Students interested in studying occupational therapy in Florida can choose from a range of schools and degree programs. Here we explore a handful of the universities and the different occupational therapy graduate programs they offer.
Florida Schools with Graduate Programs in Occupational Therapy
University of Florida
Beginning in the fall of 2018, the University of Florida offers a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) that takes 4 years to complete. The program aims to equip students with the necessary clinical, leadership and research skills to deliver the best evidence-informed practice in the field. Students in the program receive hands-on learning experience and training through clinical skills courses, fieldwork and 4 different doctoral mentorships. The final year of the program consists of a residency and capstone course.
Barry University offers a unique online, post-professional practice OTD and a hybrid Master of Science (MS) in Occupational Therapy. The OTD program is intended to be taken part-time and completed in 2 years, but can be accelerated. Students in the program complete a culminating project and a 16-week doctoral residency. The MS degree program can be completed in 2.5 years and includes online coursework, on-campus coursework two weekends each month and two full-time fieldwork experiences.
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Students at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University can pursue an MS in Occupational Therapy that can be completed in 2.5 years. The program aims to prepare students for occupational therapy work in a wide range of clinical settings and to work with patients of all ages and backgrounds. Students participate in a variety of fieldwork experiences, including in traditional and non-traditional settings. The program also includes seminars and practicum experiences and graduates of the program are prepared to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification examination.
Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern University's Occupational Therapy Department offers a Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT), OTD and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Occupational Therapy. The MOT program lasts 3 years, and in the final year students are completing full-time, 12-week field experiences. The OTD program is offered as a hybrid, entry-level program or a post-professional, practice program (Dr. OT) that is primarily online, but includes three, on-campus meetings a year. The PhD program is designed for students interested in research and/or academia and requires a dissertation and research residency.
Florida International University
Florida International University has a professional MS in Occupational Therapy degree program that can be completed in 7 semesters, including summers (about 2.5 years). The program includes hands-on learning experience through fieldwork and coursework and culminates in 2 semesters of full-time, level II fieldwork experiences for 3 months. The level I field experiences throughout the program vary in length from 2 to 4 weeks. In year 2 of the program, students also complete a master's project.
Common Entrance Requirements
It is fairly common for graduate degree programs in occupational therapy, at the master's and doctoral levels, to require applicants to submit the necessary applications, official transcripts, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, a personal statement and records of observation and/or volunteer hours in the field. Many of these programs also require applicants to meet a specific minimum GPA and/or complete an interview process. Specific prerequisite courses may vary based on the program and degree level, but typically these programs require students to have prior coursework in anatomy, sociology/anthropology and psychology. Students applying to master's programs must hold a bachelor's degree and those applying to doctoral programs usually need a master's degree and may need to have clinical experience in the field.
A variety of universities in Florida offer master's and/or doctoral degree programs in occupational therapy. These programs include plenty of hands-on learning experiences through fieldwork and clinical experiences.