In Texas, aspiring occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) can pursue an associate degree or, less commonly, an undergraduate certificate. Most programs for aspiring occupational therapists (OTs) are offered at the master's degree level, though one school also offers a doctorate. OTAs with at least one year of professional experience can apply to a 40-month bridge program that allows them to earn a master's degree.
With the exception of the one doctoral program offered by Texas Woman's University, each of the OT or OTA programs discussed in this article is accredited by Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy (ACOTE) and includes fieldwork. The OTA certificate program offered by Houston Community College is unaccredited, but includes fieldwork.
Located in the city of its name, Amarillo, this college enrolls about 12,000 students. It offers an Associate in Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant that requires 71 semester hours of study. Classes in this program cover topics like occupational performance for elders, therapeutic interventions and physical function in occupational therapy.
The college also offers an Associate in Science in Pre-Occupational Therapy that requires 61 semester hours of study. This program's curriculum includes courses normally contained in the first two years of a 5-year occupational therapy program. These courses include statistics, trigonometry, physiology, anatomy and lifespan growth and development.
Austin Community College District
Located in Austin, this community college district enrolls approximately 45,000 students. It offers an Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant program that requires 72 credit hours of study. Classes in this program focus on subjects such as the principles of occupational therapy, medical terminology, abnormal behavior and mental health in occupational therapy.
Del Mar College
Del Mar College is located in Corpus Christi and enrolls about 12,000 students. It offers an Associate in Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant program that requires 71 semester hours of study. Classes in the program include health care management in occupational therapy, therapeutic use of activities and occupational performance throughout the lifespan.
Houston Community College
Situated in the city of its name, Houston, this community college enrolls about 63,000 students. It offers an Associate in Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant that requires two years of study. This program is held at the Coleman College for Health Sciences, which is located at the Texas Medical Center. Coursework in this program covers topics such as human structure and function, occupational therapy across the lifespan and workplace skills for OTA.
Lone Star College System
This college system's main campus is located in The Woodlands. The school, which enrolls about 63,000 students, offers an Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant at its Kingwood and Tomball campuses. This program includes about 65 credit hours of study. Courses in the Tomball-based program cover topics like management in occupational therapy, therapeutic use of occupations and generally psychology.
Navarro College is located in Corsicana and enrolls about 10,000 students. The college offers an Associate in Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant that includes 67 credit hours of study. The program's curriculum includes courses in occupational performance for adults, pathophysiology and medical terminology.
South Texas College
This college is located in McAllen and enrolls about 30,000 students. It offers an Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant program that takes two years to complete. This full-time program is located on the school's Nursing and Allied Health Campus and includes coursework in subjects such as anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology in occupational therapy and occupational performance for elders.
Texas Woman's University
Texas Woman's University (TWU) is located in Denton and enrolls about 15,000 students. The school offers a Master of Occupational Therapy on its Denton, Houston and Dallas campuses. The program on its Denton campus is designed for TWU undergraduate students pursuing degrees in family studies, kinesiology, health studies, child development and psychology. Classes in this program cover topics like clinical neuroscience in occupational therapy, physical function evaluation and occupational adaptation for children.
The Master of Occupational Therapy programs on the school's Dallas and Houston campuses are entry-level programs designed for individuals with a bachelor's degree in any field. Classes in these programs cover topics like persons, tools and occupations, evaluation processes in occupational therapy and rehabilitation technology in practice.
The school offers a Clinical Doctorate of Occupational Therapy program for practicing occupational therpists with part-time enrollment to prepare them for leadership roles as master practicioners, advocates, and educators. Courses are primarily online with some campus time needed one to two times each semester at the Dallas or Houston campuses.
The school also offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Occupational Therapy on its Denton campus. This 45-credit-hour, research-based program includes coursework in theories of occupational adaptation, instrumentation in occupational therapy and neuroscience applications. Students must write a dissertation prior to graduation.
University of Texas El Paso
Located in El Paso, this school enrolls about 23,000 students. It offers a Master of Occupational Therapy program that requires 85 credit hours of study and takes 2.5 years to complete. Classes in this program cover topics like human development across the lifespan, physiology, surface anatomy and occupational performance in adults.
University of Texas Pan-American
The University of Texas Pan-American is located in Edinburg and enrolls approximately 19,000 students. The university offers a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy that requires 71 semester hours of study. Classes in this program cover topics like health, illness and disability, systems analysis and pediatric occupational therapy interventions.
Texas requires that occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants be licensed, and the Executive Council of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Examiners is responsible for licensing OTs and OTAs in Texas. To become a licensed OT, an individual must have a post-baccalaureate degree in occupational therapy from a program approved by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) and pass an exam. To become a licensed OTA, an individual must possess an associate's degree in occupational therapy or an occupational therapist assistant certificate and pass an exam.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Occupational Therapy Program Offered||Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)*|
|Amarillo College||2-year, public; midsize city|| Associate in Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant,
Associate in Science in Pre-Occupational Therapy
|$2,136 for in-district, $3,168 for in-state and $4,704 for out-of-state students|
|Austin Community College District||2-year, public; large city||Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant||$2,550 for in-district, $10,830 for in-state and $13,020 for out-of-state students|
|Del Mar College||2-year, public; large city||Associate in Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant||$2,729 for in-district, $4,029 for in-state and $5,334 for out-of-state students|
|Houston Community College||2-year, public; large city||Associate in Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant||$1,632 for in-state, $3,360 for in-state and $3,756 for out-of-state students|
|Lone Star College System||2-year, public; small city||Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant||$1,600 for in-district, $3,880 for in-state and $5,200 for out-of-state students|
|Navarro College||2-year, public; distant town||Associate in Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant||$2,430 for in-district, $3,960 for in-state and $5,610 for out-of-state students|
|South Texas College||4-year, primarily associate's; public; midsize city||Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant||$3,780 for in-district, $4,080 for in-state and $7,680 for out-of-state students|
|Texas Woman's University||4-year, public; midsize city|| Master of Occupational Therapy,
Clinical Doctorate of Occupational Therapy Program,
Doctor of Philosophy in Occupational Therapy
|$7,336 for in-state graduate students and $14,806 for out-of-state graduate students|
|University of Texas El Paso||4-year, public; large city||Master of Occupational Therapy||$6,170 for in-state graduate students and $14,878 for out-of-state graduate students*|
|University of Texas Pan-American||4-year, public; small city||Master of Science in Occupational Therapy||$6,889 for in-state graduate students and $14,359 for out-of-state graduate students|
Source: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics.