Occupational Therapy Major (B.S.)

Occupational Therapy Major (B.S.)

occupational Therapy Class


Occupational therapy enables people of all ages to live life to the fullest, supporting their participation in work, school, play or leisure, household tasks, self-care and community activities. Clients may be experiencing challenges due to an illness, injury or other condition. Occupational therapists use different strategies to address a person’s needs: promoting skills, adapting task demands and using assistive technology to support performance of desired activities. In the OT program at UNH, students learn to address the physical, psychological and social needs of clients, concentrating on what’s important to them to rebuild their health and well-being, independence and self-esteem.


UNH prepares occupational therapists for the future of OT practice. The combined B.S./graduate program allows students to complete a bachelor’s degree and smoothly transition into an entry-level OT graduate program at the master’s degree level or a clinical doctoral program. Our program emphasizes hands-on learning opportunities with a focus on community-based services. Students intern in community programs, actively applying their knowledge and skills as part of their academic coursework. Students also have opportunities to work closely with faculty to engage in research and participate in program development. Challenging and rewarding fieldwork experiences prepare students for work in an array of settings. The Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) provides additional educational, service and social opportunities for students.


  • Hospitals
  • Long-term care/skilled nursing facilities
  • Public schools
  • Rehabilitation facilities


Department of Occupational Therapy
Hewitt Hall, 4 Library Way
Durham, NH 03824

Phone: (603) 862-3221

Curriculum & Requirements

Bachelor of Science to Advanced MS/OTD Program

The University of New Hampshire Department of Occupational Therapy offers a Bachelor's Degree leading to entry with Advanced Standing into our MS or OTD program. Students in the Bachelor of Science (BS) program smoothly enter into one of the graduate programs by completing professional level OT courses as part of their BS degree. The BS and MS degree programs are completed in five and half years, while the BS and OTD programs require 6 years with two summer terms. Students declare their intent to graduate with an Advanced Standing MS or an Advanced Standing OTD at the end of their sophomore year.  Students may enter the BS program as first-year students or apply to transfer within UNH into the BS program during the fall semester of their sophomore year, space permitting. Students interested in transferring into this program should contact the Department of Occupational Therapy for information about transfer requirements, the application process and deadlines.

Students' academic advisor guides them through a stream-lined application process to enter the Occupational Therapy: Advanced Standing MS or OTD Program during the senior year. Students must have a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average, earned a B- or above in all professional level OT courses (700 level or higher), with no more than 8 credits at B-, pass all competency (practical) exams as part of OT courses, pass level I fieldwork, and meet professional behavioral standards, which are detailed in the OT Department Policy and Procedure Manual, available to all OT students on the department's learning platform, MyCourses. 

The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929; (301)652-AOTA grants accreditation to entry level MS and OTD programs in the United States.  Our Master’s degree program is currently accredited by ACOTE.

The OTD program at the University of New Hampshire has received candidacy for accreditation from the ACOTE. The program must have a pre-accreditation review, complete an onsite evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the National Certification examination. 

After completing the Master's degree or OTD in occupational therapy, including 24 weeks of Level II Fieldwork, students will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination offered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT), which is required to practice as an occupational therapist. Detailed information regarding the Occupational Therapy: Advanced Standing MS and OTD Program may be found in the UNH Graduate Catalog. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement: 128 credits
Minimum Residency Requirement: 32 credits must be taken at UNH
Minimum GPA: 2.0 required for conferral*
Core Curriculum Required: Discovery & Writing Program Requirements
Foreign Language Requirement: No

All Major, Option and Elective Requirements as indicated.
*Major GPA requirements as indicated.

Major Requirements

Students begin the BS curriculum with preprofessional courses, which include courses in biological and social sciences as well as occupational therapy. In addition to meeting the University Discovery Program requirements, students take the following courses during the first three years of the program.

Core Curriculum
BMS 507Human Anatomy and Physiology I4
BMS 508Human Anatomy and Physiology II4
OT 500Behavior and Development of Children4
OT 501Developmental Tasks of Adulthood4
OT 510Exploring Occupational Therapy and Occupation4
OT 610Occupation, Identity, Disability 14
OT 620Medical Terminology2
OT 685Psychosocial Disorders and Everyday Life4
KIN 652
KIN 653A
Clinical Kinesiology
and Musculoskeletal Assessment
KIN 706
KIN 707
and Neurology Lab
PSYC 401Introduction to Psychology4
Select one statistics course from the following:4
HHS 540
Statistics for Health and Human Service Professionals
PSYC 402
Statistics in Psychology
SOC 402
Select one health or social policy course from the following:4
HDFS 760
Family Programs and Policies
HDFS 776
Children, Adolescents and the Law
HDFS 794
Families and the Law
HMP 401
United States Health Care Systems
HMP 403
Introduction to Public Health
HMP 744
Law and Ethics in Healthcare
HMP 746
Health Policy
POLT 500
American Public Policy
RMP 663
Management and Finance in the Experience Industry
SW 525
Social Welfare Policy: History of Social and Economic Justice
SW 705
Child and Adolescent Risks and Resiliency: Program, Policy and Practice
Total Credits54

Details on satisfying these requirements are provided by the student's academic adviser and are outlined in the OT Department Policy and Procedure Manual. All students receive an electronic copy of the manual in their first year, and it is also available on the Occupational Therapy Student Resources site on the University learning platform.

Volunteer or work experience in a health and human service organization is recommended, although not required.

Professional Curriculum

Students in the BS-MS or BS-OTD curriculum with a GPA of 3.0 or higher transition into the professional program and take professional level courses during their undergraduate education. The following courses are required.

Required Courses BS-MS and BS-OTD
OT 710OT Practice and Professional Roles4
OT 715Introduction to Group Process: Theory and Application2
OT 744Fieldwork and Professionalism - Level 11
OT 750Neuro-Occupation: The Relationship Between Occupation and the Brain3
OT 751Mind Body Systems/Neurologically Based Function and Dysfunction4
OT 752
Human Movement and Environmental Effects on Everyday Occupations
and Human Movement Lab
OT 763
Occupational Therapy Evaluation and Intervention for Adults
and Occupational Therapy Evaluation and Intervention for Adults Lab
and Occupational Therapy Evaluation and Intervention for Adults Recitation
OT 781Introduction to Research and Evidence-Based Practice3
OT 782Research Methods and Application3
OT 792Level I Fieldwork1
Select one of the following:
OT 730
Assistive Technology for Enhancing Occupational Performance
and Assistive Technology for Enhancing Occupational Performance Lab
or OT 771
Enabling Participation in Community Groups
and Enabling Participation in Community Groups Lab
Select one of the following:
OT 760
Psychosocial Evaluation and Intervention
and Psychosocial Evaluation and Intervention Lab
and Psychosocial Evaluation & Intervention Recitation
or OT 762
Occupational Therapy Evaluation and Intervention for Children
and Occupational Therapy Evaluation and Intervention for Children Lab
and Occupational Therapy Evaluation and Intervention for Children Recitation
OT 741Human Occupation 14
Total credits for BS-MS: 38-39
Total Credits41-42

This course also fulfills the writing intensive in major course.

Students need to declare their choice for Advanced Standing MS or OTD by the end of their sophomore year.  At the end of the senior year, students are awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy. However, students must earn a graduate degree (MS or OTD) to become registered occupational therapists.  Students apply to the Graduate School for Occupational Therapy:  Advanced Standing MS or the OTD Program during their senior year. An overall minimum grade point of 3.0 is required for admission to the MS Program or OTD program, and students must earn a minimum grade of B- in all OT classes at the 700 level, with no more than 8 credits of B- in OT courses at the 700 level, pass Level I Fieldwork, and meet professional behavior expectations. Please refer to the Graduate Catalog for additional information about the Advanced Standing MS and OTD Programs and the graduate portion of the professional occupational therapy curriculum including Fieldwork Level II requirements.

Students are responsible for transportation to off-campus practicum and fieldwork locations.

Curriculum review and revision is undertaken annually. The department works closely with students during academic advising sessions and shares information about any policy and requirement changes during registration periods as well as throughout the academic year. Students also are expected to take an active role in verifying expectations and should check with their academic adviser each September for updated policies and requirements. Program requirements and policies for retention in the major are in the OT Department Policy and Procedure Manual, which is available online.

Student Learning Outcomes: BS in Occupational Therapy focuses on the study of human participation in life occupations and prepares students for an entry-level graduate degree to become registered occupational therapists.  Occupations are the activities that people do every day across the lifespan, including but not limited to self-care, employment, volunteer work, leisure, and play. The aim of the BS program is to prepare students for employment in health services fields, or for graduate study in occupational therapy, or other varied fields and disciplines.

Upon graduation with a BS in OTS degree from UNH, students will:

  • Critically evaluate biological, psychosocial, and educational theories that influence human behavior and occupational participation.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the value of human occupation in health and wellness.
  • Demonstrate critical appraisal of how disease and disability influences health promotion and occupational well-being.
  • Recognize the role of culture, socioeconomic status, abilities, and other factors on occupational performance and participation of all members of society.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of concepts of occupational deprivation and occupational justice as related to health and well being for all people.
  • Demonstrate competency in information and basic research literacy.
  • Demonstrate professional behaviors and skills in written and oral communication.
  • Be prepared to apply for graduate study in the field of occupational therapy or other disciplinary area of graduate study.

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