Occupational Therapy

Melinda A. Cozzolino, Chair of Graduate Studies

The mission of the Occupational Therapy Program is to prepare reflective, creative, skilled, and ethical occupational therapists. We meet this mission by:

  • Emphasizing experiential learning, evidence based practice and professional reasoning
  • Creating diverse and integrative learning experiences to develop breadth and depth of student perspectives
  • Fostering collaborative engagement in scholarship and service that extends beyond campus to include local and global communities
  • Promoting the centrality of occupational participation to support health and resilience for individuals, communities, and populations 

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:

  1. A five-year combined bachelor’s and master’s program and
  2. A professional entry-level 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. Included in the academic instruction are 32 weeks of full-time clinical affiliations.

Students enrolled in the B.S./M.S. combined program must complete the fifth (graduate) year to be eligible for the national certification examination and state licensure as occupational therapists. This program is designed as a freshman-entry program, and graduate students are admitted only from the Ithaca College undergraduate occupational science program. The undergraduate component of this program is described in the Ithaca College undergraduate catalog.

The fifth year of the occupational therapy program takes place on the Ithaca College campus and at clinical fieldwork sites located throughout the country. The graduate year of study consists of 44 credits of graduate work, including 16 credits of clinical fieldwork education. The graduate year includes one full academic year of study and two summers of fieldwork. Students may elect a thesis or non-thesis option, but all engage in research-related activities during this year, which is designed to provide depth and breadth of education. Please refer to the Combined B.S./M.S. Program section for more detailed information.

The professional entry-level master's of science in occupational therapy program is designed to accept students who have an earned bachelor's degree from any accredited institution. This program takes place on the Ithaca College campus and at clinical fieldwork sites located throughout the country. The program consists of 92 credits of study including one summer of coursework, one winter intersession course, and 16 credits of clinical fieldwork education taking place during the summers. Please refer to the Professional Entry-Level Program section for more detailed information.

The Occupational Therapy Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE's telephone number, C/O AOTA, is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is www.acoteonline.org

Graduates of either master’s degree program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination administrated by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the graduate will be an occupational therapist, registered (OTR). In New York State and most other jurisdictions, a professional license is also required for practice. Although the NBCOT examination generally serves as the licensing examination, graduates are required to apply separately for certification and state licensure before entering clinical practice.

See National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission into the fifth year of the Combined B.S./M.S. Program, students must have completed the B.S. degree program in occupational science at Ithaca College with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher.

Please refer to the Professional Entry-Level Program section for more detailed information regarding admission to this program.

Academic Standards

Students who are enrolled in the Combined B.S./M.S. Program are expected to maintain a GPA of 3.00 or higher during their graduate studies. Students may not receive a C (C-, C, or C+) for more than 6 credits, or an F for more than 3 credits during their graduate academic study. Students who fail to meet these standards in any semester will be placed on academic warning. Academic performance resulting in larger deficiencies will result in program dismissal.

Students who are enrolled in the Professional Entry-Level Master's Program are expected to maintain a GPA of 3.00 or higher during their graduate studies. Students may not receive a C (C-, C, or C+) for more than 12 credits, or an F for more than 3 credits during their graduate academic study. Students who fail to meet these standards in any semester will be placed on academic warning. Academic performance resulting in larger deficiencies will result in program dismissal.

If a graduate student in either program receives a grade of U for a level II fieldwork class, he or she will be placed on academic warning by the Graduate Program Chair. The student must register for and successfully complete an alternate fieldwork assignment as scheduled by the academic fieldwork coordinator. The faculty may require remedial work or apply special conditions that the student must meet before he or she is allowed to repeat this class. If the student successfully completes this course, he or she may continue in the program; however, no one will be allowed to repeat a level II fieldwork class more than once.

These policies, as well as academic, clinical, and professional behavior standards, are published on the Department of Occupational Therapy website.

OTMS 50000 Functional Human Anatomy

Study of the gross anatomical components of the human body through the use of lecture and lab activities without dissection. Emphasis is placed on the musculoskeletal and neurovascular systems found in the extremities, and in the head and neck trunk, with less emphasis on the thorax and abdominal walls. (SU,Y)
5 Credits

OTMS 50500 Occupational Therapy Theory

Occupational therapy process, principles, and theory are introduced and explored with a focus on clinical reasoning and models of practice. Occupation as the core of practice, its elements as they are viewed today, and their historical and philosophical background are discussed. The analysis, synthesis, and implementation of occupations for use in assessment and intervention are practiced through experiential labs and assignments. Methods for the evaluation and critique of existing and emerging theories are applied to selected theoretical models of practice. (SU,Y)
4 Credits

OTMS 51000 Neuroscience

Introduction to the science of the nervous system. Provides a framework for understanding the nervous system and the area of applied neurosciences. This course provides a scientific basis for improved patient care by clarifying the relationships between the nervous system and behavior. Selected laboratory and experiential activities enhance lecture, discussion, and reading materials. Prerequisites: OTMS 50000. (F,Y)
3 Credits

OTMS 52000 Kinesiology

The application of gross anatomy to the study of human movement, with emphasis on understanding the interrelated kinetics of normal motion of the musculoskeletal system as they influence functional activities. Evaluation procedures such as manual muscle testing (MMT), joint range of motion (ROM), palpation of surface anatomy, and kinesiological analysis of functional activities are used in laboratory sessions. Evidence-based practice in kinesiological assessment and intervention will be emphasized through advanced research projects. Prerequisites: OTMS 50000. (F,Y)
4 Credits

OTMS 52200 Psychiatry in Occupational Therapy

This course will explore the psychiatric conditions that are commonly seen in clinical and community settings. The effects of diagnoses and challenges of medication side effects will be reviewed in detail, including how these conditions affect body functions and structures and common functional limitations. Pertinent medical assessments, medicines, and team involvement will be included. Particular attention will be paid to dual or multi-diagnosis and multi-medication regimens and the challenges these scenarios present. A specific focus will include the role of support networks, including peer and consumer organizations and their role in mental health services and information sharing. An emerging practice-focused literature search will enable the student to search the Internet and other resources for diagnostic information, latest research and practice information, and related material. This paper will provide the foundation for a community-focused project that will connect students with community-based resources and needs. (W,Y)
3 Credits

OTMS 53000 Applied Interventions in Occupational Therapy

Focus on selected preparatory and supporting methods used in OT practice. Emphasis is on selected occupational therapy intervention methods. The use of orthotics as a method in intervention supporting occupational therapy practice, the evaluation and intervention of selected biomechanical components, and prosthetics as an occupation-based activity are explored. Adaptation of methods for performing activities of daily living and design of equipment are also covered. Prerequisites: OTMS 57100; OTMS 52000. (S,Y)
3 Credits

OTMS 53500 Group Process in Occupational Therapy

This course focuses on therapeutic use of self in group relationships. Emphasis is on an action-based, helping, problem-solving model to guide individual interventions. Provides the cognitive, affective, and occupational basis to helping groups for various client populations and settings across the lifespan. Presents knowledge and experiential opportunity to gain skills to be a competent group leader using proven models of intervention. Emphasis will be placed on best practices across settings with a foundation in current research. Lecture and lab format. (S,Y)
4 Credits

OTMS 54000 Concepts in Adult Occupational Therapy

Concepts in occupational therapy for the adult population will be explored. Practice models that are suitable for the adult client population will be addressed within the context of the occupational therapy process. Includes a case based seminar to integrate theory with practice. Prerequisites: OTMS 50000; Corequisites: OTMS 55000, OTMS-51000. (F, Y)
4 Credits

OTMS 54500 Concepts in Pediatric Occupational Therapy

Concepts in occupational therapy for the pediatric population will be explored. Practice models that are suitable for the pediatric client population will be addressed within the context of the occupational therapy process. Includes a case based seminar to integrate theory with practices. Prerequisites: OTMS 50000. Corequisites: OTMS 55500; OTMS 57500. (S, Y)
4 Credits

OTMS 55000 Adult Evaluation and Intervention Processes in Occupational Therapy

The occupational therapy evaluation and intervention processes for the adult population will be explored. This includes development of an occupational profile of the client and conducting an analysis of occupational performance. The intervention phase involves implementation and re-evaluation of the intervention plan. The course includes a clinical fieldwork experience. Prerequisites: OTMS 50000. Corequisites: OTMS 52000; OTMS 51000; OTMS 57100; OTMS 54000. (F,Y)
3 Credits

OTMS 55500 Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention Processes in Occupational Therapy

The occupational therapy evaluation and intervention processes for the pediatric population will be explored. This includes development of an occupational profile of the client and conducting an analysis of occupational performance. The intervention phase involves implementation and re-evaluation of the intervention plan. The course includes a clinical fieldwork experience. Prerequisites: OTMS 50000. Corequisites: OTMS 54500 OTMS 57500. (S,Y)
3 Credits

OTMS 56500 Research Seminar

A graduate seminar to focus student research in an area of faculty interest through a critical review of the literature and construction of structured research paper. Students develop a problem statement and question suitable for thesis research, supported with background, definitions, rationale, and a detailed outline of a research methodology. Oral presentation of a research proposal is required. (S,Y)
1 Credit

OTMS 57100 Adult Clinical Conditions

A study of selected systemic, medical-surgical, orthopedic, and neurological conditions. Includes concepts in the identification, definition, and medical management of these conditions affecting adults and older persons. Emphasis is placed on integration of etiology, pathology, and medical treatment of selected conditions with emerging evidence research and practice recommendations across disciplines, focusing on implications for future occupational therapy practice. (SU,Y)
3 Credits

OTMS 57500 Pediatric Clinical Conditions

This course will explore the pediatric conditions that are commonly seen by occupational therapists. Clinical settings where children may be seen will be introduced and discussed. Pediatric diagnoses will be reviewed in detail, including body functions and structures and common functional limitations. Pertinent medical assessments, medicines, and team involvement will be included. A literature-enhanced paper will enable the student to search the Internet and other resources for diagnostic information, latest research information, and related material. Prerequisites: OTMS 50000. (S,Y)
2 Credits

OTMS 59800 Special Topics in Occupational Therapy

Formal instruction in topics of current interest to graduate students and faculty in occupational therapy. Experimental and topical courses will be offered under this number and title. Course may be repeated for credit for different selected topics. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. (IRR)
1-3 Credits

OTMS 60000 Clinical Fieldwork II - Children and Adolescents

Three months of full-time, supervised clinical experience with the opportunity to treat pediatric patients/clients. Assignment in a training center program approved in accordance with the American Occupational Therapy Association's standards of practice for occupational therapy education. Required course. Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only. (Sum,Y)
6 Credits

OTMS 62000 Advanced OT Theory and Practice

Examination and critique of definitions, philosophy, generic base, and concepts in occupational therapy. Occupational therapy theory development, structure, and function are analyzed and critiqued as they relate to basic assumptions, frames of reference, and implications for practice and research. Focus is on research and theory development, and the application to theory to occupational therapy practice. (S,Y)
3 Credits

OTMS 62500 Clinical Management in Occupational Therapy

This course focuses on the practice of efficient and effective administration in a health care setting. Focus includes health systems perspective; service delivery models and mechanisms; service management of various clinical settings; resource management of personnel, finances, materials, and physical plant; and risk management. (S,Y)
3 Credits

OTMS 62600 Professional Practice in the Community

Focuses on practice in educator, consultant, and advocacy roles in emerging areas of OT practice as well as nontraditional alternatives. Also examines transition to professional role in the community, including career development, professional responsibilities, current trends and issues, and engaging in clinical education. Prerequisites: OTMS 66500. (S,Y)
3 Credits

OTMS 63900 Occupational Therapy Graduate Clinic Experience

This graduate elective course will allow students the opportunity for observation, participation, supervision of undergraduate students, and management of clinical cases provided through the Ithaca College affiliated Occupational Therapy Clinic with faculty supervision. Treatment of occupational therapy clients, as well as participation in other occupational therapy-related services provided by the clinic will be the focus of this course. The clinic will provide students with an experiential learning opportunity, while serving the needs of clients in the college and community. Prerequisites: Graduate standing, occupational therapy major. (Y)
1 Credit

OTMS 64100-64101 Adaptation and Environmental Modification (NLA)

Study of theories regarding human behavioral adaptation and development of skills to modify physical, emotional, social, and cultural environments to promote appropriate behavioral adaptations that facilitate engagement with the tasks that comprise life roles. Methods of environmental assessment and techniques for modification of physical spaces and equipment, temporal structures, and patterns of use are examined. (S,IRR)
2 Credits

OTMS 64300-64301 Cognitive Rehabilitation

Occupational therapy assessment and intervention for persons with cognitive dysfunction. Evaluation instruments are derived from various theoretical perspectives. The focus is on assessment and intervention with brain-injured adults, but other patient populations are also considered. Intervention strategies and critical analysis of research are emphasized. (S,IRR)
2 Credits

OTMS 64500 Vocational Readiness (NLA)

The role of occupational therapy in the vocational readiness process. Includes a review of vocational development and values, theoretical models, assessment, planning, treatment, and documentation. Vocational programming for children, adolescents, and adults with a variety of disabilities is discussed. Laboratory activities in vocational assessment and training are included. (S,IRR)
2 Credits

OTMS 64501 Vocational Rehabilitation (NLA)

The role of occupational therapy in the vocational readiness process. Includes a review of vocational development and values, theoretical models, assessment, planning, treatment, and documentation. Vocational programming for children, adolescents, and adults with a variety of disabilities is discussed. Laboratory activities in vocational assessment and training are included. (IRR)
3 Credits

OTMS 64600-64601 Play and Leisure (NLA)

Further exploration of the occupational concepts of play and leisure and their application to occupational therapy theory and practice. Developmental, theoretical, cultural, and philosophical aspects of play in normal individuals and individuals with disabling conditions. Use of play/leisure in assessment, play as means, and play as end in occupational therapy practice. Seminar and discussions are supplemented with experiential learning and laboratories. (S, IRR)
2 Credits

OTMS 65000 Applied Pediatric Neuroscience

Pediatric neuroscience and neuroscientific theories as they apply to pediatric practice. Theoretical and treatment models investigated include sensory integration (SI) theory, neurodevelopmental theory (NDT), and theories of motor control and motor learning for the treatment of children with a variety of developmental disorders. Clinical laboratories deal with treatment for children having cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, and related conditions. Prerequisites: OTBS 41000 or OTMS 51000. (F,Y)
3 Credits

OTMS 65100 Applied Adult Neuroscience

The use of neurologically based approaches to the treatment of adults with stroke, head trauma, and other neurological disorders. Includes review of neuroanatomy and physiology and discussion and critique of neurologically based models, including contemporary task-oriented approach, NDT, PNF, Brunstrom, and Rood techniques. Elective alternative to OTMS 65000. Prerequisites: OTBS 41000 or OTMS 51000. (F,Y)
3 Credits

OTMS 65500 Technological Interventions in Occupational Therapy (NLA)

Examines the role of occupational therapists as part of an interdisciplinary team in the assessment, selection, application, and outcome of assistive technology for individuals with disabilities. Considers the use of technology to allow greater accessibility and independence for people of all ages with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities in the performance of life skills, including self-care, education, recreation, vocation, mobility, and communication. Prerequisites: OTMS 57100 or OTBS 47100 and OTMS 57500 or OTBS 47500. (F,Y)
3 Credits

OTMS 66500 Gerontic Occupational Therapy

Health care and community support of wellness, occupational performance, and quality of life as they relate to the needs of people over 65. Includes skills and knowledge required to work effectively in interdisciplinary teams -- with clients and caregivers, as individuals, and in groups. Disease and disability prevention, environmental adaptation to facilitate continuing engagement in occupations, factors contributing to successful aging, and legislative and reimbursement issues as they apply to service delivery with the elderly. Students participate in discussions, problem-solving seminars, interaction with well and frail elderly, and review of the current literature regarding effective practice with the elderly. Prerequisites: OTMS 54000 or OTBS 44000. (F,Y)
Attributes: SL
3 Credits

OTMS 67100 Group Research I

A research course for students who do not elect to conduct individual research for a thesis. It includes the reading and criticism of research related to a faculty-designed research project, collecting and analyzing data, and the writing of results and discussion of findings of the project. Elective alternate to OTMS 67300. (F,Y)
3 Credits

OTMS 67120 Group Research II

This is a research course for students who did not elect to conduct individual research for a thesis (elective alternative to OTMS 67300). It covers the process of completing and reporting a designed research project. This course follows OTMS 67110, wherein students have initiated the research process. This course will allow students the opportunity to complete data collection, analyze, discuss, and report findings both orally and in writing. (S)
3 Credits

OTMS 67200 Individual Thesis Research I

Preparation of a thesis proposal and the first three chapters (introduction, literature review, and methodology) of an independent, scholarly research paper under the supervision of a member of the graduate faculty in occupational therapy. Data collection is initiated. The graduate committee must approve the proposal. Prerequisites: OTBS 46500 or OTMS 56500. (F,Y)
3 Credits

OTMS 67300 Individual Thesis Research II

Completion of independent research, including collecting data and analyzing results. Preparation of a scholarly research paper under the supervision of a member of the graduate faculty in occupational therapy. An oral presentation of the thesis is required. Elective. (S,Y)
3 Credits

OTMS 68200 Advanced Concepts in Psychosocial Occupational Therapy

A seminar on current trends in occupational therapy in mental health care. Focus is on advanced concepts of human adaptation and treatment for psychiatric dysfunction. Implications for the future of occupational therapy in mental health are explored. Elective. Prerequisites: OTBS 33500 or OTMS 53500. (S, IRR)
3 Credits

OTMS 68400 School-Based Occupational Therapy (NLA)

A seminar exploring current trends in occupational therapy in schools. Includes the individual educational plan (IEP) process, the education team and system, treatment implementation, and documentation methodologies appropriate to school systems. Programming for children from birth to age 21 is included. (S, IRR)
2 Credits

OTMS 68401 School Based Occupational Therapy (NLA)

Exploration of the current trends in occupational therapy practice in school. Includes the IEP process; the education team and system; evaluation, treatment implementation and documentation methodologies appropriate to school systems. Programming for children from birth to 21 is included. (IRR)
3 Credits

OTMS 68500-68501 Hand Therapy

Seminar on the knowledge, skills, and practices of hand therapy and rehabilitation. Hand injuries and surgery, use of physical agent modalities in hand therapy, treatment protocols, advanced splinting, and ethical and legal issues are covered. Elective. (S,Y)
2 Credits

OTMS 68800-68801 Occupational Therapy in Early Intervention (NLA)

Study of the impact of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors on the occupational development of young children with special needs. Designed to provide skills in assessment and family-centered intervention for infants and toddlers with special needs and their families. (S,IRR)
2 Credits

OTMS 69000-69001 Clinical Fieldwork II - Adult/Geriatric

Three months of full-time, supervised clinical experience with the opportunity to treat adult/geriatric patients. Assignment in training center programs approved in accordance with the American Occupational Therapy Association standards of practice for occupational therapy education. Required course. Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only. (April-June,Y)
6 Credits

OTMS 69500 Clinical Fieldwork II - Elective Specialty

Two or three months of full-time, supervised clinical experience with opportunity to plan, implement, and evaluate treatment for patients or clients in a specialty area selected by the student in consultation with the fieldwork coordinator. Required course. Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only. Prerequisites: OTMS 60000; OTMS 69000. (SU,Y)
4 Credits

OTMS 69600 Elective Internship

An eight-week, full-time (or equivalent) internship that provides the opportunity for the student to apply occupational therapy theory and principles in a nontraditional setting under the supervision of a person with demonstrated competence in a specialized area of consultation or service delivery. Alternative to OTMS 69500. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in the graduate program and Clinical Fieldwork II (OTMS 60000 and OTMS 69000). (SU,Y)
4 Credits

OTMS 69900 Graduate Independent Study

Individual research and writing in an area of occupational therapy practice, research, or theory under supervision of an occupational therapy faculty member. An approved design statement is required upon registration. Prerequisites: Permission of supervising faculty member, graduate department chair, and dean. (F,S,SU)
1-3 Credits