The online Master's degree program is designed for experienced occupational therapists who want to be part of a dynamic learning group, enhance their professional skills, and who need a flexible learning schedule. The program is part-time so that you may continue to work. It is anticipated that your work setting will provide a rich background for discussions and projects.
The curriculum is designed to help you become a leader in your practice setting, with topics including program development, management, advocacy, teaching, leadership and social justice. Classes are small and diverse, and students represent a variety of practice areas, work settings and geographic locations. Learning in the program is an active process requiring motivated students, and involves old and new knowledge and experiences. This constructivist approach helps students examine meaning, complexity, context, multiple perspectives and problem solving.
- Excellent Program
The occupational therapy department at San José State University has established a national and international reputation for the excellence of its curriculum and faculty.
US News and World Report have consistently rated the graduate program as one of the top Occupational Therapy programs. The program is also accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
- Small Class Sizes
Classes are kept small and diverse to provide personalized mentoring.
Your Career Opportunities
The purpose of a post-professional degree in occupational therapy is to enrich and enhance therapists' understanding of the profession and develop advanced practice, management, leadership, and teaching skills,. This is a different focus than the knowledge and skills learned by entry-level practitioners. Our students consistently express their revitalized appreciation for their chosen field and marvel at how much they still had to learn!
All newly qualified occupational therapists in the United States are required to have a Master's degree for entry level practice. Those with previously obtained baccalaureate degrees in occupational therapy are allowed to continue practicing but may be at a disadvantage when applying for new positions and promotions. More important, however, is that a post-professional Master's degree provides the therapist with the state of the art knowledge necessary to address the complex professional and clinical issues we face today. A Master's degree may or may not mean a pay raise or job promotion, however data collected from our graduating classes indicate that our graduates do benefit, financially and professionally, through promotions, obtaining grants, and creating new programs and positions.
Many graduates of the online Master's program have presented their Master's projects at state, national, and international conferences. Several graduates have published their Master's research in professional journals.
- Crennan, M. & MacRae, A. (2010). Occupational Therapy discharge assessment of elderly patients from acute care hospitals. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics, 28 (1).
- Gerlach, A. (2008). "Circle of caring": A First Nations worldview of child rearing. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 75 (1), 18-25.
- Liu, J. & Richardson, P. (2012) Successful aging in older adults with disability. OTJR: Occupation, Participation, and Health. Online advanced release. DOI:10.3928/15394492-20120203-02
You can find more success stories at the OT website.
Applying to the Program
Formal admission is required for the program. You can apply for admission in the fall semester.
- A four year Bachelors degree in occupational therapy
- Two years of experience working as an OTR (US) or as a qualified occupational therapist (outside of US)
- Access to a computer with Internet connection
- GPA of 2.8 or better in undergraduate work
- You must be able to attend the on-site retreat in San Jose, CA for orientation
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for admission.
For more information, please visit the OT website.