Master's programs in occupational therapy generally combine lectures with practical or laboratory-based activities. With this in mind, hybrid master's degrees in the area offer many of the course materials online while requiring on-campus attendance for research and laboratory classes. These programs often have a few course topics in common, and these will be detailed in the following section of the article.
Common Courses in Hybrid Occupational Therapy Master's Programs
Persons who are enrolled in hybrid master's programs in occupational therapy might take synchronous or asynchronous online courses. Depending on the program, students may be able to earn their master's degree in two or three years.
Courses in clinical neuroscience are designed to introduce students to the aspects of neurobiology, neuroanatomy, and neurophysiology that can be relevant to clinical practice. In some of these courses, students may learn about the disorders that can affect the human nervous system. Students may also learn how to diagnose and manage learning challenges in their patients.
Research and Scholarly Writing
These research and writing courses can give students the skills they will need to properly research and write research papers. Some programs may include students evaluating existing research papers based on the theories they learn in their lectures. Students may also learn how to write according to scholastic guidelines and may need to write their own paper.
Mental Health in Occupational Therapy
Courses related to mental challenges are meant to focus on how students can treat patients who have been diagnosed with a mental illness. Students may also learn how mental health challenges can change over a person's lifespan. Some of the other topics that can be included are occupational performance analysis, occupational profile and client safety.
Occupational Therapy Foundations
The courses that deal with the foundations of occupational therapy generally introduce students to the basic theories of the area. This can be where students learn about the ethics and core values of occupational therapy. Students may also learn about communication skills, performance skills, and client factors.
Courses like these may handle the use of statistics in the health profession in general or focus on its research applications. These courses can involve the evaluation of existing projects, or students may need to create their own. A few of the topics that may be covered are hypothesis testing, regression, and covariance.
General Admission Requirements for Hybrid Occupational Therapy Master's Degree Programs
In order to be admitted into these programs, persons will need to have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. Some programs might ask for a minimum GPA of 3.2 for consideration. While the applicants don't always need a STEM-related undergraduate degree, some programs may require prerequisite courses in areas like statistics, human anatomy and physiology. Along with consenting to an interview, prospective students may need to submit supporting documents like school transcripts, letters of recommendation, a writing sample, passing scores on a GRE, a statement of purpose and a current resume.
Hybrid master's programs in occupational therapy often take about two to three years to complete. These programs may cover topics like applied statistics, clinical neuroscience and mental health in occupational therapy.