So you have decided to apply to occupational therapy programs! One of the hardest parts of the process is narrowing down the choices for graduate school. There are so many wonderful programs. Here are some guidelines to follow to choose which occupational programs will good for you to apply to and then eventually choose once you’re accepted.
- MSOT or OTD?: Knowing which degree you want to go for is a great starting place. Both degrees help you become an entry-level occupational therapist. There are differences in courses and the length of the program based on the degree. (Part 2 will discuss MSOT vs OTD in more detail!)
- Location: Are you able or willing to move cross country? Do you want to live at home during school? Can you commute? These are all good questions to ask yourself. Remember relocating will add to your costs!
- Course Requirements: OT program requirements vary at every school! Most OT programs are looking for courses like anatomy/physiology, statistics, and psychology. However, some programs require physics, medical terminology, biology, upper level psychology courses, and sociology. Making sure you’re fulfilling all course requirements is necessary for admission!
- Program Details: Read about the program! Look at the mission statements, faculty, course descriptions, and curriculum. Yes at all programs you’ll be receiving similar information but it will not be delivered in the same way. Reading and understanding each programs purpose and looking at the faculty that you could potentially be working with is so important!
- Cost: Look at programs that you can reasonably afford. The costs of application fees is important to add in as well! Yes all programs are expensive but making sure the schools you apply to can fit into your budget will save yourself some disappointment later.
- Application Deadlines: Some other small things that you can look into is whether a program has early and regular deadline dates, rolling admissions, and interviews. As someone who enjoys interview experiences, programs with an interview were very important to me!
Rolling admissions mean you potentially can find out your admissions results based on when you apply. For example, you apply in early September, the admissions committee meets September 20, you may have a result or interview offer by October 1st.) I liked having an option to get early results! However this caused me to place a deposit at a school to hold my spot and then change my mind later on.
There are many different reasons to apply to an occupational therapy program. These were my reasons that I chose my schools I applied to. If you’re a current OT student, why did you apply to the schools you did?
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for part 2!