Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

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Department Chair

Jody Bortone, OT/L, EdD
Department Chair

Program email:

Contact Department

7 Cambridge Drive
Trumbull, CT 06611
Tel: 203-365-4771 or 203-365-7682
Fax: 203-396-8206

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‎The graduate program in occupational therapy here at Sacred Heart University is extremely innovative in its curriculum design, in its approach to learning and in its responsiveness to societal and demographic trends as well as to the changes in the profession's clinical practice arenas.

The Occupational Therapy program is fully accredited through 2016/2017 (see Certificate of Accreditation) under the “Standards for an Accredited Educational Program for the Occupational Therapist–2006” by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD  20814-3449.  ACOTE's telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is ‌

 For more information on Program Accreditation.

View Program Brochure

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W‌hy the OT program at SHU?

Sacred Heart University, located in Fairfield, Connecticut, offers an entry-level, master's degree program in occupational therapy (MSOT). This graduate program is for people with a bachelor's degree in a field other than occupational therapy. The program prepares students to master entry-level clinical practice skills and develop beginning-level skills in leadership and research in occupational therapy (OT).

  • Sacred Heart University was the first entry level, graduate occupational therapy program in the state of Connecticut to meet the Accreditation Council of Occupational Therapy Education's (ACOTE) new mandate that all entry-level occupational therapy education programs move to a post baccalaureate degree.

  • The design is highly unique, with a curriculum that utilizes a systems and developmental approach, and strongly reflects a philosophy of humanism, service to others and community-based 

    Dr. Jody Bortone, chair of the Occupational Therapy Department, & Professor Heather Miller Kuhaneck took the first year master of science in occupational therapy students on a field trip to KidAbilities, an outpatient occupational therapy clinic that specializes in Ayres Sensory Integration


  • The curriculum utilizes a problem-based learning (PBL). PBL incorporates small group tutorials led by expert faculty members, designed to bridge course content with practice by having students actively engage in the clinical reasoning process through case studies.

  • The program emphasizes research, and allows students to develop their skills in a progressive sequence throughout the curriculum, under the guidance of experienced faculty and clinicians.

  • It actively prepares students to develop proactive and entrepreneurial skills in marketing occupational therapy services and program development in new practice areas. Faculty/student/clinician collaborations and mentorships are structured into the program to facilitate this unique undertaking.

  • The MSOT curriculum incorporates fieldwork and community-based practice opportunities where students actively use clinical reasoning in the design of assessment, intervention and follow up strategies based on evidence, leadership, supervision and management, research and entrepreneurship.

  • Students are provided with a strong educational background to address the physical, cognitive, emotional, social and spiritual needs of their clients in order to design occupation based interventions which enable clients to participate in their own living environments of work, school, play, home, society and community. 

  • We meet with students each semester to receive feedback about the program and track student outcomes upon graduation. For information on progression, retention, graduation rates, please see our program effectiveness data.

  • For information on our pass rates, view the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) program data results

Latest News

SHU Breaks Ground on Center for Healthcare Education

June 18, 2015

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Sacred Heart University broke ground today on a new building to house its Colleges of Health Professions and Nursing. Located at 4000 Park Avenue in Bridgeport, the Center for Healthcare Education will be three stories comprising 117,000 square feet on 8.7 acres. “Like the recently completed Frank and Marisa Martire Business & Communications Center, the new Center for Healthcare Education will provide our students with all the latest technology used in their future professions,” says SHU President John J. Petillo. “The expanded space and updated equipment will offer new opportunities for learning and ensure that they graduate well prepared to make their mark in the booming health-care industry.”

Seven Faculty Members Awarded Tenure

June 2, 2015

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Sacred Heart University’s faculty was celebrated recently at the University’s annual Faculty Reception. During the ceremony, University Provost Laura Niesen de Abruna announced that seven faculty members have been awarded tenure by the Board of Trustees. They are Kwamie Dunbar of Oxford, Anna Greer of Bridgeport, Dawn Melzer of Trumbull, Heather Miller-Kuhanek of Southington, Patrick Morris of Norwalk, Christopher Kelly of Hamden and Mary Treschitta of Fairfield.

Promoting Global Health Awareness Through Hands-On Training

November 26, 2014

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – When you get Christina Gunther talking about international study-abroad opportunities provided through Sacred Heart University’s College of Health Professions, the conversation quickly moves from travelogue and course listings to social justice, unique hands-on training and life-altering experiences. Gunther, director, Global Programs & Assessment, isn’t just an advocate—she’s a coach, mentor, diplomat, social worker, international tour director and global healthcare champion. And she’s working to change the world, one student, one country and one cultural experience at a time “with a talented group of faculty.”