Masters in Occupational Therapy + No GRE

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The number of jobs in healthcare are soaring, and the field of occupational therapy is no exception. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that employment for occupational therapists will swell by 27% by 2024, which is much faster than average.

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Occupational therapy will continue to be a very important part of medical treatment for people who have many types of illnesses and disabilities, from Alzheimer’s to asthma to even the loss of a limb.

Generally the need for OTs will rise as baby boomers are retiring and living longer. This is increasing the demand for all kinds of health care services. Occupational therapists play a key role in helping senior citizens keep their independence by working on home modifications and strategies that will make the lives of their patients easier.

OTs also play important roles in treating many ailments and conditions that are related to aging, including stroke and arthritis. They also will be needed in many health care settings to treat people who have chronic health problems, including diabetes. Many of these patients will need the help of an occupational therapist to maintain their independence.

What Occupational Therapists Do

OTs specialize in the treatment of injured, ill and disabled people. OTS help them to make adjustments in their daily activities so that they can improve the skills that are necessary for independent living.

For example, OTs may help to teach a stroke victim how to get dressed with only one hand. They also may evaluate the home of a patient and identify certain improvements that are needed, such as clearly labeling cabinets and drawers in a kitchen for a senior with memory problems.

Also, people who have permanent disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, may need assistance in doing common daily tasks. An occupational therapist often will show patients how they can use adaptive equipment such as eating aids and leg braces so that they can maintain their independence.

Earn Your Master’s in Occupational Therapy with No GRE Online

There has been an explosion in job growth for occupational therapists and health care workers generally, so today there are more online master’s degree programs in occupational therapy. Many of them do not require you to take the GRE examination, either.

Prerequisites

To earn a master’s degree in occupational therapy, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Some of the most common subject areas include:

  • Kinesiology
  • Psychology
  • Biology
  • Sociology
  • Exercise science

Occupational therapy is an excellent career choice, so you should consider the next step by thinking about one of these online master’s programs:

A.T. Still University (Highly Recommended)

A.T. Still University of Health Sciences is a non-profit, private, graduate school focusing on health sciences, as well as the world’s first osteopathic medical school. Wikipedia

The master’s in occupational therapy program from A.T. Still University is officially called an Advanced Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, and will help you to improve your occupational therapy skills if you are already a practicing OT.

This is a post-professional master’s degree that requires you to complete 42 credit hours. Most graduates are able to finish their degree in two years. The program is made up of four parts:

  • Professional practice
  • Critical inquiry
  • Electives
  • Capstone

Working OTs can complete their required clinical hours at their current work setting. If you are not working as an OT during the program and you must complete a clinical requirement, you will need to gain access to an appropriate clinical practice setting that meets your academic advisor’s approval.

This program also requires you to complete a capstone experience that will help you to develop, implement and document a detailed occupational therapy project that is related to your professional interests.

More information:

  • Campus: Kirksville MO; online
  • Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $780 per credit hour
  • GRE/GMAT Required: No
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On Campus Requirements: No
  • Programs Offered: Advanced Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
  • Request Free Information: A.T. Still University

University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota offers a year round curriculum that allows you to take some of your required occupational therapy classes online. Students who want to earn their master’s degree in occupational therapy need to visit campus several times each term to have face to face interaction with students and professors.

Students in this accredited, 22 month program will take 60 houurs of classes, and complete six hours of scholarly project credit hours. You also must do a total of 960 hours of fieldwork, which may be completed in your work environment in your area.

Required classes include:

  • Foundations of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
  • Professional Identity: Behaviors and Attitudes
  • Occupational Therapy Process for Society
  • Occupational Therapy Process for Community
  • Occupational Therapy Process for Individuals: Work Context

The University of Minnesota is a top notch research university, and OT students will have the chance to pursue many of their academic and scholarly interests. You will be able to work directly with your professors both in person and online.

The University of Minnesota is proud that recent OT graduates have an almost 100% job placement record within six months of graduation across the country. Most students work in hospitals, schools and outpatient clinics. Many OT graduates are able to find work before they even graduate.

The university also reports that the 22 to 25 month curriculum puts you out in the job force before many other OT programs. There are more than 2000 OT alumni working throughout Minnesota as of 2016.

More information:

  • Campus: Twin Cities MN; online
  • Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $916 in state; $1376 out of state
  • GRE/GMAT Required:
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On Campus Requirements: Yes
  • Programs Offered: Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Nebraska Methodist College

Nebraska Methodist College offers a two year Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy that will provide you with the tools that you need to help your patients and clients to overcome both injury and disability.

This two year program is made for compassionate OT professionals who want to work on a more individualized method of health care and occupational therapy. Many graduates of this program do end up working in hospitals and rehab centers, but the program also provides you with the practice and training to enter the home and the life of the patient, too.

This program has the following features:

  • It is an on campus and online format that has both classroom and online learning.
  • It consists of six semesters and is made to be completed in 24 months.
  • Your fieldwork assignments will start in the first semester. You have fieldwork assignments that are one week long and will provide you with hands on chances for learning in both rural and urban areas.
  • You must complete your level II fieldwork and internship requirements within two years of finishing the classwork portion of the program.

Your required classes include:

  • Occupational Therapy: Occupation, Participation and Engagement
  • Evidence Based Practice for Health and Wellness
  • Research I – Evidence Based Implications of Scholarship
  • Outreach Experience I – Health and Wellness
  • Advanced Anatomy and Applied Physiology
  • Evidence Based Practice for Mental Health
  • Evidence Based Practice for Productive Aging

More information:

  • Campus: Omaha NE; online
  • Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $719
  • GRE/GMAT Required: No
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On Campus Requirements: Yes
  • Programs Offered: Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Earning your master’s in occupational therapy will provide you with an excellent career path where you will earn a high salary and never be short of work. You should consider this career path if you want to help people to maintain their independence and to enjoy a productive career.

Accreditation

When you choose a master’s degree in occupational therapy program, you should make certain that the program has all of the proper accreditations. First, you should make sure that the university is regionally accredited by one of these bodies:

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC-CIHE) Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

Licensure

All OTs have to be licensed. The standards vary by state, but all states require that you pass the national OT examination that is administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. To take this exam, you have to have earned your master’s degree and have completed all degree requirements.

Written by Robert Sanchez
Robert Sanchez is HealthGrad.com's Chief Editorialist. Robert Sanchez has over 10 years experience in the Healthcare field and more recently has become an avid writer advising on career and job topics in this exciting field.

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