OT Main Photo
Welcome To

The Department of Occupational Therapy

What Do We Mean By Occupation?

With great tenderness and care, a new mom changes her baby's diaper for the first time. Displaying focused determination, a teenage boy deftly slides into home base to score the winning run! A retired engineer meticulously prunes his prized apple trees; he fondly drifts back in time to the days when he and his father made apple cider together.

Moments and memories such as these can resonate with each of us - it's easy to identify with ordinary people engaged in everyday occupations that give tremendous meaning to our lives. But what happens when injury or illness, cultural differences, or the ordinary aging process challenges or prevents one from engaging in such meaningful activities?

William Dunton (a founding member of the occupational therapy profession) stated "occupation is as necessary to life as food and drink. [That] every human being should have both physical and mental occupations..."

The profession of occupational therapy still holds this view today. Occupational Therapy provides services to individuals whose abilities to function with the tasks of living are challenged or impaired. We serve a diverse population and are readily employed in hospitals, clinics, schools, camps, rehabilitation and long-term care facilities, extended care facilities, industry and supported employment, home health, community agencies, and private practice. If you are seeking a career that is centered in bringing hope, help and care to others in order that they may engage in life to the fullest, then occupational therapy is the field for you! The University of Scranton's Occupational Therapy Program can provide you with an educational experience second to none.

A Reputation for Excellence

The University of Scranton's Occupational Therapy program and its students have established a well deserved reputation for professionalism and excellence. The program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association. Contact ACOTE at ACOTE, c/o Accreditation Department, American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. The phone number is 301-652-AOTA (2682), and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org

Our Mission

The Department of Occupational Therapy at The University of Scranton aspires to prepare occupational therapists skilled in providing humanistic and holistic services to a diversity of individuals, communities, populations, and organizations. Life- long learning and the ongoing pursuit of knowledge and wisdom are facilitated through active mentorship, guided reflection and contemplation in action. Consistent with the Catholic and Jesuit traditions of The University of Scranton, future occupational therapists are educated in the liberal arts and are encouraged to practice their profession guided by intellectual, moral, and ethical values embedded in a framework of social justice. 

Our Students

OT students have also served as campus leaders in student government, residence life programs, campus ministry, performing and visual arts, intercollegiate athletics, and ROTC.  Recently, OT students have presented with faculty at state POTA and national AOTA conferences.  Graduates have also been pleased to see their research efforts published in national peer-reviewed OT journals. Opportunities abound for students to develop or apply their particular interests and talents. The curriculum enables students to readily pursue complementary minors and participate in campus events and student organizations.  OT students are regularly involved in the Faculty/Student Research Program, Student/Faculty Teaching Mentorship Program, and the Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA).

Program Highlights

  • The 5-year, entry-level, Master of Science degree program in occupational therapy accepts students at the freshman level to allow sufficient time for academic preparation, professional socialization, and personal growth. A faculty-student mentor relationship is cultivated throughout the 5 years of the Program. 
  • The program prepares students to be entry-level generalists in occupational therapy by integrating multiple practice courses with small group experiential labs in pediatrics, psychosocial rehabilitation, physical rehabilitation, hand therapy, geriatrics, and community-based practice throughout the curriculum.
  • The clinical fieldwork courses immediately follow related practice courses. The University of Scranton has an extensive database of established fieldwork contracts and works closely with students to choose a placement that best suits an individual's educational needs. Student fieldwork experiences integrate theoretical and academic preparation with clinical performance. Upon completion of all academic and fieldwork components, students are eligible to take the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT) Examination. 
    For further information contact: http://www.nbcot.org/ 
    800 South Fredrick Ave. Suite 200 Gathersburg, MD 20877-4150
    Phone: 301-990-7979
  • Retention Rates
    Graduation Year Admitted as Freshman From Sophomore to Graduate Year (includes transfers)
    2013 92% 97%
    2012 84% 94%
    2011 82% 100%
  • The Department of Occupational Therapy at The University of Scranton has state-of-the-art facilities including fully mediated classrooms; an independent living apartment; a sensory motor-exploratory play environment; and lab facilities outfitted with materials that allow for a range of active learning experiences from expressive media to splint fabrication. The newly opened Leahy Community Health and Family Center is an interdisciplinary faculty practice center designed to provide free health, wellness, and educational services to underserved populations with special needs.
  • The Department of Occupational Therapy at The University of Scranton supports the Jesuit beliefs of holistic development of the individual, service to others, and commitment to social justice.


The employment outlook for occupational therapists is bright! Recent information published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that the job outlook for occupational therapists is expected to increase by 26 percent between 2008 and 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. This increase can be attributed to the increase in the aging and elderly population, hospital need for rehabilitation professionals, and an increase in the school age population demanding more services for disability.

Planning for College

The University of Scranton encourages a comprehensive college preparatory program in high school with a minimum of four years of English, three years of mathematics, social science and science, and at least two years of a foreign language. High school students are encouraged to take advanced placement courses in the biological sciences if possible.

Applicants will be accepted on a competitive basis, with primary emphasis placed on high school record, standardized test scores, extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation. Admission to the program is normally open to first-time incoming freshmen. Transfer and/or adult students are encouraged to apply and will be considered on an individual, case-by-case basis.