Five-year Bachelor of Science in Health Science + Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Alvernia University’s five-year BSHS + MSOT program is designed for students seeking an exciting, professional career that offers variety, flexibility and leadership opportunities. Occupational therapists work in traditional and role-emerging settings (i.e., hospitals, clinics, schools, rehabilitation centers, home health, veteran facilities, and many more) offering personalized, occupation-focused supports and services for individuals and groups across the lifespan.


OT practitioners empower others to live their best lives through preventive measures, recovery supports, activity adaptation and modification, and meaningful, purposeful, occupational engagement. Becoming an occupational therapist is an excellent choice for students who are compassionate, creative, and dedicated to helping others.
 

OT specialty areas include: autism, sensory processing, and neurodevelopmental disorders; musculoskeletal conditions, prosthetics and orthotics; burn injury and amputation recovery; stroke, traumatic brain, and spinal cord injury; trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia; low vision, and assistive technologies.


Alvernia offers two MSOT degree tracks based upon a student's previous coursework:
 

The five-year BSHS + MSOT program, grounded in a strong liberal arts foundation, is designed to prepare graduates for entry into professional level occupational therapy practice.


The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (Post-Baccalaureate) degree program is designed for students who have earned a baccalaureate degree in another area of study and wish to become qualified as an occupational therapist.

Getting Started

Where You Can Get A Degree

The five-year BSHS + MSOT program is available at the following Alvernia University campus:

Criteria for Admission
  • Cumulative high school GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Alvernia is currently test optional. If submitting scores, the OT Department looks for a score of 1080 or better on the Evidenced-based Reading & Writing and the Math Sections of the SAT or a score of 22 on the ACT.
  • Observation of Occupational Therapy in a practice setting is encouraged but not required.
Minimum criteria for transfer students
  • GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for previous undergraduate work. Transfer students must achieve a grade of "C" or higher in the following related required or equivalent courses BIO 107/117, BIO 108/118 and MAT 208.
  • Submit two letters of reference from academic or workplace contacts.
  • No students will be accepted after Fall of junior year. (Please contact Program Director for entry level Master of Science in Occupational Therapy option)
Advancement to the Professional Graduate Phase

Alvernia University students who have successfully completed the undergraduate phase of the program including successful completion of Level II fieldwork may transition directly into the graduate phase of the program.


Advancement criteria will be:

  • GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all undergraduate work.
  • Achieved a final grade of “C” or better in all occupational therapy, prerequisite, and related required courses.
  • Completion of all core and undergraduate requirements.
  • Submission of a portfolio of the student’s education, service, and professional accomplishments.
  • Students must achieve/maintain a 3.0 GPA to continue in the professional graduate phase.


Students with a Baccalaureate Degree in a related field will be considered for admission into the entry level Master of Science in OT Program. Students with a Baccalaureate Degree in Occupational Therapy will be accepted directly into the graduate phase of the program. See course catalog for specific admissions requirements.


Students with a Baccalaureate Degree and current certification as a registered occupational therapist will be considered for admission into the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy completion program. Please refer to the Graduate and Continuing Studies Division catalog for full details regarding these programs.

Application Instructions

Through a rolling admission process, prospective students may apply to Alvernia at any time. Multiple start dates throughout the year allow accepted students to begin a program of study at an accommodating time. We constantly accept and review applications contingent on openings in specific academic majors.


Keeping on track is important throughout the process. We encourage you to work with an Admissions Counselor to submit all necessary materials by required deadlines. Our dedicated Admissions team will work directly with you to identify the best options that work for you and your unique situation.


Once your application is reviewed, we make every effort to notify you of our decision within two to four weeks.

Financing Your Education

There are options to assist in financing your education and making the tuition affordable. Visit our financial aid page for a detailed overview of the process, including a link to complete the FAFSA application, as well as more information about the tuition payment plan and the tuition deferment program we offer. Alvernia’s Title IV code for the FAFSA is 003233. The Office of Student Financial Services is available to help with any questions you may have. Call 610-796-8201 or email sfs@alvernia.edu.

Occupational Therapy Class
Learn More
For more information about the five-year BSHCS + MSOT program, contact the Admissions Office (1-888-ALVERNIA or admissions@alvernia.edu) or reach out directly to:

Elizabeth M. Bentz, OTD, OTR/L, SIPT, RYT
Chair, Occupational Therapy Department
610-790-2991, elizabeth.bentz@alvernia.edu

Amy J. Thomas, OTD, OTR/L, ARSP
Program Director, Occupational Therapy
amy.thomas@alvernia.edu


Program Overview

Curriculum: Undergraduate phase

6 semesters (103 credits)


Fall Semester 1 -Total Credits 18

  • FYS – SEARCH Seminar (3 cr)
  • COM 101 (3 cr)
  • World Language I (3 cr)
  • THE 105 (3 cr)
  • ART, Music, Theatre (3 cr)
  • PSY 101 (3 cr)


Spring Semester 2 - Total Credits 17

  • PHI 105 (3 cr)
  • COM (not 100 or 101) (3 cr)
  • World Language II (3 cr)
  • SOC 111 (3 cr)
  • BIO 107 (3 cr)
  • BIO 117 (1 cr)
  • OT 105 OT Orientation Seminar (1 cr)


Fall Semester 3 - Total Credits 16

  • BIO 108 (3 cr)
  • BIO 118 (1 cr)
  • BIO 208 (3 cr)
  • OT 200 The Occupational Therapy
  •  Profession (3 cr)
  • OT 220 Analyzing Occupation (3 cr)
  • OT 225 Health Conditions in OT (3 cr)


Spring Semester 4 - Total Credits 18

  • THE/PHI (200-400) (3 cr)
  • BIO 211 (3 cr)
  • PSY 208 (3 cr)
  • MAT 208 (3 cr)
  • OT 230 OT Process (3 cr)
  • OT 235 Pediatrics I: OT in EI and Schools (3 cr) 


Fall Semester 5 - Total Credits 18

  • HIS/POS (3 cr)
  • ENG (3 cr)
  • PSY 250 (3 cr)
  • OT 320 Quantitative Research for the OT (3 cr)
  • OT 322 Adult I: Hospital-based OT Practice (3 cr)
  • OT 326 Gerontology I: Aging and Infirmity (3 cr)


Spring Semester 6 - Total Credits 16

  • THE/PHI (ethics/morality @ 200 level) (3 cr)
  • Path of Knowledge (PSY or BIO) (3 cr)
  • OT 328 OT in Mental & Behavioral Health (3 cr)
  • OT 330 Pediatrics II: Hospital & Clinic-based OT Services (3 cr)
  • OT 331 FW I Seminar I: Introduction to Level I FW (1 cr)
  •  *OT 333 Qualitative Research for the OT (3 cr)


*This course fulfills the writing enhanced graduation requirement

Curriculum: Graduate phase

Fall Semester 7 - Total Credits 14

  • OT 410 Adult II: Neuro-rehabilitation(3 cr)
  • OT 415 Gerontology II: Productive Aging (3 cr)
  • OT 420 FW I Seminar II: Level I FW Collaboration & Professional Development (1 cr)
  • OT 425 OT Orthopedics Across the Lifespan (3 cr)
  • OT 430 Advocacy in OT (3 cr)
  • OT 435 Senior Capstone Seminar - Reflection & Transition (1 cr)


Spring Semester 8 - Total Credits 15

  • OT 500 Healthcare Team Collaboration (3 cr)
  • OT 510 Clinical Competency Lab (3 cr)
  • OT 515 FW I Seminar III: Mastery and Mentorship (1 cr)
  • OT 524 OT Elective – 2-3 course options (3 cr)
  • OT 530 Capstone I: Intro and Search Method (2 cr)
  • OT 520 Ethical Practice and Moral Leadership (3 cr)


Fall Semester 9 -Total Credits 12

  • OT 600 OT Level II FW: Practicum I (12 weeks) (7 cr)
  • OT 615 Capstone II: Synthesis and Results (MOD) (2 cr)
  • OT 625 Management and Delivery of Service (MOD) (3 cr)


Spring Semester 10 = Total Credits 12

  • OT 630 Practicum II: OT Level II FW (12 weeks) (7 cr)
  • OT 635 Capstone III: Discussion & Dissemination (2 cr)
  • OT 640 Professional Development & Certification (3 cr)


Total Credits = 156 (Earned – Combined BSHCS and MSOT degrees)

Experiential Learning Opportunities
  • Alvernia’s OT program facilitates real-world learning through fieldwork  affiliations with a variety of community-based agencies such as Abilities in Motion, All Abilities Fitness Center, Hannah’s Hope, IM Able Foundation, Opportunity House, Reading Housing Authority, and many others.
  • OT students develop key leadership and collaboration skills as integral members of the on-campus Pro Bono Clinic multidisciplinary treatment team
  • Additional student-centric learning opportunities include:
    • International educational experiences – Belize, Ireland
    • 3-D Printing and Prosthetics development, creation, and delivery – serving individuals across the globe through E-Nable, Digital Humanitarian volunteers
Accreditation Statements
  • Alvernia's MSOT program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board of Certification for Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of the NBCOT exam, the individual becomes an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR®). Most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licensure is typically contingent on the results of the NBCOT Certification examination.
  • Alvernia is an accredited institution and a member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). MSCHE is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Career Outlook

After earning your 5-year Bachelor of Science in Health Science + Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, you can pursue a variety of careers, including:

  • Rehabilitation Director for skilled nursing facility
  • Home Health OT
  • Pediatric OT for inpatient and outpatient clinics
  • School-based and Telehealth OT
  • Early Intervention OT
  • Hand therapist
  • Staff therapist for hospitals
  • Occupational Therapist for VA Medical Centers
  • OT in the Army Medical Specialist Corps
  • Investigator/Track Research for large corporation
  • Academic Fieldwork Coordinator for a university
  • OT in community Mental Health Centers
  • Occupational Therapist specializing in low vision, driver rehabilitation, work hardening, home and environmental modifications and sensory integration


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of occupational therapists is projected to grow 14 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for occupational therapists in 2019 was $85,570.


Retention Requirements

Course Requirements

OT students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all undergraduate work. All majors must achieve a final grade of “C” or better in all undergraduate OT courses and related required courses; a grade of “P” in OT 482 & OT 483; and a final grade of B or better in all graduate courses. The repeat/delete option may be used one time for undergraduate occupational therapy courses for up to three times in total and for two courses only (COR or OT) at the graduate level. Students who do not meet this requirement will be dismissed from the Program. As part of the COVID-19 contingency plan, the repeat/delete option can be used two times for any one course if the first re-take of the course occurred during the 2020/2021 academic year.


Students in good standing who leave the Occupational Therapy Program for less than one year may re-enroll if space is available. Requirements for readmission to Alvernia University must be met.

Certifications, Convictions/Clearances, and Insurance Requirements

Prior to any fieldwork experience (level I or II), students are required to submit to the College, and to fieldwork centers (as applicable) proof of ownership of valid health & accident insurance coverage, certification in cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for infant, child, adult, & AED, and first aid. Students are required to maintain ongoing certification. Additionally, OT majors must obtain criminal record checks, child abuse history clearance, FBI fingerprint recording, and FBI clearances prior to fieldwork experiences. Forms are available in the Occupational Therapy Program office. Criminal background checks, and child abuse clearances must be done on an annual basis. FBI checks as required. Students who do not have the necessary valid clearances, checks, and certifications will not be permitted to enter the fieldwork experience, which will affect ability to complete coursework, and the Program.  


Individuals who have been convicted of a felony/misdemeanor offense may be denied certification or licensure as an occupational therapist. It is suggested that prior to admission to the program any individual with such a conviction contact the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and state licensing boards of occupational therapy to request information regarding credentialing eligibility. Clinical fieldwork and classroom experiences within clinical settings may require a criminal background check and or child abuse check in order to permit participation in the experience and enter the location.


Organizations may deny a student access and participation in such activities due to misdemeanor or felony conviction. Additionally, organizations may require drug testing and/or health clearances prior to admittance to their facility. Negative results may preclude students from participation. Participation in such experiences is a requirement for graduation, inability to complete experiences due to convictions and/or inability to obtain satisfactory clearance would result in delayed graduation and/or the inability to graduate from the program.

Fieldwork Practicum

All level II fieldwork practicum must be completed within 24 months following completion of undergraduate academic fieldwork, and prior to the start of the graduate phase of the Program.


Any student who fails OT 482 and/or OT 483 may repeat the course one time only.  The course should be repeated during its next offering. The Academic Fieldwork Coordinator scheduled the fieldwork. The student must meet with the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator within one month following the notification of the failure. Failure to meet with the Coordinator in this time frame may result in dismissal from the program. Any student who receives a grade of “F” after repeating either OT 482 or OT 483 will be dismissed from the Occupational Therapy Program.

Health and Physical Challenges

Students with a health or physical challenge may be asked to obtain a physician’s statement that the condition will not be aggravated by or endanger clients/patients associated with the student in required coursework and fieldwork experiences.  Reasonable accommodations will be made for students to meet ADA regulations.


Get To Know Your Faculty (Alphabetical)

Jayme Ober 2024

Jayme Ober, OTD, OTR/L, MSCS, CNMI

Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy

  • Faculty
Judith Schrepfer

Judith Schrepfer, DHS, OTR/L

OTD Program Director / Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy

  • Faculty
Amanda Stilianos

Amanda Stilianos, OTD, OTR/L, CDP

Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, Professional Specialist

610-790-2960
  • Faculty
Kelsey Swope 2023

Kelsey Swope, MOT, OTR/L, BCG

Academic Fieldwork Coordinator SOTA Advisor / Professional Specialist Faculty

(610) 796-8366
  • Faculty