United States Physical and Occupational Therapy Online Programs
Online Masters in Physical and Occupational Therapy programs explore topics such as kinesiology, sport management and rehabilitation. Many graduate programs in these fields include professional development and advanced technical courses. Plus, students are often able to plan-out their courses to align with career goals. Whether you are drawn to learn more about injury prevention, exercise program design or adaptive technology, there is much to discover.
Online Masters in Physical and Occupational Therapy: Basics
The way Online Masters in Physical and Occupational Therapy programs are formatted may vary between the schools that make such degree programs available. In some schools, online programs mirror their campus counterparts and students could look for features such as career counseling, academic advising and enrollment counseling.
Flexible curriculum - Distance students might virtually attend lectures that have been prerecorded, or take part in video conferenced live lectures, it really depends on the program and university. Either way, busy adults might gain some flexibility in that they complete coursework at times and in places that fit their schedules, if deadlines are met.
Convenient for at-work adults - Typically, these programs are structured for the student and professional who wants to maintain a career and busy life. In fact, online learners may get to take all courses online except for a brief residency.
Interactive - A residency may be held at a main campus and could provide the opportunity to perform hands-on work and to learn the latest concepts and methods in person. Sometimes, as well, the university may use this time to offer face-to-face practical mentoring. Students could also use this time to build relationships with peers and faculty and potentially develop important contacts or attain new insight.
Practicum - Furthermore, while distance students take courses through web technology, they are often able to complete required supervised practicum in their local communities or workplace. This way, one might learn a new skill or theory and then apply it in real time.
Types of Online Masters in Physical and Occupational Therapy
Most online Masters in Physical and Occupational Therapy programs are in related fields to both occupational therapy and physical therapy. Why? We'll look at some reasons, alternatives, and learn about sponsored programs in kinesiology, athletic training and assistive technology below.
Online Masters in Physical Therapy Programs
Online Masters in Physical Therapy are not common since the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) is now the entry-level education. That said, interested students who already have their Masters in Physical Therapy (MPT) could consider an online post-professional (transitional) DPT degree program. These programs might enable PTs to stay current and work towards a new level of credential.i
Online Masters in Occupational Therapy
Students must hold a Masters in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) from an accredited program to be licensed as an occupational therapist. That said, per the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) there are no accredited entry-level occupational therapy programs that are 100% online. Some programs may, however, offer some courses or parts of courses online.ii
Online Master of Science – Assistive Technology Studies and Human Services
For students who want to enable persons with disabilities to live more independently but do not want to pursue a MSOT degree, a Master of Science – Assistive Technology Studies and Human Services (MS-ATHS) degree may provide an alternative. An online MS-ATHS could prepare graduates to integrate the links between physical disabilities and assistive, adaptive and access technologies. Full-time online students might earn their degree in about two years.
Admission Requirements - Applicants to an online MS in Assistive Technology Studies program generally need a Bachelors degree and minimum 3.0 GPA, and TOEFL scores if necessary.
Curriculum - Students might learn how to explain and interpret product design and function, assess AT users’ needs, interpret the legal and political history of assistive technology, and develop relevant delivery protocols.
In some universities, these topics may be covered in about 10 courses (30 credits) of seminars, research methods, and directed study. Also, students may need to take courses in a set sequence where each successive course builds on the one prior.
One of the first courses could explore the basis of human function from the psychological and physiological points of view in relation to design and usability of assistive technology (AT). From there, students could discuss the history, law, policy and financial aspects of AT for users and professionals.
As the program progresses, other courses might help students to design and develop assistive technology interventions, as they study functional independence across the lifespan. Review a few examples of course topics below, and then refer to individual schools for full details.
- Functional Biology
- Injury Pathology
- Counseling in Assistive Technology
DID YOU KNOW?
When asked, 71% of Assistive Technology Trainers reported they had a Masters degreeiii
Online Masters in Athletic Training Programs
Online Masters in Athletic Training Programs could cover areas such as management, sport and disability, and injury prevention, although curriculum is linked to program emphasis. A Masters degree in Athletic Training program could have classroom and clinical components. Some programs favor science and health-related courses, such as biology, anatomy, physiology, and nutrition. Online sports management masters by contrast might stress the business side of sports.
The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) accredits athletic trainer programs, which might include post-professional and residency athletic trainer programs.iv
Online Master of Science in Sport Management
An online Master of Science (MS) in Sport Management could meld business and finance courses with current issues in sports.
Admission Requirements – Applicants usually need a Bachelors degree from an accredited institution. Other furnished material might include transcripts, references, a personal essay and resume. In some universities, it may be suggested that recent graduates with less than three years of professional work experience have a 3.0 GPA. Admission requirements do vary, so make sure to refer to individual schools for full details.
Curriculum – Students in an online MS in Sport Management may take about 36 credits, with some courses devoted to core requirements, and others to electives. Core sport management courses might cover financial management and operations methods for sports facilities and special events. Students might also take courses about sport sponsorship and marketing as well as a course on sport and the law.
Tracks - Candidates may be able to tailor their studies through an area of emphasis such as sport leadership, sport tourism and hospitality management, parks and recreation, and athletic administration.
Sport Leadership: A focus in sport leadership could address the operational and financial aspects of a sports franchise or organization. Students might also take courses in media relations and executive strategy.
Sport Tourism and Hospitality Management: A focus in Sport Tourism and Hospitality Management might highlight courses in sales strategies, international sport management, the management of facilities, and special events.
Parks and Recreation: A focus in Parks and Recreation could focus on tourism and hospitality for community recreation and park management programs. Coursework could therefore cover topics such as trends and issues in recreation management, leadership, and administrative procedures.
Athletic Administration: A focus in Athletic Administration could include courses in organizational theory and psychology. Other courses might discuss inter-scholastic and intercollegiate athletics, human resources, emergency procedures and office management.
Online Master of Health Science: Athletic Training
An online Master of Health Science (MHS) in Athletic Training typically offers an interdisciplinary set of core courses that explore health issues from various points of view.
Admission Requirements – Applicants may need a Bachelor's or Master's degree in the health sciences or prior work experience in a healthcare or health-related field. Aside from transcripts, a resume or CV, and references, candidates may need to furnish proof they are a Licensed Athletic Trainer and/or Certified Athletic Trainer.
Curriculum – Often, a MHS degree entails the completion of about 36 credits, with most credits weighted to core courses, and the rest to Athletic Training. Core MHS courses could cover topics such as psychosocial strategies for healthcare, ethics, organizational leadership and policy in healthcare.
Athletic Training courses could cover leadership and business as well as evidence-based health-related courses in injury prevention and emergency athletic training. Some examples of other possible course topics are listed below. That said, course names vary, so students should refer to individual schools.
- Sport and Disability
- Concussion in Sport
- Sport and the Female Athlete
Online Masters in Kinesiology Programs
An online Masters in Kinesiology program is a post-professional exercise science program with a broad scope of health and fitness topics. Typically, it is planned-out to build on the prior experience in exercise physiology, kinesiology, biomechanics or related fields.
Individual programs may be approved by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Education Recognition Program (ERP). The ERP recognizes regionally accredited academic institutions for their educational programs that have met, and continue to meet, educational guidelines recommended by the NSCA.
Admission Requirements: Some schools with online Master of Science (MS) in Kinesiology programs cover human movement, health and fitness and healthcare professionals. Candidates might need a Bachelors degree along with licensure or certification in their field. Applicants usually need to furnish transcripts, references, resume and a copy of their credential(s). Interested students should scan individual program requirements for a list of approved certifications.
Curriculum – An online MS in Kinesiology could help students gain holistic knowledge and skills in several key areas. Curriculums usually focus on evidence-based practice and research methods with coursework divided between a kinesiology core and track/certificate courses.
- Functional Anatomy
- Exercise Physiology
- Functional Assessment
- Behavior Change
- Exercise Program Design
Kinesiology core courses could also explore human movement science, motor control, biomechanics and nutrition. Students might also learn about motivation and how to tailor an exercise program to various client needs, abilities and aims. There may also be instruction is injury prevention techniques, flexibility, core strength, speed, strength and more.
Tracks: Online Kinesiology Masters students may be able to customize their studies through an emphasis in areas such as sports conditioning, exercise and sport psychology, geriatric exercise science, corrective exercise, or adaptive sports.
Sports Conditioning Track: A focus in sports conditioning could cover sport-specific fitness measurements and performance tests. A course in speed, agility and quickness could cover both physiology and methods to help others develop these qualities. Other topics could discuss muscular fitness and metabolic conditioning.
Exercise and Sport Psychology Track: A focus in exercise and sport psychology could cover the basics of health psychology and behavior change with an eye to health promotion and fitness programs. Students might also study some of the psychological theories and methods used to enhance performance in sports, business and persona. Other courses might explore motivation and the links between mental health and exercise.
Geriatric Exercise Science Track: A focus on geriatric exercise science emphasizes aging and the older adult from the point of view of prescriptive exercise and motivation. Coursework could explore the psychological, social and physical aspects of well-being as well as the impact of regular exercise on body systems.
Corrective Exercise and Orthopedic Rehabilitation Track: A focus in corrective exercise and orthopedic rehabilitation could examine movement impairments and dysfunction. Students may study the epidemiology of common orthopedic injuries to the shoulder, low back, hip, and knee—also, assessment of these injuries for the purposes of corrective and post-rehabilitative exercise program design.
Adaptive Sports Track: A focus in adaptive sports could introduce students to the historical, sociological, public health and legal aspects of Paralympic and adaptive sport movement. Students may learn how to assess a Para athlete and manage an adaptive sport program. Adaptive sports and activities may be discussed in-depth. Students might examine rules, biomechanics, physiological demands, injury epidemiology, injury prevention, and high performance factors.
Take the Next Step
We have discussed some of the sponsored Online Masters in Physical and Occupational Therapy programs above, but there are more to discover. Easily compare online masters degrees in athletic training, kinesiology, assistive technology and more right here. Find a school and program that appeals to you? Fill out the on-page form to contact schools directly!
[i] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm#tab-4 | [ii] aota.org/Education-Careers/Find-School.aspx | [iii] onetonline.org/link/summary/29-1122.00 | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/athletic-trainers.htm#tab-4
California Baptist University
The online Master of Science in Kinesiology degree program offers an advanced study of Kinesiology designed to enhance preparation for discipline-related careers.
A.T. Still University of Health Sciences
A.T. Still University offers this 15-course, 42-quarter-hour Master of Science in Human Movement program which is designed to assist students in the development of comprehensive knowledge of human movement science, functional anatomy, physiology and...
Liberty University Online
The Master of Science in Exercise Science — Community Physical Activity prepares you to care for the physical needs of a community and those with disabilities. Specialized courses include:...
Sam Houston State University
Advance your understanding of movement and exercise...
California State University, Northridge
The Online Master of Science in Assistive Technology Studies and Human Services is a two-year program that prepares you to assess clients’ needs and to apply the assistive technologies that improve the quality of their lives.
University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences
Licensed athletic trainers, certified athletic trainers, and athletic therapists are eligible to complete their MHS degree with a specialization in Athletic Training.
University of Western States
he University of Western States exercise and sports science (ESS) master’s degree program is regionally accredited and prepares graduates to provide expert education, guidance and services as leaders in sport, exercise and...
University of Texas System
The MS in Kinesiology is a 36-credit program that combines resources of four UT System universities and is designed to meet your academic, professional and lifestyle needs as a physical educator, coach, or other professional.
The athletic administration degree is designed for those who wish to work in the administrative areas of athletics either at a...
University of Wyoming
Health and physical education teachers and health professionals are busy people.
The MA in Sport Science and Pedagogy program has as its focus instructional expertise in sport-related settings designed with...
Fresno Pacific University
Preparing professionals to become exemplary practitioners in the areas of physical education and athletic training pedagogy.
Shenandoah University Division of Occupational Therapy (SUDOT) is offering an innovative graduate program leading to a Master of Science in Occupati...
Pittsburg State University
The MS degree program is designed to prepare students for careers in the fields of physical education, wellness and recreation.
Nova Southeastern University
The Dr.O.T. program is a distance doctoral degree that focuses on advanced practice, health policy, leadership, or entrepreneurship.The Ph.D. program is a distance doctoral research degree with a goal of producing researchers and scholars who will advan...
University of Central Missouri
The Master of Science in Physical Education Exercise and Sport Science Specializing in Athletics & Sport Business Administration...
Fort Hays State University
Sage Graduate School
University of Texas at El Paso
Kinesiology is the study of human movement and physical activity.
University of Texas-Pan American
The M.S.program at UTPA was designed to prepare Health and Kinesiology students to function professionally in a changing and diverse society.
- Indianapolis, INIndianapolis, IN
University of Indianapolis
Flexible Format A variety of learning experiences are available within the postprofessional MHS and DHS programs. Graduate certificates offered in orthopedics, neurology, and pediatrics. * Weekend labs offer a combination of independent study and...
University of Texas of the Permian Basin, The
Are you looking for an entirely online, Web-based master's degree program designed to meet your professional, academic, and lifestyle needs? Are you i...
University of Houston
The degree is designed for physical educators, administrators, dance educators, sport theorists, and exercise specialists.
Texas Woman's University