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Reno Occupational Therapy Universities with Course Descriptions

Aspiring occupational therapists in Reno must be willing to travel to find appropriate training, as the schools currently offering degrees in the field are within 215 miles of the city. To find out which one is right for you, read an overview of the program and admission requirements at three institutions.

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Occupational Therapy Schools in the Reno Area

While there are no occupational therapy programs in the immediate Reno, NV, area, several colleges in neighboring California offer programs in the field. The three schools profiled in this article have programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). Learn about the required courses and fieldwork components at the colleges below. Be sure to also check out the table of statistics about the schools as well as the information on a few other education options in the surrounding areas.

  • Students who are interested in completing a 2-year program and becoming an occupational therapy assistant can enroll in courses at Sacramento City College. The school, located about 134 miles from downtown Reno, offers an associate's degree in the field.
  • Situated around 212 miles from central Reno, Samuel Merritt University offers a master's degree program for aspiring occupational therapists.
  • Dominican University also offers a master's degree in occupational therapy as well as a combined bachelor's/master's program option. Students can find the campus roughly 213 miles from Reno's downtown area.

Sacramento City College

Sacramento City College is a 2-year, public college that was originally established in 1916 as a division of the local Sacramento High School. The Associate in Science (A.S.) program in occupational therapy is administered through the Division of Science and Allied Health and is offered on the school's main campus in Sacramento.

Associate in Science, Occupational Therapy Assistant

Successful completion of the A.S. degree program requires 66-73 credits of coursework and two supervised field work experiences. The program covers anatomy and physiology, human development, functional biomechanics, developmental disabilities, and physical dysfunctions. General education requirements include classes in college composition, nutrition, sociology, and computers. Students acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to obtain a position as an occupational therapy assistant upon graduation.

Samuel Merritt University

Samuel Merritt University offers a graduate-level occupational therapy (OT) program at its Oakland, CA, campus location. This private, not-for-profit school has a student to faculty ratio of 9:1, with most of the faculty still practicing in their professional field.

Master of Occupational Therapy

The master's occupational therapy program at Samuel Merritt consists of six semesters. The first four semesters focus on coursework, while the two summer semesters are reserved for fieldwork. Classes in the occupational therapy program include applied kinesiology, biomechanics, psychopathology, and conditions of human dysfunction.

The first fieldwork session is offered under guided supervision and occurs between the first and second years. The second fieldwork session is an internship where students work in a therapy position under the supervision of a registered occupational therapist.

Dominican University

Dominican University's offers OT programs through its Department of Occupational Therapy. The occupational therapy program was established in 1996 and has a job placement rate of 100% for its program graduates.

Bachelor of Science in Health Science and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy/5-Year Transfer Program

For those students that have not yet earned an undergraduate degree, Dominican University offers the choice of enrolling in a 5-year program that awards both a Bachelor of Science in Health Science and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy upon successful completion.

The curriculum requires students to complete 124 undergraduate credits and 32 graduate-level credits. The initial three years focus on undergraduate coursework. During the fourth year, the program starts to integrate graduate-level coursework into the curriculum. Topics explored during the initial terms include human anatomy, abnormal psychology, physiology, conceptual physics, and lifespan development.

Remaining terms integrate more advanced topics like neuroanatomy, human movement analysis, psychosocial aspects of occupation, research in the health professions, and health policy. Students complete supervised, level II fieldwork experiences during their last term, choosing from options in working with adults and seniors or with children and adolescents.

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT)

This 3-year master's program requires the completion of 82 units of coursework. The MSOT program has prerequisites that must be met prior to filing an application for admission. These include 30-31 units of study completed within the past five years in designated subject areas that include psychology, human development, physics, sociology, anthropology, human physiology, and anatomy. Students have the choice of presenting a portfolio to receive credit towards required prerequisites.

Once enrolled, students complete coursework similar to the graduate-level work found within the 5-year transfer program. Coursework includes OT program development,health care policies and leadership, and advanced OT theory and research.

Comparison of Schools

Look over this table to compare the profiled colleges in several areas. The info on costs, graduation rates, student enrollment and more could impact your decision on which occupational therapy school is right for your needs.

Sacramento City College Samuel Merritt University Dominican University
School Type 2-year; public 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2011) 24,106* 1,473* 2,278*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Small city
Tuition & Fees 2011-2012 $972 in-state; $6,318 out-of-state* $37,067 (graduate)* $37,350 (undergraduate); $16,680 (graduate)*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2010-2011) 74%* 78%* (Federal student loans) 99%*
Acceptance Rate (2011) N/A - Open Admissions* N/A* 54%*
Retention Rate for First-time Students (2010-2011) 67% for full-time students* N/A* 84% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate (2011) 20%* N/A* 56%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Other Schools

There are other school options available for aspiring students seeking a career in the field of occupational therapy. San Jose State University, located about 247 miles from Reno, NV, offers a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy as well as a post-professional, online master's program. Touro University is the only college in Nevada to offer a graduate program in occupational therapy. It offers a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program at its Henderson, NV, campus, which is about 462 miles from Reno. The College of Southern Nevada (CSN) also offers an Associate of Applied Science in occupational therapy assisting at its Charleston campus in Las Vegas, which is about 445 miles from Reno.

There is one college in Reno with related programs. The College of Nevada - Reno offers two undergraduate programs that provide preparation for graduate studies in occupational therapy - a B.S. in Community Health Sciences and a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies. This school has a convenient campus location about one mile from downtown Reno.

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