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Pediatric Occupational Therapy Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

A pediatric occupational therapist helps children to recover from injuries so that they may perform daily, routine tasks. Prospective students interested in the field of pediatric occupational therapy must hold a master's degree or higher. Both master's and doctoral degree programs require that students complete a clinical component.

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How to Choose a Pediatric Occupational Therapy School or College

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the minimum educational requirement for becoming an occupational therapist is a master's degree. Prospective students who wish to enter into the field of pediatric occupational therapy have two degree options.

A master's degree program in occupational therapy can be completed in two years, and it requires students to gain fieldwork experience. In contrast, a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program is typically only open to students with an undergraduate or master's degree in occupational therapy. However, like a master's degree program, fieldwork experience is required to meet the requirements of the degree.

Some of the core pediatric occupational therapy courses that are offered in both a master's and a doctoral degree program include functional movement, neuroanatomy, introduction to the occupational therapy process, assistive technology and client factors and occupational performance. Some master's degree programs may include an optional thesis that requires students to conduct research and prepare a scholarly journal article.

Prospective students must ensure that their program of choice is properly accredited and that students who graduate are eligible for certification. Accreditation is important because only graduates of an accredited pediatric occupational therapy degree program can complete the licensure process. Furthermore, licensure is required before a graduate can begin work as a pediatric occupational therapist. In contrast, certification for pediatric occupational therapists is optional.

The amount and diversity of fieldwork experiences in a degree program is an important consideration before choosing a pediatric occupational therapy school. Some programs also include internships with local health care providers to augment the fieldwork component. Pediatric occupational therapy schools that offer students a wide variety of fieldwork opportunities are better equipped to graduate expert practitioners.

Largest Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

College/University Student Population Institution Type
Ohio State University 53,715 4-year, Public
University of Florida 51,474 4-year, Public
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities 51,140 4-year, Public
New York University 42,189 4-year, Private not-for-profit
University of Wisconsin - Madison 41,620 4-year, Public
University of Washington 39,675 4-year, Public
Florida International University 38,759 4-year, Public
Temple University 35,490 4-year, Public
University of Southern California 33,747 4-year, Private not-for-profit
San Jose State University 32,746 4-year, Public
Virginia Commonwealth University 32,044 4-year, Public
Boston University 31,766 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Wayne State University 31,024 4-year, Public
The University of Tennessee 30,410 4-year, Public
Indiana University - Purdue University 30,300 4-year, Public
University of Missouri - Columbia 30,130 4-year, Public
University of Kansas 29,365 4-year, Public
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee 29,215 4-year, Public
Colorado State University 28,882 4-year, Public
West Virginia University 28,840 4-year, Public
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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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