Occupational therapists assist people with injuries or disabilities to better cope in their home or work environments. For example, this includes helping people with disabilities such as spinal cord injuries participate in work (or school) and social situations, and providing support for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy programs can be either at the doctoral (OTD) or masters (MSOT) level. The difference between the two degrees is that it is possible to enter the master’s program before completion of the baccalaureate degree, however, the doctoral program requires the degree. It is possible to enter a dual program to earn a master in occupational therapy and a master in public health.
Required courses. Requirements vary by program. But most programs require the following:
- Human anatomy with lab
- Human physiology with lab
- General biology (Bio 114 and Bio 213 or 214)
- Developmental Psychology
- Abnormal Behavior
Many programs require relevant observational or volunteer experience. To obtain such an experience, contact an occupational therapist at a hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation center, or school near you.
Graduate Record Exam (GRE): The General Test is required.
Many schools participate in OTCAS, Occupational Therapist Centralized Application Service (https://portal.otcas.org/). This allows students to apply to multiple programs with a single application. You must fill out the OTCAS application form, and submit three letters of recommendation plus transcripts from all accredited institutions of higher education which you have attended.
Years of post-graduate education required: Both the OTD and MSOT programs are typically of 2-3 years duration.