Dual Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy
An integrated B.A. to M.A. degree in occupational therapy allows students to take master's level classes while finishing their bachelor's degree, thus students earn their occupational therapy license in a cost and time efficient manner.
Degree Information for a Dual Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy
This program, sometimes called a 3+2 program (because you spend 3 years in a bachelor's program then 2 years in a master's of occupational therapy) takes 5 years to complete, and to apply students must be working toward a bachelor's degree in a related field, like sociology, exercise science, health science, psychology, or biology. Students finish the prerequisite and core classes for occupational therapy during the final years of their bachelor's degree program and thus finish the master's degree a year early.
Anatomy & Physiology
Any bachelor's degree student seeking a career in the medical profession must begin with this course on human anatomy and physiology. Students learn about the different organ systems, their functions, structure, and relationships. In a lab-based class, students engage in discussions, participate in lab activities and projects, and read academic material like journals and textbooks.
Students who seek to move into upper-level classes in occupational therapy must begin with understanding the basics of human growth and development. This class provides an overview of how human beings grow physically and psychologically over the course of their lifetime, emphasizing areas most-pertinent to occupational therapists. Students study major developmental milestones and potential health problems at each age level.
Foundations of Kinesiology
Kinesiology is the study of human movement. An introductory course provides an overview of how the nervous, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and respiratory systems respond to and affect physical exercise and movement. There also may be modules on the development of the field of kinesiology, the psychology of movement and behavior, and various applications of kinesiology in the real-world.
Introduction to Neuroscience (with lab)
A basic understanding of the structure and function of the brain is fundamental for pre-occupational therapy students. This survey course provides undergraduate students with a base-level understanding of the human brain that they will build upon as they proceed to upper-level occupational therapy classes. The goal of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the function of the nervous system so that they can go on to make informed clinical decisions about neurological disorders.
Foundations of Occupational Therapy
This class is often the first one students take in an occupational therapy master's degree program. It provides a basic introduction to the profession of occupational therapy. Students study the history of the profession, the clinical occupational therapy process, and ethics connected to practicing rehabilitation. Students in an integrated BA to MA program can take this class during their bachelor's degree studies, which allows them to identify the principles of occupational therapy at work in their other undergraduate coursework.
Occupational Therapy Theory
This class focuses on the theoretical foundations for occupational therapists, like understanding how our daily actions (occupations) becomes a part of who we are, how we identify ourselves and how we find purpose in life. Students learn the importance of occupation for a human being's physical and mental health. They also read, compare and debate various models and theories related to occupational therapy practice.
Quantitative Research for Evidence-Based Practice
Occupational therapy is a research-based clinical practice. Students who want to become licensed occupational therapists must be fluent in conducting and understanding scientific research. This class introduces students to up-to-date scholarly research. Students learn advanced statistics and quantitative analysis methods necessary to conduct, critique and engage with scholarly research.
Assistive technology devices are important tools that occupational therapists use to assist their patients of all ages. However, technology is only as powerful as the understanding of those who use it. In this class, students practice finding creative solutions to problems using various assistive devices. The class may also include modules on funding, the search for devices and other issues related to the use of assistive technology.
Before graduating each student must spend a few hundred hours applying their academic knowledge in a real-world clinical setting. Students can choose to work in a university's in-house clinic or find a placement at a nearby nursing home, hospital, or private practice. Most programs include a 12-15 week full-time placement, wherein students culminate their study of occupational therapy by practicing under a licensed professional. Students summarize their experience by creating a portfolio that documents their experience in clinical practice.
A dual bachelor's and master's degree in occupational therapy integrates prerequisite master's degree courses into undergraduate coursework, allows students to save time and money, and attain licensure to begin their career as a licensed occupational therapist.