U.S. Occupational Therapy Programs provide the entry-level and advanced classroom training and hands-on experience required to be an Occupational Therapist. Occupational Therapists are healthcare professionals who play an integral role in improving the ability of individuals with disabilities and certain other health conditions to function more effectively at home or in the workplace. Most States require a license to practice as an occupational therapist and such licensure typically requires that a practitioner be degreed from one of the accredited Occupational Therapy Programs. A masterís degree or higher is the minimum requirement for entry into the Occupational Therapy field in the U.S.
In 2007, 124 masterís degree programs offered entry-level education, 66 programs offered a combined bachelorís and masterís degree, and 5 offered an entry-level doctoral degree. Most U.S. Occupational Therapy Programs are full-time, although a growing number are offering weekend or part-time programs as well. Coursework at Occupational Therapy Programs in the U.S. includes, among other things, occupational science, organizational behavior, the study of human development from an occupational context, learning theory, disability theory, health conditions, occupational therapy processes, critical theory, community organizing and research methodologies. U.S. Occupational Therapy Programs also require the completion of 6 months of supervised fieldwork.
Although the training curricula is similar across occupational therapist programs, there can be distinct differences between programs in terms of admission requirements, selection criteria and student and alumni support services. Accordingly, interested applications should check with respective U.S. Occupational Therapy Programs to learn about their admission standards, selection criteria, training curricula and support services available to their students and alumni.
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