Thomas Jefferson University

Main menu:

Occupational Therapy

Students participating in the Occupational Therapy Program at Thomas Jefferson University must have essential skills to perform successfully as a student. These requirements apply to classroom, laboratory and clinical/fieldwork environments. Students must be able to perform the following with or without reasonable accommodation:

Student must possess sufficient COGNITIVE skills to:

  1. acquire, process, retain and apply knowledge through a variety of instructional methods such as written materials, oral delivery, visual demonstrations, laboratory experiences, clinical experiences and independent learning.
  2. complete reading assignments, search and analyze professional literature, and apply information gained to guide practice; learn, retain and use information from texts, journals documentation and other written sources.
  3. process (measure, calculate, analyze, synthesize and evaluate) large amounts of complex information; apply theoretical concepts to practice activities and perform clinical problem solving in a logical and timely manner.
  4. apply mathematical and basic statistical skills.
  5. perceive and understand three-dimensional relationships and spatial relationships necessary for education and practice-related tasks such as moving in a variety of environments, designing treatment equipment and fabricating splints.
  6. participate equitably in cooperative group learning activities; actively participate in class discussions and as a member of a team.
  7. orally present information to groups of people.
  8. maintain attention for 2-4 hours; tolerate days when classes may last 8-10 hours.
  9. take and pass tests/quizzes in a variety of formats.
  10. complete written assignments and produce written documentation in standard and organized English.
  11. apply knowledge and judgment required to demonstrate ethical reasoning and behavior.
  12. apply safety knowledge and judgment to a variety of situations.
  13. comply with fieldwork site rules and regulations.
  14. demonstrate problem-solving skills and judgment necessary to modify evaluation or intervention methods when necessary to address the specific needs of client (behavioral, cultural, etc.), in order to maximize client performance.
  15. apply clinical reasoning and judgment necessary for interpretation of evaluation data and development of treatment plans.
  16. identify and select occupations that are goal-directed and motivate and challenge clients.
  17. Demonstrate judgment necessary to establish priorities and develop and use strategies.


  1. demonstrate positive interpersonal skills including, but not limited to, cooperation, flexibility, tact, sympathy and confidence.
  2. demonstrate respect for diversity, including but not limited to, socio-cultural, socioeconomic, spiritual and lifestyle choices.
  3. collaborate with classmates, clients, family members, significant others and team members.
  4. function successfully in supervisory and instructor-student relationships; change and adjust behavior and performance in the classroom, laboratory or clinic on the basis of instructor feedback.
  5. communicate in the English language effectively and clearly in oral and written forms, using proper spelling, punctuation and grammar to explain procedures and teach skills.
  6. use language appropriate to the recipient, with faculty, peers, clients and other health professionals from different social and cultural backgrounds to obtain information from clients, peers, faculty, supervisors and other professionals.
  7. use communication skills needed to practice safely.
  8. use therapeutic communication skills such as attending and active listening during therapeutic interactions and motivating and facilitating client behaviors in order to maximize client performance.
  9. communicate effectively both verbally and non-verbally; elicit and describe factual information and perceive information derived from verbal and nonverbal communication and social cues.
  10. be appropriately assertive as required to speak in class, initiate and guide the therapy process, establish limits as needed for the safety of self and clients and establish professional identity within complex systems.
  11. utilize the computer for communication and class assignments.
  12. exhibit professional demeanor including appropriate language and dress, and acceptance of responsibility for conduct.
  13. demonstrate organizational and time management skills and ability to prioritize activities effectively as needed to attend class and fulfill class requirements.
  14. exhibit flexibility and adapt to changing environments and expectations.
  15. cope with stresses encountered in the intensive educational process as well as clinical practice environments.
  16. demonstrate consistent work behaviors including initiative, preparedness, dependability, punctual attendance and work site maintenance.
  17. tolerate working in environments where there is exposure to disability, illness, pain and death.
  18. observe persons and scenarios and elicit relevant information for use in assessment and intervention.
  19. plan, guide and implement both individual and group interventions.
  20. maintain ethical standards including honesty, integrity and confidentiality at all times.
  21. produce the required volume of work in the expected time frame.

Student must possess sufficient PHYSICAL AND SENSORY (SENSORIMOTOR) skills to:

  1. tolerate sitting for up to two hours at a time, over an 8-10 hour period.
  2. tolerate periods of physical activity for up to 8-10 hours per day.
  3. demonstrate coordination, equilibrium and sensory functioning required to manipulate parts of, or whole bodies of, simulated and real clients for purposes of evaluation and treatment.
  4. demonstrate mobility and ability to move within environments adequately to access and maneuver within locations and destinations including classroom, laboratory and clinical settings.
  5. demonstrate sufficient postural control, neuromuscular control, eye/hand coordination, strength and integrated function of the senses of vision, hearing, tactile sense, vestibular (movement sense) and proprioception (sense of muscles and joints) to manipulate and use common occupational therapy equipment, devices, materials and supplies, and demonstrate competency in the use of these objects within assessment and treatment procedures commonly used in occupational therapy practice.
  6. demonstrate motor skill capacities with sufficient levels of strength, endurance and fine and gross motor coordination to safely, accurately and effectively engage in a wide variety of therapeutic techniques, activities and occupations used in the occupational therapy assessment and intervention process including the ability to lift and move objects, adequate manual dexterity, arm and hand function needed to use tools and perform other manipulative activities, use of limbs and trunk in bending, twisting, squatting, kneeling, reaching, pushing, pulling, holding, extending and rotating.
  7. tolerate physical contact with others; tolerate manipulation of his/her own body by peers or instructors for instructional purposes.
  8. demonstrate sufficiently high degree of coordination of motor skills and vigilance to respond to emergency situations quickly and appropriately, including performance of CPR.
  9. travel to fieldwork site.

On Campus

Leadership LIVE is a leadership development program for all Jefferson students that consists of workshops, special events, and community service opportunities. Learn more about Leadership LIVE on their website.

Read More