Frequently Asked Questions

In this section,  you will find the answers to questions frequently asked about Occupational Therapy, Ithaca College  and living in Ithaca, NY.   

How does the Occupational Therapy program work?

Students are typically accepted into the program as freshmen.

First two years:  Students complete a set of pre-requisite courses in the first two years including one introductory course in occupational science, and a two course sequence in human development that emphasizes development of motor skills and occupations across the life span. Students must also take courses required for completion of the Integrated Core Curriculum at Ithaca College.

Junior year and summer: Course work in the junior year emphasizes knowledge that will be needed for a thorough understanding of the body, and the psycho-social needs of individuals. The psycho-social Level I Fieldwork is part of the fall semester in the junior year of the program. Students study Functional Anatomy on the Ithaca College campus during the summer between junior and senior year.

Senior year: The fall of the senior year focuses on adult assessment and intervention and includes a one-week Level I fieldwork that is embedded into the semester. The spring of the senior year focuses on pediatric assessment and intervention and includes a one-week Level I fieldwork that is embedded into the semester. Woven throughout the junior and senior year are courses in research and management.

Students graduate with a Bachelors of Science in Occupational Science at the end of the first four years of study.

Graduate year: The graduate year begins with a 3 month fieldwork over the summer. Students return to campus for the fall semester and work on advanced skills and research. Students begin the spring semester of the graduate year in early January and continue their research and take advanced courses until the middle of March. Students then complete a second 3 month fieldwork (also determined by lottery) from April to June. Students then take an additional specialty fieldwork or elective internship for 2 months in July and August at a site that is determined in collaboration with the academic fieldwork coordinator on an individual basis.

Provided that all coursework is completed, students officially graduate in mid-October with a Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy, and are eligible to take the national registration examination to become a Registered Occupational Therapist.


Students complete 3 Level I fieldwork experiences that are embedded into the junior fall semester (psycho-social emphasis), the senior fall semester (adult emphasis), and the senior spring semester (pediatric emphasis).

The first of the 3 month Level II fieldwork courses occurs in the summer between the senior spring and graduate fall semesters, and the second occurs in April, May, and June after the condensed graduate spring semester. All 5 of these experiences are determined through a lottery that is conducted by the academic fieldwork coordinator in the spring of the junior year of study. A third specialty fieldwork or elective internship course is required that occurs for 8 weeks in July and August once the Level II fieldwork courses have been completed successfully. The third experience is not part of the lottery and is planned individually with our academic fieldwork coordinator. 

It is important to note that students will have to plan for living accommodations and expenses at their fieldwork sites.

Do I have to maintain a specific GPA?

There are two important GPA requirements. Students must have a 2.7 GPA prior to the end of the spring semester of the sophomore year in order to continue into the junior year of the program. The 2.7 GPA must be maintained in the subsequent semesters as a minimum requirement to stay in the program. Students with less than a 2.7 in any  semester after sophomore spring will receive academic warnings and/or be dismissed from the program as per procedures outlined in the college catalog. In order to move into the graduate year, a student must have earned a GPA of 3.0 or better by the end of the senior year.

Who will be my student advisor?

All incoming students are assigned to an occupational therapy faculty member who will serve as advisor for the 5 years of study. This allows the student and advisor to know each other well, and makes it easier to problem solve if and when a serious problem arises.

What are tuition costs?

Tuition rates can be found on the Financial Aid webpage.  

Can I transfer into the Occupational Therapy program?

At this time, the Ithaca College Occupational Therapy Program does not accept external transfer students. Internal transfer students are accepted as late as the beginning of the fall semester, junior year if there is space in the cohort and the applicant meets the requirements for transfer. Students wishing to transfer should contact the Chair of the Occupational Therapy Department as soon as possible to determine the feasibility of transfer based on space, schedule a pre-transfer advisement meeting, and/or be placed on a waiting list.

I already have a Bachelor's Degree. Can I transfer into the master's level only?

Individuals who have earned a BS or BA in a field other than occupational therapy can apply to our Professional Entry-Level Master's program. The program is a full two-year program and begins in the summer. Specific pre-requisites must be completed prior to enrollment in the program. For more information about this option, please contact Dr. Melinda Cozzolino at  It is not possible to transfer into the masters year of the combined BS/MS program.

What is available in the city of Ithaca?

Ithaca is a small city nestled in the Finger Lakes region of central New York. The city merchants work hard to create a lively downtown area for students from Ithaca College, Cornell University, and Tompkins Community College. There are many shops and restaurants downtown, and shopping malls on the north and south ends of the city. There are numerous cultural events during the year, and many opportunities for volunteering to work with local agencies. The natural beauty of the area is perfect for hiking, and outdoor sports.  

If you have questions or comments about the BS/MS program, please e-mail

If you have questions or comments about the Professional Entry-Level Master's program, please e-mail






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