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Occupational Therapy Degree: Undergraduate Options for OT

By Brendan Conway updated on Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Important Note: This article contains information about occupational therapy at the undergraduate level. If you're interested in occupational therapy at the graduate level, you'll find information in the graduate edition of our site: occupational therapy


Your occupational therapy degree goals

If you are interested in occupational therapy, great! It's a path that can take you to a long and rewarding career, well worthy of your time and your study. But occupational therapy isn't a career you can enter into without appropriate preparations and experience. A fully-trained occupational therapist will need a master's degree in the appropriate subjects, so be prepared to work hard and spend a long time studying if you want to enter the career through that track.

But if you are interested in pursuing occupational therapy, and you either don't want to go for your master's degree, or you're not yet ready to go for your master's degree, there are other options to be aware of and pursue. You can either prepare yourself well for eventually earning an occupational therapy master's degree through tailored undergraduate studies, or you can pursue a degree that would allow you to work as an occupational therapist assistant.

Tailoring baccalaureate studies for an occupational therapy degree

Undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing occupational therapy would do well to study certain subjects in their undergraduate studies.

Biology, anatomy, psychology, chemistry, and social sciences are all good majors for the aspiring occupational therapist. The information and skills garnered from such studies will almost certainly be of some help when you're later directly pursuing your master's level occupational therapy degree.

What's more, such studies help interested students get into graduate programs for occupational therapy. It's a win-win!

Occupational therapy assistant colleges

Occupational therapist assistants work under the supervision of full occupational therapists. Their duties are often a bit more limited than occupational therapists', but occupational therapist assistants do still work directly with patients, and often get to do the same things that fully-fledged occupational therapists do.

Occupational therapist assistants can assist occupational therapists in administering therapy or sharing important health education. Assistants will often help create plans for patients, and will teach those patients how best to follow the treatment plans.

Pursuing an occupational therapy degree from an occupational therapy assistant college is a good way to go after entry-level positions in the field of occupational therapy. That means you can go into occupational therapy and figure out if it's a subject you would be interested in pursuing more thoroughly. Furthermore, pursuing a degree such as an Associate in Occupational Therapy is a good career idea, as the field of occupational therapy is growing and career prospects in the field in general are quite promising.

See Schools that Offer Occupational Therapy Degrees
About the Author

Brendan Conway is the Web Content Editor for Peterson's Interactive and is well-versed in the world of higher education and admissions. He is a graduate of Hamilton College, and has been working in admissions advice, test-prep advice, career planning advice, and similar fields for the majority of his career since graduation. Brendan endeavors to provide the most relevant, useful, and interesting information via Peterson's Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ feeds. Brendan enjoys lexicological oddities and voraciously reading in his free time.

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