Occupational Therapy

Major Adviser: Melinda A. Cozzolino, Chair of Graduate Program, mcozzoli@ithaca.edu

The mission of the occupational therapy program is to prepare competent, skilled, and ethical professional occupational therapists who will enable their clients to achieve productive and satisfying lives. The Department of Occupational Therapy offers two programs to meet this mission: (1) a five-year combined bachelor’s and master’s program and (2) a professional entry-level master’s program.

The curriculum of the five-year combined B.S./M.S. program in occupational therapy is designed to provide a strong foundation in the liberal arts, sciences, and humanities; to offer a comprehensive and rigorous professional education; and to develop attitudes and skills for lifelong learning and leadership. Academic instruction is complemented with clinical fieldwork experiences, including 32 weeks of full-time clinical affiliations.

Students enrolled in the B.S./M.S. combined program must complete the fifth (graduate) year to be eligible for the national certification examination and state licensure as occupational therapists. This program is designed as a freshman-entry program, and graduate students are admitted only from the Ithaca College undergraduate occupational science program. The undergraduate component of this program is described in the Ithaca College undergraduate catalog.
Undergraduate Catalog

The fifth year of the occupational therapy program takes place on the Ithaca College campus and at clinical fieldwork sites located throughout the country. The graduate year of study consists of 40 credits of graduate work, including 16 credits of clinical fieldwork education. The graduate year includes one full academic year of study and two summers of fieldwork. Students may elect a thesis or non-thesis option, but all engage in research-related activities during this year, which is designed to provide depth and breadth of education beyond traditional entry-level occupational therapy education.

The professional entry-level master's of science in occupational therapy program is designed to accept students who have an earned  bachelor's degree from any accredited institution. This program takes place on the Ithaca College campus and at clinical fieldwork sites located throughout the country. The program consists of 92 credits of study including one summer of coursework, one winter intersession course, and 16 credits of clinical fieldwork education taking place during the summers. Please refer to the professional entry-level program section for more detailed information.

The occupational therapy program at Ithaca College is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA, 4720 Montgomery Lane, P.O. Box 331220, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220. Telephone: 301-652-AOTA).
American Occupational Therapy Association

Graduates of either master’s degree program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination administrated 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). In New York and most other jurisdictions, a professional license is also required for practice. Although the NBCOT examination generally serves as the licensing examination, graduates are required to apply separately for certification and state licensure before entering clinical practice.
National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission into the fifth year of the combined B.S./M.S. program, students must have completed the B.S. degree program in occupational science at Ithaca College with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher.

Please refer to the professional entry-level program section for more detailed information regarding admission to this program.

Academic Standards

Students who are enrolled in the combined B.S./M.S. program are expected to maintain a GPA of 3.00 or higher during their graduate studies. Students may not receive a C (C-, C, or C+) for more than 6 credits, or an F for more than 3 credits during their graduate academic study. Students who fail to meet these standards in any semester will be placed on academic warning. Academic performance resulting in larger deficiencies will result in program dismissal.

Students who are enrolled in the professional entry-level master's in occupational therapy program are expected to maintain a GPA of 3.00 or higher during their graduate studies. Students may not receive a C (C-, C, or C+) for more than 12 credits, or an F for more than 3 credits during their graduate academic study. Students who fail to meet these standards in any semester will be placed on academic warning. Academic performance resulting in larger deficiencies will result in program dismissal.

If a student receives a grade of U for a level II fieldwork class, he or she will be placed on academic warning by the department and the Division of Graduate and Professional Studies. The student must register for and successfully complete an alternate fieldwork assignment as scheduled by the academic fieldwork coordinator. The faculty may require remedial work or apply special conditions that the student must meet before he or she is allowed to repeat this class. If the student successfully completes this course, he or she may continue in the program; however, no one will be allowed to repeat a level II fieldwork class more than once.

These policies, as well as academic, clinical, and professional behavior standards, are published in the Occupational Therapy Student Manual, the Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Manual, Professional Entry-Level Graduate Catalog, and the Ithaca College undergraduate catalog.