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Online Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists help people gain the ability to perform everyday tasks and activities. This can include someone rehabilitating from an injury or illness, an elderly person going through physical and cognitive changes, and children with physical and developmental disabilities. An occupational therapist will evaluate a patient, assess their disabilities, and determine their goals. They will then develop a treatment plan specifically for the patient’s condition that will help them achieve those goals, as well as measure progress and make any necessary changes.

The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) is an organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education that accredits occupational therapy programs. The ACOTE provides a list of institutions offering accredited occupational therapy programs. Many of these schools offer master’s degrees in occupational therapy online. Specific requirements vary by school, but typically, an online master’s degree program in occupational therapy consists of between 60 and 90 credits and can be completed in two to three years by a full-time student, depending on their ability to pass each course and the number of courses they can take at a time.

Classes for an Online Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy

A master’s student enrolled in an online occupational therapy program will discover how to help patients of all ages and conditions learn (or relearn) how to perform daily essential tasks. They will learn about the physical and cognitive functions that enable people to complete these tasks, as well as what impairs these functions, such as injuries, illnesses, and developmental problems. Finally, students will learn how to evaluate each individual patient and develop a treatment plan that will meet their needs. The following is a list of some of the courses an occupational therapy student may take:

  • Foundations of Occupational Therapy
  • Applied Human Movement
  • Occupations of Adults and Seniors
  • Occupations of Children and Adolescents
  • Psychosocial Aspects of Occupational Therapy

An online master’s degree program in occupational therapy will consist of exams and written assignments. Many online programs incorporate scenarios and simulations that students must work through. Hands-on, real-world training is often essential for occupational therapy students, so a significant amount of fieldwork must be completed prior to graduation.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy

Employment opportunities for occupational therapists can be found in hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, doctor offices, nursing care facilities, and home health care services. Many occupational therapists begin their own practice. However, before employment can be obtained, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that most occupational therapists must earn an accredited master’s degree in occupational therapy and gain state licensure. Some states require continuing education to maintain licensure, which can be completed online at many institutions.

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