Occupational Therapy Programs in Florida
Students interested in pursuing a career in occupational therapy may consider enrolling in an occupational therapy assistant (OTA) and occupational therapist (OT) programs. In Florida, OTA training is offered through associate degree programs. In contrast, OT programs are often offered at the master's degree level. Students typically complete labs, practicums and clinical experiences. Master's degree students may also be required to complete a research project.
Occupational therapy master's degree programs are generally open to existing occupational therapists and those with relevant undergraduate degrees. Interested students with unrelated bachelor's degrees may apply to many master's-level programs as well. However, they would need to complete additional courses to earn their degree.
This article discusses the ten largest public or private, not-for-profit schools offering AOTA-accredited OT or OTA programs in Florida.
Barry University is situated in Miami. The university enrolls approximately 7,186 students and offers a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree. This master's degree program is open to both entry-level students interested in beginning a career in the field and practicing occupational therapists. The former type of study completes a minimum of 74-75 credit hours of study, while the latter completes a minimum of 34 credit hours of study.
The entry-level program includes coursework, a graduate project, fieldwork and a practicum. Courses cover topics like neuroscience fundamentals for occupational therapy, evaluation with adults, intervention in later life and the principles of occupational therapy.
Daytona State University
Located in Daytona Beach, this university enrolls about 13,737 students. It offers an Associate of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant program that requires 22 months of study. This 74-credit-hour program includes coursework, labs, a practicum and two clinical experiences. Classes cover topics such as occupational therapy skills and techniques, analysis of human movement and psychosocial occupational therapy.
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University is located in Tallahassee. The university, which enrolls about 10,021 students, offers a Master of Occupational Therapy degree program. This program is available to students possessing an undergraduate degree in the health sciences as well as to those possessing an undergraduate degree in another field. The curriculum requires a total of 81 credit hours for graduation.
The school also offers students the opportunity to combine undergraduate and graduate occupational therapy studies. In this option, students begin graduate-level coursework during their final year of undergraduate study.
Regardless of chosen option, graduate coursework in the program covers subjects such as occupational pharmacology, biopsychosocial development and functional human motion. In addition to classes, the program's curriculum includes labs, fieldwork and a practicum.
Florida Gulf Coast University
Florida Gulf Coast University is situated in Fort Myers and enrolls about 15,031 students. The school offers a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy that requires 64 credit hours of study, including fieldwork and a project. Classes in this program focus on subjects like human motion in activity, technology in practice and management and supervision in occupational therapy.
Florida International University
This university is located in Miami. It offers a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy that consists of 80 credit hours of study. Classes in this program cover topics such as community based practice, analysis of human motion and development lifespan. The program also includes labs, fieldwork and a graduate project.
Florida State College at Jacksonville
Located in Jacksonville, this college enrolls approximately 23,413 students. The college offers an Associate in Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant that requires completion of 74 credit hours of study. Classes in this program focus on subjects such as adaptive living skills, physical rehabilitation in occupational therapy and pediatrics in occupational therapy. The program also includes an internship and two supervised practice experiences.
Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern University is located in Fort Lauderdale and enrolls about 20,435 students. The university offers a Master of Occupational Therapy program that takes about 3 years to complete. Classes in this program include occupational analysis, the impact of human conditions on occupational performance and applied kinesiology. The program also includes fieldwork and a research practicum.
Polk State College
Polk State College is located in Winter Haven. The college, which enrolls about 10,591 students, offers an Associate in Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant program that requires completion of 74 credit hours of study. The program's curriculum includes classes in topics like pediatric occupational therapy, human anatomy and the principles of human disease. In addition to coursework, the program includes labs and fieldwork experiences.
State College of Florida - Manatee-Sarasota
This college is situated in Bradenton and enrolls approximately 10,229 students. It offers a 70-credit-hour Associate in Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant program. Students in this program complete classes in topics such as occupational therapy for the physically disabled, human diseases and occupational therapy skills and techniques. Students also complete a practicum and two clinical practice experiences.
University of Florida
Located in Gainesville, the University of Florida enrolls about 52,218 students. The school offers a Masters in Occupational Therapy that is designed for individuals who do not have a professional-level degree in occupational therapy. This program requires a total of five semesters of study.
Students in either program complete 59 hours of graduate-level coursework, including a practicum, fieldwork and internship. Graduate-level classes cover topics such as therapeutic activities, the foundations of occupational therapy and pathophysiology.
Florida requires that occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants be licensed. To become a licensed occupational therapist, an individual must graduate from an occupational therapy program accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. (AOTA), complete a minimum of six months of field experience and pass the OT certification exam offered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).
To become a licensed occupational therapy assistant, an individual must graduate from a program accredited by the AOTA, complete at least two months of field experience and pass the OTA exam offered by the NBCOT.
OT School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Occupational Therapy Programs Offered||Graduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)*|
|Barry University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb||Master of Science in Occupational Therapy||$17,820|
|Daytona State College||4-year, primarily associate's, public; small city||Associate of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant|| $3,104 for in-state
$11,993 for out-of-state (undergraduate)
|Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University||4-year, public; midsize city||Master of Occupational Therapy|| $9,876 for in-state
$23,965 for out-of-state
|Florida Gulf Coast University||4-year, public; large suburb||Master of Science in Occupational Therapy|| $8,961 for in-state
$30,157 for out-of-state
|Florida International University||4-year, public; large suburb||Master of Science in Occupational Therapy|| $11,097 for in-state
$23,578 for out-of-state
|Florida State College at Jacksonville||4-year, primarily associate's, public; large city||Associate in Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant|| $2,878 for in-state
$9,992 for out-of-state (undergraduate)
|Nova Southeastern University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb||Master of Occupational Therapy||$20,620|
|Polk State College||4-year, primarily associate's, public; small city||Associate in Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant|| $3,366 for in-state
$12,272 for out-of-state (undergraduate)
|State College of Florida - Manatee-Sarasota||4-year, primarily associate's, public; large suburb||Associate in Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant|| $3,074 for in-state
$11,606 for out-of-state (undergraduate)
|University of Florida||4-year, public; midsize city||Masters in Occupational Therapy|| $12,737 for in-state
$29,302 for out-of-state
Source: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics