Occupational Therapy, MS


Program Summary

Format: On-site

Locations: Potsdam

Credit Hours:


Cost: flat fee per semester

Our Program

The Occupational Therapy Department at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y., serves the health needs of the community through preparation of occupational therapy graduates who engineer solutions that enable health and wellbeing throughout an individual’s lifespan.

What is Occupational Therapy?
Instead of asking you “what is the matter,” 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 once again engage in the occupations they value.

What is the Role of an Occupational Therapist?

Why struggle to learn how to drive after an injury?

Why struggle to get dressed after a stroke?

Why struggle to cook a meal or care for your family when you are recovering post mastectomy?

Occupational therapists are holistic, health care 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, stay healthy, productive and independent, and participate in everyday activities. Occupational therapists enjoy the satisfaction of helping people live life to its fullest!


Clarkson’s Occupational Therapy Program taps the University’s core strengths in engineering, science, entrepreneurship and the arts to provide students with an expansive knowledge base.

This specialized Master’s in Occupational Therapy helps our students embrace the field’s essential points:

  • Engaging in meaningful occupation and finding purpose are profound curatives.
  • A thorough knowledge of human anatomy and psychology — tied to an appreciation for creativity — lead to recovery and unique paths of productivity.
  • Neither disabilities nor perceived differences can violate an individual’s dignity or self-determination.

We are successful by offering the unique curriculum below: 

Semester 1:
Establish anatomical and physiological basis for occupational performance and explore dysfunction across the lifespan.

Semester 2:
Explore conditions and their physical, psychological and social factors stemming from varied diseases and disorders with an emphasis on psychopathology, as well as medical diagnoses and psycho-social dysfunction with a focus on how these conditions impact the occupations of affected individuals.

Semester 3:
First formal fieldwork experience: provide deliberate occupation-based interventions to groups within the local, rural community.

Semester 4:
Discover social determinants of health and occupational participation.

Semester 5:
Conceptualize potential contributions to emerging practices and problems affecting good health — and good healthcare.

Fieldwork Level II:
Address conditions across the lifespan and integrate occupational therapy to address physical and mental dysfunction, with an emphasis on alleviating periods of social disruption.

***The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has granted “Candidacy Status” to the Occupational therapy Program at Clarkson University.

Candidacy Status is step 2 of the accreditation process. Although the designation “Candidacy Status” is not a guarantee of accreditation, it does indicate that the resource allocation and plan for development of the proposed program appear to demonstrate the ability to meet the ACOTE Standards for a Master’s-Degree-Level Educational Program for the Occupational Therapist if fully implemented as planned.

For further information, please visit the AOTA website at www.aota.org.

Example Courses & Concentrations

  • MSOT 500: Case Base Reasoning 1: Gross Anatomy, Neurorehabilitation and Human Occupation
  • MSOT 510: Foundations in Occupation Based Practice
  • MSOT 520: Experiential Learning Lab I: Health, Disability and Occupation
  • MSOT 600: Engineering Occupational Performance during Transitions across the lifespan
  • MSOT 540: Professional Seminar A: Professionalism in Occupational Therapy
  • MSOT 530: Optional: Independent Study in Occupational Therapy


Students will have the opportunity to pursue one of three Clarkson OT Specialty Tracks of study, which will allow them to become immersed in advanced study in their area of interest.

  • Technology for Health Related Quality of Life Track: Students will become clinicians who can design and implement individual, organization and population based programs that leverage the promise of technology.
  • Occupational Therapist as an Educator Track: Students will become clinicians who can design and implement individual, organization and population based programs in academia, clinical research and/or intervention directed to the current and emerging needs of children and youth.
  • Innovative Practitioner Track: Students will become clinicians who can design and implement individual, organization and population based programs in innovative practice to include but not limited to primary care practitioner, product designer, or entrepreneur.

Admission Requirements


  • General Psychology 3 credits
  • Abnormal Psychology 3 credits
  • Developmental Psychology 3 credits
  • Statistics 3 credits
  • Biology (in addition to A&P) 3 credits
  • Physics or Kinesiology 3 credits
  • Anatomy & Physiology I or Human Anatomy + Lab 3 credits
  • Anatomy & Physiology II or Physiology + Lab 3 credits
  • English Comp/ Critical Thinking 6 credits
  • Social Sciences 6 credits

Career Opportunities

Occupational therapists may find themselves working in diverse work settings, serving people of all ages. The employment outlook for occupational therapists is great! The US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that “Employment of occupational therapists is expected to increase 29% between 2012 and 2022, growth to be much faster than the average for all occupations.” This is a great time to be an occupational therapy practitioner. Don’t just take our word for it. It consistently ranks high as one of the top jobs, and recession-proof job:

See more at: http://www.aota.org/education-careers/considering-ot-career/joboutlook.aspx


Contact Us

If you are interested in learning more, have questions or are ready to apply contact:
Melissa Roberts
Health Professions Graduate Admissions Coordinator

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