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Occupational Therapy (BS + MS)

  • 5-Year
  • 148-152 Credit Hours

Become an occupational therapist in as few as 5 years with our combined bachelor's and master's program in occupational therapy.

As an occupational therapist you'll help individuals regain and build skills that are important for their health, well-being, safety and daily living.

Occupational therapists are in demand in nearly every healthcare setting and are poised to take on an even larger role as our population ages and the number of individuals with disabilities or limited function who require therapy services increases.

If you're interested in a career that is both fulfilling and has opportunities for growth, becoming an occupational therapist might be exactly what you've been looking for.

Learn more about the Occupational Therapy program on our program homepage.

Why Choose D'Youville?

  • Studies show that teamwork across clinical specialties improves patient outcomes. D'Youville's unique interdisciplinary education lab offers the opportunity for you to practice treating patients (played by actors) alongside a team of students from 7 other healthcare majors at D'Youville — all under the supervision of a skilled instructor.
  • Enjoy small classes, labs and seminars where you get individual attention.
  • D'Youville has developed relationships with over 400 clinical fieldwork sites in a wide array of settings, facilities, and treatment protocols.
  • Students who live in residence halls tend to perform better academically and are more engaged on campus. We require all students in the Occupational Therapy program to live on campus for the first two years of study.
  • Join a degree program with consistently high career placement rates.
  • Eligible OT students can apply to the Alpha Rho Chapter of Pi Theta Epsilon, a National Honor Society for Occupational Therapists and Students. Our Chapter is active and hosts a fall and spring event each year.

What you'll gain:

  • Upon graduation from our ACOTE-accredited BS+MS program, you'll be prepared to take the National Certification Examination for Occupational Therapists
  • Practical experience through our strong focus on clinical field experience
  • A well-rounded education that includes learning about the arts, humanities and sciences in addition to your occupational therapy professional studies

Fieldwork Education

The Department of Occupational Therapy has clinical fieldwork agreements with over 400 hospitals, school systems, rehabilitation centers, mental health sites, nursing facilities, and community-based centers in select states across the U.S.

The goal of fieldwork education is to prepare the students to be well-rounded, entry-level practitioners. Three levels of fieldwork education are integrated into the occupational therapy curriculum.

Level I Fieldwork

Experiences during the academic phase of the program enable students to apply classroom learning in the clinical setting. These experiences are associated with specific intervention courses and place students in various healthcare arenas with a variety of consumers/patients.

Level II Fieldwork

Consists of two full-time 12-week clinical training experiences, (Part-time options are available); two internships provide students with the opportunity to treat a wide range of disabilities and age groups. Emphasis is on applying knowledge through in-depth activities, tasks, and the responsibility for delivering healthcare to patients. Clinical experiences may include acute hospital settings, inpatient psychiatric settings, rehabilitation centers, day treatment centers, nursing homes, school systems, developmental centers, and community health initiatives.

Community Practice

An advanced placement in a community setting or educational environment allows you to explore non-traditional or specialty applications of occupational therapy. Community Practice occurs in the graduate year following Level II fieldwork.

Site Visits

Visits to healthcare agencies are part of certain entry-level courses. These visits orient you to a variety of services provided in the local area, focusing on the context in which occupational therapy services are delivered or could be provided.

Visit Western NY OT Fieldwork Consortium to learn more about fieldwork opportunities.

Giovanni Feliciano, man with dark hair wearing a blue shirt smiles at the camera in front of a sunset.
Giovanni Feliciano

Master's in Occupational Therapy

My favorite part of DYU has to be the incredible friendliness and close-knit atmosphere of the cohort, alongside some truly supportive professors. It's something quite special and perhaps a bit harder to come by in larger universities. There's a genuine sense of community at DYU that makes the learning experience not only educational but also personally enriching. It's the kind of environment where some professors aren't just educators; they're mentors and sometimes even friends. The smaller class sizes foster a more intimate learning experience, encouraging interactions and discussions that might not be as feasible in larger settings. This unique aspect of DYU has undoubtedly enriched my time there, making it a memorable and invaluable part of my academic journey.

Admission Requirements

At D'Youville, we are committed to selecting students who are academically well-rounded and committed to meeting the challenges of a high-quality education. If you have been successful in a traditional college preparatory program in high school, you should be well-prepared for the academic challenges at D'Youville. While we don't require you to submit ACT or SAT test scores, if you have taken or intend to take a standardized test we encourage you to submit your scores if you'd like them to be evaluated as part of your application.

First Time in College Freshman Requirement
  • Submitted application for admission
  • Official high school transcripts
    • A high school average of at least 85 percent.
    • Students must also demonstrate successful completion of the following high school courses: two years of math, one year of biology, and one year of chemistry. Physics is strongly recommended. Students who have not taken high school chemistry will be considered for admission with the understanding that a college preparatory chemistry course must be taken before beginning the curriculum

Not Required (utilized in a holistic review for admission if provided):

  • Standardized SAT/ACT test scores
  • Admissions essay
  • Letters of recommendation
Transfer Admission Required Review Criteria:
  • Submitted application for admission
    • Applications are free of charge and can be found on our apply webpage.
  • Official transcripts from ALL previously attended colleges/universities
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5

 Not Required (utilized in a holistic review for admission if provided):

  • Coursework relevant to major of interest
  • Admissions essay
  • Letters of recommendation
Technical Standards and Essential Functions

Occupational Therapists (OTs) are health-related professionals who are experts in evaluating performance skills used by people in everyday activities, and in planning and providing therapeutic intervention to improve and enable function in the home, school, workplace, and community. OTs analyze, select, adapt, design, and implement therapeutic activities for patients, clients, and children whose ability to cope with daily living and perform necessary tasks is compromised by illness, injury, developmental deficiencies, physical impairments, psychological disorders, social inadequacies, the aging process, or environmental deprivation.

OTs provide services in a multitude of settings and situations with a wide range of individuals of various ages, special needs, socio-cultural backgrounds, roles, abilities, and disabilities. The OT department at D’Youville intends to graduate well-prepared entry-level general practitioners, who are team players, ready to ethically and competently practice, effectively document, knowledgeably research, and advocate for those in need of OT services. OTs are responsible for the safety and effectiveness of service delivery with an aim toward achieving health, well-being, and participation in life through engagement in meaningful, purposeful occupations. 

In order to competently function in the rigorous educational program and as an OT in practice settings that may involve heavy workloads and stressful situations, an individual must be proficient in certain cognitive, intellectual, interpersonal, social-emotional, communication, physical, psychomotor, and sensory-perceptual-motor abilities as well as demonstrate compassion, professional attitudes, and ethical behaviors. The faculty is committed to an educational environment where students, with or without disabilities, may develop cognitively, emotionally, spiritually, socially, and professionally.

Therefore, the following technical standards must be met with, or without, reasonable accommodations consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The purpose of the technical standards is to delineate specific expectations and abilities for successful student performance in the classroom, laboratory, fieldwork sites, and clinical education environments. Technical standards must be met at enrollment, matriculation into, continuation in, and completion of the OT educational program. Inability to attain and comply with these technical standards may prevent admission to the OT program, or if the enrolled student becomes unable to fulfill these technical standards, with reasonable accommodations, it may result in course failure, withdrawal, or dismissal from the department.

Applicants with disabilities or physical challenges, who are otherwise qualified, must discuss considerations for reasonable accommodations with the Coordinator of Accessibility Resources at D’Youville College by phone at 716-829-7728. Verification and documentation of the disability by a qualified professional, such as a physician or psychologist, is needed before reasonable accommodations are made. Accommodations will not be considered reasonable if they affect the substance of the OT education program, compromise the educational standards, the integrity of the curriculum, and/or negatively affect the safety of students and/or other people, including patients/clients/children, with whom they may come into contact during the course of their studies. If accommodations are provided, this information will be kept in strict confidence, and it is the student’s responsibility to divulge the disability and need for reasonable accommodations while on fieldwork.

All OT applicants must review the technical standards described in this document and perform a self-evaluation to determine whether they are able to attain and maintain compliance with them. A signed copy of this form must be returned to the OT department, signifying the standards have been read and certifying acceptance of the responsibilities and compliance with the standards.


Critical Thinking and Reasoning
  • Technical Standards
    • Critical thinking ability for analysis, synthesis, evaluation, planning, reasoning, problem solving, sound judgment, and mathematical calculations
  • Examples (Not All Inclusive)
    • Evaluate individuals, analyze and interpret findings and data; develop occupational profile, identify needs and strengths, use clinical reasoning to plan intervention, assess outcomes; research, interpret, understand statistics, and apply information for evidence-based practice
Interpersonal Skills and Psychosocial- Emotional Self-Regulation
  • Technical Skills
    • Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, religious, ethnic, cultural, racial, sexual, and intellectual backgrounds and lifestyles
  • Examples (Not All Inclusive)
    • Therapeutic use of self to establish rapport with patients and colleagues; Demonstrate empathy; Use therapeutic communication (active listening, attending, clarifying, coaching, facilitating, teaching); Function as a part of a team (consult, negotiate, advocate, cooperate, and lead).
Communication Ability
  • Technical Skills
    • Communication abilities sufficient for effective and professional interaction with others in spoken and written English, and through electronic or technological devices; Speak in front of a group of people
  • Examples (Not All Inclusive)
    • Explain intervention procedures and carry-over methods; conduct teaching-learning procedures; Document and interpret evaluation information; Compose professional reports and records; Share information and participate in discussions; Enter, transcribe, and maintain information in virtual formats; Computer access to send/receive email and course documents
Physical Strength and Endurance
  • Technical Skills
    • Remain continuously on task (mentally and physically) for several hours while standing, sitting, moving, lifting, reaching, carrying, bending, pushing, pulling, kneeling, walking, stabilizing, and/or interacting
  • Examples (Not All Inclusive)
    • Move within facilities to various rooms and transport individuals  to and from OT; Manual procedures and facilitation techniques for neuromusculoskeletal conditions; Lifting, transferring, and positioning individuals in wheeled mobility equipment and adaptive positioning devices
Gross Motor Coordination and Mobility
  • Technical Skills
    • Physical abilities sufficient to maneuver in surroundings; Full functional range of motion; Plan, sequence, and coordinate movements. Maintain or regain body balance to stay upright; Jump, stoop, throw, and catch objects.
  • Examples (Not All Inclusive)
    • Move around in patients’ rooms, small work spaces, and shared OT treatment areas; Accompany or assist individuals in outdoor or community areas and balance on uneven surfaces; Use proper body mechanics when lifting; Use transportation systems to fieldwork, practicum sites, and home visits; Demonstrate evaluation items on standardized tests
Fine Motor, Eye-hand Coordination and Psychomotor Skills
  • Technical Skills
    • Eye-hand coordination, bilateral coordination, and hand dexterity sufficient to provide safe and effective care, and to manipulate supplies, tools, media, and equipment; Quick hand and finger movements for keyboarding
  • Examples (Not All Inclusive)
    • Manipulate assessment tools such as goniometers and stop watches; Efficiently administer test items such as cutting with scissors and stringing beads; Input data and information on computer keyboard; Demonstrate proper use of media such as arts and crafts; Accurately reach for supplies and equipment; Fabricate orthotics and assistive devices
Hearing Ability and Auditory Processing Skills
  • Technical Skills
    • Normal or corrected auditory ability sufficient to understand other people’s speech, and to interpret, and monitor environmental noises and situations  
  • Examples (Not All Inclusive)
    • Hear varying tone of voice to aid in assessing emotions and psychological well-being; Listen and respond to feelings of others; Use telephones for conferences; Monitor alarms, emergency signals; Hear cries for help.
Visual Ability and Observation Skills
  • Technical Skills
    • Normal or corrected visual ability sufficient for patient/client/child observation and assessment; ability to discriminate typed numbers and letters; detect differences in colors, shades and brightness
  • Examples (Not All Inclusive)
    • Observe and supervise patient/ client/ child responses. Read charts, files, computer screen, digital printouts, labels, and gauges; Input information in electronic records; Perceive color-coded documents; Detect meaningful changes in skin and mucus membrane color
Tactile Ability and Proprioceptive Awareness
  • Technical Skills
    • Tactile ability and temperature discrimination sufficient for physical assessment, treatment implementation, and safety; Tolerate physical proximity and contact with others; Awareness of limb movement, force, speed, and direction
  • Examples (Not All Inclusive)
    • Perform muscle palpation and feel muscle tone; Perform therapeutic intervention such as massage; Temperature awareness during ADL activities such as teaching hygiene and cooking; Safety when using modalities and physical agents; Control force and speed during range of motion exercises
Professional Attitude, Values, Demeanor, and Behavior
  • Technical Skills
    • Ability to present professional appearance and implement measures to maintain own physical and mental health, emotional stability, honesty, integrity, and ethical behavior
  • Examples (Not All Inclusive)
    • Work under stressful conditions with multiple demands from consumers, other practitioners, and administrators. React calmly in emergency situations. Demonstrate compassion, flexibility, and willingness to adapt for the greater good.


Our program prepares you for general occupational therapy practice.

An Occupational Therapist's Role

As an occupational therapist, you'll work with people of all ages who have various physical, developmental, social or emotional challenges. You will help them develop the skills to lead independent, productive and satisfying lives. 

Occupational therapists work in a variety of healthcare settings, including: acute hospital, rehabilitation, and orthopedic settings. 

Other major employers of occupational therapists are hospitals, offices of other health practitioners (including offices of occupational therapists), public and private educational services, and nursing care facilities.

Driver rehabilitation, training for the elderly, and ergonomic consulting are emerging practice areas for occupational therapy.

Career Outlook

Most states, including New York, require licensure to practice. State licensure is typically based on the results of the NBCOT certification exam, but must be applied for separately in the state in which you plan to practice.

Explore D'Youville Through Video

Listen to students and faculty explain what makes a D'Youville education different and how small class sizes, hands-on learning, and a caring community help students succeed.




Find detailed course information for the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program, tools to plan your education, and complete academic policies and procedures in the D’Youville Academic Catalog.

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