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Occupational Therapy Master's Programs in California

Oct 19, 2019

For students who want to pursue a master's in occupational therapy, there are several programs available in the state of California. Specific university program information and admission requirements are provided.

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Pursuing a graduate degree in occupational therapy prepares students to provide for people who have activity restrictions and limitations. Upon completing a master's program, students will be eligible to take the NBCOT (The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy), and passing this exam allows students to become practicing occupational therapists. Listed below are occupational therapy master's programs in the state of California and the admission requirements.

California Schools Offering Graduate Programs in Occupational Therapy

California State University, Dominguez Hills

Offering a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, CSUDH provides students with the necessary skills to understand occupational therapy roles. Students will learn about clinical sciences and human adaptation, as well as catering to the needs of diverse groups of people. With a focus on maintaining health and identifying issues in a clinical practice, the program illustrates leadership roles in occupational therapy professions and fieldwork settings. The MSOT is a full time program that combines coursework and clinical rotations. In addition to learning about the foundations of occupational therapy, students will take clinical workshops in hand therapy practice, motor control, and splinting.

Samuel Merritt University

SMU offers a Master of Occupational Therapy, where the student will take courses in human occupation, neuroscience, and human dysfunction. The MOT program combines clinical simulation labs with basic science to focus on treating clients and communicating with health professionals. With a heavy emphasis on fieldwork, the student will be supervised by professional occupational therapists and gain hands-on experience in clinics, hospitals, and schools. This program is meant to guide students into eventually pursuing a Doctor of Occupational Therapy.

San Jose State University

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program allows students to obtain fieldwork and experience both on and off campus. Students are able to choose from one of two tracks--clinical/community based practicum or lifespan-based practice. The overall curriculum is designed to link research practice with critical thinking and leadership skills. General courses will include occupational analysis, professional development, and research methodology. Upon completion of the MSOT program, students will develop an understanding for serving communities with a focus on human wellness.

University of Southern California

Offering a Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy, students will become familiar with applications in mental health, physical rehabilitation, and pediatrics. Students will also engage in weekly fieldwork with classroom learning experiences. Coursework will include behavioral neuroscience, clinical reasoning, and research-based practice. Students will also gain laboratory experience to participate in directed research with a variety of elective disciplines to choose from.

Loma Linda University

The Master of Occupational Therapy offered at LLU seeks to train students to be critical and compassionate practitioners with a focus on health and wellness. Students will learn about domestic violence, lifestyle medicine, and obesity. Focusing on community and service learning, students will take courses that use biological, physical, and behavioral applications. In addition to academic fieldwork and labs, students will be exposed to courses in functional neuroscience, pharmacology, and occupation and wellness.

Master's in Occupational Therapy General Admittance Requirements

To qualify for entry into an occupational therapy master's program, a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA is usually required. Students most likely will need to have taken prerequisite courses in biology, physics, anatomy, physiology, general psychology, developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, and statistics. Additionally, students should be prepared to provide three letters of recommendation, undergraduate transcripts, and GRE scores (a minimum score of 3.5 in analytical writing, a minimum score of 140 in quantitative reasoning, and a minimum score of 146 in verbal reasoning). Depending on the school, students should also prepare for an interview prior to entering the program, as well as completion of volunteer experience (minimum of 40-100 hours, depending on the school).

The state of California presents several opportunities for students looking to pursue a master's program in occupational therapy. Whether you are wanting to continue into a doctorate program or get certified as an occupational therapist, California occupational therapy graduate programs aim to educate you in human wellness and health maintenance.

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