Accredited Occupational Therapy Programs in Oregon

Admission to an accredited occupational therapy graduate program is one of the first and most important considerations in pursuing a career in occupational therapy.

Because there are a number of occupational therapy school prerequisites that must be completed or are in progress before you begin applying, planning for admission into one of these programs should begin as soon as possible.

A Master’s in Occupational Therapy (MOT) or a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy is required to begin working as an occupational therapist (OTD).

Keep in mind that if you are applying to or have completed a Master’s-level OT program, you will be grandfathered into practice even if the broad graduate program changes towards entry-level Doctorates in 2027.

While not all occupational therapy graduate programs have the same requirements, there are many general occupational therapy school prerequisites that apply to the majority of them.

Read also: 12 Best Occupational therapy programs in Michigan

Check the specific prerequisites for each program you’re interested in because they will vary by school. If you plan on applying to multiple OT programs, it is also recommended creating your own spreadsheet to keep track of each program’s requirements.


Steps to becoming an Occupational Therapist

See below for the steps;

1. Get your Bachelor’s Degree

Unless you’re applying to an occupational therapy school that offers a combined Bachelor’s/degree Master’s (which is rare), you’ll need to first obtain your Bachelor’s degree. Master’s and Doctorate programs in occupational therapy are available.

Many occupational therapy schools are not as picky about what Bachelor’s degree you have when applying. We had students in my program with degrees ranging from psychology to journalism.

2. Take the Required Prerequisites

Occupational therapy schools frequently have different requirements, so check each school’s website to see what they require. Having said that, the majority of occupational therapy school prerequisites are the same. The following are the most common OT school prerequisites:

  1. Biology
  2. Anatomy and Physiology (I and II)
  3. Abnormal Psychology
  4. Statistics
  5. Physics
  6. Medical Terminology
  7. Human Development/Developmental Psychology
  8. Sociology

Also, keep in mind that occupational therapy programs will accept prerequisites from either a four-year university or an accredited two-year college.

So, if you still need to take these courses (or retake them for a better grade) but are on a tight budget, a community college will suffice.

Read also: 4 Best Occupational Therapy Programs in Kentucky

Because OT school prerequisites are an important part of the application process, it is recommended that you have a high GPA in these core courses, with at least a 3.0 or B in each. However, if possible, strive for A’s in these prerequisite courses.

3. Take (and Ace!) the GRE

You do not want average results here. While the GRE may not appear to be particularly relevant to the field of occupational therapy, your test scores do play a role in increasing your chances of acceptance if your preferred schools require the GRE. If you’ve already taken it and received poor results, I recommend retaking it after thoroughly studying for it.

4. Get Plenty of OT Observation Hours

While many OT schools may state that they only require 30-40 hours of occupational therapy observation hours, most applicants receive far more than that.

It’s not uncommon for applicants to tell me they’re working more than 100 hours per week in multiple settings, so in order to stay competitive, it is  advised applicants to try to work more than 100 hours per week if possible.

Furthermore, completing these hours in more than one occupational therapy setting will improve your application.

This demonstrates that you’ve had exposure to various types of occupational therapy, making you a more well-rounded applicant.

It’s also beneficial to have a job or volunteer experience in occupational therapy, whether with adults or children.

5. Get Letters of Recommendation

Every school requires letters of recommendation, which are typically written by at least one occupational therapist.

The other letters should come from a professor and a supervisor in order to provide the school with a balanced picture of you as a student and an employee.

When looking for people to write your letters, look for professors or supervisors who know you well and can paint you in a positive light. You can definitely give them specifics on what makes you a great OT, as well as accomplishments you’re proud of.

6. Craft a Great Personal Statement

Your personal statement is your chance to shine and tell occupational therapy schools all about yourself and why you want to be an OT.

Take your time writing it and demonstrate to the admissions committee what sets you apart from the other applicants.

Your personal statement is especially important for schools that do not conduct interviews, so consider it your interview in some ways.

7. Apply to Occupational Therapy Programs of Interest

After researching the requirements of your preferred occupational therapy school, you can narrow down your options based on your personal needs.

Read also: 3 Best Occupational Therapy Schools in Texas

You can use AOTA’s comprehensive list of OT programs to help you sort through all of the programs when applying. When applying to OT school, most schools use OTCAS, or the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service, a comprehensive online application system.

Occupational Therapy Programs in Oregon

There is only one school offering occupational therapy Programs in Oregon

  • 1. Pacific University

Pacific University, founded in 1849, is a diverse learning community that offers a unique blend of nationally recognized undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in the arts and sciences, education, business, optometry, and the health professions. Pacific, which has four campuses in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, combines the close, nurturing learning environment of a small liberal arts college with the rigorous scholarship of a top university.

Students at Pacific form close personal bonds with their peers, mentors, faculty members, and academic and career counselors. One in every four of their students, from freshmen to future doctors, is the first in their family to attend college.

Their students achieve greater socioeconomic growth as a result of their education than their peers at other Pacific Northwest colleges. Pacific is also the state’s only Asian Pacific Islander Serving Institution.

They are proud to be a place where different points of view are valued. A place where you can thrive — where you will be challenged by exceptional academics and a rich liberal arts tradition, where you will be supported by your community, and where you will be surrounded by the beauty of the great Pacific Northwest.

Occupational therapists assist people in doing what they want to do, increasing their sense of satisfaction and contributing to their overall well-being.

This three-year doctoral program consists of two years on our Hillsboro, Oregon, campus, followed by a third year of distance learning and fieldwork.

Undergraduates interested in a career as an occupational therapist at Pacific University may choose to complete a pre-OT track alongside their bachelor’s degree in preparation for a graduate program, such as Pacific’s doctor of occupational therapy.

Contact: +1 503-352-6151

Address: 2043 College Way, Forest Grove, OR 97116, United States

Conclusion on the Occupational Therapy Programs in Oregon

Many occupational therapy schools require a minimum number of direct observation hours in occupational therapy clinical settings in addition to a minimum grade point average, a minimum GRE score, and prerequisite coursework.

The minimum number of shadowing hours is frequently around 40. Before you begin logging programs, make sure to research the shadowing requirements for the specific programs you’re interested in.

Regardless, it’s always recommended to get 100 hours (or more) of experience in a variety of settings to strengthen your application.

Volunteering or shadowing an occupational therapist at their workplace, which can be a clinic, hospital, skilled nursing facility, or school, to name a few options, can often earn credit for direct observation hours. It makes no difference where you log your hours as long as they are documented by a practicing occupational therapist.

It is also a good idea to observe in multiple clinics and with multiple therapists to get a comprehensive view and diverse perspectives on the field.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below, you will find the answers to some of the most asked questions about the Occupational Therapy Programs in Oregon;

  1. How long does it take to get an occupational therapy license in Oregon?

between one and two weeks

In Oregon, receiving your occupational therapy license usually takes between 1 and 2 weeks. This is quick in comparison to other occupational therapy licenses in the United States.

  1. What is the number of occupational therapists in Oregon?

Oregon’s occupational therapy community has grown from a few therapists scattered throughout the state to over 2,600 licensed OT and OTA practitioners representing a wide range of field specialties.

  1. Is there an occupational therapy program at the University of Oregon?

It takes a year to apply to OT school. Students who apply in their final year at UO will take a year off before beginning OT school. During the school year, students can work, take classes, travel, and so on.

  1. Who makes more money: occupational therapists or physical therapists?

Is it true that occupational therapists earn more than physical therapists? Physical therapists make more money than occupational therapists on average.

Physical therapists earned $91,010 per year as of May 2020, according to the BLS, while occupational therapists earned $86,280.


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