5-year B.S. in Healthcare Science & M.S. in Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy empowers individuals to live their best lives, stay healthy and prevent or adapt to living with injuries or disabilities. Occupational therapy is the process of engaging in everyday activities to rehabilitate a muscle, range of motion or improve a person’s ability to perform lifestyle tasks.
Becoming an occupational therapist is an excellent choice for students who enjoy communicating with a wide range of people in all age-groups. Being analytical and a problem-solver are important as are 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.
Alvernia University’s five-year Bachelor of Science in Health Science and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program prepares you to initiate therapeutic methods and move to the forefront of your profession at hospitals, schools, doctors’ offices , home health services and nursing homes.
Your Impact with an Occupational Therapy Degree
- Learning the distinct value of occupation as a determinant of health and well-being.
- Exploring what motivates people to accomplish goals and lead a meaningful life.
- Discovering how everyday activities (occupations) influence emotional, physical and spiritual health.
- Developing the skills, knowledge and values needed for a career helping others.
- Positioning yourself to complete both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in occupational therapy in just five years.
Career Options with an Occupational Therapy Degree
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of occupational therapists is projected to grow 16 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Occupational therapy will continue to be an important part of treatment for people with various illnesses and disabilities, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral palsy, autism, or the loss of a limb. The median annual wage for occupational therapists in 2019 was $84,950.
- 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
Our program positions you to complete both a bachelor’s degree in healthcare science and a master's degree in occupational therapy in just five years.
For more information on the program and our 10-semester plan, please review the curriculum.
- Experiential Learning
Through internships, students have opportunities to apply theories and knowledge learned in the classroom in a variety of professional settings. In addition to providing exposure to the activities and expectations of a real-world workplace, internship experiences help students develop their network of professional contacts.
- Financial Aid
100% of Alvernia students receive some form of scholarship and/or aid. Our admissions counselors can help you identify the aid that is available to you and for your program. For more information, visit our Financial Aid page.
- Accreditation and Board Certification
The occupational therapy master’s degree program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) located at 6116 Executive Blvd., Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD., 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is 301-652-2682 and its web address is www.acoteonline.org Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in 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 licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT Certification Examination or attain state licensure.
All students in the occupational therapy program at Alvernia University must complete Level II Fieldwork within 24 months of completing undergraduate or prerequisite course work. After passing the NBCOT Certification Examination, the student will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR) and after attaining state licensure they are entitled to use the designation OTR/L.
The program holds accreditation status for an entry-level professional master's degree. The next onsite visit from ACOTE is scheduled for academic year 2021-2022.
For information explaining all of the benefits of earning a degree from an ACOTE accredited program, please visit www.aota.org or www.acoteonline.org
ACOTE® accredited occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant educational programs satisfy the states’ educational requirements in all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Students graduating from an ACOTE® accredited occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant educational program are eligible to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification exam and apply for licensure in all states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. For more information regarding state qualifications and licensure requirements, please refer to the AOTA State Licensure webpage.
Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the national certification exam to become board certified by NBCOT. Alvernia boosts a competitive pass rate on this exam. For the most up to date pass rate visit https://nbcot.org/en/educators/home#schoolperformance
- Faculty Perspective
For over 20 years, the Alvernia Occupational Therapy program has graduated students who have become successful, goal-directed, and service-oriented occupational therapists focused on occupational justice. Its longevity is attributed to the MSOT curriculum's responsiveness to student needs for a holistic education through:
- Inter-professional collaboration with the Healthcare Sciences
- Community-based and international fieldwork
- Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) and Pi Theta Epsilon
- Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity (COTAD)
- Service-learning and Advocacy projects
- Annual public research presentations
The Occupational Therapy faculty strive continuously to bring out the best in their students, so the students can be their best to serve others.
Elizabeth Bentz, OTD, OTR/L, SIPT, RYT
Chair, Assistant Professor
- Student Perspective
“The combined MSOT program is great because you can complete two degrees in five years and not have to worry about taking the GRE’s and applying to graduate school. I have come to understand and appreciate the core beliefs of Occupational Therapy and Alvernia’s Franciscan values. The program has broadened my mindset and challenged me to grow both as a person and a professional. My level I fieldwork experiences in acute rehab, mental health, and school-based settings interest me and I could see myself working in any of them!” Joey Burgess, MSOT '22
“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 including collegiality and humility. My fieldwork placements on Long Island in an outpatient hand therapy clinic and local school district helped to bridge my classroom learning with my clinical experience. My degree and experiences at Alvernia helped me to get my job working as an OT in a school district!” Erin McAleer, MSOT '19
For more information about Alvernia’s 5-year Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Science and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, please contact the Admissions Office at 1-888-ALVERNIA or 610-796-8269 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach out directly to:
Elizabeth M. Bentz, OTD, OTR/L, SIPT, RYT
Chair, Occupational Therapy Department
Bernardine Hall 114E
Amy J. Thomas, OTD, OTR/L, ARSP
Program Director, Occupational Therapy
Bernardine Hall 114C