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Minnesota Occupational Therapy Schools

There are not a great number of schools in Minnesota that offer programs in occupational therapy. This is unfortunate because of the growing interest in the field. This interest is in large part fueled by the growing number of jobs available in the health care profession in general and specifically for therapist. However, not all is lost for residents of the Land of 10,000 Lakes. While there are more options for individuals looking to earn an associate degree and become an occupational therapy assistant, The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, in Minneapolis and College of Saint Scholastica, in Duluth have accredited programs to prepare students to work as occupational therapy professionals.

Let's begin by taking a look at the programs at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. The school's Center for Allied Health Programs offers students the opportunity to earn a master's degree in occupational therapy, which will be required in most states for a practicing occupational therapist. The Master of Occupational Therapy program is a 77-credit program that combines academic work and practical experience and scholarly projects. Subjects studied include anatomy, kinesiology, orthotics and prosthetics, foundations of occupational science, professional engagement and neuroscience. The program also examines the role of occupational therapy and its affects on families, individuals and communities. Learning about the potential for their work to change lives is an important part of the students' education.

One of the goals of the program is for graduates to be able to comfortably work with patients who have a variety of difficulties, including emotional, cognitive and physical disabilities. Graduates are taught to assess patients' conditions and prepare a therapy program to address the problems and lead patients to a point where they can experience greater if not total independence. At the end of the program, individuals can take the certification examination, which must be passed if the graduate is to practice as an occupational therapist.

The College of Saint Scholastic's School of Health Sciences offers a number of undergraduate and graduate programs in occupational therapy. Earning The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree from the school will take approximately five years. Three of those years will be used to complete undergraduate work and the other two years will be dedicated to training as a professional occupational therapist. Lifespan development psychology, medical terminology, vertebrate anatomy, research methods, path physiology and abnormal psychology are all prerequisites for the master's program. After the fourth year of the program is completed, students receive a bachelor's degree in health sciences.

The master's program includes six months of full-time clinical work to be completed at the end of the program. This six month work period must be completed before students receive a master's degree and are deemed eligible to take the licensing examination. For residents who want to stay in state and enjoy Minnesota's many attractions, such as the St. Paul Winter Carnival, Tyrone Guthrie Theatre, Institute of Arts, Walker Art Center, Minnehaha Park, Voyageurs Park, North Shore Drive and Zoological Gardens, these schools offer the necessary programs to allow them to remain close to home and become occupational therapists at the same time.