The US is not short of occupational therapy programs-they are a whopping 156 that are accredited! This accreditation is provided by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). In order for you to gain entry to the work-force as an occupational therapist, you’ll need an MSOT (Masters in Occupational Therapy). Continuing to a doctorate opens higher-level OCT jobs for you. So, which are the best schools to pursue your studies in occupational therapy?

University of Southern California (USC) – Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

It came in high in the ranking by the U.S. News & World Report of occupational therapy programs. The program offers a Masters of Arts in Occupational Therapy, a clinical doctorate and also Ph. D programs. This graduate program is wholly recognized by the ACOTE. It offers pediatrics specialization, lifestyle redesign and rehabilitation medicine. An added plus, the school has connections to over 700 fieldwork sites. You’ll be spoilt for choice when selecting the environment that best fits your needs. Students at the USC can both observe and practice their skills with renowned experts in their respective fields.

Boston University (BU) in Boston, Massachusetts

It was ranked 2nd by the U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 ranking. This was, of course, in comparison to other occupation therapy graduate programs. Offering a wide array of clinical placement options, the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at the Boston University is a distinguished faculty. Their program options include: a Maters, an online post-professional Master of Science in Occupational Therapy and also an online post-professional Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. As an under-grad, you are at liberty to pursue a combination of a B.S. in Therapeutic Studies and M.S. in Occupational Therapy.

Sargent College (under the BU) offers you occupational therapy degrees at both the under-grad and post-grad levels. The most popular is the Combined Bachelor of Science in Behavior and Health and Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy. Students in this program spend their freshman and sophomore years enhancing their knowledgebase on physiology and psychology, anatomy and biology. The Sargent College additionally has a standalone Masters program. For the Master’s program, the students increase their knowledge and skills on occupation therapy in small classes (under the close eye of senior practitioners and professionals). When you finish this program you’ll have done what amounts to 5 years of course work and 6 months of clinical time field work.

Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL), Missouri

That 2014 report by U.S. News & World Report had WUSTL tied with the Boston University at second place. The program offers both a Maters and a Doctorate in occupational Therapy. However, it does not offer a Bachelor’s degree. Students at WUCTL get to choose from an excess of 500 sites spread nationwide, where they’ll complete their fieldwork assignments.

If you’ve already attained an undergraduate degree in another course, getting a Master’s in occupational therapy will usually take you 2 years. In total, the length of time you’ll take to become an occupational therapist is around 6 years. If you enter a combined bachelor’s/masters program, you can reduce this to 5 years.

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