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Seton Hall University Health and Medical Sciences
department of occupational therapy

Department of Occupational Therapy

The Department of Occupational Therapy is the academic home for the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (M.S.O.T.) degree program. The department also collaborates with our undergraduate partners to offer the accelerated Dual Degree Program in Occupational Therapy (B.A. + M.S.).

The Department of Occupational Therapy is based within the School of Health and Medical Sciences, which provides a rigorous and rewarding environment for the study of occupational therapy within a larger, interprofessional healthcare context.

Academic Programs

Department Mission

The Department of Occupational Therapy's mission is to graduate qualified, entry-level occupational therapists who will provide ethical, supportive, evidence-based and effective care to those they serve.

Department Vision

It is the vision of the Occupational Therapy program at Seton Hall University to educate students to become occupation-based practitioners who will enhance the quality of life and participation of the populations we serve across all environments, areas of occupation and life roles. This core vision will permeate the curriculum and our research efforts, and will serve to position the program as a resource for clinicians and communities in New Jersey.

Educational Philosophy & Values

From the Commission on Education, AJOT, 2007:

Occupational therapy education is grounded in the belief that humans are complex beings engaged in a dynamic process of interaction with the physical, social, temporal, cultural, psychological, spiritual and virtual environments. Through active engagement within the internal and external environments, humans evolve, change and adapt.

Occupational therapy educators advocate the use of occupation to facilitate health promoting growth, change and/or adaptation with the goal of participation in meaningful occupation that supports survival, self-actualization, occupational balance and quality of life.

The profession of occupational therapy is unique and dynamic, grounded in core principles of occupation, and is influenced by emerging knowledge and technologies. Thus, the education of future occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants must consistently reinforce the development of new knowledge supporting the use of occupation, the application of clinical reasoning based on evidence, the necessity for lifelong learning and the improvement of professional knowledge and skills.

Occupational therapy education promotes competence through educational experiences that foster the occupational therapists' and occupational therapy assistants' practice potential and scholarship development. Occupational therapy educators use active learning that engages the learner in a collaborative process that builds on prior knowledge and experience and integrates professional academic knowledge, experiential learning, clinical reasoning and self-reflection. Occupational therapy education promotes integration of philosophical and theoretical knowledge, values, beliefs, ethics and technical skills for broad application to practice in order to improve human participation and quality of life for those individuals with and without impairments and limitations.

The occupational therapy education process emphasizes continuing critical inquiry in order that occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants be well prepared to function and thrive in the dynamic environments of a diverse and multicultural society, using the power of occupation as the primary method of evaluation, intervention, and health promotion.


  1. The belief in occupational performance and meaningfulness as the bases for the promotion of participation, well-being, and health.
  2. The belief that the occupational therapy process influences the transaction among individuals, environments and occupations to support participation, well-being and health.
  3. The belief in the promotion of occupational justice so that all are able to fully participate.


The occupational therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE's telephone number, c/o AOTA, is (301) 652-AOTA, and its web address is


The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (M.S.O.T.) program is a rigorous program with high expectations for students' performance. The total number of graduates from the Master of Occupational Therapy program during the 3-year period of 2021 – 2023 was 173, with an overall graduation rate of 97.7%.

MSOT expectations
Graduation Year Students Entering/Graduating Graduation Rate
2021 60/58 96.6%
2022 57/57 100.0%
2023 60/58


Total 177/173 97.7%

Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapist, administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®). After successful completion of this exam, the graduate will be an occupational therapist, registered (OTR). In addition, most states require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. Pass rate reports can be found here.

Faculty and Staff 

Department Chair: Ruth Segal, PhD, OTR
Department Secretary: Debra Olszewski

Tuition and Financial Aid

Academic Policies

In order to ensure that the School of Health and Medical Sciences graduates competent and ethical practitioners, the School's faculty, in conjunction with the Dean's Office, developed the Academic Performance Standards Policy and Student Performance Review Committee Procedures.

The form for student requests to appeal to the Student Performance Review Committee is available here »

Contact the Department
Seton Hall University
School of Health and Medical Sciences
Interprofessional Health Sciences Campus
123 Metro Boulevard
Nutley, NJ 07110
(973) 761-7145
[email protected]

For Graduate Admissions questions, contact:
Patrick McDermott, M.A.
Assistant Dean for Graduate Enrollment and Student Affairs
School of Health and Medical Sciences
[email protected]
(973) 275-2062

For Dual Degree questions, contact:
Dr. Leslie Bunnage
Advisor of SOBS Dual Degree Programs
College of Arts and Sciences
[email protected]

Seton Hall Undergraduate Admissions and Enrollment Services