Although there are no Vermont colleges that offer degrees specifically in occupational therapy, several schools offer undergraduate programs that provide students with the foundation needed to enter graduate-level study in occupational therapy. Such programs lead to bachelor's degrees; at least two of the schools offer guaranteed admission to a cooperative graduate school. Some programs include an internship and/or research project during the senior year of study.
Castleton State College
Castleton State College, located in Castleton, offers a pre-occupational therapy program that guarantees its graduates admission to the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program at Sage Graduate School in Troy, New York. Students must take 24 credits in pre-occupational therapy courses, including anatomy and physiology, microbiology, physics, statistics and psychology. Although students can complete any bachelor's degree program, the school suggests that prospective OTs major in biology, sports medicine, exercise science, psychology or health science. Students also need to get a recommendation from the college's pre-health professional faculty and earn a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better to be eligible for acceptance into the graduate school.
Johnson State College
Johnson State College is a small school situated on 350 acres in Johnson, a tiny town located about 30 minutes north of Stowe. The college offers a bachelor's degree program in health sciences that serves as preparation for students who wish to pursue careers in allied health and physical education, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy and nursing.
Coursework typically includes chemistry, anatomy and physiology as well as exercise physiology, first aid, emergency care, kinesiology and nutrition. Students in the health sciences program have access to the exercise physiology laboratory with biofeedback equipment and modern monitoring equipment, such as heart and lung monitors. The college suggests that students meet with an advisor to develop the ideal plan of coursework to best prepare them for further studies in occupational therapy.
Lyndon State College
Lyndonville-based Lyndon State College has a bachelor's degree program in exercise science that can prepare students for further study in occupational therapy or sports medicine. This program includes core courses in kinesiology, physiology, exercise science, motor development and human anatomy. Aspiring occupational therapists can choose the pre-professional physical therapy/occupational therapy concentration, which includes classes in chemistry, exercise science, statistics, physics and human development, along with an internship in exercise science. The occupational therapy concentration fulfills prerequisite requirements for most graduate programs in occupational therapy.
Southern Vermont College
Southern Vermont College in Bennington also has an articulation agreement with Sage Graduate School's M.S. program in occupational therapy. Students can declare any major to be eligible; however, they must complete prerequisite courses in psychology, human development, abnormal psychology, anatomy and physiology, statistical methods and lifespan development. Students must earn a grade of C or better in all prerequisite courses, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 and get a letter of recommendation from a pre-health advisor. This program allows students to work with Sage Graduate School advisors to schedule undergraduate coursework and electives in a way that reduces and even eliminates some of the graduate program's prerequisites.
University of Vermont
The exercise and movement science bachelor's degree program at the University of Vermont in Burlington prepares students for graduate work leading to various health-related occupations, including occupational therapy. The program gives students a strong foundation in the theory of movement science and the ways in which it applies to disease prevention, fitness and health. Students are able to tailor the program according to their career goals. The curriculum includes classes in nutrition, adapted physical activity, human movement and ethics in health care, in addition to a 6-credit senior internship; a research project is also an option during the student's senior year.
All states require licensure for occupational therapists, which involves obtaining a minimum of a master's degree in the field and passing an exam administered by the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Occupational Therapy-Related Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Castleton State College||4-year, public; distant town||Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree with preferred acceptance into a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at a cooperative school|| $11,282 (in-state)*,
|Johnson State College||4-year, public; distant rural||Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences|| $11,018 (in-state)*,
|Lyndon State College||4-year, public; remote town||Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science|| $11,018 (in-state)*,
|Southern Vermont College||4-year, private not-for-profit; fringe rural||Bachelor's degree with guaranteed acceptance into a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at a cooperative school||$23,260*|
|University of Vermont||4-year, public; small city||Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Movement Science|| $16,768 (in-state)*,
Source: *NCES College Navigator.