Academic Catalog

Occupational Therapy BS/MS Program

The five-year combined B.S./M.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. The clinical fieldwork courses 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. Graduates of the M.S. program in occupational therapy are eligible to apply to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) examination as required by the profession.

Graduation Requirements

To be considered for graduation in the combined BS/MS program in occupational therapy, students must complete the following:

  1. Completion of the B.S. degree program in occupational science at Ithaca College;
  2. Completion of the major department requirements (listed below);
  3. 4 credits of clinical electives (2 credits of Clinical Elective I OTMS 64xxx in the fall semester and 2 credits of Clinical Elective II OTMS 68xxx in the spring semester); specific courses offered will be determined by student consensus.
  4. A research thesis (6 credits: OTMS 67200 and OTMS 67300) or a group research project (6 credits: OTMS 67100 and OTMS 67120). A thesis proposal approved by the faculty is required for students who enroll in the thesis option. 

The research thesis is conducted under the supervision of faculty members and must meet professional publication standards. Students’ proposals must be accepted for thesis research by the faculty. These students will register for OTMS 67200OTMS 67300.

Students who do not undertake a thesis must take OTMS 67100 and OTMS 67120. The group research sequence is a faculty supervised research study in which a student must collect data and analyze, interpret, and present findings in both oral and written format.

Students enrolled in the thesis option who have completed all coursework except the thesis will be required to maintain active student status through the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance until completion. Students should work with their program advisers to plan an appropriate course and credit schedule. For international students this schedule will be reflected in the immigration paperwork.

Major Department Requirements

Required Courses
OTMS 62000Advanced OT Theory and Practice3
OTMS 62600Professional Practice in the Community3
OTMS 65500Technological Interventions in Occupational Therapy3
OTMS 65000Advanced Pediatric Evidence Based Practice3
or OTMS 65100 Advanced Adult Evidence Based Practice
OTMS 66500Gerontic Occupational Therapy3
OTMS 62500Clinical Management in Occupational Therapy3
Graduate Electives
Clinical Elective I Courses:
Select one of the following courses:2
Adaptation and Environmental Modification
Cognitive Rehabilitation
Vocational Readiness
Play and Leisure
Clinical Elective II Courses:
Select one of the following courses:2
School-Based Occupational Therapy
Hand Therapy
Occupational Therapy in Early Intervention
Clinical Fieldwork Courses:
OTMS 60000Clinical Fieldwork II - Children and Adolescents6
OTMS 69000Clinical Fieldwork II - Adult/Geriatric6
OTMS 69500Clinical Fieldwork II - Elective Specialty4
or OTMS 69600 Elective Internship
Select one of the following:6
Individual Thesis Research I
and Individual Thesis Research II
Group Research I
and Group Research II
Total Credits44

Clinical Fieldwork

Clinical fieldwork is an essential part of professional training, and students must complete three level II fieldwork experiences in preparation for their degree and certification. Fieldwork centers maintain contractual relationships with Ithaca College, and students are placed in fieldwork centers by the fieldwork coordinator well in advance of the beginning of these placements. Once placements are confirmed, students cannot alter them. Clinical Fieldwork is graded on a satisfactory (S) or unsatisfactory (U) scale.

Students will be assigned to fieldwork based on a lottery system and the availability of placements. Students should expect to do their fieldwork at a distance from their homes and Ithaca. They are responsible for making their own housing and travel arrangements, although the department and the fieldwork center are usually able to provide some help. Students and their families need to plan ahead for this process.

The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) requires that all level II fieldwork experiences be completed within 24 months of the completion of the academic portion of the curriculum. Students who fail to complete graduate fieldwork within this period are subject to dismissal from the program.