However, if that DUI resulted in the suspension of their professional license or certification in another field (character question #2), a review will be required.

Similarly, a conviction of misdemeanor petit theft (that did not involve harm to another) with negative responses to all character questions would not be reviewed. However, if the candidate was suspended or expelled from their college or university due to the incident (character question #4), a review will be required. If you have questions regarding the expanded background check program, please email

NBCOT® policy regarding presumptive denials

Effective January 1, 2019

Applications from individuals who have been convicted of serious crimes will not be accepted for initial certification or certification renewal. The specific list of serious crimes that presumptively disqualify an individual for certification or certification renewal may be found on NBCOT’s webpage.  

State-by-State Occupational Therapy Licensure

 All 50 states and the jurisdictions of Washington DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico have licensure laws for occupational therapists. The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) website provides links to state regulations regarding qualifications and licensure, continuing competency requirements, regulations, supervision, and telehealth.

NBCOT offers an interactive US map with links to each state’s OT State Regulatory Board Contact List and AOTA links to each state’s licensure requirements.

AOTA provides a list of the states that offer temporary licensure to graduates from ACOTE accredited programs who have not yet passed the NBCOT exam. 

AOTA’s Student Guide to Registration and Licensure offers a self-directed “tour” for graduates seeking information on the NBCOT exam and obtaining state licensure.  

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements

Sacred Heart University has been approved by Connecticut to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education.

For information regarding professional licensure by state, visit Disclosures and Student Complaints.