Occupational Therapy (BS/MS)

Health Sciences and Professional Programs
Occupational Therapy
HEGIS Number: 1201/1208

The Online Bulletin is for information purposes only. Current students must complete the requirements as outlined in the York Bulletin as applicable.
Course Descriptions
Course descriptions can be found in the online PDF version of the Bulletin

Career Description

Occupational therapists help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to fully participate in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes, and helping people with mental illness to lead productive and successful lives.

To further explore the many roles of occupational therapists helping clients live life to its fullest, please visit the AOTA website. (American Occupational Therapy Association. Retrieved June 27, 2012, from www.aota.org/consumers/aspx)

Mission Statement

To prepare entry-level occupational therapy practitioners to provide services to diverse urban populations, utilizing evidence based education, fieldwork, and community experiences. Graduates will be prepared to grow as passionate, engaged learners, growing in intellectual potential, contributing and participating in the profession through direct service delivery, management of service delivery, and research.

Educational Goals

  1. Students demonstrate clinical competencies for entry-level occupational therapy practice.
  2. Students demonstrate clinical competencies for entry-level practice measured by scores on the AOTA Fieldwork Level II Performance Evaluation.
  3. Students demonstrate knowledge and skills to engage in scholarly activity

Program Philosophy

The York Mission, in the language and form of an educational philosophy state:

"York College enriches lives and enables students to grow as passionately engaged learners with confidence to realize their intellectual and human potential as individuals and global citizens." The Occupational Therapy Program mission is consistent with the York College Mission, in that these two lines of thought emphasize the complexity and dynamic nature of human beings as they learn and develop. Humans interact in varied environments through participation in occupations. Dynamic participation in learning enables individuals to develop the necessary intellectual potential and skills for maturation and self-actualization.

The occupational therapy faculty believes that education is a collaborative process, engaging students as active participants. Faculty provides contexts and learning experiences that are supported by meaningful activities and didactic instruction. The outcome of this education process is a graduate who can synthesize their clinical and academic experiences to become goal-directed, self-reflective, confident general entry-level therapists. York College OT graduates go on to improve the lives of individuals, and the communities they live in with occupational therapy services.

Our goals for our graduates are consistent with both the York College Values and the AOTA Vision. We see our graduates as they go out into the workforce as culturally diverse critical thinkers who can address the needs of a diverse population. In addition, they will continue to engage in ongoing learning, to improve their skills, and contribute to the growth of the profession in practice and/or research in their communities, regionally, nationally and globally.

The Occupational Therapy Program Philosophy and Curriculum seeks to prepare students to:

  • Be active learners who utilize analysis and synthesis for critical thinking.
  • Have strong professional oral and written communication skills to successfully engage with clients, colleagues, families, and communities.
  • Evaluate and apply research findings for evidence-based occupational therapy practice.
  • Engage in lifelong learning.
  • Develop strong ethical values and practices as occupational therapy practitioners.
  • Contribute to the occupational therapy profession and advocate for the profession, our clients, families, and communities.
  • Be role models who demonstrate a commitment to the college, community and the profession

Curriculum Design

The curriculum design of the York College CUNY Occupational Therapy Program is based on the interaction of content knowledge and occupational therapy process concepts. It is our belief that the interaction of these delineates the substance and the process of what occupational therapists know and do. The matrix of these interactions serves as an organizer for the relationship between the courses in our curriculum and the content within them.

Knowledge Concepts

Foundations. Foundational knowledge includes introductory factual and conceptual knowledge related to client factors (e.g., body structures, body functions, values, beliefs), performance skills (e.g., sensory, motor, emotional, cognitive) and patterns (e.g., habits, routines), performance contexts and environments (e.g., cultural, personal, physical), activity demands (e.g., objects properties, space demands, social demands), areas of occupation (e.g., activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, work, education, play), ethics, social justice, clinical management and clinical research.

Skills. Skills build on foundational knowledge, and include the acquisition and practice of cognitive operations necessary for problem identification and problem resolution, clinical reasoning, as well as analysis of clinical and research data; procedural skills necessary for analyzing and sequencing client task performance, administering assessments and interventions, eliciting adaptive responses, implementing activities using effective strategies; effective skills necessary for engaging and enabling client collaboration in the occupational therapy process, receiving and responding to feedback, valuing perspectives of others, weighing ethical issues, and therapeutic use of self; motor skills necessary for assisting clients, constructing and adjusting client devices, administering assessments and interventions, and arranging and adapting the physical environment.

Applications. Applied knowledge includes the integration of foundational knowledge and skills, using multiple theoretical approaches (e.g., developmental, motor learning, cognitive-behavioral, prevention) for implementing the occupational therapy process for clients, populations and organizations using various service delivery models (e.g., consultation, rehabilitation, home health, outpatient, community health), with sensitivity for cultural contexts, and social justice. The application also includes analysis and evaluation of client progress, new knowledge acquired from the research literature, and ethical issues associated with the occupational therapy process.

AOTA Commission on Practice. (2008). Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process, 2nd ed., AJOT, 62, 625-683. Anderson, L.W., and Krathwohl, D. R. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. New York: Longman.

The Occupational Therapy Process

Evaluation. The evaluation includes selecting appropriate methods and measures to screen and evaluate individual clients, client populations, environments, and communities for the purpose of identifying occupational problems and potential resolutions. The evaluation also involves the appropriate administration and interpretation of selected tools and methods of assessment, including but not limited to observation, standardized testing and interviews. The evaluation includes measurement and documentation of the change.

Intervention. Intervention includes the selection (based on activity analysis) and implementation of preparatory methods (e.g., sensory enrichment, instruction, orthotics), purposeful activities (e.g., practices, rehearses), and occupation-based tasks (e.g., prepares lunch, completes job application) which are meaningful to the client and consistent with the client's goals. Intervention can also include consultation, education, and advocacy.

Outcomes. Outcomes for the individual client must be based on appropriate, reliable and valid measures. Outcomes can also focus on a population or organization. Outcomes most commonly address occupational performance, participation, quality of life, as well as occupational justice. AOTA Commission on Practice. (2008). Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process, 2nd ed., AJOT, 62, 625-683.

Accreditation and Credentials

  1. The Occupational Therapy Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. AOTA's phone number is (301) 652-AOTA.
  2. The BS/MS in Occupational Therapy is conferred when the Occupational Therapy Program requirements are fulfilled, including successful completion of all Occupational Therapy Major Discipline requirements, in addition to York College's General Education Requirements for the Bachelor of Health Science Degree.
  3. Certification: Upon completion of all requirements, the graduate is permitted to sit for the Certification Examination of the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc.
  4. Licensure: Upon completion of all requirements, the graduate is permitted to apply to New York State for licensure as a Registered Occupational Therapist.

Eligibility for Screening into Upper-Level Occupational Therapy Program

  • Completion of a minimum of 60 college credits and application for matriculated student status at York College.
  • Completion and documentation of at least 50 hours of volunteer work in an Occupational Therapy setting.
  • A minimum overall grade point average of 2.9
  • Completion of all college and pre-major OT-specific prerequisite course requirements, with a minimum grade of C in the following courses (taken within the past 10 years):
    • Biology 201 and 202 OR Biology 234 and 235
    • Chemistry 106 and 107 OR Chemistry 108 and 109
    • Math 111 (or any college-level statistics course)
    • Physics 140
    • Psychology 102
    • Psychology 214 OR Psychology 215 and 216
    • Psychology 338
    • Sociology 101

Note: Please note that in order to be eligible for admission to the OT program at York, you must also apply and be accepted for matriculation at York College. All General Education Requirements and OT specific prerequisites must be completed by the end of the Spring semester in which the student applies for screening. Please note that only ONE of these Spring courses can be a Natural Science course.

Screening and Background Checks

Current laws generally permit a state licensing board or agency to deny a license to practice if the applicant has been convicted of a felony or other specified crime. Like many state licensing boards, the Office of the Professions of the New York State Education Department requires that a criminal background check be conducted prior to granting a license.

The Department of Occupational Therapy at York College does not require a criminal background check for admission to our degree program, but the Department's educational requirements include placement at one or more hospitals or other off-campus clinical fieldwork sites, and these sites frequently require a student to undergo a criminal background check before the student can be placed for clinical fieldwork.

If, based upon the results of a criminal background check, the site determines that a student's participation in its clinical fieldwork program would not be in the best interest of the site, the site may deny that student admission to the fieldwork program. Even if the student has already begun the placement when the results are received, the site may elect to dismiss the student, regardless of the student's performance while in the fieldwork program. Each clinical fieldwork site that requires a criminal background check sets its own standards and procedures, and you may be asked by the site to pay the cost of the background check. You may also have to complete more than one criminal background check during the course of the Occupational Therapy program at York College depending on the number of sites where you are placed and the requirements of each site.

Some clinical fieldwork sites may also require that students submit to a drug test as a condition of their participation. Students will be responsible for the cost of this testing. Refusal to have a test may result in an inability to complete the fieldwork experience and possibly the professional program.

Please note that if a clinical fieldwork site determines that you may not take part in its fieldwork program based on the results of a criminal background check or drug test (or due to refusal to submit to a drug test), you may be unable to complete your course requirements and to continue in the professional program. It is important for you to consider this before you enroll in a program offered by the Department of Occupational Therapy at York College, as York College has no obligation to refund your tuition or fees or to otherwise accommodate you in the event you are ineligible to complete your course requirements based on the results of a criminal background check, or if you are denied a license to practice.

All Occupational Therapy major courses must be taken in the prescribed sequence.

The Occupational Therapy BS/MS Degree takes three and a half (3.5) academic years to complete. The program consists of 98 specialized occupational therapy credits, spread over seven (7) semesters.


Occupational Therapy BS/MS


OT Prerequisite Requirements

Completion of the following courses is required prior to beginning the OT program. Where applicable, courses are listed under corresponding categories in the Pathways Curriculum. 
MATH111Introduction to Statistics & Probability 
PSY226Statistical Methods in Psychology 
CHEM106Essentials of College Chemistry* 3.5 
CHEM107Essentials of College Chemistry Laboratory* 1.5 
CHEM108Principles of Chemistry I* 3.5 
CHEM109Principles of Chemistry I Laboratory* 1.5 
BIO201Biological Principles I** 
BIO202Biological Principles II** 
BIO234Anatomy and Physiology I** 
BIO235Anatomy and Physiology II** 
SOC101Introductory Sociology 
PSY102Introductory Psychology 
PSY214Lifespan Development for Health Professionals 
PSY215Human Development I: Infancy/Childhood 
PSY216Human Development II: Adolescence/Maturity 
PSY238Abnormal Psychology 
PHYS140The Physical Universe 
PHYS115College Physics I 
PHYS113Physics Laboratory I 

Major Discipline Requirements


Third Year

OT313Fundamentals of Occupational Therapy 
OT315Functional Human Anatomy 
OT316Functional Human Physiology 
OT321Occupational Analysis 
OT322Occupations Through the Life Span 
OT318Clinical Kinesiology 
OT319Common Medical Conditions 
OT423Collaboration in Occupational Therapy 
OT424Professional Development I 
OT432Neuroscience 3.5 

Fourth Year

OT403Advanced Occupational Analysis 
OT411Occupational Therapy Process I: Pediatric Intervention 
OT417Research Methods 3.5 
OT404Advanced Neuroscience 
OT505Occupational Therapy Process I: Physical Intervention 
OT508Occupational Therapy Process I: Psychosocial Intervention 
OT517Research Design 
OT518Research Seminar I 
OT647Assistive Technology 

Fifth Year

OT506Occupational Therapy Process II: Physical Intervention 
OT507Professional Development II 
OT509Occupational Therapy Process II: Psychosocial Intervention 
OT513Systems Management 
OT519Research Seminar II 
OT523Use of Orthotics in Occupational Therapy 
OT524Use of Physical Agent Modalities in Occupational Therapy Practice 
OT641Fieldwork II Occupational Therapy Practice I 
OT642Fieldwork II Occupational Therapy Practice II 

Sixth Year

OT522Research Seminar IV 
OT643Capstone Community Experience 
OT644Advanced Occupational Therapy Theory & Practice 
OT645AOccupational Therapy Practice 
OT645BOccupational Therapy Practice 


  • Students may have to take up to 4 credits of prerequisite mathematics courses in order to complete Chemistry 106/107 or 108/109. Those credits subtract from the Free Electives credit total.
  • MATH 111 may also be taken to fulfill the Required Core: Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning requirement.
  • BIO 201, CHEM 106/107, and PHYS 140 may also be taken to fulfill the Required Core: Life and Physical Sciences requirement.
  • BIO 202, BIO 234, BIO 235, CHEM 108/109, and PSY 102 may also be taken to fulfill the Flexible Core: Scientific World requirement.
  • SOC 101 may also be taken to fulfill the Flexible Core: Individual and Society requirement.

*Students must take (CHEM 106 and CHEM 107) OR (CHEM 108 and CHEM 109)

**Students must take (BIO 201 and BIO 202) OR (BIO 234 AND BIO 235)

Screening Procedures for Occupational Therapy Program

  1. Screening takes place during the Spring semester for Fall acceptance into the program
  2. Students can download the Occupational Therapy program application from the department's website, or can request a hard copy from the department's office
  3. Proof of application / acceptance to York College is required for transfer students at the time of application
  4. All prior college transcripts from all schools attended (including York College) are required as part of the application package

Acceptance into the Occupational Therapy Program

Approval by the Occupational Therapy Screening Committee. This committee bases its recommendation on the following screening criteria:

  1. A completed admissions application for the Occupational Therapy program
  2. Completion of a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer work under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist
  3. Minimum grade point average of 2.9 and required courses

Applicants are not considered accepted into the program until they receive a letter of acceptance from the Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy.

Promotion and Retention

Completion of the course of study approved by the student's occupational therapy faculty advisor. Completion of courses in specified sequence, good academic standing in the College, in the Occupational Therapy Program and completion of Master's level project is required for graduation.

Program Standards

Students will also be required to maintain a cumulative major GPA of 3.0 or above (calculated as the mean GPA of all completed courses in the OT major program). Students who fall below these minimum requirements will be placed on academic probation and will be given one semester to raise their GPA to minimum standards. A failure to raise the GPA to minimum standards will be considered grounds for dismissal from the OT program. In addition, being placed on academic probation for any two semesters during the 3.5 years of the professional curriculum will be grounds for dismissal.

*Students will not be eligible to graduate with an academic deficit (overall GPA for 500 and 600 level courses must be 3.0)

The Occupational Therapy Program may dismiss a student from the program due to any infraction(s) of the Rules of Student Conduct on Campus or a breach of Occupational Therapy Ethics. This includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, the use of drugs, and / or other activities mentioned under the Guide for Student Development.

Course Standards for Retention

The lowest acceptable grade for Occupational Therapy courses is a "C." Students who receive below a "C" grade must repeat the course. Students will have only one opportunity to repeat any course.

A grade of "D" or below in any two courses within the 3.5-year curriculum, or failure of two courses in one semester, constitutes grounds for dismissal from the Occupational Therapy Program. Two failures of Level II Fieldwork constitute grounds for dismissal from the program.

Please Note: In the event of dismissal from the program due to any of the items mentioned above, the student has the right of appeal to the School of Health Sciences and Professional Programs Student Progression and Retention Committee. The student must come before the Committee in order to continue in the program.

Length of Time in Program

Students who are accepted into the Occupational Therapy program for the BS/MS degree have five and a half (5.5) academic years to complete the program. All Fieldwork Level II experiences must be completed within 12 months of completing academic coursework. Please note that Fieldwork Level I experiences cannot be substituted for Fieldwork Level II experiences. Students who enroll in a semester for OT 641 and 642 will be considered as registered for a full-time program.

Independent Study

The Occupational Therapy Program offers two 3-credit Independent Study of Selected Topics in Occupational Therapy courses, OT 446 and OT 646, and one 1-credit Independent Study in Occupational Therapy course, OT 648, for students who wish to develop more specialized skills than typical entry-level coursework provides in an area of practice under the supervision of Occupational Therapy faculty. These courses are not offered on a regular basis (availability determined by department), and can only be taken with departmental permission.

The OT course sequence, credit allotment and curriculum organization are subject to change.

Department of Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Sites

Fieldwork SitesFieldwork Sites
Avalon Gardens Rehab and Healthcare CenterManhattan Psychiatric Center
Afya Foundation of America, Inc.Mercy Medical Center
AHAVA Medical and Rehab Urgent Care CenterMetropolitan Hospital Center (HHC)
Barrier Free LivingMount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center
Bellevue Hospital Center (HHC)New York State Psychiatric Institute
Brookdale University Medical CenterNYU Lutheran Medical Center
Brooklyn Center (Centers for Specialty Care)NYU - Rusk Institute for Rehab Medicine
Brooklyn Hospital CenterOmni Childhood Center
Catholic Charities Neighborhood ServicesOut East Therapy of New York
Changing Lives Occupational TherapyOzanam Hall Nursing Home
Concourse Rehabilitation and Nursing CenterThe POINT
Coney Island Hospital (HHC)Positive Beginnings
Cooke Center for Learning and DevelopmentPRN Rehabilitation Network
Daughters of Jacob Nursing Home (Centers for Specialty Care)Preferred Therapy Solutions
Elmhurst Hospital CenterProTherapy Rehabilitation
Faye Grand Hand Therapy CenterQueensboro Occupational Therapy
Forward Occupational TherapyQueens Boulevard Extended Care Facility
Franklin Hospital (NSLIJ)Queens Hospital Center (HHC)
Gersh AcademyRegal Heights Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center
Giving Alternative Learners Uplifting OpportunitiesSelfhelp Community Services
Greater Harlem Nursing Home and Rehabilitation CenterSensory Street Pediatric Occupational Therapy
Harlem Hospital Center (HHC)Shorefront Center for Rehabilitation and Care
HeartShare Human ServicesStaten Island University Hospital
Henry Street SettlementSteppingstone Day School
Jamaica Hospital Medical CenterThe Summit School
Jamaica Hospital Nursing HomeThese Our Treasures
James J. Peters Medical CenterUnited Cerebral Palsy of Nassau County
John A. Coleman SchoolVA New York Harbor Healthcare System
Kassimir Hand TherapyVillage Care of New York
Kidz Therapy ServicesWalter Reed Army Medical Center
Kings Harbor Multicare CenterWatch Me Grow
Kingsbrook Medical CenterWeaving Hand
Lavelle School for the BlindWoodward Children's Center
Lawrence Hospital CenterThe Zucker Hillside Hospital (NSLIJ)
Makes Sense! OT, SLP