For Future Occupational Therapists, Combination Programs Offer a Convenient Way Forward
August 31, 2020
Occupational therapists are some of the most sought-after professionals in the country.
But if you want to enter this in-demand profession, you’ll need to undergo an extensive amount of training. At a minimum, an occupational therapist must earn a master’s degree from an accredited program and pass a national certification exam.
Today, a growing number of colleges and universities offer combined bachelor’s/master’s degree in occupational therapy programs. These programs are an attractive option for many students because they allow for immersive study directly out of high school and can typically be completed in less time than stand-alone programs.
But is a combination program the right choice for you? To help you make an informed decision, let’s take a closer look at what it takes to become an occupational therapist. The overall process can be broken down into three basic steps:
1. Earning a relevant bachelor’s degree 2. Completing a Master of Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program 3. Passing the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) licensure exam
Step One: Get a Bachelor’s Degree
While you don’t necessarily have to have a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy to be admitted to an MOT program, it’s a good idea to choose an area of study that will support your post-grad pursuits. Selecting an undergraduate major that aligns closely with the curriculum you’ll be expected to navigate as a graduate student is a smart decision that can help set you up for success down the road.
Step Two: Complete an MSOT Program
After you’ve been awarded a bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to pursue a master’s degree in occupational therapy from a program that has been approved by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). These programs take two to three years to complete and include extensive fieldwork and hands-on clinical experiences, in addition to classroom learning.
Step Three: Pass Your NBCOT Exam
With a master’s degree in occupational therapy under your belt, the last challenge you’ll face is obtaining a passing score on the NBCOT licensure exam. Once you’re nationally certified, you’ll be all set to apply for a license in the state(s) where you plan to practice.
Why Choose a Dual Degree Program?
Becoming a certified occupational therapist can be a complex and time-consuming process—but it doesn’t have to be. At Baker College, we’ve taken inefficiencies out of the equation with our convenient, two-in-one occupational therapy degree pathway.
Students admitted to our combination BS/MSOT program earn a baccalaureate degree in pre-occupational therapy before completing an additional two years of graduate school. This blended approach allows undergraduate students to be introduced early to the more advanced concepts they’ll encounter later on in the curriculum.
Additionally, our AOTA-accredited occupational therapy program is designed to be completed in just six years, allowing graduates to enter the workforce sooner than many traditional programs would permit. And with direct admission for qualified students, you can be sure your academic journey will be hassle-free and affordable, from start to finish.