Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy promotes health, well-being, and life satisfaction by supporting participation in meaningful, purposeful daily activities. OT practitioners empower individuals to live their best lives through preventive measures, recovery supports, or activity adaptation and modification. Becoming an occupational therapist is an excellent choice for students who are passionate about helping others and are creative problem-solvers.

Alvernia University's post-baccalaureate Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program is designed for students with an earned bachelor's degree who are ready to take the next step in their professional journey. The MSOT curriculum prepares students for entry-level practice in traditional and role-emerging settings, and with clients across the lifespan: i.e., hospitals, clinics, schools, rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities, home health, etc. Comprising compassion, creativity and client-centric solutions, occupational therapy meets the health needs of an ever changing world.

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.


Estimated Program Length28 months
Credit Hours77
Course Length13 weeks
Transfer Credits AcceptedUp to 6
Cost per Credit$985


Graduate Programs

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.
  • A minimum of three (3) semester credit hours (or the equivalent) of kinesiology.

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 practice 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, 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. 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
  • The new application opens each year in July for the following fall admissions cycle. To apply for the MSOT or OTD program, please use OTCAS.
  • Submit your transcripts.
  • Complete your financial aid paperwork.
  • Register for classes.
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

Occupational Therapy Class
Learn More
For more information about the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program, contact the Admissions Office (1-888-ALVERNIA or or reach out directly to:

Elizabeth M. Bentz, OTD, OTR/L, SIPT, RYT
Chair, Occupational Therapy Department

Amy J. Thomas, OTD, OTR/L, ARSP
Program Director, Occupational Therapy

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 (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

  • OT 514 The Occupational Therapy Profession (3 cr)
  • OT 516 Analyzing Occupation (3 cr)
  • OT 519 Health Conditions in OT (3 cr)
  • OT 528 Quantitative Research for the OT (3 cr)

Spring Semester 2 = 13 credits

  • OT 529 OT Process (3 cr)
  • OT 531 Pediatrics I: EI & Schools (2+2) (3 cr)
  • OT 533 Qualitative Research for the OT (3 cr)
  • OT 520 Ethical Practice and Moral Leadership (3 cr)
  • OT 537 FW I Seminar I: Introduction to Level I FW (1 cr)

Summer Semester 3 = 10 credits

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

Fall Semester 4 = 13 credits

  • OT 560 Pediatrics II: Hospital & Clinic-based OT Services (3 cr)
  • OT 561 Adult II: Neuro-rehabilitation (3 cr)
  • OT 563 Gerontology II: Productive Aging (3 cr)
  • OT 565 OT Orthopedics Across the Lifespan (3 cr)
  • OT 567 FW I Seminar III: Mastery and Mentorship (1 cr)

Spring Semester 5 = 11 credits (*14 credits with optional elective)

  • OT 570 Clinical Competency Lab (3 cr)
  • OT 572 Health Care Team Collaboration (3 cr)
  • OT 578 Capstone I: Intro & Search Method (2 cr)
  • OT 535 Advocacy in OT (3 cr)
  • OT Elective (optional) (3 cr)*

Summer Semester 6 = 9 credits

  • OT 608 Practicum I: Level II FW (12 weeks) (4 cr)
  • OT 623 Capstone II: Synthesis and Results (2 cr)
  • OT 574 Management and Delivery of Service (3 cr)

Fall Semester 7 = 9 credits

  • OT 645 Practicum II: Level II FW (12 weeks anytime between August-October) (4 cr)
  • OT 650 Capstone III: Discussion & Dissemination (2 cr)
  • OT 665 Professional Development and Certification (3 cr)

Total credits = 77

**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 master's in occupational therapy. The Alvernia University Academic Fieldwork Coordinator collaborates with the Fieldwork Educator and the student prior to, during, and following fieldwork assignments, scheduling all fieldwork placements and serving as a liaison between Alvernia and the fieldwork site.  Level II Fieldwork should be completed within 24 months following completion of academic preparation.

Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Educational Manual

Read the Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Educational Manual.

Required Clearances for all Students Preparing for Fieldwork

** 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

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.

Experiential Learning Opportunities
  • 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
OT/PT Pro-bono clinic
OT Program Offers Pro-bono Clinic
Students provide services free of charge to persons who cannot afford traditional services, have exhausted their insurance or would like help with their daily living skills.

Get To Know Your Faculty (Alphabetical)