Occupational Therapy

Interested in pursuing one of the best jobs in healthcare? Occupational Therapy is one of  today’s hottest fields, and Dominican University graduates are uniquely prepared to succeed. A full 100% of our graduates who seek employment upon graduation are employed!

Over 200

Clinical Placement Sites

Weekend Classes

The program is designed to allow you to pursue your degree while working and maintaining family and life responsibilities

Top Faculty

Learn from expert practicing OTs, many of whom have been recognized with awards for advancement, excellence, and innovation

Explore the Occupational Therapy Program

Our Location  

Classes are held approximately every three weekends for a total of 18 weekends throughout the course of the year at Dominican University’s Rockland County campus. The University is central to the Hudson Valley region, including the Metro New York City area and New Jersey’s Bergen County.

If you’d like to visit the campus and meet the faculty, please choose from among our many visiting opportunities.

Visit the Campus

The Dominican University Advantage

Keep Working: Many of our students work 20 to 30 hours per week - or more - while completing their degree.

Get your degree from a trusted name with proven results In 2021, the National Board for Certification in Occupation Therapy (NBCOT) New Graduate Pass Rate  as 98%.

Get a 21st-Century Education: The Occupational Therapy program incorporates the latest research and trends in the ever-evolving field of practice.

Study in Small Cohorts: You'll get personalized attention in cohorts of no more than 25 students.

Study with the Best Faculty: Learn from a highly experienced team of occupational therapists who are leading practitioners and educators in the field.

Affordable Tuition: The Occupational Therapy program at Dominican University is one of the least expensive in the region, with financial aid and flexible payment available

Outstanding Clinical Education: Over 200 clinical placement sites are available, offering a variety of clients, conditons and settings.

Additional Information

Who Can Apply?

Who Can Apply to the Graduate Occupational Therapy Program?
All candidates must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in post-secondary coursework and meet the individual prerequisite grade requirements (see OT program admissions standards).
Entry into the professional curriculum may be accomplished in 3 different ways:

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTAs) submit verification of both their National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and a minimum of one full year of work experience as a COTA.

COTAs holding an Associate degree will earn a BS/MS degree in occupational therapy upon successful completion of the program.  Those who hold a Bachelor degree or higher will earn an MS degree in occupational therapy upon successful completion of the program.

Candidates with a Baccalaureate Degree

Candidates with Baccalaureate Degrees and may qualify to apply to the OT professional curriculum upon successful completion of all admissions requirements and prerequisite coursework.

For Dominican College undergraduate students:

4-year traditional track students will first complete a Bachelor Degree – either Social Sciences with an emphasis in Psychology OR Health Sciences with the Pre-OT track – including all of the OT prerequisites and then apply to the program. Students who earn a minimum GPA of 3.0 and meet all individual prerequisite grade requirements may apply in the fall of their Senior Year.

3-year accelerated track social science students may qualify to apply for entry into the OT professional curriculum with a minimum of 96 credits at the end of their junior year and upon successful completion of prerequisite coursework. The designation ‘accelerated track’ must be made no later than the first semester of the Sophomore year.  This designation allows students to apply to the OT program in the fall of their Junior year, and start the professional sequence as Seniors. 

*Transfer students who enter the College later than the first semester of the Sophomore Year are not eligible for the accelerated path and must complete a Bachelor Degree, including the OT prerequisites.

Transfer from other graduate occupational therapy programs

Due to the wide variations in curricular structure, transfers from other graduate occupational therapy programs are generally not accepted.  Individuals seeking special consideration to transfer must follow the same admission application process as all other potential candidates.  It is important to note that as per College policy, the program is not able to accept any more than 6 graduate credits earned from the prior program toward meeting the Dominican College Graduate Occupational Therapy Program requirements.

Occupational Therapy Program Admissions Standards

  • Minimum overall GPA 3.0 (B) of all post-secondary coursework
  • No grade lower than a B- in a prerequisite science course.
  • No grade lower than a B in OT532 (Kinesiology in OT), OT521 (Intro to OT)
  • Minimum TOEFL scores, if required, per subtest:
    Reading – 22; Listening – 18; Speaking – 21; Writing – 24

NOTE – Limit of one retake of any science or OT-designated prerequisite course

In addition to the academic standards noted above, all applicants for admission are evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Writing skills (evaluated onsite and based on your application essays)
  • Observation hours are encouraged, but not required for the 2022-2023 application cycle.  Please view an informational video that can be found here. After watching, please compose a three-page double-spaced essay based on this video that describes and discusses three aspects of occupational therapy that are meaningful and appealing to you as an applicant to a graduate occupational therapy program.
  • Three letters of reference – one academic, one professional (e.g., supervisor), and a third that can be either academic or professional. Please do not submit references from family members, friends of the family, clergy, family physician, etc. If you can submit one from an occupational therapist who knows you well and can speak to your potential, it will be a bonus
  • All applicants are required to complete Altus Suite. Altus Suite consists of a two part online assessment of non-cognitive skills. Both Casper and Snapshot are required. Access www.TakeAltus.com to create an account and review online test dates.
  • Holistic Interview – upon invitation

IMPORTANT NOTE – Beginning with the candidates for Fall 2019, all applicants must undergo a criminal background check before being admitted to the program.  Additionally, all students in the program who are preparing to enter fieldwork will need to undergo a new criminal background check before being cleared to begin those experiences.

How To Apply

  • Applicants not currently Dominican College students must first apply to Dominican College as a transfer student. 
  • Submit official transcripts from all post-secondary coursework
  • Based on GPA and the number of qualifying transfer credits you will be assigned an academic advisor to assist you with registration for prerequisite courses, eligibility, and timeline for applying to the Occupational Therapy (OT) Program.  Acceptance into Dominican College is not acceptance into the occupational therapy program.
  • Complete all prerequisite courses
  • You will be eligible to apply through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS) at https://portal.otcas.org when you only have the following prerequisite courses to complete: Physics, Neuroscience, Introduction to Occupational Therapy Practice, and Kinesiology in OT* (* – indicates a course that must be taken at Dominican College)
  • The OTCAS application opens on July 21, 2022 and admissions is offered on a rolling basis.
  • Applicants who meet all standards and scoring criteria will be invited to interview with OT Faculty.
  • Admitted students will be required to attend a mandatory orientation on March 31 and April 1, 2023.

For questions about the application process, please contact:

Janet Barron
Assistant Director for Graduate Admissions
Email: janet.barron@duny.edu

Cost of Attendance

Cost of Attendance (Annualized by Academic Year)

Tuition (27 credits per year)$27,540$28,360$29,210
Registration Fees$600$615$625
Books and Supplies**$1500$1500$1600
Transportation ****850$900$900

* Based on maximum 3% annual increase in tuition fee per year
** Approximate cost as some textbooks are used in multiple courses
*** Approximate cost – varies with individual driving distance and tolls or other transportation mode (train, bus, cab, etc.)

Miscellaneous fees

Graduation Fee: $250
Replacement ID Card fee: $20
Student Liability Insurance: $45 per year – beginning in the second year
Note: The tuition and fees set forth in this bulletin are necessarily subject to change without notice at any time.

Eligibility to Sit for Certification Examination

A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.  An individual who has been charged or convicted of a felony is advised to contact The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) for an early determination review. The review process should be done prior to entering an educational program as prior approval is needed before an individual can sit for the certification exam. Once NBCOT has completed its review, the individual will be notified of the results in writing. For further information on these limitations, contact NBCOT at: National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy One Bank Street, Suite 300 Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150 301-990-7979

NBCOT® policy regarding background checks for all exam takers,: Effective January 1, 2018
The NBCOT Board of Directors has approved the implementation of background checks as part of the exam process. This enhancement offers the unique opportunity to apply a national standard to all entry-level practitioners in support of NBCOT’s mission of public protection.

Background checks will be completed as part of the exam application process for all first-time applicants beginning January 1, 2018. Candidates reapplying for the exam will not be subject to a background check. There is no change to the application fee as a result of this addition. The 2018 exam application fee will remain $515 for online applications and $555 for paper applications.

The NBCOT character review will continue to be guided by the character questions found on page 8 of the Certification Exam Handbook. Additional review will be conducted only when an incident results in an affirmative answer to one or more character questions.

Similarly, a conviction of misdemeanor petit theft (that did not involve harm to another) with negative responses to all character questions would not be reviewed. However, if the candidate was suspended or expelled from their college or university due to the incident (character question #4), a review will be required.

If you have questions regarding the expanded background check program, contact professional.conduct@nbcot.org.

NBCOT® Policy Regarding Presumptive Denials: Effective January 1, 2019

Applications from individuals who have been convicted of serious crimes will not be accepted for initial certification or certification renewal. The specific list of serious crimes that presumptively disqualify an individual for certification or certification renewal may be found on NBCOT’s webpage.

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements
Dominican College of Blauvelt has been approved by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of post-secondary distance education.

Meet the Program Director

Pamela Story, O.T.D, is the Director of the Occupational Therapy program. To learn more about how the program has responded to the pandemic, read her welcome letter.

Contact an Admissions Counselor

An Admissions Counselor is easily accessible by phone, texting or e-mail.  You are also welcome to visit the campus and meet the counselor

Janet Barron
Assistant Director for Graduate Admissions
Email: janet.barron@duny.edu


The Graduate Occupational Therapy Program leading to either a Bachelor of Science/Master of Science (BS/MS) in Occupational Therapy for COTAs with an Associate degree, or a Master of Science (MS) in Occupational Therapy for those with a prior earned Bachelor or Master degree, is fully accredited through 2030/2031 under “The Standards for an Accredited Educational Therapy Program for the Occupational Therapist – 2018” by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).

The program is responsible for complying with all ACOTE accreditation standards and policies and interacting with ACOTE with integrity and honesty. The program will inform ACOTE of all major changes in curriculum, site locations, online/onsite formats, and the program director in a timely manner. The program will honestly and accurately represent the program and its ACOTE accreditation status in all its publications and web page available to the public. Students must complete all fieldwork requirements within 18 months of completion of the academic coursework portion of the program.

Graduates of the program are 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). Most states, including New York, require licensure in order to practice; however, most initial state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination.

Contact Information

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) c/o Accreditation Department American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD  20852-4929    Phone: (301) 652-6611 X2042  or www.acoteonline.org 

Program Announcements

Sensory health

In November 2020 Third year graduate occupational therapy students along with Catherine Cavaliere, PhD, OTR/L, Assistant Professor in the Occupational Therapy Program at Dominican University will be presenting at the New York State Occupational Therapy Association on:

The Role of Sensory Health in Well-being: A review of the literature and implications for practice.  

Synopsis: Sensory processing patterns have a profound impact on our lives throughout the lifespan. Having a working knowledge of our own sensory processing patterns and preferences and having an awareness of the sensory processing patterns of the people around us can significantly improve our sense of self, well-being and happiness. During this short course we will discuss the role of sensory health in various aspects of well-being including mental and physical health, relationships and resilience from a health promotion perspective. 

NYSOTA promotes the profession of occupational therapy and represents occupational therapy practitioners who work and live in New York State. The 2020 Virtual Conference on expanding boundaries will be held November 13 – 15th.

 For more information on sensory health listen to The Innovative OT Podcast  https://anchor.fm/sarah-anderson24/episodes/Episode-7-Lets-Talk-about-Sensory-Health-with-Dr–Cavaliere-eb1tno

In Episode 7: Let’s Talk about Sensory Health the host sits down with Dr. Cathy Cavaliere and discusses the topic of sensory health.  Dr. Cavaliere is not only a pioneer in this area, but she is breaking down the barriers as to what we as OT practitioners can do with our sensory processing knowledge.   As Assistant Professor in the Occupational Therapy Program at Dominican University she teaches both research courses the Adolescence course. Her doctoral work involved investigating the physiologic components of sensory processing disorders (vagal tone) and the differences in the physiologic responses to sensation in children with autism and typically developing children.

Mental Health Awareness

On October 7, 2020, Occupational Therapy faculty, Dr’s Nadia Rust and Catherine Cavaliere along with graduate occupational therapy students, Chastity Kiely and Magda Yastion, conducted Sensory Health Screenings on campus as part of Mental Health Awareness Week. Students, and staff alike were invited to partake in free sensory health screenings and gain insight into their own sensory processing preferences and the impact of those on their daily lives, mental health, and well-being.

In September 2020, the Dominican University Occupational Therapy Program partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Rockland in their annual mental health awareness event. NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

Participants were given the opportunity to partake in a 5k run/walk (tracked virtually), online activities (e.g. yoga), and other wellness challenges. Dominican University Occupational Therapy Students volunteered to assist with the event and hosted a variety of online classes encompassing varying topics such as stress management, anxiety coping strategies, therapeutic gardening, etc., designed to support positive mental health in the community.