Colleges with physical therapy majors

OCCUPATIONAL/PHYSICAL THERAPY

WHAT IS OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY/PHYSICAL THERAPY?

Occupational therapy and physical therapy are two different fields that are closely related. Occupational therapists use activities related to work, play, and personal care to help prevent disability, increase independence, and spark development thus enhancing people's lives. Physical therapists, on the other hand, use methods like exercise, massage, and special devices to restore people, who have been ill or injured, to normal functioning.

WHAT KIND OF COURSES DO YOU HAVE TO TAKE?

Most occupational therapy and physical therapy programs are graduate only (although some colleges and universities continue to offer undergraduate programs in occupational therapy). Look for programs called pre-occupational therapy, occupational therapy, or pre-physical therapy.

As part of your course of study, you will complete requirements for your general education curriculum, a blend of arts, humanities, social sciences, science, mathematics, and skills courses, designed to give you a broad understanding of the world you inhabit. You'll then begin the specific classes in your chosen major. Because of the hands-on nature of both of these programs, you will spend a lot of time in clinical settings, completing internships, and gaining real world experience. Here are some sample titles of occupational

therapy and pre-physical therapy courses:

  • Anatomy
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Kinesiology
  • Management of Occupational Therapy Services
  • Mathematics
  • Mental Health
  • Occupational Performance
  • Physics
  • Research Methodology

WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH A DEGREE IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY/PHYSICAL THERAPY?

Again, because many programs in these areas are offered at the graduate level, you may spend the greater part of your undergraduate years keeping your grades up and taking prerequisites in order to earn admission to the occupational therapy or physical therapy program of your choice. The good news is: Although you may need to earn a master's degree, there are tremendous opportunities for individuals in the allied health professions.

Occupational therapists and physical therapists can work in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, community clinics, camps for handicapped children, or as independent consultants. People with degrees in these areas become occupational therapists and physical therapists, others might start their own businesses, teach, develop assistive devices, or conduct research.

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