2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
    Apr 16, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Occupational Therapy

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Program Director: L. Olson, Professor: L. Olson; Assistant Professors: S. Harrington, M. Morgante; Clinical Lecturer: T. Velamoor


The Master of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy is a graduate degree program for students with a Bachelor’s degree in a field other than occupational therapy and who have also completed prerequisite coursework at a regionally accredited institution. Students are awarded a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy upon successful completion of the program.

Over the course of 7 semesters, the MS in Occupational therapy full time program, prepares students for entry level occupational therapy practice.   The curriculum is designed to support students’ learning within a semester and across semesters so that students develop the attitudes, professional behaviors, and competencies needed to become a reflective, competent, client-centered, and ethical occupational therapists.  Students use technology each semester to support their organizing and integrating their own learning, as well as learn to use it as a tool for educating clients, for OT assessment, intervention and documenting service provision.   Opportunities to apply developing competencies in service to individuals, groups and populations and to develop a mindset for entrepreneurship and innovation for OT practice are embedded throughout the curriculum. During the final 6 months of the program, students must complete 24 weeks of Level II Fieldwork experiences to graduate and be eligible for national certification and state licensure. Modifications, such as part-time (i.e., 3 day a week schedule) may be possible depending on availability of fieldwork sites. All fieldwork placements must be successfully completed within 18 months after didactic course work is completed unless the Program Director in consultation with OT Faculty grant an extension for extenuating circumstances. If a student fails any clinical education course, the decision to allow the course to be repeated will be determined by a Faculty Review Committee.


The graduate program in occupational therapy has the following student learning goals.

Students should demonstrate:  

  • Competency related the foundational knowledge of occupational development, occupational performance, and occupational participation.
  • Skills for occupation-based, client-centered assessment of persons across the lifespan.
  • Skills for occupation-based, client-centered interventions for persons, groups, and populations.
  • Skills for finding, analyzing and synthesizing evidence for practice.
  • Habits for reflective practice to support lifelong learning and professional development.
  • Professional behaviors for ethical and collaborative OT and interdisciplinary practice.


The Iona University Graduate OT program seeks well rounded, self-directed, engaged learners who embrace Iona University’s values of diversity and inclusion and who demonstrate the potential to improve the lives of persons across the lifespan through community engagement and service, excellence in occupational based practice and scholarship, entrepreneurship and innovation. ​

Because of the competitive nature of admissions to the program, completion of all baseline requirements is not a guarantee of admission. The admission process is based on the EAM Model of Holistic Review (aamc.org).  Each applicant’s experiences, attributes and academic metrics are considered in a balanced way to assess how each applicant might contribute as an Iona occupational therapy student and as a future occupational therapist. Applicants with the highest qualifications based upon academic, experience and attributes metrics will be accepted for admission. To be a competitive applicant, a candidate needs to demonstrate a strong academic background, good GRE scores, and well-rounded life experiences such as: OT observation/volunteer work, significant participation in community-based work or volunteer activities, leadership experience, and research/scholarship activity.

  1. The Occupational Therapy Program at Iona University participates in the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). All applicants must apply through OTCAS. All materials must be submitted to OTCAS between July 1 and March 1st. Applications are reviewed at 3-4 points across the academic year.  The top applicants at each point are invited for interviews and some admission decisions are granted during the month following each round of interviews. This process continues until the program is full.

Qualified candidates for admission to the Iona Graduate Occupational Therapy Program must:

  1. Have a Baccalaureate degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution of higher education before their planned start date of the program.
  2. Have a Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  3. Have completed prerequisite coursework within the last 7 years with a grade of C+ or above.The prerequisite courses are: Anatomy and Physiology I and II (lab component required), General Psychology, Lifespan Development, Abnormal Psychology, Sociology or Anthropology, and Statistics/Research Design in Behavioral or Health Sciences.
  4. Provide his/her Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score report (General Test which includes verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytic writing).
  5. Have a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer or observation experience with an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant prior to applying to the Graduate OT Program.
  6. Provide three letters of recommendation (These references should be work, professional or academic references. Letters from family or friends will not be accepted.) Applicants will need to enter the name, title, and email address of the individuals writing the recommendations in the evaluation section of the online application.The persons whom you select to recommend you will receive an email from OTCAS with a recommendation form to be completed online.
  7. Provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
  8. Complete the Personal Statement/Essay requirements on OTCAS.
  9. Until March 1st or until the program is full, a select group of qualified applicants will be sent an interview invitation via email. A personal interview is required as a part of the admissions process.
  10. International students must submit:
  • Transcript evaluation by a NACES approved evaluation that is compatible with CSDCAS. See instructions here.
  • TOEFL (80 minimum) or IELTS (6.5 minimum) scores. A hard copy of official results must be sent to the Graduate Admissions Office.
  • Copy of your visa if you are already in the U.S., or documentation of sufficient financial support for at least one year of full-time study.


The department does not accept conditional students.


Students are required to maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. If a student receives a course grade lower then “B” (i.e., C+ or lower), the student must discuss this grade with his/her advisor. If a student earns a Grade of C in any course, a plan for ensuring competency in that course content must be created and a competency must be passed with a grade of at least a B within one month. If a student receives a grade lower than a C, the course must be repeated before permission to continue the curriculum sequence is granted. Because the courses in each semester are prerequisites for taking courses in subsequent semesters, students cannot progress to the next semester in the graduate OT program until the failed course is repeated.  A Student may only retake a course 1 time and if a student receives more than 1 grade of F, the student will be dismissed from the program.   If the student’s cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 for more than 1 semester, the student will be dismissed from the program.  Decisions about academic standing are made by the Dean’s Office in consultation with the Program Director and OT faculty.  Students have a right to appeal any decisions made (please refer to the Iona University graduate bulletin for said procedures).


  1. Completion of the required academic courses and fieldwork experiences.All requirements must be completed within 5 years from the date of admission.Level 2 placements must be successfully completed within 18 months of completing didactic campus-based coursework.
  2. A minimum GPA of 3.0.



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