British Columbia Occupational Therapy Graduate Schools
A masters in Occupational Therapy, earned through one of the occupational therapy schools accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) is considered the minimum educational requirement for employment as an Occupational therapist.i However, per the AOTA, both the masters and the doctoral degree are entry-level degree standards as this allows for “flexibility of the profession.” ii Typically, it is the masters degree that prepares students to take their National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam. A pass in the exam allows students to use the title “Occupational Therapist, Registered” (OTR). i However, students must also pursue licensure in their state.i
Types of On Campus Occupational Therapy Programs
Graduate occupational therapy schools offer masters, doctorate, and two-tiered OT programs.
- BS/MS in OT Programs are designed for students who know early on that they want to prepare for a career in occupational therapy.
- MS in OT Programs are designed for students who have completed a bachelors degree and any applicable course prerequisites.
- MA Post-professional OT Programs are more accelerated programs aimed at students who have earned their Bachelors in Occupational Therapy.
- MS/OTD Programs are designed for students who want to prepare for board certification and go onto earn a doctorate to refine their clinical area of expertise.
- Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD) Programs are non-research practitioner degrees that may help students integrate evidence-based practices.
- PhD in Occupational Therapy Programs are research-focused terminal degrees that may help students pursue research and faculty career paths.
What Are the Requirements for OT Grad Schools?
Graduate level occupational therapy schools typically require students to have first earned their bachelors degree from a regionally
accredited college. Those who did not earn their bachelors in Occupational Therapy often must fulfill some course prerequisites. These tend to include biology, anatomy, psychology, and statistics. OT schools may also ask for referral letters, a personal essay, work and volunteer history, and a minimum GPA.
Which Occupational Therapy Schools Should I Consider?
Do you wonder which OT Grad School to choose? You might want to think of the type of OT program you need first. Then, look at some of the features of the campuses on your list to help decide. For instance, what could the location of the school offer? Are there research opportunities? What resources are in place for students? Things like an extensive library, or a small class size may lend appeal.
Many OT schools have partnerships where students might complete their supervised clinical fieldwork. These could include local hospitals, outpatient centers, rehabilitation facilities, community organizations, schools, and private practices. This practicum usually relates to the course of study that is focused on in each semester.
Students who aspire to pursue a career as occupational therapists should consider Occupational Therapy Schools that are accredited. OT schools are approved through the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) which is part of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).
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[i] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/occupational-therapists.htm | [ii] aota.org/Education-Careers/Accreditation/acote-entry-level-degrees.aspx