Ithaca College

School of Health Sciences and Human Performance

Department of Occupational Therapy

Carole Dennis, Associate Professor and Chair

The curriculum 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 are provided with a strong general education and the opportunity to explore special interests in academic, clinical, and research arenas.
Occupational Science, B.S.
Occupational Therapy, M.S.

The occupational therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA, 4720 Montgomery Lane, P.O. Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220; telephone, 301-652-AOTA;

Program graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist, administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an occupational therapist, registered (OTR). In New York and most other states, a professional license is also required for practice. The NBCOT examination serves as the licensing exam in most states. Students are, however, required to apply separately for licensure and certification upon graduation. The program is five years in length and leads to a master of science degree in occupational therapy. Students in this program receive a bachelor of science degree in occupational science at the completion of four years of study. They are not eligible for licensure or certification, however, until they complete the fifth year. The master's degree program is further described in the Ithaca College graduate catalog.

The 10-week summer program following the junior year is conducted at the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, New York. The fifth year of study consists of two academic semesters and two summers, including three full-time clinical fieldwork experiences completed at sites throughout the country. Travel and housing arrangements for fieldwork and the fifth year are the responsibility of the student. Students enter this program as freshmen, but transfer students may be accepted as described in the "Policies and Procedures" section.
Transfer into the School

Special Academic Status Policy for Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy Majors

Students in occupational science and occupational therapy must obtain a grade of at least C- in all professional courses, including major courses and required courses outside the major.

Successful completion of all preprofessional coursework and a cumulative GPA of 2.70 for the first two years is required for continuation in the occupational therapy program. Progression through the remainder of the undergraduate program depends upon maintenance of a 2.70 cumulative GPA and successful completion (C- or better) of all courses in each sequential semester. A student who fails to complete a required course with a grade of C- or better must repeat the course (see "Repeating a Course" in the "Credit and Grade Information" section). Since professional courses are offered once per year and are specifically sequenced, course failure may result in the delay of fieldwork and graduation.
Repeating a Course

For automatic progression into the master of science program in occupational therapy (graduate program), students must have completed the B.S. program in occupational science with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or better. Students with a GPA below 3.00 but equal to or more than 2.70 will be required to pass a departmental graduate admission examination for advancement to the graduate program. Students must complete all requirements for the B.S. in occupational science and be authorized by the faculty before taking clinical fieldwork courses scheduled to start at the beginning of the graduate program. Students must earn satisfactory ratings in all courses and fieldwork before the M.S. degree will be awarded and the student can be eligible for certification and licensure. All level II (graduate) fieldwork must be completed within 24 months of completion of the didactic portion of the program.

Academic warning, suspension, and dismissal

A student who fails to meet any of the minimum requirements stated above may be placed on academic warning, suspended, or dismissed from the program (see the discussion in the "Academic Affairs Information" section). Students who have been placed on academic warning or suspension will be expected to meet department standards for all subsequent semesters.
Warning, Suspension, and Dismissal

A student who is subject to dismissal from the program may, under extenuating circumstances, be granted a suspension from the program. If a student demonstrates an academic deficiency that is more severe than would merit a warning, that student may be suspended from the program. For readmission to the program, the student may have to fulfill certain conditions, such as remedial coursework or clinical assignments prescribed by the faculty at the time of suspension. For students in the final year, readmission may be contingent on the availability of space in succeeding classes.

Students whose academic performance indicates little likelihood of their attaining minimum program or professional standards will be subject to dismissal from the program in the following cases:

  1. a freshman or sophomore on warning for the previous semester, or a junior, senior, or graduate student who has been on warning for any semester, who earns less than a C- in any major or required course or fails to remove an incomplete grade in the specified period of time;
  2. a student who earns less than a C- in two or more courses in the same block or semester;
  3. a freshman or sophomore on departmental warning who fails to complete at least 12 credits in a semester with a C- or better, or a junior or senior who fails to complete the minimum number of hours to progress to the next semester;
  4. an occupational science major who has less than a 2.70 cumulative GPA at the completion of the spring semester of the sophomore year or any subsequent semester;
  5. an occupational therapy (graduate) student who earns more than 6 credits of C (C+, C, C-) or more than 3 credits of F;
  6. a student who fails two or more clinical fieldwork experiences or practicums;
  7. an occupational therapy (graduate) student who fails to complete level II fieldwork/internship (OTMS 60000, OTMS 69000, and OTMS 69500 or OTMS 69600) within 24 months of completing all didactic coursework; or
  8. a student who significantly violates the professional code of ethics published in the Occupational Therapy Department Student Manual.

In an exceptional case, a student who has been dismissed may be readmitted to the program upon satisfaction of conditions determined by the department faculty. Dismissal from the occupational therapy program does not always mean dismissal from Ithaca College. In some cases, students may be eligible to pursue other Ithaca College majors. Specifics with regard to these policies and the appeals procedures are available in the department office and in the Occupational Therapy Department Student Manual.

Housing and Travel for Clinical Fieldwork

Clinical fieldwork is an essential part of professional training. Students are assigned to fieldwork sites locally, near their homes, and at locations around the United States. Students can expect that at least some of their placements will be at a distance from home. Students are responsible for making their own housing and travel arrangements during clinical fieldwork experiences. Assistance in securing housing information for affiliations is available from the department office. For more information on student expenses for the final year, see the "Expenses" section.

B.S. in Occupational Science

Note: This degree does not provide eligibility for certification or licensure in occupational therapy. It is awarded after four years of study in the five-year B.S./M.S. program in occupational science/occupational therapy.

Requirements for the Major in Occupational Science -- B.S.

Major department requirements

OTBS 10500

Occupations and You


OTBS 20100

Human Development I


OTBS 20200

Human Development II


OTBS 20500

Introduction to Occupational Science


OTBS 30500

Applied Occupations I


OTBS 31000



OTBS 31500

Applied Occupations II


OTBS 32000

Clinical Psychiatry in Occupational Therapy


OTBS 33500

Individual and Group Work in Health Sciences


OTBS 41000



OTBS 42500

Clinical Management in Occupational Therapy


OTBS 42600

Professional Practice in Community Occupational Therapy


OTBS 43000

Applied Intervention in Occupational Therapy


OTBS 44000

Adult Evaluation Processes in Occupational Therapy


OTBS 44500

Pediatric Evaluation Processes in Occupational Therapy


OTBS 45000

Adult Intervention Processes in Occupational Therapy


OTBS 45500

Pediatric Intervention Processes in Occupational Therapy


OTBS 46000

Research Methods in Occupational Therapy


OTBS 46500

Research Seminar


OTBS 47100

Adult Clinical Conditions in Occupational Therapy


OTBS 47500

Pediatric Clinical Conditions in Occupational Therapy


Total, required within department


Required courses outside the department

BIOL 11900

Fundamentals of Biology I


BIOL 12000

Fundamentals of Biology II


BIOL 20600

Primary Human Anatomy


CHEM 10100

Chemistry and Your Body


COMP 11000

Computers and Information Technologies


PHIL 23000

Bioethics or

PHIL 10100

Introduction to Philosophy or

PHIL 21200

Introduction to Ethics


PSYC 10300

General Psychology


PSYC 32100

Abnormal Psychology


SOCI xxxxx

Sociology and/or

ANTH xxxxx



WRTG 10600

Academic Writing I or

WRTG 11100

Academic Writing II


WRTG xxxxx

Writing elective (above WRTG 11100)


HPS 20500

Critical Health Issues


PTBS 31000

Human Anatomy


PTBS 31300

Clinical Physiology


PTBS 39000

Research I: Introduction to Inquiry


Total, required outside department


Electives outside of major department

Mathematics placement in level II; for more information, see
Math Placement Exam


HSHP/aging studies electives

A total of 3 credits selected from the following:

SLPA 10901

Sign Language I (3)

SLPA 15000

Introduction to Communication Disorders (3)

HPS 10000

Introduction to the Vocabulary of Medicine (1)

HPS 10200

Medical Terminology (3)

HPS 12900

Introduction to Global Studies (3)

HPS 21000

Issues in Health Services Administration (3)

HPS 25000

International Health Issues (3)

PHED 10300

Physical Education, Exercise, and Sport: Foundations and Careers (2)

PHED 15500

Motor Skill Development (3)

PHED 20300

Adapted Physical Education and Sport (3)

RLS 10100

Leisure and Society (3)

RLS 10300

History and Philosophy of Leisure (3)

RLS 10400

New Games (1)

RLS 10500

Leadership (3)

RLS 12500

Understanding Disability: Characteristics, Causes, and Concerns (3)

RLS 21000

Recreational Dance (1)

RLS 21500

Youth at Risk (3)

RLS 23300

Introduction to Therapeutic Recreation (3)

RLS 23800

Leisure and Aging (3)

RLS 25100

Foundations of Outdoor Adventure Pursuits (3)

RLS 46000

Seminar: Health Care Teams (3)

HLTH 10500

Healthy Choices (1)

HLTH 11300

Personal Health (3)

HLTH 12200

Emergency Health Care (3)

HLTH 15200

Introduction to Health and Physical Education (3)

HLTH 20200

Human Nutrition (3)

HLTH 21300

Wellness: Multicultural Perspectives on Health and Healing (3)

HLTH 22500

Alcohol and Alcoholism (3)

HLTH 22700

Stress: Its Nature and Management (3)

HLTH 22800

Human Sexuality (3)

HLTH 22900

Disease and Lifestyle (3)

HLTH 24000

Health Promotion and the Older Adult (3)

EXSS 16200

Introduction to Fitness and Exercise Science (2)

EXSS 29600

Sport and Exercise Psychology (3)

EXSS 32000

Neuromuscular Control (3)

OTBS 21000

The Cancer Experience (3)

HINT 31200

Health Care and Culture (2)

HINT 31300

Health Care and Culture: An International Field Experience (1)

SPMM 29500

Social Aspects of Sport (3)

SPMM 29700

Sport: Philosophical Perspectives (3)

SPMM 29800

Gender Issues in Sport (3)

PTBS 20200

Rehabilitation for Older Adults (3)

GERO 10100

Introduction to Aging Studies (3)

GERO 31900

Aging Policies and Programs (3)


Total, B.S. in occupational science



Major department requirements


Required courses outside department


Math requirement


HSHP/aging studies elective


Free electives


Total, B.S. in occupational science


M.S. in Occupational Therapy

Melinda Cozzolino, Associate Professor and Graduate Chair

The five-year curriculum is designed to provide depth and breadth for students' professional development, liberal arts education, and analytical skills. Full-time clinical fieldwork placements, a total of 32 weeks, are located throughout the country and take place in the summer preceding and the late spring and summer following the graduate year. Coursework at the graduate level is organized into five time blocks: two for academic coursework and three for clinical experience.

Graduation Requirements

To be considered for graduation with the master of science degree in occupational therapy, all students must complete the following:

  • the B.S. degree program in occupational science from Ithaca College;
  • major department requirements (listed below);
  • 6 credits of clinical electives (offered in the spring academic semester). Students must take 3 credits of OTMS 64xxx and 3 credits of OTMS 68xxx. Specific courses offered will be determined by student consensus.
  • a research thesis (6 credits: OTMS 67200 and OTMS 67300, Thesis I and II) or a group research project (3 credits: OTMS 67100) and OTMS 67500 Advanced Program Practice. A thesis proposal approved by the faculty is required for students who enroll in the thesis option. Students who do not complete a thesis are required to pass a comprehensive examination developed by the faculty.
Major department requirements

OTMS 62000

Advanced Theory and Practice


OTMS 65000

Applied Pediatric Neuroscience or

OTMS 65100

Applied Adult Neuroscience


OTMS 65500

Technological Interventions in Occupational Therapy


OTMS 66500

Gerontic Occupational Therapy


OTMS xxxxx

Clinical elective I


OTMS xxxxx

Clinical elective II


Total, major department requirements


Clinical elective I courses

Choose one of the following:

OTMS 64100

Adaptation and Environmental Modification (3)

OTMS 64300

Cognitive Rehabilitation (3)

OTMS 64500

Vocational Readiness (3)

OTMS 64600

Play and Leisure (3)


Clinical elective II courses

Choose one of the following:

OTMS 68100

Advanced Concepts in Physical Disabilities (3)

OTMS 68200

Advanced Concepts in Psychosocial Occupational Therapy (3)

OTMS 68300

Advanced Concepts in Geriatric Rehabilitation (3)

OTMS 68400

School-Based Occupational Therapy (3)

OTMS 68500

Hand Therapy (3)

OTMS 68800

Occupational Therapy in Early Intervention (3)


Clinical fieldwork

OTMS 60000

Clinical Fieldwork II: Children and Adolescents


OTMS 69000

Clinical Fieldwork II: Adult and Geriatric


OTMS 69500

Clinical Fieldwork II: Elective Specialty or

OTMS 69600

Elective Internship (4)


Total, clinical experience



OTMS 67200

Individual Research: Thesis I (3) and

OTMS 67300

Individual Research: Thesis II (3) or

OTMS 67500

Advanced Program Practice (3) and

OTMS 67100

Group Research (3)

Total, research


Total, M.S. in occupational therapy