Occupational therapists make a critical difference in the lives of people, groups, and populations by enabling full participation in their desired daily life activities and occupations. During our five-year program, you'll learn the skills to help prevent injuries and illnesses, promote physical and mental wellness, support families and caregivers, and more. You may use playground and other sensorimotor equipment to encourage a toddler to develop balance and coordination, help someone return to work or school following a spinal cord injury, work with a group of middle schoolers with diabetes to support health management during their school day, or work on making homes accessible to support aging in place for older adults. You will develop the skills to be a leader and an advocate for occupational justice because you will fully understand the importance of engaging in meaningful occupations to supporting health and wellness. You will make an impact on the lives of others!
Ithaca’s OT program has been accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education since its inception, and continually receives the longest possible accreditation cycle. A highlight of our program includes dedicated learning spaces such as an assistive technology lab and an activities-of-daily-living area containing a real kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and laundry space. There you experience firsthand how to support clients in negotiating the demands of daily tasks to support their full participation.
You'll have the chance to collaborate with students from other health majors such as physical therapy, speech-language pathology and audiology, and nutrition. That collaboration may occur in research projects, in our on-campus PT and OT clinics, at the nearby Center for Life Skills–a program designed to help clients with chronic neurological problems, or in other classroom and community opportunities. It's the same way you'll work once you have your license, pooling expertise and designing the best program for each client through an interdisciplinary approach.
You’ll find our enthusiastic and expert faculty members are eager to mentor you every step of the way. Our extensive fieldwork requirement offers you invaluable real-life experience, and we have relationships with hundreds of fieldwork sites across the United States. Those clinical experiences occur during the summers preceding and following your year of graduate studies.
The OT program at Ithaca provides excellent preparation for the national certification exam. After passing, you'll be a registered occupational therapist. Better still, you’ll be a flexible, creative problem-solver who can work in a wide variety of places, including clinics, schools, homes, and communities. In the end, you'll have not only learned practical skills but also gained a holistic view of the human experience.