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Dual Degree Occupational Therapy Programs

Students interested in studying occupational therapy may be interested in pairing their degree with another area of study for a more competitive edge. Learn more about a few of the dual degree options in the field and their requirements.

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There are several different graduate-level dual degree programs in occupational therapy that offer students plenty of hands-on learning opportunities for occupational therapy and additional skills in another field to further prepare for a specific career. These programs typically result in two master's degrees or two doctoral degrees. Here we discuss a few of these graduate-level dual degree programs in more depth.

Overview of Dual Degree Occupational Therapy Programs

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) and Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Students pursuing a master's degree in occupational therapy may wish to get a competitive edge by earning an MBA as well. These dual degree programs typically offer business classes in the evenings to allow students to complete their occupational therapy requirements and clinicals during the day. These programs can be completed in as little as 2 years and may prepare students for occupational therapy careers with management and administration components or responsibilities. Some typical occupational therapy courses for these programs include gross anatomy, kinesiology and neuroscience, while the MBA portion includes coursework in financial analysis, leadership, organizational behavior and marketing strategy. The MOT portion of the program also usually requires fieldwork experiences and may culminate in a capstone research course or project.

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) and Master in Public Health (MPH)

Dual MSOT and MPH programs can take around 3.5 years to complete and give students the necessary occupational therapy, administrative and policy development skills needed to enter careers in advocacy and urban planning with community agencies, non-profit organizations and more. Benefits of this dual degree program include being trained in the rehabilitation process as well as the preventative and public planning processes. Students are also trained in health policy and database management and may take coursework in subjects such as mental health, ethics of public health, research methods, health economics and program planning and evaluation. The occupational therapy portion still typically requires fieldwork, research and learning experiences in an occupational therapy lab.

Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) and PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences

Dual occupational therapy doctoral programs are typically designed to prepare students for careers in academia or research and may be completed in as little as 6 years. Pairing the PhD with an OTD often makes the program shorter than a traditional PhD and trains students in effective grant writing, research and teaching skills through research experiences and practicums. Students in these programs typically have faculty mentors, whom they may have to identify prior to admittance into the program, and are required to complete research within their mentor's lab, including a doctoral capstone or practicum course for the OTD portion of the program. As part of the PhD portion of the program, students usually teach an OTD or undergraduate course while taking coursework and working on their dissertation.

Common Entrance Requirements

As is common in dual degree programs, occupational therapy dual degree programs usually require applicants to apply and be accepted to both degree programs. Some of these dual degree programs may have a minimum GPA requirement and require prior coursework in subjects like statistics, English, biology and anatomy. Some programs may even require a specific amount of occupational therapy observation hours and an interview process. It is fairly common for applicants to these dual degree programs to be asked to submit official transcripts, test scores, professional references and a personal statement with their application.

Dual degree programs in occupational therapy are available at the master's and doctoral degree levels. These programs prepare students for a wide range of careers and typically involve fieldwork and research experiences.

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