Overview of Occupational Therapy Program and Certification/Licensure Eligibility
The entry-level degree for certification and licensure in occupational therapy is the Master’s Degree.
In the Nazareth College combined 5-year BS/MS Degree in Occupational Therapy, the Bachelor of Science in Occupational Science component of the overall program offers students the opportunity to establish a foundation for understanding the influence of human occupation on development, health, and wellness; and the impact of a disability on the individual within his/her society and culture. The Bachelor of Science in Occupational Science however, does not provide eligibility for certification or licensure in Occupational Therapy. Students must complete the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree to be eligible for certification and licensure as an Occupational Therapist. The Master of Science coursework requires the completion of 31 graduate credits in Nazareth College’s program for the student to be eligible for certification and licensure.
Occupational Therapy BS/MS Degree General Admission Requirements
The Occupational Therapy program has a Freshman admission policy. Candidates for freshman admission are required to complete a rigorous high school preparatory program of study. Students must demonstrate successful completion of high school math and science courses. Grades should be B level or better for consideration.
Transfer students are accepted on a competitive, space-available basis in the second year of the BS/MS program (see requirements below). A minimum grade of C in any previously taken science courses is required to be accepted into the occupational therapy program. Science courses considered for acceptance must have been taken within 5 years of the student’s application to the OT Program. Point of entry depends on the number of transfer credits accepted by the registrar, including major course requirements. All of the science courses required in the OT curriculum (BIO.Q 112/BIO.Q 103L, BIO 150/150L, BIO 151/151L) must be completed successfully with a grade of C prior to entering into OTR 313: Gross Anatomy which is offered in the summer between the sophomore and junior years.
Occupational Therapy Program Requirements
The combined 5-year BS/MS Degree in Occupational Therapy requires completion of 166 total credit hours (135 credit hours at the undergraduate level; 31 credit hours at the graduate level). Occupational Therapy undergraduate students must obtain a C (2.0) in science courses and a B- in OT courses in order to proceed in the major. Students who do not meet the minimum grade requirement in OTR 311 Gross Anatomy (completed summer prior to junior year) will not be permitted to move forward with the OT curriculum. All graduate level coursework must be completed with a grade of B or higher (minimum overall GPA 3.0). Note - OT courses, as well as courses in the liberal arts and sciences program may be subject to change.
Occupational Therapy Program Fieldwork Requirements
The fieldwork educational component of the BS/MS Occupational Therapy program at Nazareth College is designed to meet all of the standards required by ACOTE for Fieldwork Education. There are two levels of fieldwork for the occupational therapy student. These are described as Level I and Level II experiences.
Level I Fieldwork
The AOTA Standards describe the goal of Level I Fieldwork. It is “to introduce students to the fieldwork experience, and develop a basic comfort level with an understanding of the needs of clients.”
All of the practice courses in the senior year have Level I fieldwork experiences that will allow for learning about evaluation, intervention, and evidence associated with specific populations of clients.
Level II Fieldwork
According to the AOTA, the goal of Level II Fieldwork is “to develop competent, entry-level, generalist occupational therapists.” This fieldwork experience provides students with the opportunity to integrate academic knowledge with the application of skills in a practice setting. (AOTA, 1999a & b; AOTA, 1996)
Six months of Level II fieldwork are required by AOTA. The first fieldwork is scheduled for 12 weeks in the Summer semester following the Senior year. A second 12 week fieldwork experience is completed in the Fall of the 5th year of study. Both Level II fieldwork experiences are in the graduate phase of the program.
There is a $75 required annual fee for Student Membership in the American Occupational Therapy Association (sophomore year through degree completion).
There is a $280 required fee for the OTR 311 Gross Anatomy course that must be taken in the Summer between the Sophomore and Junior years.