Live Your Best Life Helping Others Live Their Best Lives

Occupational therapy empowers individuals to live their best lives, stay healthy and prevent or adapt to living with injuries or disabilities. Becoming an occupational therapist is an excellent choice for students who enjoy communicating with a wide range of people in all age-groups.

Alvernia University's post-baccalaureate Master of Medical Science in Occupational Therapy program, meant for students with an earned bachelor's degree, prepares students to initiate therapeutic methods and move to the forefront at hospitals, schools, doctors’ offices, home health services and nursing homes. Being analytical and a problem-solver is important, as is possessing interpersonal and organizational skills and having a high level of endurance and fitness. Technical skills like using computer systems and databases are always desirable.

Getting Started

Where You Can Get A Degree

The post-baccalaureate Master of Medical Science in Occupational Therapy program is available at the following Alvernia University campus:

Prior Coursework

Official transcript(s) indicating the applicant has earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited 4-year college or university. A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the baccalaureate degree is required. Transcripts from all institutions of 2- or 4-year colleges or universities the applicant has attended. Evidence of completion of the following course work with a grade of “C” or higher

  • A minimum of six (6) semester credit hours (or the equivalent) of human anatomy and physiology with a lab component.
  • A minimum of three (3) semester credit hours (or the equivalent) of introduction to sociology or anthropology. A minimum of three (3) semester credit hours (or the equivalent) of introduction to psychology.
  • A minimum of three (3) semester credit hours (or the equivalent) of lifespan development or developmental psychology. A minimum of three (3) semester credit hours (or the equivalent) of abnormal psychology.
  • A minimum of three (3) semester credit hours (or the equivalent) of statistics.

These credit hours must be completed prior to full matriculation into the program.

Criteria for Admission

Three letters of recommendation from former professors, employers or supervisors familiar with the applicant’s professional or service experiences.  These may be from religious or community leaders but not relatives or personal associates. Essay Questions. Using a 12-point font, double spacing and a maximum of 2-pages, please explain why you wish to pursue a degree in occupational therapy (include discussion of your current and long-term professional goals), and identify personal and professional strengths you believe will facilitate your success as an OT student. A minimum of 20 hours of observation of occupational therapy practitioners is required. Virtual or in-person observations will be accepted. Please download the site observation form and fill out appropriately. Additional evidence for success as a graduate student such as academic or professional awards, special certificates, continuing education, or completion of specialized examinations (not required but encouraged).

Retention and Progression

The criteria for retention and progression in the entry-level MSOT degree are dependent upon:

Achievement of final grade of ‘B’ or higher in all graduate course work taken at Alvernia University. Upon completion of five graduate courses (including the COR course), students with full graduate status must achieve and thereafter maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Students in the MSOT degree are permitted to utilize the repeat/delete option twice in total for all graduate courses taken at Alvernia University, but only one time for any individual course (COR or OT). Students will not be allowed to participate in the capstone activity for the degree unless their cumulative grade point average is 3.0 or higher and they have earned a “B” or higher in all graduate course work taken at Alvernia University. All course work must be completed within 24 months of the start of the first level II fieldwork placement.

Application Instructions
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

OT/PT Pro-bono clinic
Why Alvernia?
• A nationally ranked comprehensive regional university, Alvernia offers doctoral, master's, and post-baccalaureate programs to advance your career or prepare you for a new one.
• Flexible scheduling with evening classes and in-person, hybrid and online formats meet the needs of the busy adult learner.
• Programs are offered at a growing number of convenient locations in Reading, Pottsville, and Philadelphia.
• Alvernia is the ideal choice for graduate students because of a growing number of affiliation agreements with other local institutions and industry partners and dedicated advisors to help through every step of the educational journey.

Program Overview


This seven-semester track, which is meant for students with an earned bachelor's degree, requires two years and four months of study (including foundational, professional and field-work). It follows a year-round curriculum sequence: Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall. Prerequisites include completion of the following: Anatomy and Physiology (6 cr. with lab component), Kinesiology for the OT (3 cr.), Introduction to Sociology or Anthropology (3 cr.), Introduction to Psychology (3 cr.), Lifespan Development or Developmental Psychology (3 cr.), Abnormal Psychology (3 cr.), and Statistics (3 cr.).

Fall Semester 1 = 12 credits

514 The Occupational Therapy Profession (3 cr)
515 Analyzing Occupation (2+2) (3 cr)
516 Health Conditions in OT (3 cr)
519 Quantitative Research for the OT (3 cr)

Spring Semester 2 = 13 cr.

520 OT Process (2+2) (3 cr)
524 Pediatrics I: EI & Schools (2+2) (3 cr)
528 Qualitative Research for the OT (3 cr)
529 Ethics and Advocacy in OT (3 cr)
530 FW I Seminar I: Introduction to Level I FW (1 cr)

Summer Semester 3 = 10 cr.

550 Adult I: Hospital-based OT Practice (2+2) (3 cr)
552 Gerontology I: Aging and Infirmity (2+2) (3 cr)
554 OT in Mental & Behavioral Health (2+2) (3 cr)
556 FW I Seminar II: Collaboration and Professional Development (1 cr)

Fall Semester 4 = 13 cr.

560 Pediatrics II: Hospital & Clinic-based OT Services (2+2) (3 cr)
561 Adult II: Neuro-rehabilitation (2+2) (3 cr)
563 Gerontology II: Productive Aging (2+2) (3 cr)
565 OT Orthopedics Across the Lifespan (2+2) (3 cr)
566 FW I Seminar III: Mastery and Mentorship (1 cr)

Spring Semester 5 = 14 cr.

570 Clinical Competency Lab (3 cr)
572 Health Care Team Collaboration (3 cr)
571 or 573 OT Elective (3 cr)
574 Leadership and Management (3 cr)
578 Capstone I: Intro & Search Method (2 cr)

Summer Semester 6 = 9 cr.

600 Practicum I: Level II FW (12 weeks: June-August) (4 cr)
615 Capstone II: Synthesis and Results (2 cr)
COR 520 (3 cr)

Fall Semester 7 = 9 cr.

645 Practicum II: Level II FW (12 weeks anytime between August-October) (4 cr)
650 Capstone III: Discussion & Dissemination (2 cr)
655 Professional Development and Certification - MOD (3 cr)

Total credits = 80

**The capstone for the entry-level MSOT is the completion of a critically appraised topic (CAT) investigating a topic of concern to the profession. Students develop a PICO or guiding research question based on a clinical scenario of interest, conduct a review of existing evidence, generate a written report, and disseminate findings through a public presentation. 

Fieldwork Requirements

Successful completion of Level I and Level II Fieldwork is a requirement for granting a Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy Program. 

The Alvernia University Academic Fieldwork Coordinator collaborates with the Fieldwork Educator and the student prior to, during, and following fieldwork assignments.  The Academic Fieldwork Coordinator schedules all fieldwork placements and serves as a liaison between Alvernia University and the fieldwork site.  Level II Fieldwork should be completed within twenty-four (24) months following completion of academic preparation.

Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Educational Manual

The fieldwork educational manual can be accessed via the below link.

Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Educational Manual

Required Clearances for all Students Preparing for Fieldwork

Pa Child Abuse - Create a new account
Pa State Police Criminal Record Check

COVID-19 Vaccine required prior to the start of Level II Fieldwork in Fall 2022


** PA Students: USE CODE: 1KG756, Out-of-State: USE CODE: 1KG8RJ

Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Contacts

Kelsey Swope, MOT, OTR/L, BCG
Academic Fieldwork Coordinator
P: 610-796-8366

Amanda Stilianos, MSOT, OTR/L, CDP
Assistant Academic Fieldwork Coordinator
P: 610-790-2960

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  • Community-based fieldwork includes partnerships with:
    • Hannah's Hope
    • Hope Rescue Mission
    • IM Able
    • BOG Turtle Farm
    • Abilities in Motion
    • Opportunity House
    • All Abilities Fitness Center
    • Paramount Recovery House
    • Rock Steady Boxing program with Tower Health and Body Zone
    • Reading Housing Authority
    • Olivet Boys and Girls Club
    • Dayspring Homes
    • Liberty High School - Trauma Informed Care Program
  • Students have completed Level II fieldwork in countries such as Ecuador, Belize, Haiti, Uganda and the Dominican Republic.
  • Students create prosthetics using a 3-D printer and send them to those in need across the globe. Alvernia students have connected with patients in Indonesia, Canada and the U.S. through e-Nable, an online global community of “Digital Humanitarian” volunteers.
  • Students compete in national competitions such as the AOTA Student Conclave Knowledge Bowl.
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

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.

  • 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


Erin McAleer, native of Wantagh, Long Island, graduate of Alvernia's MSOT program.
Clinical experiences lands OT grad rewarding job placement
“My time at Alvernia helped me to grow exponentially in so many ways. I grew in friendships, mentorships, leadership skills and of course my abilities as an occupational therapy practitioner. My out of classroom experiences also helped to grow many of the skills I currently use," said Erin McAleer, MSOT '19.


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