John Rowe
Director of Graduate Admissions

(315) 792-3010

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy


Program Overview


The Occupational Therapy Program is an integral part of the School of Health Professions and Education and part of Utica College's Graduate Studies Program Offerings. 


OT student explores sensory integration equipment during lab experience

Building on a liberal arts foundation, the mission of Utica College's graduate program in occupational therapy is to facilitate the transformation of students into autonomous thinkers and community leaders prepared to competently practice  occupation-based therapy.

 Distinctive Features

The program is distinctive in its collaborative community alliances that enable faculty and students to meet the needs of society while promoting critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and skill development.

Current approaches to adult education are used to facilitate students' development into highly competent, ethical, entry-level occupational therapy practitioners who are well-prepared to take their place within multiple health care venues in a rapidly changing, global economy.

Our graduates work in a variety of arenas of health care including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, nursing homes, and community programs and private practice. Students and graduates have presented at national and state conferences and many have published in occupational therapy journals and health related journals.


The Occupational Therapy program is:

  • approved by the New York State Education Department
  • fully accredited through the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at:

    c/o Accreditation Department
    American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
    4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
    Bethesda, MD 20814-3449

    The phone number for ACOTE is 1-800-729-2682.

Student Outcomes

All Utica College MS/OT program graduates are eligible to apply and sit for the national certification examination for occupational therapists administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT), located at 12 South Summit Avenue, Suite 100, Gaithersburg, MD 20877; phone (301) 990-7979. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination and/or obtain a state license as an occupational therapist.

The following data is provided by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT), which administers this national examination (

NBCOT Certification Exam Results:

For individuals taking the certification exam in 2013, NBCOT changed the way it reports pass rates. NBCOT now reports the pass rate of new graduates. New graduates are those who take the NBCOT Certification Exam within one year of graduation. For the calendar year 2013, the performance of the graduates of the occupational therapy master’s program on the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification examination was as follows:

2013 Performance of Program Graduates


Total number of program graduates


Total number of new graduates who tested


Total number of new graduates who passed the NBCOT certification exam


New graduate percentage pass rate


For the calendar years 2011 and 2012, the performance of the graduates of the occupational therapy master’s program on the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification examination was as follows:

2011 and 2012 Performance of Program Graduates

Total number of program graduates in 2011 and 201290
Total number of first-time test takers of the NBCOT certification exam96
Total number of first-time test takers who passed the NBCOT certification exam79
First-time test taker percentage pass rate82%


Each successful program graduate must also pass two 12-week Level II Fieldwork experiences.
  • For the 2011 to 2013 calendar years, the program's first time Level II Fieldwork pass rate was 95% (total of 295 placements)

Graduation and Retention Rates

As of May, 2014 - graduation and retention rates are as follows:

Students entering in fall, 201097% graduation rate (30 out of 32)
Students entering in fall, 201198% graduation rate (51 out of 52)
Students entering in fall, 201298% retention rate - some students are still on their final fieldwork placement (55 out of 56)

Innovative Curriculum offered in both day and weekend formats

The curriculum prepares students to assume multiple Occupational Therapy roles working with individuals of all ages and abilities

Freshman Entry

  • Students enter the sequence as a Freshman, achieving a Bachelor of Science in Health Studies that typically leads to a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy within a six year time period.
  • Once accepted as a freshman in the HS/OT degree program, students who successfully progress through the required prerequisite coursework and meet the continuation criteria by the end of their senior year (in the typical sequence) or the junior year (in the accelerated sequence) are guaranteed placement in the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program.
  • Academic advisors carefully advise students as they progress through the undergraduate prerequisite phase, in order to maximize individual student's ability to successfully complete a bachelor's degree and in most cases, progress into the master's course sequence.
  • Students who may encounter difficulty during the prerequisite phase are provided additional career  advisement in collaboration with the Office of Student Success in order to maximize their academic success.

     See program entry options >

Graduate Entry

  • Students can enter the Occupational Therapy program, taking courses in a day or weekend format. With prerequisites fulfilled, students complete a 21-month sequence of occupational therapy courses and fieldwork.

    See program entry options >

  • Completion of coursework, community experiences and fieldwork prepares students for a productive career in Occupational Therapy.

    See O.T. alumni >
    See also Careers in Occupational Therapy > 

F. Eugene Romano Hall

State-of-the-art facilities

Click here for more information on F. Eugene Romano Hall >


Dedicated, well-prepared faculty members who...

  • believe in occupation centered practice

  • have diverse experiences and research interests

  • are committed to meeting students' diverse learning needs

  • empower students to achieve at the highest levels

Long history of excellence

  • over forty years of excellence in occupational therapy education
  • more than 1,400 program graduates
  • graduates with successful career histories See O.T. alumni page > 

    Innovative entry-level graduate curriculum

    • professional education with strong foundation of liberal arts and sciences
    • practice-informed learning that promotes student inquiry
    • emphasis on self-directed learning
    • opportunities for collaborative research as part of a community of scholars
    • participation in interactive community experiences
    • small class size and individualized learning experiences

    Supportive campus community with numerous learning resources

    Utica College prides itself in the extensive support network for students to ensure a successful college experience. Resources include: