Occupational Therapy Program

 

Occupational therapy (OT) helps people of all ages manage everyday activities and better support participation in their roles at home, the workplace, and other settings. Becoming an OT allows you to help others help themselves, and make a real impact on your patients’ daily lives.

Our three-year Occupational Therapy Program is a dual degree — you’ll earn your BS in Health Sciences and your MS in Occupational Therapy at the same time. Choose from either of our two locations in New York — Manhattan or Long Island — and gain valuable clinical experience with rewarding fieldwork and community service opportunities. You’ll be well prepared to pass the national board exams and start your career.

You don’t need a prior degree to get started. You only need a minimum of 60 undergraduate credits (including specific pre-requisite coursework) to begin the program. Those with more credits or a degree are also welcome to apply. When you finish, you’ll have both your MSOT and your bachelor’s and will have the choice to earn your doctorate in one additional year while working as an OT. Learn more about the application process on our Admissions page.

What Do Occupational Therapists Do?

Occupational therapists work with people of all ages in a variety of settings, including hospitals, schools, clinics, skilled nursing facilities, community centers, and private homes. An occupational therapist addresses a person’s challenges performing daily activities. When an OT addresses challenges, they’ll assess how their injury, disability or situation affects their life on a daily basis, and provide therapy or make recommendations that can be taken to make life easier. Their focus is on prevention, long-term health and ensuring the people they work with can function to their highest capacity in all of their life situations.

As a licensed occupational therapist, you’ll need to analyze each situation and develop unique action plans that fit each person's specific needs. You’ll help the people you work with adapt and implement accommodations or lifestyle changes so they can better navigate their daily life. Empathy is a crucial part of the job, and you’ll need to put yourself in your patient’s shoes to really understand what they’re struggling with and what solutions can work. The variety of things you might address are as varied as the activities people have throughout the day.

Examples of Occupational Therapy in Practice

There are many examples of the challenging and extremely rewarding work of an occupational therapist. Here are just a few:

  • Suggest modifications to a senior adult’s home to prevent falls, such as rearranging furniture to create easy walking paths, and assess the need for assistive devices like reachers and shower chairs
  • Help a child with a disability build the skills they need to succeed at school, such as improving their motor skills so they can take notes during class
  • Assist a child with early intervention services to help them build developmental skills, such as using building blocks as a fine motor tool to help with bilateral coordination and grasping skills
  • Coach a teenager recovering from a head injury through the transition between school and independent living
  • Help a patient with a disability or an elderly patient improve simple motor skills, like holding a fork, buttoning a shirt, or opening a jar

Earn Your BS, MS, and OTD in Just 6 Years

Earn your MSOT at Touro and apply to enter the Doctorate of Occupational Therapy program. Our program allows you to apply all of the credits earned in your last semester in the BS/MS program to your OTD degree. Instead of the usual 16 months in the OTD program, you’ll be able to complete it in just one year. Which means if you enter our BS/MS program with 60 credits (two years of undergraduate coursework), you can complete your BS, MS, and OTD in just six years.

If you’re interested in program development in the community, taking on leadership roles, or teaching and conducting research in academia, a doctorate degree in the field is a must. An OTD will also better inform your clinical practice and help you understand how the OT profession is evolving within our healthcare system. If you want to prepare for your future academic journey, learn more by visiting our OTD program page.

Expert Faculty

Our faculty includes accomplished practitioners and researchers. We keep classes small to ensure you get the individual support you need from professors.

Two Locations in NY

We offer classes at the Long Island and Manhattan campuses so you can find a location that works best for you. Classes at our Long Island campus begin in August of each year, and in February at our Manhattan campus.

Service and Skills

All students in the BSHS/MSOT are prepared to work with people of all ages and a variety of populations and will have vast opportunities. Students participate in full-time fieldwork experiences and fulfill a community service requirement. By working with diverse populations, students develop a passion for service, and compassion for all.

Two Degrees in 3 Years

Our graduate program is unique — you can enroll with or without a degree, and earn both your bachelor’s and master’s with us. This lets you save time and enter the workforce sooner.

Ready to apply?

What is the pre-requisite coursework?

We require a minimum of 60 credits of pre-requisite coursework, but you can apply when 45 are completed and 15 credits (4 or less credits in prerequisite laboratory sciences) are in progress.

How do I apply?

You can apply to the Occupational Therapy program through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). Applications are reviewed as they are received and classes typically fill by May for a fall start and by November for a spring start.

Program Outcomes

94%

Graduation Rate

94%

NBCOT Pass Rate

100%

of Class of 2019 Employed*
*Of those who responded to our alumni survey

See our NBCOT & Program Outcomes page for more info.

Accredited

The Touro College School of Health Sciences Occupational Therapy degree program is registered with the New York State Education Department and accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). ACOTE accredited occupational therapy programs satisfy the states’ educational requirements in all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Students graduating from an ACOTE accredited occupational therapy educational program are eligible to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification exam and apply for licensure in all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. For more information regarding state qualifications and licensure requirements, please refer to the AOTA State Licensure webpage.