Occupational Therapy Graduate Programs in Illinois

Jan 22, 2021

There are several colleges in Illinois that offer master's degree programs in occupational therapy that can be completed in about 2 years and doctoral programs that can be finished in a little under 3 years. Explore some of the schools' programs and common course topics in occupational therapy.

Illinois Schools with Graduate Programs in Occupational Therapy

Elmhurst College

Elmhurst College in Elmhurst offers a hybrid Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) that includes online and on-campus coursework. Students taking the program full-time can complete it in as little as 24 months and are prepared for entry-level practice after graduation. The program consists of seminars, clinical coursework and multiple fieldwork experiences to provide students with ample hands-on learning experience. Other course topics include research methods, neuroscience, physical health challenges, interventions and anatomy.

Rush University

Students wishing to study at the doctoral level can pursue an on-campus Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree from Rush University in Chicago. The program can be completed in 45 months full-time and is an entry-level program. Students must complete a capstone project and gain hands-on learning experience through various clinical experiences, fieldwork rotations and observations. The program requires coursework in topics such as ethics, evidence-based practice, cognition, disabilities and leadership.

North Central College

North Central College in Naperville has a hybrid MOT degree program that is 70% on-campus and 30% online, according to the school's website. This entry-level program can be completed in 24 months full-time. Students typically receive fieldwork placements near Naperville and Chicago for hands-on learning. Students also take coursework in assessment, theory and/or intervention pertaining to areas like pediatrics, mental health and neurological dysfunction.

Lewis University

Romeoville's Lewis University offers a Master of Science (MS) in Occupational Therapy that is offered on-campus. Students take the entry-level program full-time and can complete it in 28 months. Students gain hands-on experience with patients of various ages and in a range of clinical settings through two different levels of fieldwork and a capstone course. Course topics in the program include, but are not limited to, biomechanics, rehabilitation, aging, advocacy and technology.

Midwestern University-Downers Grove

Midwestern University at the Downers Grove campus in Illinois offers an OTD program on-campus. The program can be completed in 33 months full-time and is an entry-level program. Students in the program complete multiple fieldwork experiences and finish the program with a 16-week doctoral internship for hands-on experience. Students take coursework in research, occupational therapy practices and leadership development and may choose to participate in the school's unique Tiered Occupational Therapy (TOT) training program that prepares students to address the mental health needs of children in Illinois schools.

Common Entrance Requirements

Entrance for occupational therapy programs at the master's and doctoral levels can be competitive and typically require students to submit their official transcripts, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, personal statement, resume or CV and evidence of usually 30 to 40 hours of volunteer or observation hours in the field of occupational therapy, along with their application. It is fairly common for these programs to have a minimum GPA requirement, usually of at least a 3.0, and/or GRE test score requirements, such as a 300 for the verbal and quantitative sections. Students must hold at least a bachelor's degree and are typically expected to have prior coursework in areas like anatomy, physiology, psychology and statistics. Some of these programs, especially at the doctoral level, require on-campus interviews after the initial round of admissions.

Colleges in Illinois offer Master of Occupational Therapy, Master of Science in Occupational Therapy and Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree programs. These programs are usually competitive and likely have specific GPA and/or GRE test scores which applicants must meet.

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