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  • B.S. in Health Science: Pre-Occupational Therapy

    Build a strong foundation in the sciences
    Preparing students to apply to the Mercy College graduate program in Occupational Therapy
    School of Health and Natural Sciences
    Dobbs Ferry

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Health Science: Pre-Occupational Therapy B.S. Curriculum

General Education Requirements 60 Credits
Major Concentration 54 Credits
Open Electives 6 Credits
Total 120 Credits

Students who select the Pre-Occupational Therapy Track must successfully complete:

  • HLSC 102 - Introduction to Health Professions
  • HLSC 201 - Medical Terminology
  • HLSC 205 Stnd Sfty Precaut/Hlth Care Pr
  • HLSC 210 Ovrview Occup Therapy Practice
  • HLSC 215 Cultural Comp in Hlthcare
  • HLSC 225 Intro to Accessing and Reading Scholarly Literature
  • HLSC 250 Global Health
  • HLSC 302 Pathology for Rehabilitation
  • HLSC 303 Human Anatomy with Cadaver Lecture
  • HLSC 303A Human Anatomy with Cadaver Laboratory
  • HLSC 314 Clinical Kines/Applied Physics
  • HLSC 344 Group Process Health Profes
  • HLSC 402 Scientific Writing
  • HLSC 410 Applied Neurosci/Rehab Prof
  • HLSC 420 Intro to Occupational Therapy

The following related courses in Natural Science and Social and Behavioral Science:

*Students must complete these courses as part of their General Education Requirements

  • BIOL 130 Hum Anatomy & Physio I Lecture*
  • BIOL 130A Hum Anatomy & Physio I Lab
  • BIOL 131 Hum Anatomy &Physio II Lecture
  • BIOL 131A Hum Anatomy & Physio II Lab
  • PHYS 120 Physics of the Human Body
  • PSYN 101 or PSYN 195 Introduction to Psychology and Honors Psychology respectively*
  • PSYN 233 Dvlpmntl Psych Across Lifespan
  • PSYN 312 Abnormal Psychology
  • PSYN 370 Stats Socl/Behv Sciences
  • SOCL 101 Introduction to Sociology*

Recommended Open Electives (6 credits)

There is an 18-credit residency requirement in the major concentration of health sciences

  • BHSC 308 Hlth Care Organizat/Management
  • BHSC 366 Medical Ethics
  • BIOL 117 Science of Nutrition
  • HLSC 200 Issues in Personal Health
  • HLSC 209 Emerg Care & Personal Safety
  • HLSC 295 Topics in Health Science
  • HLSC 350 Health Communication
  • HLSC 380 Workplace Experience in Health Science I
  • HLSC 381 Workplace Experience in Health Science II
  • HLSC 390 Epidemiology
  • HLSC 400 Health Sciences Capstone
I've taken classes at another college. Can I transfer credit to complete the BS?
Yes. Acceptance of transfer credits is determined by Admissions. They consult with any graduate program to which you intend to apply. To be eligible for a B.S. in Health Science, which is a 120-credit degree, students must complete a minimum of 30 undergraduate credits at Mercy College. Mercy may transfer up to 90 undergraduate credits from a four-year college and up to 75 credits from a two-year community college.
Is the schedule flexible?
Very. You can take classes as a part-time or full-time student, at various times including evenings and weekends.
Are department faculty available for academic advising?
Yes, faculty are always ready to help students with questions about what courses to take, the sequencing of courses, and career opportunities, including internships and cooperative education.
How long does earning a degree take?
Full-time students can complete the 120-credit degree program in four years.
What are the job opportunities for a BS in HS?
A wide-range of areas such as licensed rehabilitation professions, environmental and occupational health, public health or health promotion. Graduates may also pursue careers related to health care and health promotion in various public and private, clinical and non-clinical settings.
What is the first step in the admissions process?
Click on "Apply Now" on the Mercy homepage or call 1.877.MERCY.GO to apply for admission to Mercy College and arrange for an appointment with an Admissions Counselor. Bring your completed application form and copies of your high school and/or college transcripts with you at the time of your appointment.
Is Mercy College a nonsectarian institution?
Yes. Qualified applicants are admitted without regard to race, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, age or physical disability.
What are the benefits of obtaining a BS in Health Sciences?
If an employer requires a college degree with a health care focus, a B.S. in Health Science is usually preferred. A B.S. in Health Science is the most effective route to completing a Bachelor's degree that includes all the graduate program prerequisite courses for programs such as the Health Promotions Concentration as well as the Graduate Occupational Therapy, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant Programs.
How many credits can be transferred from another institution?
Up to 75 credits from a two-year institution. Up to 90 from a four-year institution. Up to 90 credits combined however the credits may not exceed 75 credits from any combination of two-year institutions as they apply to your chosen degree. In addition you may only transfer in two courses of upper-level business credit (six credits) to apply to the major / specialization.
Ferdinand Esser HLSC Program Director
Jean Walsh Clinical Assistant Professor, Health Science
Matthew Hyland Associate Professor, Physical Therapy
Mindy Garfinkel Associate Professor, Occupational Therapy
Irina Ellison Associate Professor, Chair Natural Sciences
Debra Zizik Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy
Sonia Moorehead Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy

Health Science: Pre-Occupational Therapy Overview

The Bachelor of Science in Health Science with a concentration in Pre-Occupational Therapy, offers a comprehensive curriculum grounded in scientific principles and its practical application to prepare students for application to a graduate occupational therapy program. The diverse curriculum that includes general education requirements, the foundational sciences and psychology courses that are typically prerequisites for application to a graduate program in occupational therapy.

Pre-Professional Occupational Therapy Concentration

The B.S. in Health Science does not provide eligibility for licensure to practice as an occupational therapist. The health science degree is awarded after completion of the 120-credits of coursework detailed in the pre-OT concentration. Completing the health science program does not guarantee admission to a Mercy College graduate program in occupational therapy. Graduates of the B.S. in Health Science must apply to the graduate programs, meet specific requirements, and compete with all other applicants. Mercy College B.S. in Health Science graduates are offered an admission interview for the respective graduate program provided they meet the minimum criteria as outlined by the program. The B.S. in Health Science: Pre-OT concentration satisfies the course requirements for admission to the respective Mercy College graduate program. The B.S. in Health Science: Pre-OT concentration may or may not satisfy the course requirements for admission to other graduate OT programs. Courses can vary based on the college/university. Students have the responsibility to check entrance requirements for college/university to which they intend to apply.

Health Science: Pre-Occupational Therapy FAQS

Is the schedule flexible?
Very. You can take classes as a part-time or full-time student, at various times including evenings and weekends.
How long does earning a degree take?
Full-time students can complete the 120-credit degree program in four years.
Meet Dr. Esser, Health Science Program Director

As a Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Esser's work has been in providing holistic health care, including utilizing an extensive aptitude in manual therapies, exercise rehabilitation, as well as nutritional guidance and lifestyle modification leadership for over three decades. In addition, he teaches and writes on the issues and technologies impacting health science today. He is a Health Science and Anatomy course curriculum builder and the lead course instructor.

What is an OT?

Occupational therapists work with people experiencing daily living problems that may result from the effects of normal aging, disability or illnesses such as stroke, spinal cord injuries, cancer, autism, cerebral palsy or developmental problems, congenital conditions, and mental illness. Occupational therapists work in a wide range of practice settings including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing facilities, home health agencies, outpatient rehabilitation programs, psychiatric facilities, private and public schools, community centers and private practices. There are expanding opportunities for occupational therapists in the areas of health promotion and prevention within private practices, industry, social and public or community agencies.

Degree Requirements

Students who have selected a pre-occupational therapy professional concentration must maintain a minimum cumulative and major GPA of 3.0 to maintain matriculation within the pre-professional concentrations. If a student’s cumulative and/or major GPA falls below a 3.0, they will be placed on pre-professional concentration probation and will have one semester to restore their matriculating concentration status by raising their cumulative and/or major GPA to a 3.0.  Pre-professional concentration students must achieve a grade of B or better in ENGL 112 or equivalent and MATH 116, MATH 201 or equivalent. Any student who receives a grade below a C in a major course will be required to retake the course. Major courses may be retaken once.

Meet Alumnus Sean Cruz ’18

Mercy College’s Health Science with a concentration in Pre-Occupational Therapy program gave me the necessary resources to excel and get into the graduate OT program at Mercy College.  I would not be where I am if it wasn’t for the guidance provided by professors that allowed me to better understand the health care field.

Program Outcomes

Program Outcomes:

By the end of this program, students should be able to: 

  • Synthesize and apply knowledge from biological, physical, health, and behavioral sciences as a foundation for practice as a health care professional
  • Explain the importance of cultural competency and appreciation for diversity in the community and health care environments
  • Demonstrate knowledge of sound ethical practice found in health care settings
  • Identify and use professional/scientific literature and materials to support professional decision making related to clinical practice and health care issues
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the current health care system, as well as challenges and changes in the delivery and funding of health care
  • Exhibit interpersonal skills required for client practitioner and professional interaction, as well as peer clinician communication