Occupational therapist programs prepare graduates to help patients overcome injuries or manage disabilities so they can succeed at work or in school. Several New York schools offer the master's-level programs required for career entry.
General Admission Requirements
Generally, you will need to have work or volunteer experience in an occupational therapy setting in order to get into an occupational therapy program. You will also need to have a bachelor's degree and complete prerequisite courses in such areas as biology, anatomy and physiology with at least a 3.0 GPA. Depending on the program, you will need to provide 2-3 letters of reference, preferably from occupational therapists or faculty in a related field. Finally, you will need to write a personal statement where you describe your career goals and why you are interested in the program you're applying to.
New York State Schools Offering Occupational Therapy Master's Programs
Located in New York City, Columbia offers a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program that takes two years to complete. During the program you will complete research, either as part of a faculty-led project with fellow students or by taking research-based classes. The university also offers an MS/Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Clinical Doctorate that will allow you to earn a doctorate one year after completing your master's degree. There's also a dual degree program allowing you to earn both an MS in Occupational Therapy and a Master of Public Health in preparation for such roles as community program manager or client advocate. Financial aid is available, including through a scholarship from the New York City Board of Education Occupational Therapy Scholarship Program.
Dominican College of Blauvelt
Located in Orangeburg, Dominican College offers a full-time Master of Occupational Therapy program that offers classes every three weekends. You will take courses teaching you how to deal with patients in all stages of life, from childhood to old age. You will also complete a research symposium, where you will learn how to complete a research study for publication. The program includes seven total trimesters of study, including two semesters' worth of fieldwork experiences.
Located in Buffalo, D'Youvile College offers a three-year professional MS in Occupational Therapy as well as a five-year combined BS/MS program. D'Youville has an interdisciplinary education lab that will allow you to practice treating patients alongside students from other healthcare majors. You can also take classes in group process and management of OT services. Additionally, the school has agreements with over 300 fieldwork sites, allowing you to choose from a variety of settings when completing your fieldwork requirements.
Le Moyne College
Located in Syracuse, Le Moyne is a Jesuit school that offers a professional, entry-level MS in Occupational Therapy program for students who majored in something besides occupational therapy as undergraduates. It is a two-year program, starting in late May or early June and finishing with fieldwork in May of your second year. Le Moyne offers classes in healthcare ethics & advocacy and in professional reasoning. The program also includes fieldwork experience with mental health, child and adult populations.
Utica College offers both an MS in Occupational Therapy and a BS to MS program. In the MS program, you can take classes during the day or through a combination of online and weekend classes. As part of the program, you will take case-informed classes on treatment modalities for adults, adolescents and young adults. Students can complete their fieldwork at hospitals, rehabilitation centers and vocational schools located in New York and at sites across the country.
No matter where you want to go to school in New York, there is likely a nearby school that offers a master's degree in occupational therapy. Consider whether you want to take classes during the weekday or on weekends and what kind of fieldwork experiences you'd like to complete to determine which school is right for you.