School of Health Sciences & Education

Occupational Therapy, Masters Degree


Empower Others with Your Master's in Occupational Therapy Degree (MOT) from Saint Francis University 

When anyone struggles to do activities that many of us take for granted, their ability to live a full life is impacted.  Students in our Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program get hands-on experience empowering individuals to live their best lives.  They do this by studying how they can help individuals improve their ability to perform the basic activities of daily living.


On campus program with direct-entry, provisional and graduate admissions paths

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Direct-entry: the most efficient way to enter the occupational therapy (OT) field
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A hands-on, multidisciplinary approach to your occupational therapy degree
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Learn using the same cutting-edge technology found in clinical settings

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Occupational Therapy the Saint Francis Way

The best occupational therapists are compassionate, well-rounded and experienced in a variety of specialties. The occupational therapy program at SFU offers a multidisciplinary approach, research and fieldwork opportunities, and the expertise of practicing faculty to help you become the best occupational therapist you can be. All of our OT faculty are doctorally prepared in a variety of specialties and are committed to guiding you toward your future path.

The OT Student Experience 

OT students in ELC, SOTA, and Baby Day

Our accelerated occupational therapy program helps you get into the field faster, but there are still plenty of opportunities for growth, exploration and community-building during your years at SFU. In your pre-professional phase, you’ll take introductory occupational therapy courses and bond with your cohort through coursework, clubs, and other campus activities. In the final 2 years of study, the professional phase, you’ll take classes solely dedicated to OT while completing your own research project and gaining practical experience during fieldwork opportunities.


  • Get experience working with some of the most cutting-edge technology used by occupational therapists in clinics today, including a driving simulator, the Bioness Integrated Therapy System, 3D printers and scanners, and more.
  • Join the Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) and our chapter of Pi Theta Epsilon (PTE), the national occupational therapy honor society, to engage with and learn alongside your cohort.
  • Participate in community-engaged experiences such as Baby Day, community labs, and a backpack safety awareness campaign.
  • Build your problem-solving, patient care skills in our on-campus Home Care Lab and work alongside a PT or nursing major in one of the many simulation scenarios in our Experiential Learning Commons.
  • Benefit from a multidisciplinary approach that uncovers the relationship between occupational therapy and society through courses in philosophy, history and sociology, including an automatic minor in psychology and opportunities for additional minors - or a double major -in fields like psychology or neuroscience.

The Department of Occupational Therapy is proud to be a Gold-Level member of AOTA’s 2022–2023 Student Membership Circle.



What You’ll Learn in the MOT Program

Our goal is to prepare students to become competent and well-rounded occupational therapists with skills in a variety of specialties and career opportunities wherever they go. The Master of Occupational Therapy program at SFU is based on a multidisciplinary, holistic approach and uses ACOTE’s education standards to prepare students for careers as occupational therapists in many specializations.  


Fieldwork experiences in the professional phase occur in multiple settings and are designed to help students become well-rounded practitioners and find the career path they are most passionate about pursuing.

  • Degree Paths
  • Learning Objectives
  • Licensure
  • Undergraduate OT Paths: 

    Degree PathDescriptionCourse Catalog Plan of Study



    B.S. in Health Science

    leading to MOT (3+2)


    Direct-entry MOT

    with max of 40 students admitted per cohort

    Course Catalog - 24/25

    Plan of Study


    Graduate OT Path: 

    Degree PathDescriptionCourse CatalogPlan of Study

    Master of Occupational Therapy (2 years)

    Students with a baccalaureate degree may be admitted based on space availability

    Course Catalog - 24/25

    Plan of Study
  • Upon successful completion of the occupational therapy program, you will be able to: 

    • Synthesize your knowledge and skills to practice competently and ethically as an entry-level occupational therapist in underserved regions and communities in Pennsylvania and beyond;
    • Utilize your experience and knowledge of the domains of occupational therapy, including the musculoskeletal, neurological, pediatric, psychosocial and gerontological domains, as well as emerging fields of study; 
    • Further the growth of the occupational therapy profession through systematic inquiry, community involvement and action, and professional involvement; and
    • Demonstrate commitment to your own personal and professional growth as you begin your career with your occupational therapist degree.
  • Professional Licensure/Credentialing

    Occupational therapists are licensed by individual states, but only need to take one national certification exam, offered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Once licensed, occupational therapists can work in a variety of settings. After successful completion of this exam, you will be a registered and licensed occupational therapist (OTR/L).


    Program graduates are eligible to sit for the NBCOT exam within approximately one month after graduation.   Initial and ongoing certification is granted by NBCOT and licensure is granted individual states where the candidate is employed.  It is your responsibility to determine eligibility.


    Felony Statement

    If any candidate has been convicted of a felony, there may be a potential impact on that candidate's eligibility for credentialing.  Additional information on character review can be found at the NBCOT website.


OT Admissions Requirements

  • Undergraduate OT Admissions
  • Graduate OT Admissions
  • Transfer OT Admissions
  • Provisional OT Admissions
  • The Master of Occupational Therapy program at Saint Francis University is an accelerated 3+2 program with the primary entry point being as a freshman. Students enroll as freshmen in the occupational therapy (OT) major in one of two paths (Full or Provisional).


    Occupational Therapy Observation Form.pdf

    Admission Criteria for High School Students

    Graduated from an approved secondary school or submission of a state-approved GED.
    Full OT Acceptance:

    • Submitting test scores:
      • Completed work equal to a standard academic high school coursework
      • SAT = 1080 or greater/ACT = 21 or greater
      • Minimum High School GPA: 3.0
      • 10 hours of OT observation
    • Test Optional:
      • Completed work equal to a standard academic high school coursework with a minimum of the following:
        • 4 units of English
        • 3 units of Social Studies
        • 3 units of Math (one of which is Algebra with a “B” or greater)
        • 3 units of Science (one of which is Biology with a lab and a “B” or greater; recommended courses include Advanced Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, Physics, Chemistry)
        • Completion of additional courses or internships that demonstrate advanced knowledge or skill in the healthcare environment. (such as: 1 unit of Psychology, Sociology, and/or Medical Terminology, Advanced Science courses, internships in a healthcare field.
        • Minimum GPA: 3.4 or greater (based on 4.0 scale)
        • Recommend any of the following: campus visit, OT department visit, interview, classroom visitation, meeting with any of the OT faculty, or virtual visit with any of the OT faculty.
        • 10 hours of OT observation
        • Students are encouraged to submit a letter of recommendation that can attest to their ability to be successful in a healthcare field.
        • NOTE: the Occupational Therapy program at Saint Francis University requires students to take BIOL111 and BIOL111 Lab at Saint Francis University as a full-time, on-campus, first-year student. If the student has dual enrollment or AP credits for BIOL111 (or its equivalent), they will be transferred in as free elective credits (BIOL800).
    • Other
      • Students who do not meet either of the above criteria, but who qualify for admission to the University, may select a major consistent with their academic profile. Options include: Interdisciplinary Healthcare Studies-Pre-Allied Health, Exploratory (Health and Human Services), Public Health, Psychology, Social Work, etc.


    Students must meet the following criteria in order to progress into the professional phase of the program:

    • Demonstrate a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average in all major and core curriculum requirements by the end of the spring semester of Year Three of the Pre-Professional phase of study.
    • Demonstrate completion of all general education core and collateral courses as prescribed:
    • Demonstrate completion of OT 201, OT 301, OT 302, OT 310 (with a grade of "C" or better) or their equivalent as determined by the Department Chairman.
    • Demonstrate a minimum 2.75 overall collateral courses grade point average in each Collateral Courses: 
      • BIOL 111- Biology I, 4 Credits
      • BIOL 111 L- Biology I Lab, 1 Credit
      • BIOL 205- Anatomy & Physiology I, 3 Credits
      • BIOL 205L- Anatomy & Physiology I Lab, 1 Credit
      • BIOL 206- Anatomy & Physiology II, 3 Credits
      • BIOL 206L- Anatomy & Physiology II Lab, 1 Credit
      • PSYC 101- Introduction to Psychology, 3 Credits
      • PSYC 201- Research Methods and Statistics I, 3 Credits
      • PSYC 202- Research Methods and Statistics II, 3 Credits
      • PSYC 205- Psychopathology, 3 Credits
      • PSYC 209- Developmental Psychology, 3 Credits
      • PSYC 305- Memory & Cognition, 3 Credits
      • PSYC 314- Biopsychology, 3 Credits
      • PUBH 101- Introduction to Public Health, 3 Credits
      • SOC 101- Introduction to Sociology, 3 Credits
      • OT 201-Introduction to OT II or equivalent*, 1-3 Credits
      • OT 301- OT Seminar I or equivalent*, 1 Credit
      • OT 302- OT Seminar II or equivalent*, 1 Credit
      • OT 310- Occupation and Movement or equivalent*, 3 Credits

    Please consult the departmental handbook for detailed information about internal policies and standards.


    **Note: Professional courses are open to Occupational Therapy majors only.

  • Eligible Students holding an earned baccalaureate (bachelor's) degree with the necessary prerequisite coursework may be admitted to the first year of the professional curriculum based on space availability. 


    Occupational Therapy Degree Admissions Requirements

    Applicants for Graduate Admission are required to submit the following to the Department of Occupational Therapy in order to be considered for admission. Candidates should apply for admission by November 15 for the following summer semester.

    1. A completed Application Form with a $30 (non-refundable) application fee to the Department of Occupational Therapy. Please make check payable to Saint Francis University.
    2. Evidence of a completed baccalaureate degree from a fully accredited institution.
    3. Official transcripts from each college/university attended indicating an overall minimum QPA of 3.0. Transcripts must be submitted from the college/university to the Saint Francis University Department of Occupational Therapy in sealed envelopes, or they will not be considered official.
    4. A completed Collateral Check List

      with the noted Collateral Requirement Courses completed with a minimum grade of "C" in each course.

      1. Descriptions for the Collateral Requirements are provided in the application packet. Applicants who believe they have taken an equivalent of the course(s) must provide the appropriate course descriptions and/or syllabi with their application so that the Department of Occupational Therapy can make a determination of equivalency.
      2. Please note that applicants must have no greater than six (6) credits of collateral coursework outstanding at time of application. Requirements include: 
      • BIOL 111- Biology I, 3 Credits
      • BIOL 111 L- Biology I Lab, 1 Credit
      • BIOL 205- Anatomy & Physiology I, 3 Credits
      • BIOL 205L- Anatomy & Physiology I Lab, 1 Credit
      • BIOL 206- Anatomy & Physiology II, 3 Credits
      • BIOL 206L- Anatomy & Physiology II Lab, 1 Credit
      • PSYC 101- Introduction to Psychology, 3 Credits
      • PSYC 205- Psychopathology, 3 Credits
      • PSYC 209- Developmental Psychology, 3 Credits
      • SOC 101- Introduction to Sociology, 3 Credits
      • Introductory Statistics, 3 Credits
      • Medical Terminology, 1-3 Credit 
    5. Documentation of 50 hours (minimum) of volunteer or paid experience in Occupational Therapy. A copy of the Documentation Form for Occupational Therapy Observation Volunteer/Paid Employment Experience is provided in the application packet.
    6. Current Course Enrollment Form if currently enrolled at another college/university. Upon completion of the coursework, an official transcript must be sent to the Department of Occupational Therapy.
    7. Two professional recommendation (at least one from an Occupational Therapist) using the Professional Recommendation Forms provided in the application packet. These recommendations must be submitted to the Department of Occupational Therapy directly from the references in sealed envelopes.
    8. A brief typed essay (300 words or less) responding to the prompt: "Describe your personal characteristics that you believe will lead to your success in the occupational therapy profession."
    9. International students must send their transcripts to an international agency where the transcripts will be converted to the American academic scale.  We recommend World Education Services, 1-800-937-3897.  In addition to meeting the requirements for admission, international students must submit satisfactory scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (T.O.E.F.L.), administered by the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey.  Applicants whose native language is English are exempt from this requirement.  International students should apply for admissions and the required testing well in advance in order to ensure evaluation of their credentials in a time frame which is equitable to themselves and the Graduate Admissions Committee. 


    Saint Francis University is NOT currently a participating school in the OTCAS. All applications and materials are managed through the SFU OT Department.

    Applications for the Summer 2024-cohort will be accepted through March 15, 2024. 


    Applications for the Summer 2025-cohort are currently being accepted.

  • Admission Criteria for Transfer Students

    Students requesting transfer either within the University or from external institutions are required to follow the “Transfer Policy” process as well as have a transfer evaluation completed (see below).


    Transfer Evaluation

    • Student requests meeting with the OT Department.
    • Transfer evaluation is completed by the OT Department to determine which cohort student best aligns with.
    • Transfer evaluations will be completed on an ongoing basis convenient to the OT Department:
      • the results will be communicated to the student, along with the other requirements (interview, hours of observation, personal statement).
      • Note: BIOL111 and BIOL111L will be considered to transfer in at the transfer level.
    •  The OT Department will evaluate students on a semester-by-semester basis and offer admission (full or provisional) based on results of the transfer evaluation and space in the cohort.
    • If a student is not accepted into the OT major in the semester they inquire, they may inquire the following semester; however, there is no guarantee and no preference will be given to that student.
    • If an acceptance into OT is not offered, it is the responsibility of the student to determine a major consistent with their preferences. They may collaborate with Career Services or the Center for Academic Success for assistance in this process.
  • Provisional Occupation Therapy Student 

    The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education, ACOTE, permits the SFU Occupational Therapy program to enroll 40 freshman OT students. When you submit your $100 tuition deposit, one of the 40 spaces in the OT cohort is reserved for you.
    While the majority of the 40 spaces in the freshman cohort are reserved for fully accepted OT students, ten of the spaces are reserved for provisional OT students.


    Transition from provisional OT student to full OT student
    In order to be considered a full OT student by the end of the freshman year, you must:

    • Achieve a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade point average
    • Earn a C or better in BIOL111, BIOL111Lab, and PSYC101
    • Complete 10 hours of OT observation
    • Complete an interview with a representative of the OT program


The Saint Francis University entry-level master’s degree program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 510E, Bethesda, MD 20814. ACOTE’s telephone number, c/o AOTA is 301-652-AOTA (301-652-2682), and its web address is

Graduates of Saint Francis University’s MOT program are eligible to sit for the national certification for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the graduate will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR).

In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

To be eligible to sit for the exam, students must complete 24 weeks of Level II fieldwork within 24 months following completion of all requirements of the academic portion of the program.


The total number of graduates from Saint Francis University’s Master of Occupational Therapy program during the 3-year period of 2020-2023 was 105, with an overall graduation rate of 96%. 


Graduation Rate 

Program results from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) can be found online at:


Academic Year



Graduation Rate

% of Test Takers Who Passed NBCOT Exam within 12 Months of Graduation 

2022-202333/33100%97 %
Overall Average108/10597%96%


Tuition and Aid

Program Cost – At Saint Francis University, we are committed to ensuring the highest quality education is both affordable and accessible. Annual tuition rates are approved by the University’s Board of Trustees.

Detailed information regarding tuition and aid can be found at:


The required cost of attendance information is effective 1/1/2022


Master of Occupational Therapy (Campus)

Tuition/semester$17,130-$20,556 (9-18 credits)
Health Insurance/yearsee policy
Technology Fee/year$650
Program Fee$660 (4th-5th year)




Total First Year: $60,448
Total Second Year: $36,370
Total Program Cost: $96,818

portion of academic seal

Experienced OT faculty who love to teach

Our Occupational Therapy faculty have expertise in telemedicine, alternative medicine, pediatrics, geriatrics, neuro rehab, sensory processing, cultural adaptability, therapeutic intervention, playground accessibility, and nutritional therapy. All SFU Occupational Therapy faculty are doctorally prepared.


Department Chair: Dr. Lorie Rowles, OTD, OTR/L  814-472-2749

Career Outlook in Occupational Therapy

Thanks to our multidisciplinary approach and experienced faculty, our occupational therapy program graduates are prepared for careers as occupational therapists in any specialization. Fieldwork experiences in the professional phase occur in multiple settings and are designed to help students become well-rounded practitioners and find the career path they are most passionate about pursuing.


Salary Potential: The median annual pay in 2020 was $86,280 per year.


Growth Industry: The Bureau of Labor Statistic projects the field to grow 16% by 2029, faster than the average growth rate. 


SFU Grads: Our graduates have found careers as occupational therapists all over the country, treating patients of all ages with a variety of needs in nursing homes, hospitals, schools, outpatient clinics, home health services, and more.




Frequently Asked Questions About Occupational Therapy and Saint Francis University

  • What can I do with a degree in occupational therapy?

    As an occupational therapist, your job is to help patients achieve the activities of daily living that are most important to them, like returning to hobbies, getting dressed or cooking for themselves. With a comprehensive education in our MOT program, you'll be well-prepared for a career in multiple health settings, including schools, hospitals, outpatient rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities and more.



  • What makes the 3+2 Direct Entry OT program at SFU an affordable path to my degree?

    A Masters of Occupational Therapy degree remains the quickest way to enter the field as a fully certified occupational therapist.  And – and with our 3+2  direct entry program – that means just one extra year of study beyond the typical 4-year bachelor’s degree path. In October 2018, AOTA and ACOTE placed the discussed mandate to transition all programs to the doctoral level on hold, thus allowing SFU to keep the most cost-effective 5-year path into the field of occupational therapy in place. Additionally, though the professional phase of our program begins in your fourth year, you will still be able to receive undergraduate scholarships and aid until your bachelor’s degree is conferred.