In order to ensure that your training in occupational therapy meets approved standards, you should make certain that the program you choose has been accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education.
Earning a master's degree in occupational therapy qualifies individuals to enter the workforce as an entry-level occupational therapist; continuing studies in a Ph.D. program can lead to higher-level occupational therapy (OT) jobs. Washington University in St. Louis offers extensive research facilities to further research and education, while University of Southern California focuses on hands-on learning through fieldwork. Boston University features a five-year program leading to a dual Bachelor of Science/Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. All of these schools have been ranked by U.S. News and World Report.
Washington University in St. Louis, MO
Washington University's Program in Occupational Therapy tied for first place in U.S. News and World Report's 2016 ranking of top occupational therapy programs.
The occupational therapy program at Washington University is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) and is part of the university's School of Medicine. Those with a bachelor's degree in occupational therapy can enter the master's program or pursue a Doctor of Occupational Therapy.
Students in the MSOT or OTD program may choose from a number of concentrations, including work and industry, productive aging, children and youth, social participation and the environment, rehabilitation science, and neurorehabilitation.
Master's students can also apply to the doctorate program while in their initial year of study. Students who opt to graduate with only the master's degree are eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam.
University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA
USC ranked third in the 2016 review of occupational therapy programs by U.S. News and World Report.
The program at USC offers a Master of Arts in occupational therapy, as well as clinical doctorate (OTD) and Ph.D. programs. The graduate OT program, also recognized by ACOTE, offers specializations such as pediatrics, rehabilitation medicine and life design. OT graduate students at USC have the chance to apply what they learn in the classroom setting to hands-on practice in the fieldwork portion of the curriculum. During fieldwork, students can observe and practice their skills with experts in their field.
USC offers an online Master of Arts in Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy.
Boston University in Boston, MA
In 2016, U.S. News and World Report ranked BU as tied at #1 on its list of schools with the best occupational therapy programs. Founded in 1839, Boston University lays claim to being one of the largest independent private, not-for-profit schools in the United States.
U.S. News and World Report ranked it at #40 on its 2020 list of best national universities.
Through Sargent College, BU offers a number of OT degree programs, including a five-year BS/MS in Occupational Therapy, an MS in Occupational Therapy, an entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy and an online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy. The school also offers a program leading to a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science.
Top Occupational Therapy Graduate Programs
Here is a list of seven additional schools that offer well-respected programs in occupational therapy:
|New York University||NYU ranked #29 among all National Universities by U.S. News World Report in 2020.||New York, NY|
|Ohio State University||Graduates from OSU's occupational therapy program perform exceptionally well when compared to the national average performance for certification in occupation therapy and NBCOT.||Columbus, OH|
|San Jose State University||Senior OT students can choose from on-campus clinics in mental health, pediatrics and physical disabilities.||San Jose, CA|
|University of Florida||Kiplinger ranked the University of Florida the 2nd best public college value for in-state students and the 2nd best for out of state students in 2019.||Gainesville, FL|
|University of Kansas||The University of Kansas was ranked #9 on U.S. News & World Report's 2016 listing of best OT schools.||Lawrence, KS|
|University of Washington||Makes note that for 3 years, from 2015-2018, 100% of MOT students graduated and passed the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy exam on the first attempt.||Seattle, WA|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||In 2020, Kiplinger ranked UW-Madison the 134th best public college value.||Madison, WI|
You may find a number of schools throughout the country that offer specializations in occupational therapy programs in areas such as life design, pediatrics, and rehabilitation medicine. With a master's degree, you may be eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam.