How do I Choose the Best Occupational Therapist School?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 31 December 2018
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Occupational therapists help their patients learn to complete tasks and function in their work and personal lives. While occupational therapy curriculum varies by school, region and even country, here are four issues to consider when choosing the best occupational therapist school: education level, equipment, admission requirements, and faculty quality. Occupational therapist school is usually part of a larger university or college. The best schools offer specialized programs, in addition to the standard curriculum. Some examples of specialized programs include pediatric occupational therapy, family counseling, or a minor in psychology.

There are two types of occupational therapist school: university or college level. At the university level, the courses cover both theory and practical skills. The training is designed to provide the foundation for further education at the master’s and doctoral levels. College training programs are practical, focused, and designed to provide the skills required on the job. Both programs meet the academic requirements of the licensing body for occupational therapists, which vary by state.

Selecting the best school should be based on your own goals, achievements, and skill levels. An honest review of your high school marks, level of effort and dedication is a strong indicator to help you decide which school is best for you. Look for a school where you will be both challenged and successful.


The best occupational therapist school should have a wide range of equipment available for student use. This includes materials designed to utilize one side of the body, materials for children with developmental delays, and strong equipment designed for men. Check the average class size to ensure you will have ample opportunity to use this equipment. The best way to teach someone how to use equipment is to have tried it yourself.

In order to qualify for admission to occupational therapist school, you must have high school courses in biology, English, and at least one other science course. The best schools are usually located in a large city, and may have an internship arrangement with the local rehabilitation center or long-term care facility. Students work under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist.

If you are looking at the best occupational therapist school in the country or state, take note that the admissions standard is higher to reflect the increased demand. These schools often require students to have a combination of high marks and letters of recommendation from former teachers.

Most occupational therapist schools provide the biographies of their faculty or instructors on their website. The information listed typically includes the academic credentials, work experience, special training, and any awards they have received. Take a close look at the variety of work experiences and research the instructors have completed. This provides insight into the direction of occupational therapy as a profession, and may provide some guidance in your career direction and focus.



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