Occupational Therapy Bachelor Degree Online with School Info

Although there are no online bachelor's degree programs in occupational therapy, related distance learning options include associate's degree programs in occupational therapy assisting and master's degree programs in occupational therapy. Students who are already licensed occupational therapy assistants also have the option to earn bachelor's and master's degrees in occupational therapy online in a single transitional program.

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Online Programs in Occupational Therapy

There are no online bachelor's degree programs in occupational therapy available for students without any previous experience in the field; however, students who already have their occupational therapy assistant credentials can pursue more advanced study online through a transitional program. Other online programs are available in occupational therapy assisting.

Transitional Programs

Several schools offer transitional distance learning programs that allow current occupational therapy assistants to earn both their bachelor's and master's degrees in occupational therapy. Most of these programs do not accept students who are only seeking a bachelor's degree.

A transitional program often combines online coursework during the weekdays and evenings with weekend courses on campus. The average transitional online program takes about 3.5 years to complete and includes coursework in:

  • Rehabilitative science
  • Occupational therapy foundations
  • Practice management

Other Distance Options

In addition to the transitional degree program, there are other ways that students can study occupational therapy online, including associate's degree programs in occupational therapy assisting and master's degree programs in occupational therapy.

Associate's Programs

Occupational therapy assistants work closely with occupational therapists to provide rehabilitative services, but the associate's degree is the only educational requirement for state licensure in occupational therapy assisting. Online associate's degree programs in occupational therapy assisting combine online lecture courses with on-campus labs and some on-campus weekend courses. Students may also be required to complete fieldwork or clinical assignments to gain hands-on experience in the field before graduation. Coursework is usually the same for online and on-campus students and typically includes topics in patient care, applied kinesiology and physical functions.

Master's Programs

Several schools offer online master's degree programs in occupational therapy for individuals who already have a bachelor's degree in the field and have passed the initial certification exam by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Some colleges require students to blend on-campus courses with distance learning courses, while others allow students to complete the full degree program online.

Because these post-professional online programs build on students' existing academic and clinical experience, most programs can be completed in under two years of continuous study. Coursework in online programs is similar to coursework in on-campus post-professional programs and may include healthcare management, evidence-based practices and management techniques.

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