Occupational Therapy Schools in Santa Ana, CA with Degree Info

The Santa Ana area has three colleges that offer occupational therapy programs. Learn about the programs, admission info and program requirements of these schools, all within 50 miles of Santa Ana, and make an informed education decision.

Santa Ana Occupational Therapy Schools

While there are no schools in Santa Ana that offer occupational therapy programs, students can pursue education and training in this field at several institutions within an hour of the city. This article looks at three schools and their programs. It also includes a table that presents pertinent facts about these institutions, such as enrollment, tuition and graduation rate, in a way that makes it easy to compare them. At the end of the article is information about a Santa Ana school that offers a related program.

  • California State University - Dominguez Hills offers a master's degree program in occupational therapy. This school is about 25 miles from downtown Santa Ana.
  • University of Southern California, 30.8 miles from Santa Ana, has bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in occupational therapy.
  • Almost 40 miles from downtown Santa Ana, Loma Linda University offers a master's degree and doctorate in occupational therapy.

Comparison of Schools

When looking for a school, prospective students should be aware of many factors. The following table offers information on these three institutions in a format that makes it easy to compare them.

California State University - Dominguez Hills University of Southern California Loma Linda University
School Type* 4-year; public 4-year; private 4-year; private
Total Enrollment (2016-2017)* 16,219 45,687 4,417
Campus Setting* Small city Large city Large suburb
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)* $8,271 in-state graduate, $17,775 out-of-state graduate $54,259 undergraduate, $44,013 graduate $28,652 graduate

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

California State University - Dominguez Hills

California State University - Dominguez Hills offers education and training at the undergraduate and graduate level. Students can pursue programs in the arts and sciences, business, behavioral science, education and professional studies. The Occupational Therapy Department offers a master's degree in the field that combines academic coursework with practical experience.

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Entrants to this program must have a bachelor's degree and complete prerequisite courses in anatomy, physiology, psychology, and statistics. Initial coursework consists of classes such as activities across the lifespan and introduction to frameworks for occupational therapy practice. The following semesters are organized according to courses that focus on the occupations, assessments and interventions appropriate to specific age groups, such as pediatric, adolescent, adult and geriatric patients. The final two semesters are spent completing fieldwork and a comprehensive examination.

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in occupational therapy through the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. There are 89 faculty members in the department, and teaching assistantships and scholarships are available.

Bachelor's to Master's in Occupational Therapy

This occupational therapy program offers students an opportunity to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy and then earn a Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy in 9 to 12 additional months. The bachelor's degree requires that students complete 44 credits of professional coursework. During the undergraduate program, students take foundational courses in kinesiology, neuroscience and occupation. Students also learn about pediatrics, mental health, adult physical rehabilitation and clinical reasoning. The master's degree program offers students the opportunity to choose the comprehensive exam or thesis option. In addition to courses, students also complete a capstone project, seminar and internship.

Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy

The department offers two master's degree tracks. A 1-year program is available for certified occupational therapists seeking continuing education or for graduates of the accelerated undergraduate program. The 2-year program is for those with a bachelor's degree in another field. Candidates for the 2-year degree complete core coursework in occupational development and performance, assessment and intervention and 34-weeks of fieldwork. The remaining coursework for both degree tracks consists of such courses as skills theory, qualitative data analysis and pediatric and geriatric occupational theory.

Doctor of Philosophy in Occupational Science

This degree prepares graduates for leadership roles in clinical practice, education, research and policy planning. In addition to occupational therapy courses, students take interdisciplinary courses such as human behavior in public organizations, program evaluation and research and business fundamentals for non-business professionals. Doctoral students also complete residency requirements. Specialized courses in hand rehabilitation and environmental modification are also offered.

Loma Linda University

Loma Linda University features eight schools that offer more than 100 programs. Students can pursue graduate educational programs in allied health, behavioral health, nursing, pharmacy, public health and medicine. Graduates of the program are eligible for the certification offered through the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy.

Master of Occupational Therapy

The Master of Occupational Therapy program is three years and consists of academic coursework and clinical rotations. During the first year, students gain a basic understanding of human performance disorders, psychosocial growth, neurophysiological growth and pathology of injury and disease. Students begin taking on clinical experience and focus on case management and administration in the second and third years. The final year offers students a chance to pursue research opportunities and work in clinics.

Doctor of Occupational Therapy

The Doctor of Occupational Therapy program is two years in length and designed for professional occupational therapists to further their education in the field. The academic coursework can be completed online, and students are allowed to create a professional rotation that focuses on a new area of practice or research in the field. However, students are welcomed on campus to interact with faculty and other students.

Other School Options

Although Santa Ana's schools don't offer occupational therapy degrees, Santa Ana College offers an occupational therapy assistant program and a bachelor's degree program in occupational studies. The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) accredits it, and this program prepares its students to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy certification exam.


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