Pediatric Occupational Therapy Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

A pediatric occupational therapy program teaches students how to help children recover from injuries so that they may perform daily, routine tasks. Prospective students interested in the field of pediatric occupational therapy must hold a master's degree or higher. Both master's and doctoral degree programs require that students complete a clinical component.

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Prospective students who wish to enter into the field of pediatric occupational therapy have two degree options, a master's degree or a doctoral degree. Both programs require students to acquire fieldwork experience and provide courses in functional movement, neuroanatomy and an introduction to the occupational therapy process.

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Top 10 Occupational Therapy Schools

The following schools are listed among the top-ranked occupational therapy schools by 'U.S. News & World Report', and tuition rates are based on the 2016-2017 school year:

College/University Institution Type Location Degrees Offered Tuition (2015-2016)*
University of Southern California 4-year, Private Los Angeles, CA Master's, Doctoral $39,984
Boston University (Sargent) 4-year, Private Boston, MA Master's, Doctoral $47,422
Washington University in St. Louis 4-year, Private St. Louis, MO Master's, Doctoral $47,300
University of Illinois - Chicago 4-year, Public Chicago, IL Master's, Doctoral $13,447, in-state; $22,306, out-of-state
University of Kansas Medical Center 4-year, Public Lawrence, KS Master's, Doctoral $9,029, in-state; $21,120, out-of-state
Colorado State University in Fort Collins 4-year, Public Fort Collins, CO Master's, Doctoral $9,348, in-state; $22,916, out-of-state
Thomas Jefferson University 4-year, Private Philadelphia, PA Master's, Doctoral $27,798
Tufts University - Boston School of Occupational Therapy 4-year, Private Medford, MA Master's, Doctoral $48,412
University of Pittsburgh 4-year, Public Pittsburgh, PA Master's, Doctoral $21,260, in-state; $34,944, out-of-state
New York University 4-year, Private New York, NY Master's, Doctoral $38,592

Sources: NCES, School Websites

College Selection Criteria

A master's degree program can be completed in two years and a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program is typically only open to students with an undergraduate or master's degree in occupational therapy. Prospective occupational therapists may want to consider the following when choosing a program:

  • Students should verify that their program of choice is accredited, since the licensure process is only open to graduates of an accredited pediatric occupational therapy degree program.
  • Schools that provide a wide variety of fieldwork opportunities are better equipped to prepare students for becoming successful practitioners.

There is a wide combination of private and public schools that offer the educational requirements for pediatric occupational therapists and tuition costs vary depending on where the student is from. Those interested in pursuing this career should consider an accredited program and which university offers the best fieldwork opportunities.

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