Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy

Do you think you can you assist individuals in the process of identifying problems and discovering solutions to barriers or limitations caused by illness, injury, developmental delays or normal aging? If so, occupational therapy could be your calling in life!


Occupational therapy is a client-centered profession that promotes health and well-being of clients through personally meaningful occupations.  Students learn the physical, psychological and cognitive foundations of human performance, and gain the skills to help people who have limitations caused by illness, injury, developmental delays or normal aging.

“The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) is evaluating a new doctoral-level degree requirement for the occupational therapist, possibly beginning as early as July 1, 2027” (AOTA.org). Learn more here.

Why Occupational Therapy is in Demand:

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of occupational therapists is expected to increase 27 percent between 2014 and 2024, much faster than average for all occupations.
  • The median annual wage for occupational therapists was $81,910 in May 2016.
  • The demand for occupational therapists is increasing due to the aging Baby Boomer population and rising rates of people diagnosed with illnesses and disabilities, such as Alzheimer’s, Autism and Parkinson’s.

Is it for me?

  • Are you caring and compassionate?
  • Do you want to improve the quality of life for individuals who are injured or are living with disabilities?
  • Does a career in the “helping professions” excite you?
  • Did you enjoy service learning work in high school or the community?

Five Reasons to Choose Scranton for Occupational Therapy

Five Year Program.   A career in occupational therapy requires a master's degree for entry-level positions. At Scranton, we offer “one-stop” shopping through our five-year integrated bachelor’s/master’s degree program. One application. One admissions decision.
Recognized Authority.   Scranton is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). Graduation from an ACOTE accredited program allows one to sit for the National Board of Certification for Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) Examination necessary for professional licensing in Occupational Therapy.
Hands-on learning that goes well beyond the classroom.   You'll participate in life-changing community-based learning experiences each semester by being actively engaged in group projects through the Tapestry Program. There are opportunities for international service learning during academic breaks.
Evidence-based research.   Opportunity to present with faculty members at state and national conferences such as the American Occupational Therapy Conference, and publish in national peer-reviewed journals.
Ignatian pedagogy.   Our Jesuit philosophy with an emphasis on ethics is woven throughout the curriculum. Faculty members are your mentors to support your academic and personal growth. You'll be part of a close-knit campus community.

Make no mistake – majoring in occupational therapy is hard work. That’s why our faculty provides an outstanding level of guidance and support.

Julie Ann Nastasi, Sc.D.,O.T.D.
Assistant Professor

  • Preparing You For Personal & Professional Successplus or minus

    You’ll gain essential learning outcomes while sharpening your skills for further success in graduate school or in the workplace.

    At the same time, you’ll strengthen your:

    • Critical thinking
    • Oral and written communication skills
    • Research acumen
    • Professional behaviors

    Many students tell us that the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research was one of the reasons they chose the occupational therapy program at Scranton over other universities.

    Exceptional Facilities

    Leahy Hall, which is the new home for our occupational therapy, Physical therapy and exercise science programs, provides an advanced, modern facility to match the exceptional reputations already established by our health sciences programs. The center puts our students and faculty on the cutting edge of research and learning, while benefiting the local community through student-based service programs.

     Learn more.

  • What You'll Learnplus or minus


    Our curriculum will provide you with a solid foundation in liberal arts and science so that you become a well-rounded occupational therapist. We will prepare you to be a generalist practitioner in OT upon graduation by including an array of specialized practice classes in:

    • Pediatrics
    • Psychosocial Rehabilitation
    • Physical Rehabilitation
    • Hand Therapy
    • Geriatrics
    • Community Based Practice

    Small groups, seminars, laboratory experiences and online learning platforms are carefully designed to complement traditional lectures.

    Click here to see the curriculum.


    There are two levels of fieldwork education you’ll complete as part of your degree:

    • Level I – observing OT practice in pediatrics, psychosocial rehabilitation and physical rehabilitation
    • Level II – two full-time field experiences lasting 12 weeks each

    Fieldwork provides a full-time clinical experience designed to integrate academically acquired knowledge with OT practice within a variety of treatment settings. Clinical experiences are a vital part of the educational process and integral to professional preparation.

    Each of the three Level I Clinicals is 60-80 hours in duration and is designed to complement the occupational therapy curriculum design and philosophy by linking academics to practice. Two Level II Internships (12 weeks each) allow students to begin functioning as entry-level therapists while learning and practicing intervention techniques, refining clinical reasoning skills and embracing the value of evidenced-based practice through research opportunities.

  • Pursue Your Passion and Make a Differenceplus or minus

    Through the Jesuit spirit of cura personalis you will work with your clients in light of their unique gifts and challenges to improve their lives.

    There are plenty of opportunities for community-based learning at Scranton. For example, many OT students put their new knowledge to work at The Leahy Community Health and Family Center – a free clinic that offers primary care services to the uninsured residents of Lackawanna County.

    Recent community-based projects include:

    • Knitting prayer shawls for a hospice facility.
    • Building birdhouses for the Blind Association to decorate.
    • Growing plants in a greenhouse on campus to donate to shelters to support horticulture therapy programs.
    • Providing wheelchair bags for veterans to carry supplies to the VA.
    • Developing exercise activities, equipment, and instruction for residents of local senior living centers.
    • Engaging and interact with children with severe disabilities to provide a barrier-free play space.

    There’s a wider world beyond our gates. The University of Scranton offers specialized international service and immersion trips for OT students. You can read about how Scranton students helped those in need in El Salvador, Mexico and Guyana in this article.


Where Will Occupational Therapy Take Me?

Graduates of the program who have completed all academic and fieldwork requirements are able to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. 

Of our OT graduates:

  • 45% work in pediatrics: infancy through adolescence
  • 45% work in hospitals and rehabilitation settings
  • 10% work in mental-health and community settings

Here are just some examples of fields that you can go into, depending on your interests: 

  • Industry and Supported Employment
  • Home HealthCare Programs
  • Nursing Homes and Long-term Care
  • Academia
  • Hand Therapy
  • Low Vision
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders
  • CarFit for Elderly Drivers
  • Homeless Shelters or Domestic Abuse
  • Pediatrics/Early Intervention, School-based, Transitional Programs
  • Mental Health
  • Private Practice 

Thank you for helping to produce wonderful OT’s who are sure to enhance and promote the importance of our profession.

Francesca Caminiti, MS, OTR/L
Clinical Supervisor

How Scranton Gives You a Competitive Edge

Competitive Edge

Members of the OT faculty maintain an open door policy and involve students in their research, teaching and service. Whether it’s advising or providing letters of references, faculty members make it their priority to get to know each student on an individual level. 


The program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, P.O. Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220. AOTA’s phone number is (301) 652-AOTA.

Graduates of the program who have completed all academic and fieldwork requirements are able to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).

Take the Next Step

Get the Facts

View PDF with Program Overview
& Curriculum

For More Information

Office of Admissions
The Estate
Scranton, PA 18510
1-888-SCRANTON or (570) 941-7540

Department of Occupational Therapy
Carol A. Coté, Ph.D., OTR/L
Chair & Program Director
(570) 941-4125