1 answer

Would it be better to obtain an undergraduate and graduate degree separately or together in a single program?

Asked

I am a high school student going into my senior year and can't decide which program route I should go into. Over the summer, I have discovered my passion for the occupational therapy field and the good that comes out of it. Knowing very well that I want to major in that study, I started looking into universities that offer an occupational therapy program. I soon found out that there aren't many colleges that offer an undergraduate program for occupational therapy, solely because it is a field that requires a graduate degree to be licensed. I have found a few colleges that offer a 5-year combined BS/MS program for occupational therapy, but that would mean I would have to sacrifice my opportunity to attend a top school. Should I result to being accepted into a better university, getting a bachelor's in a related major, and then later obtaining my master's of occupational therapy? Or should I stick with the 5-year program in a much lower rank school? What are the differences beside time length to be licensed?
#occupational-therapy #college-major #college-degree #bachelor's #masters-degree #masters #undergraduate #graduate-school #university #college

1 answer

Brendon’s Answer

Updated Prosser, Washington
First, you're very smart for researching this thoroughly into OT this early. Second, I wholeheartedly recommend you go for the accelerated 5 year program. Assuming tuition is the same you'll save significant amounts of money skipping a year. Program ranking for Occupational and Physical Therapy are frankly, arbitrary and are not based on quality of clinicians -- we hope to change that in the future, but you'll note that APTA, CAPTE, And the corresponding groups or Occupational Therapy are very reluctant to post program rankings. Lastly, you run the risk of completing an undergraduate degree and NOT being accepted to the OT programs of your choice. 5 years programs reduce that risk through earmarking places int heir program for alumni.
Updated
Hi Brendon. Thanks for answering my question. You made some great points. Do you know of any good schools that offer an accelerated program for OT?
Updated
Hey Karen I'm not aware of an exhaustive list however OTCAS has a list of all programs and designated which are "combination" with bachelor's degrees. (OTCAS is an application system but not EVERY school uses it) here's their link: https://portal.otcas.org/otcasHelpPages/participating-programs/index.htmlAota has a complete list of all schools but I don't believe it sorts combined/accelerated programs specifically. Note: there is plans to move OT to a doctorate level and not just a MS -- but if you graduate with an MS You'll be what is called "grandfathered" in. So no reason to worry. Here's their link: https://www.aota.org/Education-Careers/Find-School.aspxI hope that helps!