Earning a master's degree in occupational therapy will allow you to work professionally as an occupational therapist. As an occupational therapist, you will help patients recover from injuries received on the job or in school, or help patients with disabilities meet challenges they may face on the job or in their academic career.
NYC Schools Offering Occupational Therapy Master's Degrees
In addition to a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, Columbia offers a Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Clinical Doctorate that will allow you to complete a doctorate in three semesters after completing your MS. As part of earning your master's degree, you will need to complete a research path. There are two paths available: you can work with a small group of students on research led by faculty, or you can complete a series of research courses. Financial aid and scholarships are available.
New York University
New York University offers a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, and a one-year post-professional Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy. The Master of Science is a good option if you majored in something besides occupational therapy as an undergraduate. As part of the program, you will take evaluation and intervention courses in mental health, orthopedics, pediatrics, and other fields. Financial aid is available in the form of loans, veterans' benefits, resident assistant positions, and scholarships.
Long Island University
Long Island University offers a BS/MS program in occupational therapy that will allow you to get your master's five years after graduating high school. The program is also an option if you graduated with an undergraduate degree in something besides occupational therapy. You will complete fieldwork in mental health, neurorehabilitation, and pediatrics. Financial aid is available through grants, scholarships, loans, on-campus employment, work study, and graduate assistantships.
Touro College has campuses on Long Island and Manhattan. The college offers a three-year program, at the end of which you will receive a bachelor of science in health services and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. Touro College offers classes in subjects such as substance abuse, gerontology, and cognitive rehabilitation. Financial aid is available through grants, loans, and work-study.
State University of New York, Downstate
SUNY, Downstate offers a 2.5 year master's program. In addition to a standard Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, you can also specialize in early intervention. SUNY Downstate also offers courses related to Parkinson's disease and autism. Financial aid is available through scholarships, tuition assistance, and loans.
General Admission Requirements
Many programs require you to have completed volunteer work with occupational therapists. Schools may also require you to have at least a 3.0 GPA in undergraduate work, with credits in anatomy & physiology. Applicants usually need to provide 2-3 letters of reference, depending on the program; letters from occupational therapists or faculty in a relevant field are recommended. Some schools may ask you to provide a personal statement explaining your career goals and why you are interested in the program.
Whether you're a high-school student, already have an undergraduate degree in occupational therapy, or have an undergraduate degree in another subject, there are a number of master's programs in New York City available for you. Consider what you would like to specialize in and what kind of courses you'd like to take to determine which one is right for you.