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 regain the skills of daily living after an illness, injury or other condition. Occupational therapists help people perform tasks such as eating, dressing, playing, working 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 B.S./M.S.program allows you to complete a bachelor’s degree and smoothly transition in the occupational therapy advanced standing 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

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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. Students in the Bachelor of Science (BS) program smoothly enter the Occupational Therapy: Advanced Standing MS Program by completing professional level OT courses as part of their BS degree. Both the BS and MS degree programs are completed in five and half years. Students may enter the BS program as first-year students or apply to transfer within UNH into the BS program during 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 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 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 master’s degree program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education, located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD  20852-4929; telephone:  301-652-AOTA; website:  www.acoteonline.org. After completing the master's degree 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 Program may be found in the UNH Graduate Catalog.

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 #685Psychosocial Disorders and Everyday Life4
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 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
Total Credits53-54

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 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.

OT 710OT Practice and Professional Roles4
OT 730
Assistive Technology for Enhancing Occupational Performance
and Assistive Technology for Enhancing Occupational Performance Lab
OT 744Fieldwork and Professionalism - Level 11
OT 751Mind Body Systems/Neurologically Based Function and Dysfunction4
OT 752
Human Movement and Environmental Effects on Everyday Occupations
and Human Movement Lab
OT 760
Psychosocial Evaluation and Intervention
and Psychosocial Evaluation and Intervention Lab
and Psychosocial Evaluation & Intervention Recitation
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 771
Enabling Participation in Community Groups
and Enabling Participation in Community Groups Lab
OT 785Research Methods and Application to Practice4
OT 792Level I Fieldwork1
OT 741Human Occupation 14
Total Credits43

At the end of the senior year, students are awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree in Occupational Science. Students apply to the Graduate School for Occupational Therapy: Advanced Standing MS Program during their senior year. An overall minimum grade point of 3.0 is required for admission to the MS 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 Program and the final 1.5 years (three semesters) of the professional occupational therapy curriculum including Fieldwork Level II requirements.

Students entering as first-year undergraduate students complete both the BS degree and Advanced Standing MS degree in 5.5 academic years (11 semesters and one January-term), 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 student'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 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.

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