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Occupational Therapy (MS), 3-Year

Occupational therapy students in a clinical skills lab

Occupational therapy helps individuals regain and build skills that are important for their health, well-being, safety, and daily living.

Overview and Distinctions


As an occupational therapist, you'll work with people of all ages who have various physical, developmental, social or emotional challenges. You will help them develop the skills to lead independent, productive and satisfying lives.

D'Youville College's master of science degree program includes courses in occupational therapy theory and practice, six months of supervised fieldwork, and research.

Upon graduation from our ACOTE-accredited program, you'll be prepared to take the National Certification Examination for Occupational Therapists.

Why Choose D'Youville?

  • Receive individual attention from dedicated faculty mentors and clinicians at the forefront of their field.
  • Studies show that teamwork across clinical specialties improves patient outcomes. D'Youville's unique interdisciplinary education lab offers the opportunity for you to practice treating patients (played by actors) alongside a team of students from 7 other healthcare majors at DYC - all under the supervision of a skilled instructor.
  • Learn in classes, labs and seminars sized for effective teaching and mentoring.
  • Gain practical experience through our strong focus on clinical field experience. D'Youville has developed relationships with 300 clinical fieldwork sites in a wide array of settings, facilities, and treatment protocols.
  • Join a degree program with consistently high career placement rates.
  • Our students' certification exam scores consistently meet or exceed the national average.
  • Eligible OT students can apply to the Alpha Rho Chapter of Pi Theta Epsilon, a National Honor Society for Occupational Therapists and Students. Our Chapter is active and hosts a fall and spring event each year.


Course Requirements

First Year

Fall Semester

Course Number Course Name Credits
OT 501 Occupational Therapy Process and Theoretical Foundations I 2
OT 506 Occupational Development I 4
OT 509 Medical & Social Conditions I 2
OT 514 Interpersonal Skill 2
OT 519 Functional Anatomy 5
OT 521 Fieldwork Seminar 0
Subtotal 15

Spring Semester

Course Number Course Name Credits
OT 510 Medical & Social Conditions II 2
OT 512 Occupational Development II 4
OT 515* O.T. Delivery Systems 2
OT 517 Group Process 2
OT 520 Neuroscience for Rehabilitation 5
Subtotal 15
*Option: This course can be taken during the summer semester (in an online format) following your first year.

Second Year

Fall Semester

Course Number Course Name Credits
OT 524 Research Seminar 3
OT 525 OT Process and Theoretical Foundations 2
OT 527 O.T. Methods of Evaluation and Documentation I 2
OT 529 Child and Adolescent Intervention 4
OT 602* Research Methods in Occupational Therapy 3
Subtotal  14
*Option: This course can be taken during the summer semester (in an online format) prior to your second year.

Spring Semester

Course Number Course Name Credits
OT 632 Fieldwork Seminar II 0
OT 633 O.T. Methods of Evaluation and Documentation II 2
OT 634 Adult & Geriatric Intervention 4
OT 635 O.T. Process and Theoretical Foundations III 2
OT 612 Research Development - Project 3
Subtotal 11

Summer Semester

Course Number Course Name Credits
OT 640 Clinical Fieldwork I (12 weeks) 4
Subtotal 4

Third Year

Fall Semester

Course Number Course Name Credits
OT 641 Clinical Fieldwork II (12 weeks) 4
OT 643 Management of OT Services (DL) 3
Subtotal 7

Spring Semester

Course Number Course Name Credits
OT 689 Professional Issues 2
OT 690 Community Practice 2-3
OT 629 Research Advisement 3
Subtotal 7-8

Total Required for M.S.: 73-74 credits



Our program prepares you for general occupational therapy practice. 


As an occupational therapist, you'll work with people of all ages who have various physical, developmental, social or emotional challenges. You will help them develop the skills to lead independent, productive and satisfying lives. 

Occupational therapists work in a variety of healthcare settings, including: acute hospital, rehabilitation, and orthopedic settings. 

Other major employers of occupational therapists are hospitals, offices of other health practitioners (including offices of occupational therapists), public and private educational services, and nursing care facilities.

Driver rehabilitation, training for the elderly, and ergonomic consulting are emerging practice areas for occupational therapy.

Career Outlook

Physical therapists are in demand in nearly every healthcare setting and are poised to take on an even larger role. Employment of occupational therapists is projected to grow 27 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. For more information about the job outlook for occupational therapists, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

Occupational therapists with specialized knowledge in a treatment area also will have increased job prospects.

The largest number of occupational therapist jobs was in ambulatory healthcare services, which employed about 29 percent of occupational therapists.

Most states, including New York, require licensure to practice. State licensure is typically based on the results of the NBCOT certification exam, but must be applied for separately in the state in which you plan to practice.

Fieldwork Education

Fieldwork Education

The Department of Occupational Therapy has clinical fieldwork agreements with over 400 hospitals, school systems, rehabilitation centers, mental health sites, nursing facilities, and community based centers in select states across the U.S.

The goal of fieldwork education is to prepare the students to be well-rounded, entry-level practitioners. Three levels of fieldwork education are integrated into the occupational therapy curriculum:

Site Visits

Visits to healthcare agencies are part of certain entry-level courses. These visits orient you to a variety of services provided in the local area, focusing on the context in which occupational therapy services are delivered or could be provided.

Level I Fieldwork

Experiences during the academic phase of the program enable students to apply classroom learning in the clinical setting. These experiences are associated with specific intervention courses and place students in various healthcare arenas with a variety of consumers/patients.

Level II Fieldwork

Consists of two full-time 12-week clinical training experiences, (Part-time options are available); two internships provide students with the opportunity to treat a wide range of disabilities and age groups. Emphasis is on applying knowledge through in-depth activities, tasks, and the responsibility for delivering healthcare to patients. Clinical experiences may include acute hospital settings, inpatient psychiatric settings, rehabilitation centers, day treatment centers, nursing homes, school systems, developmental centers, and community health initiatives.

Community Practice

An advanced placement in a community setting or educational environment allows you to explore non-traditional or specialty applications of occupational therapy. Community Practice occurs in the graduate year following Level II fieldwork.

Learn More

Visit the Metro Buffalo OT Fieldwork Consortium website to learn more about fieldwork opportunities:

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

Admission to a the occupational therapy program is based on the qualifications of each individual student. A GPA of 3.0 (equivalent to a B) or better is the minimum requirement for acceptance into the program.

In addition, applicants to the master's in occupational therapy must
present the following:

  • Completion of a baccalaureate degree prior to the start of course work.  Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended are required for admissions consideration.
  • Two letters of recommendation - one academic and one professional (or two academic).  References from OT observations will not be accepted. 
  • Evidence of capability to succeed in a graduate program, as shown by a cumulative undergraduate G.P.A. of at least a 3.0 (based on a 4.0 system).
  • Completion of the following prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better prior to the start of the first semester of course work. Courses must be at least three credits and pass/fail grades are not accepted:
    • General or Developmental Psychology (must cover life span development)
    • Abnormal Psychology
    • Sociology or Social Anthropology
    • Applied Statistics
    • Human Anatomy and Physiology (I and II with labs or six to eight credits of a combination of other biology courses that focus on anatomy and physiology such as Comparative Primate Anatomy, Comparative Mammalian Anatomy and Physiology, Human Anatomy and Human Physiology, Anatomy and Physiology I and II, or their equivalents, at least one of which is a lab course, as determined by the registrar and the department.

OTCAS: The Occupational Therapy Department at D'Youville College is participating in the Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service, known as OTCAS. Applicants to the master's in occupational therapy program for the 2017 entering class are encouraged to apply online through the OTCAS application. To apply to D'Youville College's OT program visit OTCAS at  

  • Application Deadline: November 30, for fall semester start

Upon Admission

Admitted students are required to take a writing skills assessment. If the results
indicate the need for remediation, students must follow through with
recommendations. In addition, the faculty expects students to have basic computer skills for word processing, e-mail and online database and library searches. Students who lack any of these abilities should enroll in tutorials offered by D'Youville College or other institutions.

Occupational Therapy Master’s Degree at D’Youville College
Employment of occupational therapists is projected to grow 27 percent from 2014 to 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Donna Brzykcy, MS, OTR/L, a clinical assistant professor at D’Youville, explains why D’Youville’s ACOTE-accredited three-year professional program leading to a Master of Science (MS) degree graduate program is the ideal choice for students.
An occupational therapy student participating in the Interdisciplinary Education Lab.


OT students at D'Youville learn to work as part of a collaborative healthcare team through Interprofessional Education Labs.

learn more
Donna Brzykcy, a professor, with students in a service learning course

our faculty

"I use each person's interests to guide my therapy interventions and make their OT sessions meaningful."

read her story
Theresa Vallone, an occupational therapy professor, in her office

our faculty

"I enjoy guiding students toward professional development."

read her story

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