Best Occupational Therapy Programs in Pennsylvania

Are you interested in pursuing a career in occupational therapy? These Occupational Therapy Programs in Pennsylvania are the perfect fit for you.


Occupational therapists assist others in resuming optimal participation in life’s occupations after being disrupted by illness, injury, or disability.

These therapists adapt to changing environments, collaborate with our global community, serve as leaders in society, and contribute to the profession’s knowledge base.


Related: 4 Best Occupational Therapy Programs in Kentucky

Occupational therapy programs will immerse you in the evaluation, intervention, and overall therapy process, preparing you for a rewarding career in occupational therapy.

Occupational Therapy Programs in Pennsylvania

Here are a few schools in Pennsylvania that offer occupational therapy.

  • 1. Messiah University

The Master of Occupational Therapy program at Messiah University prepares you to be a competent, in-demand occupational therapist.


In Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, it is an accredited full-time, 80-credit residential program with a cutting-edge educational facility designed specifically for occupational therapy students.

Messiah University’s MOT program is designed to prepare you to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) licensing exam and to work as an occupational therapist in a variety of professional settings.

Address: One University Avenue, Suite 4508 Mechanicsburg PA 17055

Contact: 717-796-1800

  • 2. Alvernia University

The Occupational Therapy program at Alvernia University is committed to promoting the OT profession’s philosophy, which states that “Occupations are activities that add meaning to the daily lives of individuals, families, communities, and populations, allowing them to participate in society” (AOTA, 2017).

Their program provides excellent preparation for roles in both traditional and emerging areas of need.

The program’s unique evidence-based, occupation-focused, and client-centered approach combines difficult coursework, diverse clinical placements, and the opportunity to collaborate with faculty who are leaders in their fields.

Based on a student’s previous coursework, Alvernia offers two Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy degree tracks:

The five-year Bachelor of Science in Health Science and Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program is designed to prepare graduates for entry into professional-level occupational therapy practice.

Check also: Best Occupational Therapy Programs in Colorado

The entry-level Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree program is designed for students who have a baccalaureate degree in another field and want to become occupational therapists.

Address: 400 St Bernardine St, Reading, PA 19607, United States

Contact: +1 610-796-8200

  • 3. Carlow University

They have integrated interprofessional experiences into course-based learning activities and community-based experiences throughout the OTD curriculum.

Daily interprofessional interactions are created by shared spaces and faculty, while critical thinking and ethics courses provide interprofessional discussion and reflection.

You will participate in fieldwork experiences (Levels I and II) that will allow you to bridge your knowledge from the classroom to the workplace using an occupational justice-informed approach. Completing a doctoral capstone project will place you in a position to identify areas of need in practice and address under-resourced individuals, groups, and populations.

Level I fieldwork (3 required): discover, develop, and enhance your professional identity while applying classroom knowledge to experiences on campus and in the Pittsburgh, Pa community.

Level II fieldwork (2, 12-week required, doctoral capstone experience required):  use clinical and technological skills in a variety of supervised practice settings (interprofessional and evidence-based), with an emphasis on environmental and community concepts (education & advocacy)

Doctoral Capstone Experience (14-week course): address a link between OT, occupational justice, and health and wellbeing in order to promote client occupational engagement (individuals, groups, or populations).

Address: 3333 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, United States

Contact: +1 412-578-6000

  • 4. Chatham University

Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was founded as a women’s college; it began accepting men for undergraduate programs in 2015.

It has approximately 2,110 students enrolled, including 1,002 undergraduates and 1,108 graduate students. is pleased to offer an entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (ELOTD) program for students with a bachelor’s degree who wish to pursue this credential.

Check also: Best Occupational Therapy Programs in New York

At Chatham, you can complete your OTD in 32 months two terms longer than the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT).

The OTD allows you to gain more real-world experience by completing a doctoral project in your field of interest.

Through this project, you will broaden your career options to include leadership, advocacy, research, program development, and advanced clinical practice

Address: Woodland Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15232, United States

Contact: +1 412-365-1100

  • 5. Cedar Crest College

The new Occupational Therapy Doctorate program trains ethical occupational therapy leaders committed to clinical excellence, scientifically informed practice, advocating for occupational justice and positive social change, and serving the health and occupational needs of diverse populations.

Occupational Therapy Doctorate program at Cedar Crest College prepares students to apply fundamental skills such as analysis, adaptability, critical thinking, communication, and creativity.

Students gain a broader perspective on concepts such as occupational justice, healthcare management, advocacy, leadership, and preventative health through the combination of classroom work, research, and fieldwork experiences.

This full-time, on-campus, entry-level doctorate program takes 33 months to complete. The courses are guided by four main principles and include lectures, experiential learning, research, and hands-on field experience.

Full-time students must complete 108 credits, which include 83 academic credits and 16 fieldwork credits.

Address: 100 College Dr, Allentown, PA 18104, United States

Contact: +1 610-437-4471

  • 6. Duquesne University

Duquesne University’s Department of Occupational Therapy has been preparing practice scholars for 27 years.

The occupational therapy faculty are outstanding educators and researchers. Their teaching philosophy as a whole emphasizes active and transformative learning experiences.

Community-engaged learning, as well as a diverse range of excellent clinical fieldwork and doctoral experiential placements, are standard teaching practices in their program, and students understand that they will be expected to immediately translate classroom learning into practice competencies.

Their programs produce graduates with generalist competencies as well as in-depth knowledge and skills to lead in practice and professional settings.

Address: 600 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA15282, United States.

Contact: +1 412-396-6000

  • 7. Elizabethtown College

Elizabethtown College offers a BS/MS degree program as well as a BS/OTD degree program. Five years of academic coursework and six months of clinical fieldwork are required for the BS/MS degree, which leads to an entry-level master’s degree.

Six years of academic studies, six months of clinical fieldwork, and a 14-week doctoral capstone experience are required for the BS/OTD program, which leads to an entry-level clinical doctorate degree.

Students who enter the program after 2018 will receive a Bachelor of Science in Health Science in addition to the MS or OTD degree.

Address: 1 Alpha Dr, Elizabethtown, PA 17022, United States

Contact: +1 717-361-1000

  • 8. Gannon University

For master’s level entry into the profession, Gannon University’s entry-level Occupational Therapy Program offers the following options:

A five-year combined bachelor’s/degree master’s with acceptance and entry in traditional freshman, sophomore, and junior years a three-year post-baccalaureate sequence including six months of full-time fieldwork for students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree a three or four-year program of study that allows OT assistants to become Registered Occupational Therapists (OTRs)

Address: 109 University Square, Erie, PA 16541, United States

Contact: +1 814-871-7000

  • 9. Gwynedd Mercy University

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program is housed in the Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy Program within the Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing and Health Professions and lasts two and a quarter years.

Occupational therapy graduates will be prepared to practice as generalists while understanding the importance of people-first language and conducting occupation-based, evidence-based, and client-centered therapeutic practices in order to promote the health and well-being of society.

Address: 1325 Sumneytown Pike, Gwynedd Valley, PA 19437, United States

Contact: +1 215-646-7300

  • 10. King’s College

King’s College is excited to announce its first upcoming doctoral program, which will grant students a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD) with a Leadership Specialization upon completion.

Six years of academic studies are required for the 3+3 BS/OTD program, which includes six months of clinical fieldwork and a 14-week doctoral capstone experience.

After earning a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science with a Minor in Neuroscience from King’s College, this accelerated degree program leads to an entry-level Clinical Doctorate.

Post-baccalaureate admission to the OTD program (OTD only) requires three years of academic studies, including six months of clinical fieldwork and a 14-week doctoral capstone leading to a Clinical Doctorate with a Leadership Specialization.

Address: 133 North River Street, Wilkes-Barre PA 18711, United States

Contact: 570-208-8408

  • 11.  Salus University

Salus University’s OT program emphasizes interdisciplinary perspectives, critical thinking, the value of occupation, and professional development. The OT school offers a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree (MSOT)

The Department of Occupational Therapy also offers two post-professional programs for registered occupational therapists. The first is an OTD degree, and the second is a Specialty Track Certificate, which provides advanced content and clinical expertise in specific specialty areas.

Salus University has a collaboration agreement with Drexel University and Arcadia University. Salus University will accept four students from each university and provide occupational therapy education in a 4+2 format (four years of bachelor’s and two years of master’s).

Address: 8360 Old York Road Elkins Park, PA 19027, United States

Contact: +1 215-780-1400

Conclusion Occupational Therapy Programs in Pennsylvania

Occupational therapy (OT) teaches you how to adapt to your life and your environment. Occupational therapy students pursue a program that combines humanities, behavioral and physical sciences, and professional studies.

The primary goal is to prepare the student to work as a generalist practitioner in hospitals, community agencies, schools, rehabilitation centers, long-term care facilities, and other human service agencies.

With this foundation, a beginning therapist can advance to specialized areas of clinical practice, research, administration, and academia.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What happens once you’ve passed the Nbcot?

Following the completion of the exam, NBCOT will score it in accordance with the scoring calendar. Your score will be available in your MyNBCOT account once it has been released.

If you pass the exam, you will receive the following: A congratulatory letter with your overall score.

  1. Is Penn State’s occupational therapy program good?

Penn State’s Occupational Therapy program is fully accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Accreditation Council of Occupational Therapy Education.

Following graduation, students take the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy certification examination.

  1. How many OT schools are there in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania State University has 16 ACOTE-accredited Occupational Therapy Schools that offer an entry-level master’s or doctoral degree.


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