School of Health Sciences and Human Performance

Department of Occupational Therapy

Carole Dennis, Associate Professor and Chair

The mission of the occupational therapy program is to prepare competent, skilled, and ethical professional occupational therapists, who will enable their clients to achieve productive and satisfying lives. The Department of Occupational Therapy offers two programs to meet this mission:  A five-year combined bachelor’s and master’s program, and a professional-entry master’s program.  The curriculum of the five-year combined B.S./M.S. program 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. The professional-entry master’s program is described in the Ithaca College Graduate Catalog.

Occupational Science, B.S.
Occupational Therapy, M.S.
Occupational Science Minor

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).

American Occupational Therapy Association

Graduates of the occupational therapy program 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 (graduate) year. The department also offers a professional entry level master's degree program for students who hold a bachelor's degree in another area of study. The master's degree programs are further described in the Ithaca College graduate catalog.

Graduate catalog

Students are required to take a comprehensive anatomy course by the summer of their third (junior) year. They may take either a 5-credit Functional Human Anatomy course on the Ithaca College campus or a 6-credit Human Anatomy course at the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, NY. The fifth (graduate) year of the combined bachelor's/master's degree program 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 typically enter this program as freshmen, but transfer students may also be accepted as described in the "Policies and Procedures" section of the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance.

Transfer into the School

Special Academic Status Policy for Occupational Science Undergraduate and Occupational Therapy Graduate Students

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 of undergraduate study are required for continuation in the occupational therapy program. Progression through the remainder of the undergraduate program depends on 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

Students in the combined B.S./M.S. wishing to progress  into the master os 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 must complete all requirements for the B.S. in occupational science and be approved by the faculty before taking clinical fieldwork courses. 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 academic 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 dismissed 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;
  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 32000

Clinical Psychiatry in Occupational Therapy


OTBS 33500

Individual and Group Work in Health Sciences


OTBS 40000 Functional Human Anatomy 5

OTBS 41000



OTBS 42100



OTBS 42500

Clinical Management in 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 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 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

Select 3 credits from the following:

SLPA 10901

Sign Language I


SLPA 15000

Introduction to Communication Disorders


HPS 10000

Introduction to the Vocabulary of Medicine


HPS 10200

Medical Terminology


HPS 12900

Introduction to Global Studies


HPS 21000

Issues in Health Services Administration


HPS 25000

International Health Issues


PHED 10300

Physical Education, Exercise, and Sport: Foundations and Careers


PHED 15500

Motor Skill Development


PHED 20300

Adapted Physical Education and Sport


RLS 10100

Leisure and Society


RLS 10300

History and Philosophy of Leisure


RLS 10400

New Games


RLS 10500



RLS 12500

Understanding Disability: Characteristics, Causes, and Concerns


RLS 21000

Recreational Dance


RLS 21500

Youth at Risk


RLS 23300

Introduction to Therapeutic Recreation


RLS 23800

Leisure and Aging


RLS 25100

Foundations of Outdoor Adventure Pursuits


RLS 46000

Seminar: Health Care Teams


HLTH 10500

Healthy Choices


HLTH 11300

Personal Health


HLTH 12200

Emergency Health Care


HLTH 15200

Introduction to Health and Physical Education


HLTH 20200

Human Nutrition


HLTH 21300

Wellness: Multicultural Perspectives on Health and Healing


HLTH 22500

Alcohol and Alcoholism


HLTH 22700

Stress: Its Nature and Management


HLTH 22800

Human Sexuality


HLTH 22900

Disease and Lifestyle


HLTH 24000

Health Promotion and the Older Adult


EXSS 16200

Introduction to Fitness and Exercise Science


EXSS 29600

Sport and Exercise Psychology


EXSS 32000

Neuromuscular Control


OTBS 21000

The Cancer Experience


HINT 31200

Health Care and Culture


HINT 31300

Health Care and Culture: An International Field Experience


SPMM 29500

Social Aspects of Sport


SPMM 29700

Sport: Philosophical Perspectives


SPMM 29800

Gender Issues in Sport


PTBS 20200

Rehabilitation for Older Adults


GERO 10100

Introduction to Aging Studies


GERO 31900

Aging Policies and Programs



Major department requirements


Required courses outside department


Math requirement


HSHP/aging studies elective


Free electives (3 credits must be LA)


Total, B.S. in occupational science


M.S. in Occupational Therapy

Melinda Cozzolino, Associate Professor and Graduate Chair

The five-year combined bachelor's/master's degree curriculum is designed to provide depth and breadth for students' professional development, liberal arts education, and analytical skills. Full-time clinical fieldwork placements totaling 32 weeks, are located throughout the country. These are usually scheduled for the summer preceding the graduate year (12 weeks) and in the late spring (12 weeks) and summer (8 weeks) following the graduate year. Coursework at the graduate level is organized into five time blocks: two for academic coursework and three for clinical experiences.

For information about the professional entry-level master's degree program in occupational therapy, please see the graduate catalog listing.

Graduate Catalog

Graduation Requirements

To be considered for graduation in the combined B.S./M.S. program in occupational therapy, 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 (3 credits of Clinical Elective I OTMS 64xxx in the fall semester and 3 credits of Clinical Elective II OTMS 68xxx in the spring semester); 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 (6 credits: OTMS 67100 Group Research I and OTMS 67120 Group Research II ). A thesis proposal approved by the faculty is required for students who enroll in the thesis option.

Major department requirements

OTMS 62000

Advanced Theory and Practice


OTMS 62600

Professional Practice in Community


OTMS 65000

Applied Pediatric Neuroscience or

OTMS 65100

Applied Adult Neuroscience


OTMS 65500

Technological Interventions in Occupational Therapy


OTMS 66500

Gerontic Occupational Therapy


Total, major department requirements


Clinical elective I courses

Select one of the following courses:

OTMS 64100

Adaptation and Environmental Modification

OTMS 64300

Cognitive Rehabilitation

OTMS 64500

Vocational Readiness

OTMS 64600

Play and Leisure


Clinical elective II courses

Select one of the following courses:

OTMS 68100

Advanced Concepts in Physical Disabilities

OTMS 68200

Advanced Concepts in Psychosocial Occupational Therapy

OTMS 68300

Advanced Concepts in Geriatric Rehabilitation

OTMS 68400

School-Based Occupational Therapy

OTMS 68500

Hand Therapy

OTMS 68800

Occupational Therapy in Early Intervention


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


Total, clinical experience



OTMS 67200

Individual Research: Thesis I and


OTMS 67300

Individual Research: Thesis II or


OTMS 67100

Group Research I and


OTMS 67120

Group Research II


Total, research


Total, M.S. in occupational therapy


Minor in Occupational Science

A minor in occupational science offers students the opportunity to understand the influence of human occupation on development, health, and wellness for the individual and for society. Occupations are the things we do every day that bring meaning to our lives. This minor course of study will enhance understanding of how elements of personal capabilities, in conjunction with the physical and sociocultural environment, affect human occupation. This knowledge has the potential to foster the intellectual growth of the student and contribute to various professional and academic fields (education, speech and language pathology, recreation and leisure studies, physical therapy, psychology, aging studies, sociology, biology, business, athletic training, exercise science, and preprofessional studies), and ultimately to help contribute to healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous communities.


The minor requires a minimum of 18 credits; including 15 required credits and 3 elective credits.

The following courses are required courses for the minor:

OTBS 10500 Occupations and You 3
OTBS 20500 Introduction to Occupational Science 3
OTBS 20100 Human Development I or
PSYCH 20500 Life Span Development or
PSYCH 20100 Proseminar in Development 3
OTBS 20200 Human Development II 3
OTBS 30600 Occupational Apartheid 3

3 credits of electives are required. Students can choose from the following courses:

OTBS 20600 The Culture of Disability 3
OTBS 21000 The Cancer Experience 3
RLS 10100 Leisure and Society 3
SOCI/GERO 22000 Sociology of Aging 3
HINT 31200 Health Care and Culture 2
HINT 31300 Health Care and Culture: An International Field Experience 1
PSYCH 36600 Psychology of Aging 3
Total, minor in occupational science 18