Professional Entry-Level Master's Program in Occupational Therapy



When is the admission deadline?
February 1st, 2015.

Can I apply for the fall semester?
No, we only offer admission in the summer.

How do I apply for an assistantship?
Applicants who wish to be considered for a graduate assistantship are required to send two additional letters of recommendation and choose Yes on the online application under the applying for assistantship piece.

How many applicants apply and how many do you accept each year?
Last year there were 80-90 applications and we accepted 10 students.

Do you require OT observation hours?
No, but we do feel that observing a licensed OTR/L is an amazing experience and can help you learn what types of populations and settings you may want to work in. However, we do not require them.

Does one area of the application weigh heavily than the others?
Applications are viewed as an entire package.

What is the minimum GPA?

What if my GPA is below a 3.0?
If your cumulative GPA is below our minimum of 3.0 you will not be eligible to receive a graduate assistantship in the first term if you are accepted. You may still apply, but please keep in mind that we are a very competitive program. Having below a 3.0 can also impact how much financial aid you receive. For more information, contact us at

Am I required to submit a GRE score?
Yes, official GRE scores must be received by the admission deadline (code: 2325)

What is the average GRE score?
In 2014, our accepted students had the following averages:
Verbal  154               Quantitative  149               Writing  4

What is the average GPA?
In 2014, the average was 3.6.     

Do I need to have a BS in occupational science, health science or specific major to be accepted?
No, the program is designed for individuals who have received a bachelor’s degree in another area of study and are interested in pursuing a career in Occupational Therapy. We have had students come in with some of the following majors:

  • Psychology
  • Marketing Communications
  • Recreation & Leisure
  • Ceramic Engineering
  • Philosophy
  • Art
  • Physical Therapy
  • Sport Management
  • Public Health
  • Nutrition
  • Animal and Vet Sciences
  • Recreation Therapy
  • Communication Sciences & Disorders
  • Exercise Science
  • Biology

What happens if I retake a prerequisite course?
We will accept the best grade of any duplicate courses.

If I retake a course and it is in-progress during the application time, how will you know that I am retaking it?
Mark the course as in-progress on the Prerequisite Evaluation Form. If you did not receive one, e-mail

If I started or completed a master’s or higher degree, can the GRE be waived?
No. All students are required to submit the same materials.

I am an international student. Are there additional materials I need to send.
Please see the Office of Admission International Students webpage.

Where do I send my application materials?
All materials need to be sent directly to the Office of Admission at the following address:

Ithaca College
Office of Admission
953 Danby Road
Ithaca, NY 14850

Where do I go to apply?

Once I apply, how do I know you have received my documents?
Through the online application checklist.

What if I am not sure if a course will be accepted as a prerequisite?
E-mail the course description and/or syllabus to Mary Buehler at

When will I be notified if I am accepted?
We try our best to turn around acceptance notifications as soon as possible. We aim for two to three weeks after the submission deadline, but it may take longer. We typically notify candidates who receive a graduate assistantship a week after the acceptance notice is sent out.

Program Info

How many years is the program?
Just over 2 years at 92 credits.

What classes will I take?
Check out our Student Worksheet or visit the Graduate Catalog

Where can I find your course descriptions?
Visit our Graduate Catalog

What are the program costs?
Please see the Office of Admission Tuition & Financial Aid for information on costs.

Are there opportunities for research?
Yes, faculty and students engage in a variety of scholarly activities and research, individually and in collaboration. In the graduate year, occupational therapy students select either a thesis, or a group research option to complete their degrees. In addition, students may engage in individual projects or assist faculty in their research activities. Ithaca College is committed to providing our graduate students with the skills necessary to understand and assist in the generation of new knowledge about the nature of human occupation and the practice of occupational therapy. Several of these projects have been submitted for publication or presentation at state and national conferences.

The department currently has four main areas of research:
o Pediatric Research
o Adult Research
o Geriatric Research
o Emerging Areas of Practice

When is fieldwork?
Second summer – 3 month fieldwork
Third summer – 3 month fieldwork and 2 month fieldwork

Do I get to choose my fieldwork location?
Students do have the opportunity to browse a database and select fieldwork sites based on their preference, but the site is not guaranteed.

When do PEL students choose the fieldwork sites?
First summer semester

What are the program requirements?

  • A completed bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • GRE (code: 2325)

Completion of the following prerequisite coursework with a grade of C or higher:

  • 3 credits of Biology
  • 8 credits of Anatomy and Physiology
  • 3 credits of General Psychology
  • 3 credits of Developmental Psychology or Human Development across the Life Span
  • 3 credits of Abnormal Psychology
  • 3 credits of Sociology or Anthropology
  • 3 credits of Statistics
  • 3 credits of Research Methods
    All prerequisite coursework must be complete within 10 years of the enrollment date. Applicants may apply with no more than three in-progress prerequisite courses. Six out of the nine prerequisites must be complete by the deadline submission date for the application to be reviewed.
  • An on-campus or phone interview with an onsite writing sample provided

Additional application materials needed:

  • Completion of the application form
  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended
  • Two letters of recommendation; one recommendation from a health care practitioner if possible
  • Two additional letters of recommendation are required for an assistantship

Is the graduate assistantship for the entire duration of the program?

No, assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis for a one-year time period (fall and spring) but it is possible to reapply for the assistantship the following year if there is available assistantship funding.

How much assistantship money is awarded?
This number varies. Please contact for specific assistantship award information.

What do graduate assistants do?
Graduate assistants support faculty members by engaging in one or more of the following tasks: doing research in support of faculty scholarship and/or class preparation, assisting in undergraduate classroom/laboratory activities and review of students' assignments, maintaining hours in technology lab to assist students in technology-based assignments, maintaining open laboratory sessions for student projects, coordinating administrative projects and program activities.

When does the program start?
May 18, 2015 is the first day of class.

Are there opportunities for hands-on learning before I go on my fieldwork?
Ithaca College has many unique opportunities for students to experience occupational therapy practice while engaged in academics. Our students work beside registered therapists at the on-campus Adult Occupational Therapy Clinic, the Pediatric Occupational Therapy Clinic, the Center for Life Skills (an interdisciplinary program for individuals with chronic neurological deficits), and partake in community service at the Ithaca Free Clinic

What's the deal with in-progress prereqs? Can I apply without having them complete?
Yes. You may take up to 3 prerequisite courses during the application process, but they must be done before the start of classes on May 18, 2015.

Acceptance to the program is contingent upon you receiving a grade of C or higher in prereq courses. So, throughout the application process we will communicate with you to obtain proof of enrollment, a midterm grade (if you have one by the deadline) and a final, official transcript by the time classes start in the summer.

Is there an option for night/weekend study or part-time study?



Who do I contact…
To visit the campus: please send dates you are going to be in Ithaca and your phone number
To meet with a representative from the OT Grad program:
To approve my prerequisite coursework: please e-mail the course description and/or syllabus to
To know if my materials were received: First, view your checklist. Then contact
If I am having issues with the online application:

Office of Admission
Phone: (607) 274-3124 or (800) 429-4274                                                                

PEL Graduate Rep - Mary Buehler

Other resources:

School of Health Sciences and Human Performance  ·  Ithaca College  ·  Ithaca, NY 14850  ·  (607) 274-3237  ·  Full Directory Listing