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Maria College Launches Master’s of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy

Program to Start Fall of 2020 will be College’s First Graduate Degree Offering 

 ALBANY, N.Y –Maria College has announced that its first graduate degree program will officially launch with the start of the Fall 2020 semester. The Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy program has been granted approval by New York State Board of Regents to begin educating students. The program has been under development for more than three years, and marks Maria College’s first foray into a Master’s degree program.  

‘We are tremendously proud to launch this program,” said Maria President Thomas Gamble, Ph.D. “It’s a bold new step for Maria College to launch a Master’s degree as we strategically expand into graduate educationAs Maria College continues to grow in key healthcare areas, the addition of a graduate program in a critical healthcare field like Occupational Therapy is a natural first step that builds on our program’s excellent reputation and strengths. The program’s approval is a great piece of news for the college and adds to the exciting renewal that is happening at Maria. 

Dean of the College Anne Jung, Ph.D., praised the outcome of the review and noted the planning that went into this step. “Occupational Therapy has been a core program of Maria’s for decades, with the college educating hundreds of Occupational Therapy Assistants over the last forty years. The field of Occupational Therapy is growing, and with it there is a demand for highly educated, competent professionals. Maria has a great track record in Occupational Therapy programs for working adults. With this Master’s Degree program we are offering the area’s only weekend-based program, so students can continue working full or part-time while working towards an outstanding Maria degree.”  

The Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy program will take a unique approach that’s tailored to each student, according to Program Director Donald Kallembach, OTD. “People with many different backgrounds and degrees find that they’re attracted to Occupational Therapy, and those experiences can make them great OT’s” Dr. Kallembach said. “Maria’s program will incorporate those interests and experiences so that students who, say, come from a visual or performing arts background, can use those experiences to help shape how they practice occupational therapy.” According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Therapists earn an average of $84,950 per year and the field is growing much faster than average, with an estimated 18 percent growth in outlook for number of jobs projected between 2018 to 2028.  

The program is accepting applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree and have the prerequisite coursework. The first class has been capped at 20 students. Prospective students who are interested are encouraged to reach out to Donald Kallembach at to find out more. Detailed information about the program will be posted to the College’s website,, over the next few weeks.   


Founded in 1958, Maria College is one of 17 colleges and universities in the United States sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. The private, co-educational, Catholic college in Albany serves approximately 800 students in a variety of bachelor degree, associate degree, and certificate programs including liberal arts, healthcare management, nursing, psychology, occupational therapy assistant, and health and occupational sciences.