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Occupational Therapy Graduate Programs in Chicago

Chicago, Illinois, provides students with a few different master's and doctoral degree programs in occupational therapy. Learn about the clinical experiences these programs require, as well as some common admission standards.

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There are at least 3 universities with Chicago addresses that offer graduate programs in occupational therapy at the master's and/or doctoral levels. Explore Chicago's available programs and specific graduation requirements for each program.

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Chicago Schools with Graduate Programs in Occupational Therapy

Chicago State University

Students at Chicago State University can pursue a dual Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Science/Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) or a traditional MOT program. The combined BS/MOT program allows undergraduate students to begin work on their master's during their senior year, while the traditional MOT program is for students who already hold a bachelor's degree. The MOT program requires a total of 83 credits, a comprehensive exam and a research project, and students are also expected to maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout the program. Students in the MOT program receive hands-on training through 2 separate Level II clinical fieldwork experiences that are 12 weeks long and require students to work full-time.

University of Illinois at Chicago

The University of Illinois at Chicago offers a Master of Science (MS) in Occupational Therapy and a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program on campus. The MS program is full-time, can be completed in 23 months and includes multiple fieldwork experiences, concluding with a couple of Level II, 12-week long clinical placements in 2 different settings. The OTD program includes plenty of hands-on learning through advanced practicums and applied projects and also requires an OTD project. Students in the OTD program have a faculty mentor who helps them customize their degree program through classes, fieldwork and research to focus on a specific community, population, age range or other area of occupational therapy.

Rush University

Rush University has an OTD program on-campus that is full-time and can be completed within 45 months or less, according to the school's website. The school uniquely requires students in the OTD program to complete at least 16 hours of professional or community service prior to graduation, as well as fieldwork, a doctoral experience and capstone project. The program totals 110 credits and includes coursework in topics like leadership, evidence-based practice, physical disabilities, clinical skills, research methods, biostatistics and anatomy. Students in the program may also choose to participate in the Student Occupational Therapy Association that provides students with various networking opportunities and other unique experiences in the field, such as job fairs and AOTA Membership Circle (helping students become professional members).

Common Entrance Requirements

The majority of occupational therapy graduate programs in Chicago require students to submit GRE test scores and some programs may require students to meet specific test scores and/or a minimum GPA. It is also fairly common for these programs to require prior coursework in subjects including psychology, physiology, statistics and anatomy. Some of these programs may also require applicants to have a specific number of observation, work experience or volunteer hours in the field of occupational therapy. Standard application materials for these programs include official transcripts and letters of recommendation, and some programs may also request a resume or CV and/or a personal statement.

Students in Chicago can gain hands-on training in occupational therapy through MOT, MS and OTD programs offered at several different institutions. These programs can usually be completed in 2 to 3 years and may require a final project of some sort.

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