Jun 23, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
2022-2023 Graduate Studies Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Occupational Therapy, MS

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Assistant Professor Pingale, Graduate Program Director, 516-463-5184

Occupational therapists are health professionals who are licensed to provide services to treat clients with injuries or disabilities and to promote health through the use of everyday activities. Occupational therapists work to develop, recover, improve and enhance the skills needed for participation in daily living in individuals across the lifespan. Occupational therapists build or restore abilities so individuals with mental or physical, emotional, or developmental issues can fully participate in the daily tasks of life. Occupational therapists work in a variety of settings, ranging from schools and pediatric hospitals to locations such as the homes of individual clients, community centers, rehabilitation hospitals, businesses, and nursing homes, where individuals learn to live productive lives through the use of meaningful occupations.

The Master of Science program in Occupational Therapy (OT) is designed to prepare graduates to become registered and licensed occupational therapy practitioners. The graduate-level curriculum of 68 credits is divided into seven semesters, including a summer semester of didactic instruction and six months, consisting of two Level II fieldwork placements. The full-time, on-campus program is offered weekdays and evenings, providing a sequential curriculum that integrates laboratory experiences with classroom instruction. The mission of the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program at Hofstra University is to facilitate the development of effective, compassionate, evidence-based practitioners with critical thinking skills and competencies, knowledge and skills needed to be lifelong learners with the ability to meet professional standards and societal occupational needs.

The entry-level 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 Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA, 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 this exam, the individual will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, all 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 conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

The educational philosophy of Hofstra’s University Occupational Therapy (OT) program has its core beliefs, values, and theories of the profession as guided by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).  

About the Curriculum

Conceptually, the curriculum is guided by a transactional approach that focuses on the interdependence of the person within the environment, and the recognition that culture has an impact on the person, community and occupation. Occupational justice, the view that all persons in society have a right to be included in everyday occupations, is central to the philosophy of the program. In addition, client-centered and evidence-based practice principles are infused into the teaching-learning strategies that guide the curriculum.

The Occupational Therapy Practice Framework and the International Classification of Function (ICF), with its emphasis on health and functioning, define the program’s four curricular threads and provides the basis of academic and clinical instruction:

  • Health and well-being
  • Humanism and client-centered practice
  • Occupation-based practice
  • Evidence-based practice

Using a number of modalities, including case-based and problem-based teaching-learning strategies, students integrate basic and applied concepts of social science with the study and application of occupational therapy. During the clinical phase of the program, students are placed in various practice settings to synthesize and apply knowledge and skills under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist. Practice settings include affiliated schools, hospitals, private practices, and community clinics to offer training and provide the opportunity for exposure to a wide variety of client populations. Research and the scholarship of clinical application are embedded into the course work, along with a research course that will culminate in a project that demonstrates the students’ ability to integrate theory with the principles of community-oriented and environmentally sensitive care.

All students are responsible for transportation to all fieldwork experiences and for maintaining viable health insurance, malpractice insurance, CPR certification, and immunizations according to their fieldwork placements. The Occupational Therapy Graduate Student Handbook contains further description of students’ responsibilities, code of ethical conduct and expectations for participation in Level I and Level II Fieldwork experiences.  The Master of Science program in Occupational Therapy at Hofstra University requires that students complete Level II fieldwork within 18 months. Membership in the American Occupational Therapy Association is required yearly. Students will earn a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy upon completion of the entire curriculum.

Admission Requirements

Students must meet the following requirements to be considered for the MS in occupational therapy program:

  1. Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or institution, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and a cumulative science GPA of 2.75 or higher. 
  2. Three (3) letters of recommendation, with at least one letter from a licensed Occupational Therapist.
  3. Personal essay identifying areas of interest and reasons for seeking advanced training in occupational therapy.
  4. Transcript of prerequisite courses if not completed as part of a baccalaureate degree (see courses below).
  5. Documentation of at least 20 hours of volunteer experience observing/shadowing occupational therapy-related experiences in at least two settings.
  6. Interviews may be requested of applicants.
  7. International students must take the TOEFL exam and pass with a minimum score of:
  • Internet-based test: 80
  • Computer-based test: 213
  • Paper-based test: 550

Prerequisite Occupational Therapy Course Work**

  1. Abnormal Psychology (or psychopathology or psychology of deviance): 3 s.h.
  2. A course in developmental psychology (human development across the life span including theories of development): 3 s.h.
  3. Human Anatomy (laboratory component required): 4 s.h.
  4. Human Physiology (laboratory component required): 4 s.h.

    When anatomy and physiology are taken as a combined survey course, a full complete sequence of two semesters (Anatomy & Physiology I and Anatomy & Physiology II) must be taken to fulfill Human Anatomy and Human Physiology prerequisites.
  5. Social behavioral science course (e.g. sociology, anthropology, political science, public health, epidemiology): 3 s.h.
  6. RECOMMENDED: Elementary Statistics (can be online course)

**All pre-OT course work must be completed before matriculation into the occupational therapy program. Preference will be given to applicants with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all course work, and a cumulative GPA of 2.75 in science courses. It is necessary to indicate courses in progress or planned on the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) application.


Applications must be submitted to the Occupational Therapy program through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application System (OTCAS) online at otcas.liaisoncas.com by the deadline of February 1 for admission to the class that begins the subsequent September. Applications verified by OTCAS prior to the deadline are given preference, with all others reviewed on a space-available basis.

Applicants should be aware that a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 and a cumulative GPA of 2.75 in science courses do not guarantee entry into the program. The Occupational Therapy program is competitive and only the strongest applicants will be selected for a personal interview with the Program’s Admissions Committee for consideration for acceptance into the program. Those who apply earliest have the best chance of being invited for an interview and therefore being offered a seat in the program.

Program Requirements – Total Semester Hours: 68

The following major and additional requirements must be fulfilled with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, with no more than two course grades below B-.



Graduation Requirements

  1. Completion of all program requirements.
  2. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 in overall graduate course work, with no more than two course grades below B-.

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