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Occupational Therapy


Occupational therapy programs prepare people to help patients who have physical, mental, or emotional health problems learn skills to live on their own.

Occupational therapy programs include topics such as:

Occupational therapy programs prepare people to work in:


Community colleges and other two-year schools offer associate degree programs in occupational therapy. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete. After earning an associate degree students can transfer to a college or university for further study.

Several universities offer graduate degrees in occupational therapy. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Careers Directly Related to this Program of Study

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

It's a good idea to volunteer at hospitals, nursing homes, or community organizations. This shows that you are dedicated to working with others and are comfortable interacting with people of all walks of life.

Most schools require that you pass certain courses with good grades before you can officially become an occupational therapy major. Typically these courses are lower-level biology, psychology, and sociology. In addition, many schools require you to complete an official application to the occupational therapy program. This application usually includes a personal statement, professional resume, undergraduate transcripts, and sometimes a background check.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate study in occupational therapy typically includes:

In most occupational therapy programs, students are required to spend a certain number of hours doing fieldwork, where they work at places such as mental health clinics, nursing homes, or rehabilitation centers. Students observe professional occupational therapists as they work with patients. They also perform duties such as creating treatment plans, assisting other occupational therapists, and writing reports. Students are closely supervised by professors and occupational therapists.

Things to Know

You can work as an occupational therapy assistant with an associate degree.

Most people with a degree in occupational therapy choose to become certified or licensed to work with patients. You must graduate from an accredited occupational therapy program and pass a national examination.


King-Snohomish Area

University of Washington - Seattle

Kitsap Area

Olympic College

Spokane Area

Eastern Washington University

Eastern Washington University (Spokane Campus)

Tacoma Area

University of Puget Sound