Academic Catalog

Occupational Therapy Professional Entry-Level MS Program

The Professional Entry-Level (PEL) Master's Occupational Therapy Program is designed for individuals who have earned a bachelor's degree in another area of study or at another accredited institution and are interested in pursuing a career in occupational therapy. The program duration is just over two years and will prepare students to sit for the national certification examination. This program is designed for full-time study beginning during the summer session.


Completed applications are due by February 1st. Applications are available online through the Office of Admission.

  • A completed bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.00
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. GREs must be taken within the past five years.
  • Completion of the following prerequisite coursework with a grade of C or higher (All prerequisites must have been taken within the past ten years.):
    • 3 credits of General Biology
    • 8 credits of Anatomy and Physiology
    • 3 credits of General Psychology
    • 3 credits of Developmental Psychology or Human Development Across The Life Span
    • 3 credits of Abnormal Psychology
    • 3 credits of Sociology or Anthropology
    • 3 credits of Statistics
    • 3 credits of Introduction to Research Methods
  • An on-campus or video/chat interview 

Additional Application Materials Needed

  • Completion of online application
  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended
  • Two letters of recommendation, one preferably from a health care practitioner
  • Two additional letters of recommendation if applying for a Graduate Assistantship

Graduate Assistantships

Each year the department awards a small number of Graduate Assistantships to select Professional Entry-Level students. Graduate Assistantships are competitive and offer both scholarship funding and a taxable salary. Students who are awarded Graduate Assistantships work with faculty and staff on scholarly, instructional, and administrative tasks depending on departmental needs. Students applying for Graduate Assistantships are required to submit two additional letters of recommendation with their application.

Major Department Requirements

Major Department Requirements
OTMS 50000Functional Human Anatomy5
OTMS 50500Occupational Therapy Theory4
OTMS 51000Neuroscience3
OTMS 52000Kinesiology4
OTMS 52200Psychiatry in Occupational Therapy3
OTMS 53000Applied Interventions in Occupational Therapy3
OTMS 53500Group Process in Occupational Therapy4
OTMS 54000Concepts in Adult Occupational Therapy4
OTMS 54500Concepts in Pediatric Occupational Therapy4
OTMS 55000Adult Evaluation and Intervention Processes in Occupational Therapy3
OTMS 55500Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention Processes in Occupational Therapy3
OTMS 56500Research Seminar1
OTMS 57100Adult Clinical Conditions3
OTMS 57500Pediatric Clinical Conditions2
OTMS 65500Technological Interventions in Occupational Therapy3
OTMS 66500Gerontic Occupational Therapy3
OTMS 65000Advanced Pediatric Evidence Based Practice (APEBP)3
or OTMS 65100 Advanced Adult Evidence Based Practice (AAEBP)
OTMS 62600Professional Practice in the Community3
OTMS 62500Clinical Management in Occupational Therapy3
OTMS 62000Advanced OT Theory and Practice3
Graduate Electives
Select 2 courses from the following: 14
Adaptation and Environmental Modification
Cognitive Rehabilitation
Vocational Readiness
Play and Leisure
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 Credits90

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.