Reno Occupational Therapy Universities with Course Descriptions

Jan 02, 2019

Aspiring occupational therapists in Reno must be willing to travel to find appropriate training, as the schools currently offering degrees in the field are more than 100 miles of the city. To find out which one is right for you, read an overview of the program and admission requirements at three institutions.

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Occupational Therapy Schools in the Reno Area

While there are no occupational therapy programs in the immediate Reno, NV, area, several colleges in neighboring California offer programs in the field. The three schools profiled in this article have programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). Learn about the required courses and fieldwork components at the colleges below. Be sure to also check out the table of statistics about the schools as well as the information on a few other education options in the surrounding areas.

  • Students who are interested in completing a 2-year program and becoming an occupational therapy assistant can enroll in courses at Sacramento City College. The school, located about 134 miles from downtown Reno, offers an associate's degree in the field.
  • Situated around 212 miles from central Reno, Samuel Merritt University offers a doctoral degree program for aspiring occupational therapists.
  • Dominican University also offers a master's degree in occupational therapy as well as a combined bachelor's/master's program option. Students can find the campus roughly 213 miles from Reno's downtown area.

Comparison of Schools

Look over this table to compare the profiled colleges in several areas. The info on costs, graduation rates, student enrollment and more could impact your decision on which occupational therapy school is right for your needs.

Sacramento City College Samuel Merritt University Dominican University
School Type* 2-year; public 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017)* 21,323 2,141 1,744
Campus Setting* Large city Large city Small city
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)* $1,104 in-state (undergraduate); $8,208 out-of-state (undergraduate) $49,040 (graduate) $44,690 (undergraduate); $17,400 (graduate)
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)* 76% N/A 98%
Acceptance Rate (2017)* N/A - Open Admissions N/A 88%
Retention Rate for First-time Students (2016-2017)* 65% for full-time students N/A 86% for full-time students
Graduation Rate* 24% (For students that began their studies in Fall 2014) N/A 72% (For students that began their studies in Fall 2011)

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Sacramento City College

Sacramento City College is a 2-year, public college that was originally established in 1916 as a division of the local Sacramento High School. The Associate in Science (A.S.) program in occupational therapy is administered through the Division of Science and Allied Health and is offered on the school's main campus in Sacramento.

Associate in Science, Occupational Therapy Assistant

Successful completion of the A.S. degree program requires 64-74 credits of coursework and two supervised fieldwork experiences. The program covers anatomy and physiology, human development, functional biomechanics, developmental disabilities, and physical dysfunctions. General education requirements include classes in college composition, nutrition, sociology, and computers. Students acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to obtain a position as an occupational therapy assistant upon graduation.

Samuel Merritt University

Samuel Merritt University offers a graduate-level occupational therapy (OT) program at its Oakland, CA, campus location. This private, not-for-profit school has a student to faculty ratio of 9:1, with most of the faculty still practicing in their professional field.

Doctor of Occupational Therapy

The Doctor of Occupational Therapy program at Samuel Merritt takes three years to complete. During the first two years, students complete coursework in such areas as kinesiology, biomechanics, psychopathology, and conditions of human dysfunction during the fall and spring semesters. The summer semesters are reserved for fieldwork.

Students also complete field experiences during the fall semester of their final year. They focus the rest of their studies on completing a capstone project.

Dominican University

Dominican University offers OT programs through its Department of Occupational Therapy. The occupational therapy program was established in 1996 and has a job placement rate of 100% for its program graduates.

Bachelor of Science in Health Science and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy/5-Year Transfer Program

For those students that have not yet earned an undergraduate degree, Dominican University offers the choice of enrolling in a 5-year program that awards both a Bachelor of Science in Health Science and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy upon successful completion.

The curriculum requires students to complete 116-117 undergraduate credits and 32 graduate-level credits. The initial three years focus on undergraduate coursework. During the fourth year, the program starts to integrate graduate-level coursework into the curriculum. Topics explored during the initial terms include human anatomy, abnormal psychology, physiology, conceptual physics, and lifespan development.

Remaining terms integrate more advanced topics like neuroanatomy, human movement analysis, psychosocial aspects of occupation, research in the health professions, and health policy. Students complete supervised, level II fieldwork experiences during their last term, choosing from options in working with adults and seniors or with children and adolescents.

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT)

This 3-year master's program requires the completion of 80 units of coursework. The MSOT program has prerequisites that must be met prior to filing an application for admission. These include courses completed within the past five years in designated subject areas that include abnormal psychology, human development, statistics, human physiology, and anatomy.

Once enrolled, students complete coursework similar to the graduate-level work found within the 5-year transfer program. Coursework includes OT program development, health care policies and leadership, and advanced OT theory and research.

Other Schools

There are other school options available for aspiring students seeking a career in the field of occupational therapy. San Jose State University, located about 247 miles from Reno, NV, offers a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy as well as an undergraduate Pre-Occupational Therapy degree. Touro University is the only college in Nevada to offer a graduate program in occupational therapy. It offers a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program at its Henderson, NV, campus, which is about 462 miles from Reno.

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