Students seeking training for careers as occupational therapist assistants (OTAs) or occupational therapists (OTs) have a few options among schools in New Jersey. With the exception of Rutgers University, all of the programs listed below are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), and they may prepare students for licensure exams.
This university is located in Union and offers a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program. Only 30 bachelor's degree holders are accepted into the program annually. The program has 73 credits of courses and cover topics like gross anatomy, kinesiology and neuroscience. Fieldwork experiences and seminars are also part of the program. The school additionally offers a dual undergraduate and graduate OT program. Undergraduate students may major in a field like biology, and qualifying students start the Master of Science program during their undergraduate senior year.
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Located in Galloway, this college offers a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy programs. Only bachelor's degree applicants are accepted into the program. Students take 80 credits of major courses, and they learn about motor performance, clinical neuroscience and occupational therapy intervention, among other topics. A research project and clinical experiences are required as well.
Rutgers University - Newark
Rutgers University's School of Health Related Professions is located in Newark, but the Scotch Plains Campus offers the OTA Associate of Science program. The program has 74 credits of coursework, and applicants are required to complete prerequisites in general education. They can complete these courses at partnering colleges in the state. The program covers such topics as occupational performance, group dynamics and therapeutic applications. Fieldwork and seminars are also part of the program. Rutgers University has applied for ACOTE's accreditation status for the OTA program. As of 2013, the school has a developing program status.
Seton Hall University
Seton Hall University is located in South Orange and offers a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program through its School of Health and Medical Sciences. Applicants to the program must have bachelor's degrees. The 3-year program teaches students about human anatomy, occupational theory and adult rehabilitation. In addition to classroom learning, students participate in clinical rotations and seminars.
Aspiring OTAs need to earn associate's degrees, while OTs must complete master's degree programs that are approved by ACOTE. Both OTs and OTAs are required to pass state-approved licensure exams, such as the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exams. They also need to complete supervised field experiences.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Occupational Therapy Programs Offered||Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)|
|Kean University||4-year, public; large suburb|| Master of Science in Occupation Therapy,
Dual Undergraduate and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Degree Program
|$16,070 in-state; $20,631 out-of-state (graduate)*|
|The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey||4-year, public; midsize suburb||Master of Science in Occupational Therapy||$13,626 in-state; $19,278 out-of-state (graduate)*|
|Rutgers University - Newark||4-year, public; large city||Associate of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant||$13,597 in-state; $28,987 out-of-state (undergraduate)*|
|Seton Hall University||4-year, private, not-for-profit; large suburb||Master of Science in Occupational Therapy||$21,066 (graduate)*|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator.