Occupational Therapy (MS)

Why Study Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapists help people with disabilities overcome challenges that get in the way of the lives they want to live. You'll combine medical knowledge with practical guidance in this hands-on practice.

Why Study Occupational Therapy at SUNY Downstate?

When you get a master's in occupational therapy at Downstate, your training is about more than building skills and knowledge. It's also about immersing yourself in the culture of occupational therapy. To help people live their best lives, you'll need the empathy, patience and wisdom to know which strategies and techniques to draw upon.

As an OT student, you'll learn to mix technical expertise with extensive hands-on training. And because you're at Downstate, Brooklyn's only academic medical center, you'll learn alongside doctors, nurses and other medical professionals—and even take classes taught by faculty who teach the same subjects at our College of Medicine.

That kind of rigor pays off: Downstate students have a 100% pass rate on the NBCOT exam.

What You Will Learn

  • You'll build a foundation in the sciences. The first semesters of the program include classes in anatomy, kinesiology and the neurosciences. Anatomy lectures include the use of medical cadavers, an opportunity OT students at many other programs don't get.
  • Theory and Practice courses allow you to explore OT topics in depth, and then put your knowledge to work in fieldwork seminars.
  • Ongoing fieldwork trains you to be a better practitioner and manager as you gain insight into the healthcare system. You'll also learn crucial lessons of professional ethics as you interact with patients and practitioners.
  • You'll work closely with a faculty adviser on your master's project, as you conduct a research study or develop an educational or clinical project.
  • Collaborate with clients and staff at an area social service organization during the Community Practice sequence. While there, you'll develop innovative, OT-based services.

School of Health Professions

Occupational Therapy Program

  • Phone: (718) 270-7730

Attend an Information Session

Careers & Outcomes

Downstate graduates work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, home health agencies, and other private and publicly run organizations across New York City and far beyond.

When you graduate, you'll be prepared for careers in fields such as accessibility design, fall prevention, primary and preventative care, early intervention practice, ergonomics, hand therapy, seating and mobility, community reintegration and more.

Practice Settings

  • Physical disabilities
  • Psychosocial practice/mental health
  • Pediatrics
  • Community care
  • Consulting
  • Evaluation services
  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics
  • Orthopedics


  • New York City Department of Education
  • New York City Hospitals
  • Northwell Healthcare System
  • Private Practice

Concentrations - Early Intervention

Learn to help young children and their families build cognitive, play and other skills through occupational therapy.

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Meet Our Faculty

Each of Downstate's faculty members brings a wealth of real-world experience into the classroom. Our faculty have worked with infants, veterans, the elderly, athletes, and individuals recovering from neurological damage.

Meet Our Faculty

Program Highlights


From classroom to community.

You'll put your experience to work through extensive service-learning opportunities. Show young students good ergonomic practices at our annual backpack awareness event, or help conduct home-safety audits through local social service agencies.

Nationally recognized.

Downstate is ranked among the top six graduate OT programs in New York State—and #42 nationwide—by US News & World Report.

Work with society's most vulnerable.

Help young children and their families through our Specialization in Early Intervention program. After you graduate from this selective program, you'll qualify to work as an Early Intervention Service provider through the New York State Department of Health.

Take the next step.