Why Choose Nazareth for Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapists have the privilege of working with individuals with impairments or disabilities to develop or regain the “occupations” that are meaningful in their lives. Occupational therapists may help people improve performance of daily living tasks, learn in school, engage in social relationships and community activities, or resume job duties impacted by illness or injury.

As a student in Nazareth's occupational therapy degree program, you learn how to develop or improve a person’s sensory, physical, cognitive/perceptual, and/or psychosocial abilities. You learn to modify the environment to help the person to be as self-sufficient and productive as possible. The program prepares you for entry-level general practice and develops your initial skills in areas of specialization such as early intervention, school-based practice, neurological rehabilitation, environmental analysis and modification, ergonomics, and treatment of upper extremity and orthopedic impairments.

Program Highlights

  • Occupational therapy students consistently have 100% graduation rates and high pass rates on the certification exam. The 2019 pass rate was 100% on the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).
  • The curriculum offers you a wide range of interprofessional academic and clinical experiences, including an on-campus OT clinic, clinical outreach activities, and fieldwork opportunities. 
  • All occupational therapy majors take a gross anatomy course that includes dissection of a cadaver.
  • Five rigorous practice courses in the senior year are associated with clinic work.
  • You will have the opportunity to engage in collaborative research with faculty and OT clinicians.
  • You have the option to get specialized preparation in working with school-age children with autism through Nazareth's Interdisciplinary Specialty Program in Autism (I-SPAN) specialization, and your cost for those courses may be covered by a federal grant: I-SPAN Scholars grant opportunity.

Admissions standards for occupational therapy »

Occupational Therapy at Nazareth College

    Program Options, Requirements, and Course Descriptions

    Contact Information

    Elizabeth Baltus Hebert

    Elizabeth Baltus Hebert

    Associate Professor and Chair in Occupational Therapy
    York Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute 128

    Education: B.S., State University of NY at Potsdam; Certificate in OT, University of Pennsylvania; M.S., University of Buffalo; Ph.D., University of Rochester

    Teaching and Research Interests: Dr. Hebert coordinated a collaborative program between the Univ. of Buffalo and the Univ. of Rochester to train OTs and PTs to work in early intervention. She has been the occupational therapy discipline coordinator for an interdisciplinary training program for professionals who aspire to be leaders in the area of developmental disabilities. Dr. Hebert’s doctoral research utilized qualitative research to study parental decision making about interventions for their child with autism. Her Master’s thesis compared parent-child interaction during play of children with disabilities to typically developing children. Dr. Hebert has also participated in interdisciplinary research on family centered care during disclosure of autism.

    occupational therapy degree program, occupational therapy major at Nazareth College Rochester, NY

    Student Spotlight: Morgan Monahan '17G

    “The strengths of the OT program include building close relationships with OT professors over five years and gaining more hands-on experience than is required by the profession. We do five week-long, and two 3-month fieldwork placements, which allow us to participate in providing OT in schools, long-term care facilities, hospitals, home care, and rehab centers. Each OT “practice” course is connected to a clinical experience working with clients on campus and off-site. As a student OT, I’ve had so many opportunities to build a network.” Morgan Monahan ‘17G, shown in the campus clinic helping a child build muscle tone, improve posture, encourage attention, and develop his skills using both hands.

    Examples of OT Employers

    • Elementary and high schools
    • Schools for children with special needs
    • Hospitals, clinics, and medical groups
    • Home care agencies
    • Medical equipment companies
    • OT schools and research laboratories
    • Long-term care settings
    • Private practice

    Internships/Field Experiences

    • Rochester Psychiatric Center
    • Heritage Christian Services
    • Jewish Senior Life
    • Strong Memorial Hospital
    • ARC of Monroe
    • Canandaigua VA Medical Center
    • CP Rochester
    • Mary Cariola Children’s Center
    • Rush-Henrietta School District
    • Greece School District
    • E. John Gavras Center


    Occupational therapy jobs are expected to grow 27% (adding 30,400 jobs nationwide) in the decade ending 2024, much faster than average, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. News & World Report in 2017 ranks occupational therapists among the top 20 health care jobs and #23 overall among The 100 Best Jobs.