How to Choose a Pediatric Occupational Therapy School or College
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the minimum educational requirement for becoming an occupational therapist is a master's degree. Prospective students who wish to enter into the field of pediatric occupational therapy have two degree options, a master's degree or a doctoral degree. A master's degree program in occupational therapy can be completed in two years and requires students to gain fieldwork experience. In contrast, a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program is typically only open to students with an undergraduate or master's degree in occupational therapy. Like a master's degree program, fieldwork experience is required to meet the requirements of the degree.
Some of the core pediatric occupational therapy courses that are offered in both a master's and a doctoral degree program include functional movement, neuroanatomy, introduction to the occupational therapy process, assistive technology and client factors and occupational performance. Some master's degree programs may include an optional thesis that requires students to conduct research and prepare a scholarly journal article. Licensure is required before a graduate can begin work as a pediatric occupational therapist, while certification for pediatric occupational therapists is optional.
Prospective occupational therapists may want to consider the following when choosing a program:
- Prospective students should ensure that their program of choice is properly accredited, as only graduates of an accredited pediatric occupational therapy degree program can complete the licensure process.
- Pediatric occupational therapy schools that offer students a wide variety of fieldwork opportunities are better equipped to graduate expert practitioners.
Top 10 Occupational Therapy Schools
|University of Southern California||4-year, Private|
|Boston University (Sargent)||4-year, Private|
|Washington University in St. Louis||4-year, Private|
|University of Illinois - Chicago||4-year, Public|
|University of Kansas Medical Center||4-year, Public|
|Colorado State University||4-year, Public|
|Thomas Jefferson University||4-year, Private|
|Tufts University - Boston School of Occupational Therapy||4-year, Private|
|University of Pittsburgh||4-year, Public|
|New York University||4-year, Private|