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. 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 offers two Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy degree tracks based upon a student's previous coursework:

Career Opportunities

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
How You Get A Degree
  • On-Ground


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Where You Can Get A Degree

Curriculum Overview


The program leading to the entry-level Master of Science in Occupational Therapy is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Middle States Commission of Higher Education and the American Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).  The entry-level MSOT degree is 7 semesters in length.  The program requirements are as follows:


Course Requirements: 67 credits (70-76 if leveling courses are required)


Program Leveling Courses (9 credits maximum)

  • OT 507 Fundamentals of OT (3cr) -OR- prior coursework in occupational therapy
  • OT 562 Neuroscience for the OT (3cr) -OR- prior coursework in human neuroscience
  • OT 564 Kinesiology for the OT (3cr) -OR- prior coursework in human kinesiology


Required Interdisciplinary Courses (3 credits)

  • COR 520 Ethics and Moral Leadership 3cr


Required Occupational Therapy Course (49 credits)

  • OT 513 Advocacy & Public Policy (3cr)
  • OT 521 Occupational. Performance III: Behavioral Health (4cr)
  • OT 522 Leadership & Management (3cr) 
  • OT 523 Occupational Performance IV: Geriatric (4cr)
  • OT 525 Pathology for OT Practitioners (3cr)
  • OT 526 Current Trends in OT (3cr) 
  • OT 527 OT Process (3cr)
  • OT 532 Activity Analysis (3cr)    
  • OT 534 Occupational Performance I: Pediatric (4cr)
  • OT 536 Occupational Performance II: Adult (4cr)
  • OT 538 Adapting & Grading with Technology (3cr)
  • OT 581 Fieldwork I Seminar I (1cr)
  • OT 582 Fieldwork I Seminar II (1cr)
  • OT 583 Fieldwork I Seminar III (1cr)
  • OT 607 Data Analysis for the OT (3cr)
  • OT 611 Inter-professional Collaboration (3cr)
  • OT 624 Best Ethical Practice in OT (3cr)


Required full time level II fieldwork experience (8 credits)

  • OT 587 Occupational Therapy Fieldwork: Practicum I (4cr)
  • OT 589 Occupational Therapy Fieldwork : Practicum II (4cr)


Required Capstone Courses (7 credits)

  • OT 605 Research Design (3cr)
  • OT 620 Research Report (4cr)  
Five-Year MSOT Curriculum Overview

With 124 credits of undergraduate and 32 credits of graduate courses, you'll build the necessary background for your graduate study in occupational therapy.


After an extensive process involving the review of the latest trends in occupational therapy education, guiding documents published by the professions, and after consulting with external experts, the occupational therapy curriculum was revised to meet the challenges of a changing profession. The curriculum adopted has a two plus three format and includes course work in the major areas of occupational therapy practice. The curriculum emphasizes the use of occupational as a means of therapeutic intervention, critical thinking to solve problems in living, and ethical values as the core of professional development.


The Occupational Therapy faculty uses various course formats to help you learn, including case studies, lecture/discussion, group projects and simulation exercises to ensure what you gain in one course will reinforce and build on what you learn in others.

Five-Year MOST 10 Semester Plan

An * symbol in the below 10 semester plan identifies courses that must be taken in the semester indicated and passed in order for a student to stay on track toward completing the degree in five year (ten semesters).

Semester 1

* SRH 101 or HNR 160: SEARCH Seminar (3)
OT 101: Introduction to Occupational Therapy (3)
COM 101: Composition & Research (3)
Gen Ed SEARCH: (World Language I) (3)
THE 105: Foundations of Theology or PHI 105 Introduction to Philosophy (3)

Semester 2

* BIO 107: Anatomy & Physiology I (3)
* BIO 117: Anatomy & Physiology I lab (1)
PSY 101: Introduction to Psychology (3)
SOC 111: Principles of Sociology (3)
Gen Ed SEARCH (World Language II) (3)
THE 105: Foundations of Theology or PHI 105 Introduction to Philosophy (3)

Semester 3

* BIO 108: Anatomy & Physiology II (3)
* BIO 118: Anatomy & Physiology II Lab (1)
* BIO 208: Neuroscience for Rehabilitation (3)
MAT 208: Introductory Statistics (3)
PSY 208: Human Development Across Lifespan (3)
Gen Ed SEARCH (Literature/ENG) (3)

Semester 4

* BIO 211: Kinesiology (4)
Gen Ed SEARCH: (THE/PHI: 200-400 Level) (3)
Gen Ed SEARCH: (COM) (3)
PSY 250: Intro to Psychopathology (3)

Semester 5

* OT 321: Activity Analysis (Lecture & Lab) (3)
* OT 323: Paradigms & Theories in OT (3)
* OT 325: Pathology for OT Practitioners (3)
* OT 327: OT Process (3)
* OT 381: Fieldwork I (FW & Seminar) (1)

Semester 6

* OT 332: Adapting & Grading - Low Tech (3)
* OT 334: Occupational Performance I (Pediatric) (4)
* OT 336: Occupational Performance II (Adult) (4)
* OT 382: Fieldwork II (FW & Seminar) (1)
Gen Ed SEARCH (THE/PHI ethics/morality) (3)

Semester 7

* OT 421: Occupational Performance III (Behav. Health) (4)
* OT 423: Occupational Performance IV (Geriatric) (4)
* OT 427: Adapting & Grading - High Tech (3)
* OT 481: Fieldwork I/Seminar III (1)
* OT 607: Data Analysis for OT (3)
OT 429: Writing for the OT Professional (3) - recommended but not required, this fulfills Writing Enhanced requirement

Semester 8

* OT 482: Level II Fieldwork Practicum I (6)
* OT 483: Level II Fieldwork Practicum II (6)
* COR 520: Ethics & Moral Leadership (Grad Level) (3)

Semester 9

* OT 517: Advanced Interventions (4)
* OT 522: Leadership & Management (3)
* OT 605: Research Design (3)
* OT 624: Best Ethical Practice in OT (3)

Semester 10

* OT 513: Advocacy & Public Policy (3)
* OT 620: Research Report (4)
* OT 526: Current Trends in OT (3)
* OT 518: Advanced Practice (3)

Entry-Level MSOT Curriculum Overview

Delivery Formats:

The entry-level MSOT is available on main campus in a traditional classroom, lab and fieldwork format.  Semesters 1-4 are as a cohort with course offerings scheduled 2 days a week.  During semesters 2-4, a third day commitment is required for level I fieldwork.  Semester 5 is 24 weeks of full time level II fieldwork and an online core course with dates from June 27 - December 16.  All course content during semesters 6 and 7 will be delivered in a virtual format.

Program Length:
For most students the length of study to earn the entry-level MSOT degree will be three and a half years.  Length of study may be less for students who enter the program with all the leveling courses or longer if students are unable to maintain a full academic plan.


Progression in the program requires students to successfully complete fieldwork placements.  Fieldwork sites require students to show evidence that they meet health, legal and training standards.  Students who are unable to meet these requirements cannot progress in the program.

Entry-Level MSOT 7 Semester Plan

Fall Semester 1 *

*OT 507 Fundamentals of Occupational Therapy (3cr)
*OT 562 Neuroscience for the Occupational Therapists (3cr)
*OT 564 Kinesiology for the Occupational Therapists (3cr)

*Leveling courses

Spring Semester 2

OT 525 Pathology for Occupational Therapy Practitioners (3cr)
OT 527 OT Process (3cr)
OT 532 Activity Analysis (3cr)
OT 581 Fieldwork I Seminar I (1cr)

Fall Semester 3

OT 534 Occupational Performance: I Pediatric (4cr)
OT 536 Occupational Performance: II Adult 4cr)
OT 538 Adapting & Grading with Technology (3cr)
OT 582 Fieldwork I Seminar II (1cr)

Spring Semester 4

OT 521 Occupational Performance: III Behavioral Health (4cr)
OT 523 Occupational Performance: IV Geriatric (4cr)
OT 583 Fieldwork I Seminar III (1cr)
OT 607 Data Analysis for the OT (3cr)

Fall Semester 5*

OT 587 OT Fieldwork: Practicum I (4cr)
OT 589 OT Fieldwork: Practicum II (4cr)
COR 520 Ethics and Moral Leadership (3cr)

Spring Semester 6 (Courses offered in Virtual Synchronous Online Format)

OT 522 Leadership & Management (3cr)
OT 624 Best Ethical Practice in OT (3cr)
OT 605 Research Design (3cr)

All Semester 6 courses are offered in a virtual synchronous, online format.

Fall Semester 7 (Courses offered in Virtual Synchronous Online Format)

OT 513 Advocacy & Public Policy (3cr)
OT 611 Inter-professional Collaboration (3cr)
OT 526 Current Trends in Occupational Therapy (3cr)
OT 620 Research Report


Joey Burgess, OT student, and former president of SOTA.
Why Alvernia?
“My junior year, all five of my professors said sentiments along the lines of ‘you are smart, you worked hard and deserve to be here, do not be afraid to ask questions, I am here to help you become the best occupational therapist you can be.’ I remember thinking that I had never had a teacher say anything like that to me before, let alone all five of them."
-Joseph Burgess, B.S. in Healthcare Science '22, MSOT '22