Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Promote Health and Well-Being Through Science

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program at Clarkson University is committed to:

  • Developing professionals with deep cultural sensitivity and innovative problem-solving skills who will respond to current and emerging societal needs and improve the health and well-being of diverse individuals, groups and populations.
  • Expanding the knowledge base of the profession through interprofessional scholarship and practice.
  • Serving the unique needs of rural and underserved communities.

A master's degree in occupational therapy is the entry point for a high-demand career with projected job growth over the next decade and beyond.

Why Earn an MS in Occupational Therapy From Clarkson?

Clarkson's MS in Occupational Therapy offers a strong foundation in technology and innovation, professional reasoning and hands-on clinical skills. As a Clarkson OT student, you will:

  • Learn from faculty with well-rounded clinical expertise and contemporary practice experience working with children, adults and geriatric populations.
  • Receive an elevated educational experience through simulated patient interactions and co-curriculars that include a variety of community activities designed to further prepare you to engineer solutions that enable health and well-being throughout an individual’s lifespan.
  • Apply your clinical skills in state-of-the-art simulation labs and classrooms designed to give you real-world practice in safe learning environments.
  • Utilize technology. Clarkson is world renowned for our contributions to STEM fields. Clarkson OT is no exception, with opportunities to interact with assistive technology throughout the curriculum. CUOT houses the Assistive Technology Resource and Education Center (ATREC), which contains over 400 pieces of low- and high-tech equipment.
  • Celebrate diversity. Our faculty are continually trained in providing OT curricula through a Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) lens. We also have an active student-run chapter of national organization Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity (COTAD).

In addition to having top-notch clinical skills, our students are exceptionally well prepared to pass the National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). 

Clarkson's Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association.

What You'll Learn

A Clarkson education prepares each student for today’s world and tomorrow’s challenges. Our MS in Occupational Therapy curriculum provides a sequential progression and follows a cohort model, in which students move through the curriculum together.

The first semester provides a strong foundation in the basic sciences and the framework that guide the domain and process of occupational therapy practice.

Subsequent semesters provide the basis for occupational therapy evaluation and intervention, as students concurrently interact with more advanced content related to the leadership and management of occupational therapy services, evidence-based practice and professionalism.

Hands-on skills are taught through a series of experiential learning courses designed to provide opportunities to demonstrate competency and clinical reasoning across practice settings and with diverse individuals, groups and populations.

Practicum exams and competency checks are used to ensure safe practice and to identify any areas requiring remediation.

The MS in Occupational Therapy consists of 92 credit hours and is typically completed in 27 months.

Starting in semester three, you will have the opportunity to pursue one of three specialty tracks, all of which culminate in a capstone project:

  • Technology for Health-Related Quality of Life explores the design and implementation of new products utilizing cutting-edge technology.
  • Occupational Therapist as a Researcher focuses on the design and implementation of research studies that enhance the profession.
  • Innovative Practitioner uses innovative principles and collaboration to design new products, new programs or a new way of delivering occupational therapy services.

Occupational Therapy MS 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

Curricular Threads and Goals

The Clarkson Occupational Therapy Program has five curricular threads and related goals that are interwoven throughout the curriculum. The threads and goals reflect the values and priorities of our program, as well as the unique philosophy and mission of Clarkson University. Each goal is introduced, applied, and synthesized by the end of the didactic curriculum.

Thread 1: Professional Identity

  • Goal 1-1: Demonstrate professional behaviors, attitudes, and actions that are reflective of the ethical standards, values, and scope of the profession.
  • Goal 1-2: Advocate for the profession through participation and membership in community and professional organizations.
  • Goal 1-3: Develop a plan to ensure lifelong learning.

Thread 2: Innovation and Technology

  • Goal 2-1: Implement innovative solutions to barriers using technological resources.
  • Goal 2-2: Educate clients and their families in the safe use and maintenance of assistive technologies and adaptive equipment.

Thread 3: Evidence-informed Practice

  • Goal 3-1: Critically appraise qualitative and quantitative research.
  • Goal 3-2: Use a combination of research evidence, professional expertise, and data driven decision making to inform assessment and intervention decisions throughout the continuum of care.

Thread 4: Occupation-based practice

  • Goal 4-1: Articulate the value of occupation as means and ends, which is integral to the health and well-being of individuals, groups, and populations.
  • Goal 4-2: Develop and implement occupation-based interventions that support clients’ habits, routines, and roles within their contexts.
  • Goal 4-3: Exercise sound professional judgment and clinical reasoning.

Thread 5: Interprofessional Practice

  • Goal 5-1: Collaborate skillfully with clients, interprofessional team members, families, and community members to ensure high quality client- and population-centered care.


Fall I

  • OT 501 Gross anatomy (4 credits)
  • OT 511 Development and Occupational Performance Across the Lifespan (2 credits)
  • OT 521 Mental Health and Occupational Performance (2 credits)
  • OT 531 Theory and Practice (3 credits)
  • OT 541 Evidence-based Practice I (3 credits)
  • OT 551 Fundamentals of Occupational Performance (3 credits)
  • OT 591 Professional Communication and Practice (2 credits)

Total: 19

Spring I

  • OT 503 Neuroscience (4 credits)
  • OT 533 Applied Kinesiology for Occupational Therapists (2 credits)
  • OT 553 Cognition and Occupational Performance (2 credits)
  • OT 563 Adult Conditions I (2 credits)
  • OT 583 Experiential Learning Lab: Adult Assessment and Intervention (3 credits)
  • OT 603 Activity Analysis (3 credits)

Total: 16

Summer I

  • OT 605 Assistive Technology (2 credits)
  • OT 595 Interprofessional and Emerging Practice (2 credits)
  • OT 630, 631, 632 Engineering Pathways to Clinical Practice I (2 credits)
  • OT 700a Fieldwork Level I (2 credits)

Total: 8

Fall II

  • OT 537 Experiential Learning Lab: Pediatric Assessment (2 credits)
  • OT 557 Upper Extremity Rehabilitation and Orthotics (2 credits)
  • OT 567 Adult Conditions II (2 credits)
  • OT 587 Experiential Learning Lab: Adult Neuro Assessment and Intervention (3 credits)
  • OT 597 Special Topics in Advanced Practice (2 credits)
  • OT 640, 641, 642 Engineering Pathways to Clinical Practice II (2 credits)
  • OT 700b Fieldwork Level I (2 credits)

Total: 15

Spring II

  • OT 539 Professional Practice, Leadership, and Management (3 credits)
  • OT 549 Evidence-based Practice II (2 credits)
  • OT 579 Group Dynamics (3 credits)
  • OT 589 Experiential Learning Lab: Pediatric Intervention (4 credits)
  • OT 599 The Lifelong Learner (2 credits)
  • OT 650, 651, 652 Engineering Pathways to Clinical Practice III (2 credits)

Total: 16

Summer II

  • OT 705 Fieldwork Level IIA (9 credits)

Total: 9

Fall III

  • OT 710 Fieldwork Level IIB (9 credits)

Total: 9

Total Program Credits: 92


All students are required to complete supervised fieldwork experiences as part of the Clarkson Occupational Therapy program. Fieldwork provides an opportunity to complement your academic preparation with the application of theory and course content to practice, to further develop and refine clinical skills, and to establish professional relationships with supervisors and future colleagues. Fieldwork consists of Level I placements after the first two semesters of instruction and Level II placements following the completion of all coursework. The student fieldwork manual and related information (i.e. fieldwork dates and site data) will be available to students.  

Fieldwork experiences occur in sequence throughout our program and are designed to give the student the best learning opportunity. Students must participate in the fieldwork experiences in the appropriate sequence (refer to the curriculum). Students must complete all Level II fieldwork requirements within one year after completion of the academic coursework. If circumstances arise and a student needs to complete fieldwork outside of the one-year timeline, students can petition and the case will be reviewed by the faculty. Approval is needed to extend fieldwork placements.

Fieldwork education is an essential part of the professional preparation of each generation of occupational therapists. At Clarkson OT, we ensure every student has experiences that are broad in scope and rich in content. Your fieldwork program is tailored to your needs, geographic preferences and the type of practice setting that interests you. We have collaborative relationships coast to coast and place students in clinical settings throughout the United States.

Want to practice fieldwork abroad? Ask us about our first international fieldwork site in Uganda.

Learn More About OT Fieldwork

One of the highlights of being a student in our MS in Occupational Therapy program is the incredible facilities and resources available, including a Simulation Lab, Pediatrics Lab, Cadaver Lab, Media Lab, Assistive Technology Resource and Education Center, Shared PT/OT Clinical Lab and the Health Sciences Library.

Explore Our Facilities

Assistive technology (AT) has been defined as any item, device or system, whether purchased, customized or fabricated, that can be used to improve the functional capabilities of an individual with a disability.

At Clarkson OT, you will have the opportunity to interact with over 400 pieces of AT, ranging from low- to high-tech.

Which areas are addressed by AT?

  • Aging in place
  • Communication and social participation
  • Education and academics
  • Environmental modifications and controls
  • Mobility and community access
  • Recreation
  • Self-help
  • Supported employment
  • Workplace modification

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

  • Complete a baccalaureate degree, with preference given to students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Take all the necessary prerequisite courses, with preference given to students with a prerequisite grade point average of 3.2 or higher with no grade lower than C.
  • Submit documentation of a minimum of 20 hours of observation/volunteer work or work experience under the supervision of an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant.
  • If you are unable to complete observation hours, please contact us for a supplemental essay prompt, and the observation hours requirement will be waived.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation. Letters from family or friends will not be accepted. Satisfactorily complete admissions process.

Applications may be submitted through the Occupational Therapy Common Application Service (OTCAS).

Apply Through OTCAS

The deadline for application submissions is June 1. However, that the department uses a rolling admissions process, and as such, applications will be reviewed and students offered admission on an ongoing basis. For more information, please contact

Please note: the OT program is delivered on-site in Potsdam, New York with up to two courses offered virtually. For virtual courses, students are required to have the ability to use a computer and to access and use software and online platforms to perform all necessary educational functions. It is recommended that all entering students have a computer. Students without a computer can utilize available departmental and university computers.

For more information, please contact

Other Resources

Prerequisites for the MSOT Program

Financial Aid and Costs

An Approved SARA Institution

The Clarkson University Master of Science in 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 seven-year, full accreditation in August 2017. The next evaluation will be in 2023–2024.

ACOTE is located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE's telephone number is 301-652-6611 x2914, its email is and its website is

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 For more information on license requirements for New York State, see the New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions website at A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT Certification Examination or attain state licensure.

Program results from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) can be found at: NBCOT Program Performance Data.

Data below is reflective of a calendar year.

Graduation YearStudents Entering/GraduatingGraduation Rate



NBCOT Pass Rate


The total number of graduates from the Clarkson University Master of Occupational Therapy program during the 3-year period 2021-2023 was 64, with an overall graduation rate of 97%. 

Living in the North Country

In Potsdam, New York, we're off the beaten path. A quintessential college town at the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, Potsdam is rural living at its finest, offering a welcoming community and boundless outdoor adventures. Canadian cities Montreal and Ottawa are less than two hours away, and Lake Placid, home of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, is an outdoor enthusiasts dream. Hear what students have to say about living in the North Country. 

Hear From Students

Career Possibilities

The demand for occupational therapists is rising, with job growth expected to increase 14 percent through 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Occupational therapists work in a variety of environments, such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, small medical offices and clients' homes. They also work in policy and administration, as well as research and academia.

Job titles include:

  • Advocate
  • Consultant
  • Educator
  • Entrepreneur
  • Manager
  • Occupational therapist
  • Researcher 

Recent Employers

Following licensure, graduates have found employment through many health and rehabilitation organizations, including:

  • Beaumont Hospital, Troy, Texas
  • Encompass Health, Austin, Texas
  • Froedtert Hospital, Milwaukee, WI
  • Gottsche Rehabilitation Center, Wyoming
  • New York City Department of Education, New York, NY
  • Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center, Oregon City, OR
  • The Center for Discovery, Monticello, New York
  • The Perfect Playground, Staten Island, NY

Contact Us 

Occupational Therapy Department   
Phone: 315-268-4412

Interested in learning more about the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy? Contact the Department today with your questions.

Find out more about the Occupational Therapy Department in the Lewis School of Health Sciences.

100% Graduate Placement Rate - Program Specific

Clarkson's MSOT Program Offers a Winning Combination

Small class sizes combined with a state-of-the-art smart simulation lab convinced Tyler Metroff that Clarkson was the right fit for him.

What to Expect

Explore Clarkson's simulation labs, and get to know our hands-on approach to teaching occupational therapy.

Join the Healthcare Team

Clarkson's MS in Occupational Therapy will prepare you for a career helping others. Find out more about this meaningful career.