Occupational Therapy Schools
Before you can practice occupational therapy you must first graduate from an accredited occupational therapy school. Although some programs offer a doctoral degree, most occupational therapists enter the field with their master s. Schools are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education, or ACOTE, which is part of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Most programs have a limited number of seats available, and they receive numerous applications, so it s important for applicants to meet all requirements set forth by the AOTA, ACOTE, and the school to which they are applying. For example, Samuel Merritt University interviews an average of 150 prospective students each year, but only accepts thirty-six into their Master s program, while Colorado State University receives approximately 400 applications each year, but only accepts 15 22 students.
Required prerequisite classes for a master s of occupational therapy program commonly include anatomy and physiology, human behavior, sociology or anthropology, and human anatomy, as well as general courses such as English, math, and science. Each school lists their required prerequisite courses on their web site.
All ACOTE programs are designed to help you prepare for and pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam. Most schools show an 80 95 percent passing rate for their students, and the 2010 University of South Alabama, Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program had a first-time 100 percent passing rate.
Applying to Occupational Therapist School
The application process for occupational therapist schools has been made easier through the OT Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). This service is provided by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and offers a full-service web-based application and admissions process. OTCAS allows prospective students to transfer transcripts, references, test scores, OT observations hours, essay, supplemental materials, and other important items.
Cost of Occupational Therapy School
The cost of occupational therapy school will depend on the, location and size of the school, and whether it is public or private. At the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in San Diego (a public school), tuition for the 2011 2012 academic year was $10,695 per trimester, while tuition for the 2012 2013 academic year rose to $11,150 per trimester. At Loma Linda University, a private school, the three-year Masters of Occupational Therapy program costs approximately $79,560. Unfortunately, these prices typically do not include additional expenses such as books, supplies, room and board, and application fees.