Occupational Therapy Major (B.S.)

Occupational Therapy Major (B.S.)

occupational Therapy Class

What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy enables people of all ages to live life to the fullest by helping them develop or relearn the skills of daily living after an illness, injury or other condition. Occupational therapists help people perform tasks such as eating, dressing, playing or socializing. In the OT program at UNH, you’ll learn to address the physical, psychological and social needs of clients, concentrating on what’s important to them to rebuild their health, independence and self-esteem. The UNH combined BS/MS program allows you to complete a bachelor’s degree and smoothly transition with advanced standing into the master’s degree program in occupational therapy.

Why study occupational therapy at UNH?

Challenging and rewarding fieldwork experiences in the occupational therapy program at UNH will prepare you for work in an array of settings – and our program maintains fieldwork agreements with more than 600 sites nationwide. All of our students intern in community programs in the New Hampshire Seacoast region, actively applying their knowledge and skills as part of academic coursework. The Student Occupational Therapy Association on campus also provides educational, service and social opportunities for members. Graduates of the OT master’s degree program are eligible to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy certification exam to become registered occupational therapists. 

Potential careers 

  • Early intervention programs 
  • Hand therapy clinics 
  • Hospitals  
  • In-patient rehabilitation centers 
  • Mental health and substance abuse programs 
  • Primary care settings 
  • School settings 
  • Skilled nursing facilities


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

Phone: (603) 862-3221

Curriculum & Requirements

Combined Bachelor of Science/Master of Science Program

The University of New Hampshire Department of Occupational Therapy offers a combined bachelor's degree/master's degree program. The Professional Master’s Degree Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (mailing address:  ACOTE, C/o Accreditation Department, American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD  20814-3449; telephone:  301-652-6611 X2914; website:  www.acoteonline.org.  Students must complete the professional master's degree in occupational therapy to be eligible to take the National Board Certification of Occupational Therapists examination, which is required to practice as an occupational therapist. Students may enter as first-year students or transfer within UNH into the BS/MS program during the sophomore year, space permitting in the program. Students interested in transferring into this program should contact the Department of Occupational Therapy for information about transfer requirements and application deadlines.

Students begin the BS/MS 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, Disability4
KIN 652Clinical Kinesiology4
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 505
Public Health: History and Practice
HMP 744
Health Ethics and Law
HMP 746
Health Policy
POLT 500
American Public Policy
RMP 663
Recreation and Event Management
SW 525
Social Welfare Policy: History of Social and Economic Justice
SW 705
Child and Adolescent Risks and Resiliency: Program, Policy and Practice
Experiential learning/occupation-based course 13-4
Total Credits49-50

(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 a copy of the manual in their first year, and it is also available on the OT student organization site online.)

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

Professional Curriculum

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

OT 710OT Practice and Professional Roles4
OT 741Human Occupation4
OT 745Administration and Management for Occupational Therapy Practice4
OT 752
Human Movement and Environmental Effects on Everyday Occupations
and Human Movement Lab
OT 744Fieldwork and Professionalism - Level 11
OT 753Mind Body Systems: Neurologically-based Function and Dysfunction--Pediatric Conditions4
OT 757Mind Body Systems: Neurologically-based Function and Dysfunction--Adult Conditions4
OT 760
Psychosocial Evaluation and Intervention
and Psychosocial Evaluation and Intervention Lab
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 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 785Research Methods and Application to Practice4
OT 792Level I Fieldwork1
OT 730
Assistive Technology for Enhancing Occupational Performance
and Assistive Technology for Enhancing Occupational Performance Lab
OT 771Enabling Participation in Community Groups2 or 3
Total Credits47-48

At the end of the senior year, students are awarded a bachelor of science degree in occupational science. Students then apply to the Graduate School as advanced-standing students in the professional master's program. An overall minimum grade point of 3.0 is required for admission to the master's degree program, and students must attain a minimum grade of B- in all OT classes, and meet professional behavior expectations. Students must have no more than 8 credits of B- coursework in OT 700-level courses. Please refer to the Graduate Catalog for additional information about the master's program and the final 1.5 years (three semesters) of the professional occupational therapy curriculum including fieldwork requirements.

Students entering as first-year undergraduate students have 5.5 academic years (11 semesters) to complete the professional curriculum, including level II fieldwork. They then will be eligible to sit for the certification examination administered by the National Board of Certification of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT). A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to complete fieldwork, sit for the NBCOT certification examination, and/or obtain state licensure.

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 department advisers 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.

Explore Program Details

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