"Occupational therapists help people with physical, emotional, or other challenges fully participate in the job of living. Disease, injury, depression or developmental problems can make it difficult for people to do everyday tasks or be active and independent. Occupational therapists make it possible for people to achieve independence and to enjoy life to its fullest. OTs work with a variety of people, from newborns to the very old, in a variety of setting (schools, hospitals, homes, community centers, rehabilitation centers, businesses and nursing homes)."
(American Occupational Therapy Association)
There also are doctoral programs in OT that allow for additional training and specialization.
- Most OTs have a Master's degree, but doctoral degrees are also available.
- The doctoral OT programs in FL are at Gannon University, Jacksonville University, Nova Southeastern University - Tampa, the University of St. Augustine, and the University of Florida.
- There are over 150 accredited masters programs in the US.
- A list of accredited schools can be found online.
- Accredited programs in Florida are the following:
- Most programs look for at least a 2.75-3.0 undergraduate GPA, but the average GPA for matriculants is higher
Required courses vary by program but typically include:
- Biology with lab - 1 semester
- Human Anatomy and Physiology with lab - 1 semester
- General Physics with lab - 1 semester
- General Chemistry with lab 1 semester
- Abnormal Psychology - 1 semester
- Statistics - 1 semester
- Personal Communication - 1 semester
- Medical Terminology - 1 semester
- Graduate Records Exam (GRE) is required
- Letters of evaluation
- Experience with an OT (10-80 hours)
- There is an Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service that most programs use. It usually becomes available in mid-summer.
- For the other programs, an initial application typically goes through the graduate admissions office at the university, and then there is a supplemental application specific to the OT program.
- Deadlines vary but are between December and March for a summer start date