Frequently Asked Questions

Occupational Therapy at IC

Occupational Therapy at Ithaca College

What are the advantages of the five-year program?

The five-year program has several advantages for students. It allows for better exposure to basic topics and techniques in occupational therapy. It also provides opportunities for the student to develop some advanced skills and knowledge of specialized topics within occupational therapy. Ithaca College's program also includes specialized fieldwork and opportunities for study abroad. The five years also provides for development of closer relationships between faculty members and students and increased opportunities for mentoring and development of professional behaviors and relationships.

How many people apply and how many do you accept?

Expected class size is 40-50 freshmen per year. How many apply and the acceptance rate varies year to year and that information is available through the admissions office.

Is the program accredited?

The occupational therapy program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). Further information about program accreditation may be obtained from the department or ACOTE.

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

Do you have to do fieldwork?

All students have to complete the required fieldwork experiences to be awarded their master's degree and to be eligible to take the NBCOT examination.

Can I receive financial aid for attending the OT program and what happens about the summers that I am doing fieldwork or in Rochester?

Occupational therapy students are eligible for financial aid according to the College's general financial aid criteria. See the Office of Financial Aid for details. Fieldwork and the summer in Rochester are considered part of the student's education and will be counted in the costs when financial aid is calculated. No specific financial aid is available for fieldwork.

How do you get into the master's program?

Since the program is a combined BS/MS degree, this is automatic for IC occupational science students if your grades are acceptable. Students must have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA at the end of the senior year in order to continue in the program for the Master's degree.

Do I have to complete a thesis?

All IC students participate in research activities under one of two options. All students take courses in statistics and research methods, which includes an exploratory research paper.

In the thesis option, the student builds upon this paper during the graduate year completing a formal research proposal, carrying out the research, and completing a thesis under the guidance of a thesis committee.

In the non-thesis option students work together in a group research class to implement and present a faculty designed research project.

What are licensure and certification?

To practice in most states occupational therapists must pass the national certification examination to become certified, and apply for a license to practice occupational therapy in the state or states where they intend to work. These are two separate processes and organizations.

The National Board for Certification in Occupational therapy (NBCOT) administers the certification program; it can be contacted at:

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
800 S. Frederick Avenue, Suite 200
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877-4150
Telephone: (301) 990-7979

State licensure varies in each state. In New York, licensure is administered by the New York State Education Department (NYSED):

New York State Education Department
89 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY12234
Voice Response Phone Number: (518) 474-3852

Licensure and certification exist to protect the public. When you apply to take the NBCOT exam or apply for a license you will be asked whether you have a criminal record. This can prevent you from becoming a practicing OT. If you have concerns about this you may contact these agencies for a preliminary review prior to enrolling in the program.

When can/do you take the NBCOT exam?

As of February 2003 the NBCOT exam can be individually scheduled for you once you have completed all degree requirements, including fieldwork, and the thesis if applicable.

How are your students doing on their examinations?

See the Outcomes section at /hshp/depts/ot/ for the latest pass rate information.

Does Ithaca College offer assistance with finding a job once students graduate?

Often employers notify the department or College of vacancies. These are managed by the College's career services office and are also posted in the department. The Office of Career Services will also assist you in creating a professional resume.

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