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Scholarships, Incentives, and Special Programs
Recruitment & Special Programs > Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy Scholarship Program  > Fact Sheet for Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy Scholarship Program

Area of Study:




Level of Study:


Semester of Entry:

  Master's Degree


  Fall 2019


Application Period:


  January 7 - April 30, 2019 






Columbia University  Janet Falk-Kessler, EdD, OTR/L (212) 305-1645 jf6@columbia.edu
Keuka College  Vicki Smith, Ed.D., MBA, OTR/L, FAOTA (315) 279-5666 vlsmith@keuka.edu
Long island University Barry Eckert, Ph.D. (718) 780-6578 barry.eckert@liu.edu
Mercy College Laurette Olson, Ph.D., O.T.R. (914) 674-7816 lolson@mercy.edu
New York Institute of Technology  Gioia Ciani, OTD,  OTR/L (516) 686-3886 gciani@nyit.edu
New York University  Sally Poole, OTD,OT/L,CHT (212) 998-5851 sp3@nyu.edu
SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn (SUNY Downstate) Margaret Kaplan, Ph.D., OTR (718) 270-7736 Margaret.kaplan@downstate.edu
Touro College Anny Pascual (212) 463-0400 ext.55466 anny.pascual@Touro.edu
York College  Beverly . Horowitz, PhD, OTR/L, LMSW,FAOTA 718-262-2720



  • Be accepted by one of the participating colleges/universities and enrolled full time in an Occupational Therapy Program leading to New York State Certification.

  • Certify that you are a citizen or legal permanent resident alien of the United States and will present proof of such at the time of the interview.

  • Certify that you do not possess a disqualifying record of conviction. All awardees need to be fingerprinted and receive clearance by the New York City Department of Education.

  • Agree to accept employment as full-time Occupational Therapists with the New York City Department of Education in areas of high need as determined at the discretion of the program Supervisor upon obtaining your New York State license.

  • Maintain full time college/university enrollment.



All applications for the OT/PT Scholarship Program must be submitted electronically.  Supporting documents must be submitted within 10 business days from the date the application is filed:

  • Resume

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status. (Example: Birth Certificate, Passport, Alien Registration Card.)

  • Current College Transcripts (unofficial copies and/or official student copies are accepted).

  • Copies of all New York State or other state license.

  • Two (2) letters of reference.

  • A non-refundable application fee of $75.00 in the form of a money order made payable to the New York City Department of Education. Personal checks will not be accepted.


Documents are to be mailed to the following address:


New York City Department of Education

Scholarship Incentives and Speech Programs

65 Court Street, Room 508

Brooklyn, NY 11201

Attention: OT/PT Scholarship Program




Interviews will be held by the Office of Related Services during the month of June.  There will be an in-person interview as well as a written assessment.  Skype, FaceTime or telephone interviews are not permissible.   Selections are made at the conclusion of all interviews, notifications will be sent in August.




  • Current pedagogical or clinical employees of the NYC Department of Education are not eligible to participate in the Scholarship Program.

  • Applicants who have already achieved New York State or reciprocal state certification are not eligible to apply. If you are currently certified to teach, please visit www.teachnyc.net to review other routes to working in NYC schools.

  • Must not have benefited from or participated in any other incentive programs administered by the Department of Education (i.e., Teachers of Tomorrow, Loan Forgiveness Program, Intensive Teacher Institute in Bilingual Special Education (ITI-BSE), New York City Teaching Fellows, Teach for America, I-Start, New Visions Urban Teacher Residency Program, Success Via Apprenticeship, Math for America, etc.).



The NYC Department of Education will reimburse the college or university the cost of tuition for candidates selected to participate in the Master's degree program. Prerequisite coursework, other fees and expenses (i.e., application fees, books, and room/board) are NOT covered, and are the responsibility of the student.

Award amounts will:

  • Be granted for one year and may be renewable for the second year, contingent upon funding and acceptable academic records.

  • Cover the full cost of tuition only for courses directly related to programs in Occupational Therapy (during professional phase of program).


NOTE: The maximum number of years that one is allowed to participate in the scholarship program is two (specifically the last two years of study in that program) regardless of the length of your study/program.  



To meet the professional education requirement for licensure as an occupational therapist, your education must be from a:

  • New York State Registered or Accredited Occupational Therapist Program (AOTP), you must have:
    • A baccalaureate or entry-level master's degree in occupational therapy, or
    • A post-baccalaureate certificate in occupational therapy from an institution acceptable to the Department.
    • You must have a minimum of six months of supervised occupational therapy experience satisfactory to the New York State Board for Occupational Therapy. Graduates of New York State registered or AOTA-accredited programs meet this requirement as part of their educational program.
  • Occupational Therapist Program Located outside the United States that is Not AOTA Accredited please refer to the New York State Education Departments website:   www.op.nysed.gov/prof/ot/otlic.htm - "Proof of Education" instructions to verify your education credentials.




  • Occupational therapists must pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT) examination.



  • Participants shall serve within the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) in the field of Occupational Therapy two (2) years  for every year the Scholarship is awarded or any part thereof.   Example: If the Scholarship is awarded for one and a half (1 and 1/2) years; the participant will have a four (4) year service commitment to the NYCDOE.
  • If an awardee receives less than one year of scholarship assistance, the minimum service obligation requirement is two (2) years. 
  • Employment must be in a designated New York City Public School.
  • An awardee must commence employment with the New York City Department of Education within six (6) months of graduation. An awardee must possess a New York State license to practice Occupational Therapy.
  • An awardee who has failed to commence his/her service obligation will be required to repay the total year plus nine (9%) interest within one (1) year of the last award semester. A pro-rated repayment schedule shall be established for any awardee that completes only a portion of his/her service obligation within the specified period.
  • Scholarship Program entrants must sign a contract with the NYC Department of Education. In accepting the award, they accept the provisions of the contract.
  • Awardees must meet the standards of the college they attend and remain in good standing in their program.


Implementation of the Scholarship Program is contingent upon the availability of resources and the staffing needs of the NYC Department of Education.



If you require further information, please call the Scholarship Incentive and Speech Programs at (718) 935-2449.  We look forward to receiving your application.


To apply https://nyc.teacherssupportnetwork.com/Start.do?CareerPath=INC.