Both undergraduate and graduate degree programs in occupational therapy are offered at various schools throughout Minnesota. Students can choose to earn an associate's degree and become an assistant in the field or earn a master's degree to become an occupational therapist. Programs typically include fieldwork and/or clinical rotations; graduate students are required to complete a research project and/or capstone course.
Anoka Technical College
Anoka Technical College in Anoka offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program in occupational therapy assisting that prepares graduates to work in a variety of health care settings. This 71-credit program integrates general education coursework with science-based classes. Major-specific coursework emphasizes the theory and foundations of occupational therapy and includes therapeutic studies, anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, and physical dysfunction. Students also complete supervised fieldwork experiences in various locations, including psychosocial and rehab settings.
Northland Community and Technical College
Based in Thief River Falls, Northland Community and Technical College offers a 72-credit occupational therapy assisting AAS program that requires students complete fieldwork experiences in physical and mental health settings in addition to the coursework. Course topics include movement in context, clinical conditions, medical terminology, and physical health. Students must also complete a handful of humanities electives, including ethics and philosophy.
St. Catherine University
Saint Paul's St. Catherine University offers an OTA associate degree, an entry-level Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy (MAOT). The associate's degree program requires 700 hours of fieldwork at various locations. Program coursework covers anatomy and physiology, therapeutic applications, and clinical conditions along with general education classes.
The MAOT is a 71-credit program designed to be completed in three years. Students can opt for the traditional day plan or a weekend format. The curriculum covers the theoretical aspects, basic skills, and methodologies relevant to occupational therapy. Program coursework includes rehabilitation theory, pediatric practice, research, neuroscience, and mental health practice. Students must complete several fieldwork experiences.
The College of Saint Scholastica
Duluth's College of Saint Scholastica offers an entry-level Master of Science in Occupational Therapy that integrates core classes, intensive clinical experiences, and either a research or final capstone project. Program coursework covers lifespan occupational performance, motor functioning, functional anatomy, psychosocial occupational therapy, intervention skills, biomechanical practice, and data collection. Students complete two 12-week fieldwork experiences designed to prepare them for entry-level employment and to sit for the national certification exam.
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Located in Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities offers a 78-credit Master of Occupational Therapy designed to be completed in five semesters. This program integrates classroom instruction, practical fieldwork experiences, and a research project. Coursework covers anatomy, kinesiology, behaviors and attitudes, foundations of occupational science, professional engagement, and neuroscience. The curriculum also explores occupational therapy as it relates to communities, individuals, and families. Upon completion of all required coursework, students participate in two 12-week clinical experiences at health care sites.
Both occupational therapists (OTs) and occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) must be licensed in Minnesota. Becoming an OTA involves completing an associate's degree program in occupational therapy assisting, while OTs need a minimum of a master's degree in the field. After completing a degree program, prospective OTs and OTAs must pass the appropriate exams administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) to gain licensure.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Occupational Therapy Degree Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Anoka Technical College||Two-year, public; large suburb||AAS - Occupational Therapy Assistant||$5,584 (undergraduate)*|
|Northland Community and Technical College||Two-year, public; remote town||AAS - Occupational Therapy Assistant||$5,534 (undergraduate)*|
|St. Catherine University||University, private not-for-profit; large city|| AAS - Occupational Therapy Assistant,
Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy,
B.S. or B.A. in Occupational Science/Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy dual degree
| $35,500 (undergraduate);
|The College of Saint Scholastica||Four-year, private not-for-profit; small city||M.S. in Occupational Therapy||$10,980 (graduate)*|
|University of Minnesota - Twin Cities||University, public; large city||Master of Occupational Therapy|| $17,289 (in-state graduate);
$25,953 (out-of-state graduate)*
Source: *NCES College Navigator