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.
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.