Penn State Mont Alto launches bachelor of science in occupational science

Applications being accepted now for fall 2024 enrollment
Two people talking on a bench
Credit: Penn State Mont Alto

MONT ALTO, Pa. — Penn State Mont Alto's Department of Occupational Therapy and Science has launched the University’s first bachelor of science in occupational science (BSOS) degree program. Enrolling now for fall of 2024, the new offering allows students currently enrolled or who have graduated from occupational therapy assistant and physical therapist assistant programs at Penn State or other schools to extend their degree program to earn the BSOS from Penn State Mont Alto in one additional year. The University is also awaiting final accreditation for a master of occupational therapy (MOT) degree program. Slated for a 2025 enrollment, full details on the MOT will be available in spring 2024.

The focus of the of the occupational science major is to engage students in an active and informed understanding of the therapeutic value of engaging meaningful occupation. With strategic intent for students to develop occupation-focused and justice-informed critical reasoning related to meeting societal needs of individuals, groups and communities, the degree is designed to prepare associate graduates in occupational and physical therapy for careers and/or graduate study in health science-related fields.

All occupational science courses will be completed online via a/synchronous format designed with the working adult in mind. Students can decide to take general education courses on campus, online or in a hybrid format.

“With the recent celebration of 32 years of occupational therapy assistant education at Penn State Mont Alto, it is truly a dream to now be providing educational opportunities of a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in the field of occupational therapy and science,” said Angela Hissong, professor-in-charge of occupational therapy and science. “We have been meeting with experts across the University to ensure this program is contemporary focused across all domains of educational format, delivery and collaboration.”

Applications for enrollment are being accepted now for re-enrollment and transfer requests. To be eligible for admission to the BSOS program, applicants must have completed an associate degree in either occupational therapy or physical therapy from an accredited institution. First-time, first-year students are not eligible for admission to this program.

Looking ahead, the Penn State Mont Alto Department of Occupational Therapy is awaiting final accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) to offer a master of occupational therapy (MOT) degree program. The MOT has been thoughtfully designed for practicing occupational therapy assistants and physical therapist assistants who hold a bachelor’s degree, as well as students with a bachelor or master degree in any field.

”The Mont Alto campus has identified health sciences as its niche and would like to solidify its position as the premiere health sciences institution in the region,” said Penn State Mont Alto Chancellor Francis Achampong. “The investment the Office of Vice President of Commonwealth Campuses is making to add a bachelor of science in occupational science degree and a master of occupational therapy degree will go a long way to making this happen.”

For more information and to apply to the BSOS program, please visit For information on the MOT, go to Questions can be directed to Hissong at (717) 749-6165 or [email protected].