Location: Potsdam Delivery Method: Onsite

The Occupational Therapy program at Clarkson is committed to fostering therapists who are prepared to respond to both current and emerging societal needs that influence individuals' occupations.

We integrate experiential learning to help students develop internalized working models for practicing occupational therapy in culturally diverse, innovative practice settings.

The Occupational Therapy Department at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y., serves the health needs of the community by preparing you to engineer occupational therapy solutions that enable health and well-being throughout an individual’s lifespan.

What is Occupational Therapy?
Instead of asking, “What's the matter with you?” occupational therapists ask, “What matters to you?”

Life is composed of “occupations,” day-to-day activities that we find meaningful and purposeful. Occupations vary from person to person and may include roles such as being a parent, a friend, a student, a spouse, an athlete, a painter, a traveler and so on. We tend to take occupations for granted until we encounter challenges that prevent us from doing them. Occupational therapists teach people who find their occupational roles to be disrupted by injury, illness or other health-related challenges how to re-engage in the occupations they value.

What is the Role of an Occupational Therapist?

Occupational therapists are holistic, healthcare professionals who have learned how to apply evidence-based interventions to improve a person’s psychological, physical, emotional and social participation. They assist individuals in setting achievable goals; staying healthy, productive and independent and participating in everyday activities. Occupational therapists enjoy the satisfaction of helping people live life to its fullest!


Occupational Therapy Program

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy consists of 92 credit hours for completion and can usually be completed in 27 months

Occupational Therapy MS Curriculum

Best College in NY State for Getting a Job, Zippia, 2017


General Admission Requirements

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at Clarkson University is a full time graduate program. In order to be considered for admissions, applicants must:

  • Complete a baccalaureate degree, with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Take all the necessary pre-requisite courses. The overall grade point average in all pre-requisite courses should be a minimum of 3.2 with no grade lower than C.
  • Submit documentation of a minimum of 40 hours of observation/volunteer work or work experience under the supervision of an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant.
  • Submit Clarkson’s supplemental application (includes the submission of your 3D skill/craft).
  • Submit three letters of recommendation. At least one letter must be from a faculty member who can speak to your academic or professional character, and at least one letter must be from an occupational therapy professional. Letters from family, friends or clergy will not be accepted.
  • Satisfactorily complete an on-campus interview (in some cases may be satisfied via tele-meeting technology).

Applications may be submitted through the Occupational Therapy Common Application Service (OTCAS).
The deadline for submission of applications is January 15th each year. 

However, please note that the department uses a rolling admissions process, and as such, applications will be reviewed and students offered admission on an on-going basis. If applicable, Clarkson will contact academically eligible applicants via email to schedule an interview (provided space is still available). 

Pre-requisites & Requirements

Pre-requisites for the MSOT Program at Clarkson University


  • General Psychology, 3 credits
  • Abnormal Psychology, 3 credits
  • Developmental Psychology, 3 credits
  • Statistics, 3 credits
  • Biology (in addition to A&P), 3 credits
  • Human Anatomy, 3+ credits
  • Human Physiology, 3+ credits
  • English Composition/Critical Thinking, 6 credits
  • Social Sciences (Anthropology, Humanities, Philosophy, Sociology), 6 credits
  • Physics or Kinesiology, 3 credits


  • Scientific writing, 3 credits
  • Communication/Public Speaking, 3 credits

Supplemental Application Requirement:

3D skill/craft: The 3D requirement may be fulfilled by a college course or a portfolio of individual work (i.e., self-taught or outside a university setting) involving actual hands-on manipulation of media/materials. Examples include a 3D science or engineering project, woodworking, sculpting, loom work, fly tying, boat making, electric car construction, ceramics, sewing, beading, knitting, etc. Should be the equivalent of 45 hours of work or 3 credits.

*Human Anatomy and Physiology may be taken in the following combinations only:
Human Anatomy (3 or more credits) + Human Physiology (3 or more credits) OR
Anatomy & Physiology I (3 or more credits) + Anatomy & Physiology II (3 or more credits)
*Transfer credits from other OT programs are not accepted as waivers for the MSOT curriculum.

Supplemental Application

The supplemental application is in addition to the OTCAS application. After verification of the OTCAS application, the program will review and invite qualified applicants to complete a supplemental application. Supplemental applications received that have not been requested by the program will be disregarded and will not be considered for admission to the program. The supplemental application is to be completed only at the request of the program, and applicants who complete the supplemental application are not guaranteed an interview.

For the supplemental application to be completed, it will include:

  • Application.
  • Signed statement of Meeting Technical Standards.
  • Your plan to complete the 3D skill/craft: The 3D requirement may be fulfilled by a college course or a portfolio of individual work (i.e., self-taught or outside a university setting) involving actual hands-on manipulation of media/materials. Examples include a 3D science or engineering project, woodworking, sculpting, loom work, fly tying, boat making, electric car construction, ceramics, sewing, beading, knitting, etc. If a portfolio is selected as means to fulfill this requirement, it must be turned in by the date of interview.  The candidate may choose to take a college course to fulfill the requirement, but the course must be completed or in-progress by the time of the interview.
  • Official transcripts for grades not verified in OTCAS.
  • Reference letter – a total of three letters are required, one of which must be from an Occupational Therapist. A letter must also come from a faculty member who can speak to your academic or professional character. (Note that if OTCAS has 3 letters and one is from an Occupational Therapist, no letter is required with the supplemental application.)
  • $50.00 application fee (made payable to Clarkson University).

All materials are to be mailed directly to Clarkson University at: 

Clarkson University
Department of Occupational Therapy
Box 5883, 8 Clarkson Avenue
Potsdam, NY 13699-5883

For questions about completing the Clarkson University supplemental application, contact the Clarkson University Department of Occupational Therapy at ot@clarkson.edu or 315-268-4476.

Application Deadline

The supplemental application must be returned within 15 days of the request from the program. If the supplemental application is not received within 15 days, the entire application will close and applicant status will change to withdrawn.

Incomplete applications, applications received after the deadline, or applications received without the application fee will not be considered.

Fieldwork Information

Welcome to fieldwork! Fieldwork is an exciting time during your academic occupational therapy program here at Clarkson University! Throughout the OT program you will participate in two Level I fieldwork rotations and two Level II fieldwork rotations.

Before beginning any fieldwork experiences all students are required to have:

  • Current immunizations
  • 2 step PPD
  • Updated physical
  • CPR for Healthcare Providers and First Aid Training
  • HIPAA Training
  • Infection Control Training
  • Satisfactory results of Certified Background Check

Below we have provided you will many resources and required documents to support you on your fieldwork journey. 

Please feel free to reach out to us with any of your fieldwork questions!

Cindy Hammecker-McLean, OTR/L
Academic Fieldwork Coordinator/Clinical Assistant Professor
Phone: (315) 268-7692           Fax: (315) 268-7743

Jennifer A. Zoanetti
Academic Support Assistant
Clarkson University Occupational Therapy Program
Box 5883, 8 Clarkson Avenue
Potsdam, NY 13699
Phone: (315) 268-4476          Fax: (315)268-7743

Contact Us

Jennifer Zoanetti 
Graduate Admissions Coordinator and Academic Support Assistant




The Clarkson University Master of Occupational Therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association.  ACOTE awarded the program a 5-year, full accreditation in August 2017. The next evaluation will be in 2021–2022.

ACOTE is located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE's telephone number is 301-652-6611 x2914, email is accred@aota.org and its website is www.acoteonline.org.

Clarkson University is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 3624 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19104-2680, 215-662-5606. In addition, the University is accredited by the United States Civil Service Commission, and its curricula are approved by the New York State Board of Regents.  The Occupational Therapy Program has been registered by the New York State Education Department.

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 this exam, the graduate will be an occupational therapist, registered (OTR). Graduation from an accredited program is a requirement of NBCOT for certification. It is also required for most states for licensing. For more information on the requirements for certification, see the NBCOT website at http://www.nbcot.org/. For more information on license requirements for New York State, see the New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions website at http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/ot/.

A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT Certification Examination or attain state licensure.

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