News Releases

St. Bonaventure University

Master of Science in occupational therapy degree now available at St. Bonaventure University

Mar 17, 2021

A new graduate degree program resulting in a Master of Science in occupational therapy is now available from the School of Health Professions at St. Bonaventure University.
Twenty students will begin studies in the new professional MSOT degree program in August, the first cohort in a course of study that prepares students academically and professionally for entry-level positions in the rewarding and high-demand field of occupational therapy.
Occupational therapists are health care professionals who use occupational therapy and science to help clients develop, recover, improve, and maintain the skills needed for daily living and working.
“I am thrilled that we are bringing a Master of Occupational Therapy program to the School of Health Professions at St. Bonaventure University,” said Dr. Joseph Michael Pellerito Jr., founding director and associate professor of the Department of Occupational Therapy at SBU. “Our world-class program will prepare our students to help people of all ages overcome disabilities, advance their health and wellness, and promote their quality of life.
“Our state-of-the-art facilities and dedicated faculty will provide a dynamic learning environment where students can achieve their full potential, personally and professionally.”
The MSOT program is designed for students who have earned a B.S. or B.A. degree in a field other than occupational therapy. Students attend consecutive trimesters over 23 months, including a summer session that is completely online.
The program consists of 72 credit-hours divided into two phases. In the 17-month classroom phase, instruction is focused in St. Bonaventure’s historic Francis Hall, site of a $17.5 million renovation project that created a modern new home for the School of Health Professions. Completed in 2021, the project, which included major exterior and interior renovations, features:
• state-of-the-art classrooms and learning laboratory spaces
• dedicated home health, pediatric and adult rehabilitation labs
• leading-edge equipment for assessment and treatment
In addition to academic coursework, students complete fieldwork experiences in which they observe and participate in selected OT processes in hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, schools and similar treatment facilities.
The second phase, Level II fieldwork, is a 24-week, full-time, in-depth experience in which students serve as OT student practitioners in an actual clinical setting, under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist. It is an opportunity for students to develop skill and task mastery, hone their professional behavior and interpersonal communication skills, and demonstrate their ability as entry-level practitioners.
Courses are taught by iPad initiative/Apple certified faculty, and the program has clinical affiliations with community partners in the region and across the country, said Pellerito.
Demand for OT services is in the beginning stages of an anticipated 10-year surge. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 16 percent growth in employment of occupational therapists in the 10-year period ending in 2029, a much faster rate of growth than the average for all other professions, and reports the mean annual wage for occupational therapists in 2019 was $84,950.
Applications for the first MSOT class, which will begin studies in the fall, will be accepted through June 11, 2021. For detailed information about the program, curriculum and courses, and the application process, visit the occupational therapy website at
The occupational therapy program is the latest in a number of health care programs offered by St. Bonaventure’s School of Health Professions. A Master of Science in physician assistant studies is also available.
Undergraduate offerings include Bachelor of Science programs in public health, health science, as well as an RN to B.S. in nursing program, and a dual degree in nursing program offered in conjunction with Jamestown Community College.
Note: As an applicant program, applications submitted to St. Bonaventure University will not be reviewed until Candidacy Status is granted by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Candidacy Status is not a guarantee of accreditation. The Candidacy Status decision is anticipated to occur in April 2021. Furthermore, the program cannot admit students until Candidacy Status is granted by ACOTE. Pending New York state approval.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. In 2020, St. Bonaventure was named the #2 regional university value in New York and #3 in the North by U.S. News and World Report.