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Technical Standards

These are the abilities and expectations for all students admitted to our doctor of occupational therapy program.

These are the abilities and expectations for all students admitted to KU's entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy program.

As a graduate, you must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical-, community- or school-based situations and to render a wide spectrum of occupational therapy services. An entry-level occupational therapy degree signifies that the holder is:

  • Eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy exam, and
  • Prepared for entry into the profession of occupational therapy.

If you are admitted to the entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy program at the University of Kansas Medical Center, you must have the following abilities and expectations with or without accommodations.

Essential Motor Skills

The occupational therapy student must:

  • Have gross motor skills to move safely about the medical center and fieldwork sites. 
  • Be able to perform moderately taxing physical work, often requiring prolonged sitting. 
  • Have strength, balance and equilibrium necessary to do such things as move clients from bed to wheelchair or to manipulate parts of, or whole bodies of, simulated and real people of all ages. 
  • Have fine motor skills essential to perform such tasks as writing, typing, manipulation of objects (such as wheelchair features and adaptive equipment), splint making, material development or maneuvering equipment.

Essential Sensory Skills

The occupational therapy student must:

  • Accurately perceive objects in the environment.
  • Accurately observe human performance. For example, students must be able to discern between a safe and an unsafe environment, and between therapeutic and non-therapeutic behavior and contexts. 

Essential Communication Skills

The occupational therapy student must:

  • Assimilate information from written sources (texts, journals, medical or school records, etc).
  • Attain, comprehend, retain and use new information presented in written formats.
  • Independently complete assignments, tests and professional documentation appropriately, in a timely manner, and in appropriate format. 
  • Impart information so that it can be understood by others. 
  • Elicit information from instructors, peers, persons receiving services, family members and supervisors.
  • Follow verbal or written instruction in order to complete assignments. 
  • Note and respond to factual information provided by others as well as to the more subtle cues of mood, temperament and social responses. 
  • Communicate with others accurately, sensitively, effectively and succinctly.
  • Communicate in a timely manner and in a way that is appropriate to the situation. 

Essential Cognitive Skills

A. Clinical Reasoning:  

  • Make correct observations and have the skills of comprehension, measurement, calculation, reasoning, integration, analysis and synthesis. For example, students must have the skills to conduct assessments accurately, compute test scores, analyze results and determine the impact of this information on intervention, while synthesizing a variety of input.
  • Recognize, label and categorize information to draw conclusions. Then the student must be able to question, analyze and judge the results of their conclusion.

B. Judgment:

  • Demonstrate judgment in classroom, laboratory and fieldwork settings which shows an ability to make mature, sensitive and effective decisions in appropriate situations.
  • Relate appropriately to instructors, peers, supervisors and persons being served. For example, when provided with constructive feedback from an instructor or supervisor, the student will adapt behavior accordingly.
  • Demonstrate professional behaviors, such as timeliness and regular attendance.

Essential Behavioral/Social Skills

The occupational therapy student must:

  • Exhibit professional behaviors and attitudes during their participation in the classroom and in clinical situations. This includes, but is not limited to, appropriate language, flexibility toward change and acceptance of responsibility for one’s own conduct. 
  • Exhibit a positive attitude toward persons being served, family members, peers and supervisors.
  • Be flexible and creative to adapt to professional and technical change.
  • Demonstrate professional attitudes and behaviors while experiencing heavy workloads (e.g., large number of tasks to complete in a limited amount of time), task-related uncertainties (e.g. changes of schedule on short notice) and/or distracting environments. 
  • Support and promote the activities of peers and health care professionals by sharing knowledge, eliciting input and acting with empathy toward others.
  • Be honest, compassionate, ethical and responsible. 
  • Be forthright about errors or uncertainty.
  • Critically evaluate the candidate’s own performance, accept constructive criticism and look for ways to improve. 
  • Evaluate the performance of fellow students, instructors and clients, and to offer constructive comments tactfully.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply to the program, and reasonable accommodations will be made for qualified applicants or students who disclose a disability.

Candidates who indicate upon application or after acceptance to the program that they cannot meet an expectation listed will be reviewed further by the admissions team in collaboration with the KU Medical Center Office of Academic Accommodations to determine if reasonable accommodations are likely to lead to successful completion of the program.



KU School of Health Professions

Occupational Therapy Education
KU Medical Center
3901 Rainbow Blvd  MS2003
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-7195 • 711 TTY