Occupational therapy master's program

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OTGUY in Los Angeles, California

77 months ago

Where u graduate doesn't matter as long as it is accredited and recognized by NBCOT. Employers don't really care where u graduated from as long as u pass ur licensure exam. TO make things simple for you...here it goes:

1. Go to the cheapest program possible (prestige of school really matters very little as long as it's recognized by the testing bodies)

2. Go to the school in the state where you'd like to eventually practice (this'll just make ur life easier upon graduation and u might get potential job offers during ur fieldwork rotations aka "mandatory clinical rotations")

3. Go to the school where you'll be the most happy with the environment (if u hate sunlight and traffic--stay away from SoCal schools...etc.,

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Josh in Seattle, Washington

77 months ago

I like your advice OTGuy and want to ask a follow up question to point #2:
"2. Go to the school in the state where you'd like to eventually practice (this'll just make ur life easier upon graduation and u might get potential job offers during ur fieldwork rotations aka "mandatory clinical rotations")"

I live in WA state and it will be cheaper to attend a state school in WA. However I eventually would like to work as an OT in a different state if and when I get accepted into a MOT program. So, would it be possible to do the post-coursework, advanced fieldwork in a different state than the school one is attending - that is, attend a school in WA and do fieldwork II in a different state?

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Sig in Chicago, Illinois

77 months ago

I had the same question. I will be attending an MOT program in the Fall, and my understanding is that as long as your school has a relationship with a facility in that state, and you can arrange your own living situation, then you can go almost anywhere in the US for fieldwork. I have not started my program yet so can anyone confirm this who has gone through a program?

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undergrad in Brooklyn, New York

77 months ago

Thanks for the advice but aside from that, I know that it will be harder for me to get into a graduate school with my current gpa. Is there anything that I can do to make my application look better.

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OTdude in Somerset, New Jersey

77 months ago

undergrad in Brooklyn, New York said: Thanks for the advice but aside from that, I know that it will be harder for me to get into a graduate school with my current gpa. Is there anything that I can do to make my application look better.

I would go to the OT dept of the school you are interested in and ask them for a peer evaluation of what you need to improve your application sheet. I have done this during undergrad and it worked for me. The OT dept chairperson told me EXACTly what I needed to better my chances. I followed her advice and got in the following year.
For you, since you have a Bachelor's already, consider retaking some required prereq's to show you wanted to better your GPA; write a kick-ass essay for the OT application, practice your interview skills; Highlight your work/volunteer experience; again, talk to the prospective OT schools you want to apply....making yourself more known will help them paint a picture of how determined you are....I can say it worked for me. When I was accepted, the OT dept secretary saw me in the cafeteria and asked, "Hey, congrats on getting in!" Mots of the dept remembered as that guy who worked harder at trying to get in, maybe kiss some butt too. ;-)

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OTGUY in Los Angeles, California

77 months ago

Josh, Sig, and Undergrad

First off, my undergrad GPA was awful. I ended-up going to USC...not to mention, but I was a Political Science major as an undergrad w/ no experience in the OT or allied health world. I did some volunteer work, but mostly I just wrote a rockin' essay that points out what a unique assett I would be. Please, please, please do not get hung-up on the 'tier' level of the school u graduate from. This is not law school. The world of healthcare works much differently. Unless you're looking for an alumni hook-up, going to a certain school is not going to make a difference. However, what will matter is your negotiation skills. Do not settle like a lot of our peers who will work for much less than they should. In most metropolitan areas if your are not getting at least 60 grand (personally this is even a low # if u ask me), you are doing a disservice to all the other OTs who are trying to raise our wages.

Josh and Sig...arranging fieldworks in different states/countries is not a problem. I did my first level-1 in Las Vegas (i'm from Southern California). They paid for my housing and my gambling...err, I mean provided a stipend. Many of my classmates had out of state/country fieldworks. Just get on top of things and work it out with your fieldwork coordinator. If there isn't already an arrangement with your school, one can be made. My only other advice...find a site that will pay you. Why work for free? Make fieldwork work for you.

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LollyH in Renton, Washington

76 months ago

(directed to OTGUY in Los Angeles)

I just got into USC program for Summer 08....I also got in somewhere else...do you have anything to say about USC program in general?
i am having such a hard time making my decision....thanks!!

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amroberts in Chino, California

76 months ago

OTGUY: You answered my question that I posted on another topic. I have been struggling with school choices because a lot of people tell me to go to a school with a prestigious reputation and others tell me just get the degree. My boss tells me I'll get a job as an OT going to any accredited school but going to a big name school will afford me better opportunities. I just don't know what to do because I was planning on applying to some smaller, less well known schools, and USC just to see if I can get in.

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Rachael in San Diego, California

75 months ago

Hi OT girl. My GPA is around there too, so I feel hopeful that you got in! I haven't taken the GRES but am aiming for the 1400s. I also have gotten straight As in my pre-reqs. What did you major as undergrad and how did you become involved in helping kids in Africa? That is something I definitely want to be involved with because I took an upper bio class called Aids and Society that really opened my eyes to whats going on in the world-- can you tell me what organization you got involved with and the contact information for that too? Thanks, I really appreciate it!

Also, if you don't mind me asking, what schools did you get into? I know SJSU's avg GPA is a 3.5. How competitive is it really? How was your interview?

Thanks for the encouragement, as I really need it bc of my low GPA. I hope if I make everything else strong, I will still have a chance!

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OTgirl in Masaya, Nicaragua

75 months ago

Hi Rachael,

OT school is not like Medical, Law, or B-school, meaning that it is not as cut throat competitive and it may not matter as much where you go to school (as long as it is accredited).

To address your questions, I majored in engineering as an undergraduate. I was in the Peace Corps working with technology and math and science education improvement. I worked with health volunteers in HIV/AIDS education.

I applied to USC, Boston Univeristy, and SJSU. I was accepted to USC pending pre-req grades (after being contacted by the admissions director re. my pre-req status. I have been in contact with them consistently), BU waitlisted me but by the time they were able to render an admissions decision, I already said yes to USC. SJSU rejected me.

For SJSU, I had to be accepted to the OT dept. and the Grad school dept. The minimum requirement for the Grad school is a 2.5 GPA and the minimum for the OT dept is 2.80. So I was rejected but they said I could take my pre-req grades into my GPA...that would be next year and I do not want to wait an additional year. So I will start USC. But I dont really know how competitive it is. Those are just the minimum´requirements for SJSU.

I looked into CalState Dominguez Hills but their program starts in the Spring (not Fall), so I had missed the deadline.

Personally, I think it´s easier to get into a private school than the public school (I could be wrong about this). It seems that the private school can make exceptions and are flexible. But with a public school, there seems to be more red tape. But that is just my experience.

Of course, I did not get any merit based financial aid. I do not have the GPA for that.

Because my GPA was lower than average, I had to sell myself in other ways (i.e. essay, higher GRE scores etc.) and kept in contact with the schools.

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Rachael in San Diego, California

75 months ago

Wow, thanks a lot for that! that definitely helped! and I'm really grateful for the thoroughness of your reply. I think that's really awesome you went to Africa to help out people with HIV/AIDS! And yeah, your GPA is lower than average, but your major is 100x harder than somebody who majored in psych or something...I think you're right about the private and public school thing. It's hard though because the tuition is so expensive for a private school. But education is the best investment so I'm not shy about putting that money down. Congrats into getting into USC! That's the #1 OT program in the nation! Oh, one more question, if you don't mind me asking, how was the interview process for all schools? And did you visit and keep in touch with the directors of the OT program that might have helped you get in? Thanks!!

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OT girl in Masaya, Nicaragua

75 months ago

This is to address Rachael's questions. Thanks for your comments.

I did not interview for any of the schools. BU and USC didn't require an interview. I was rejected from SJSU so I do not know if they require an interview.

I know for sure that Cal State DH requires an interview. Their deadline is in September because their program begins in the spring. Loma Linda also requires an interview but I did not apply there.

I kept in contact with BU and USC. Keeping in touch with them helped me tremendously. I called occassionally but mostly it was by email. I had tons of questions mostly. And I went to USC's info session and talked to the admissions director directly regarding my situation (lower than average GPA). She gave me pretty good advice. Basically, my impression was that I had to sell myself in other ways. I did not go to the info session at BU or SJSU due to the distance. I think going to the info sessions is important. YOu can always reference it in your email when you have questions for them.

The grades for my pre-req classes have already been sent to USC but it was sent after they accepted me.

It was hard to keep in touch with SJSU because the person who answered my questions regarding admissions worked only part time.

BU and USC were amazing about responding quickly to both my phone calls and emails. Keeping in touch with them, I believed, helped me get into the schools (after being waitlisted at BU).

I was surprised to be accepted into graduate school this year. I was expecting to reapply next year after my pre-req grades were available. It was not my grades that got me into grad school. It was my story.

Education is going to be expensive. I have had volunteering experiences in other countries (currently, I am in Nicaragua). I realize that there are people out there who will never have an opportunity to have an education and wish somebody could lend them the money to do so. I am lucky to have that opportunity.

Good luck!

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Rachael in San Diego, California

75 months ago

hey, thanks again! That was once again a lot of help. I'm in San Diego, so I'm seriously considering taking a drive up to USC and attending one of their information sessions. I just requested some information and the director already emailed me back. She definitely seems really approachable and friendly.

You have a really good story and I think it's really admirable you're always out there because it's so hard. After finishing OT, I always wanted to go to third world countries and help out as well. A lot of people turn a blind eye to things going on in the world, but I refuse to stand idly by. How did you get involved in these programs over seas? Right now I'm having trouble finding a job and was thinking maybe i can better use my time to go out there and gain more life experiences as well.

Do you think we can exchange personal info and keep in touch through email? =) Since we are pretty much dominating the forum. I would like to much more of what you're doing out there, it definitely sounds interesting. Here's my email: luckyho@gmail.com. my last name is ho and my mom thought of the "lucky" part. so not be confused with another meaning, haha.

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mk08 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

75 months ago

Anyone have any good MOT program recommendations in the NJ or PA area? I am also open to programs in other states and would welcome suggestions. I read some earlier posts re: schools in CA that I am looking at as well, just trying to figure out costs, logistics etc.. I just thought I would begin my search in PA/NJ as I am a PA resident.

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Creole Soul in Richmond, Virginia

74 months ago

Good evening everyone!

I am VERY interested in OT and have made plans for an MOT for FALL 2009. Any advice you guys can give? My UGPA is 3.07 and my pre-req GPA is 2.8. The school I REALLY want to go to is SLU (Saint Louis University). Any thoughts on this school and their MOT program.

Oh yeah, can someone give me some tips on how to kick out a killer personal statement?

Any help will be greatly appreciated!

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John in West Palm Beach, Florida

74 months ago

Any advice for someone who doesn't have the work experience but does have the GPA? I have a 3.8+ GPA, did observation hours at the hospital but no real work experience. Just trying to figure out how to explain that I was so preoccupied with making straight A's that I didn't have time to work. Think this is a good enough explanation?

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OTdude in Milltown, New Jersey

74 months ago

I wouldn't say you didn't have time to work because you were too busy trying to get straight A's. You will find out that in your future OT program there will be people who are going full-time, have small children, maybe even a part-time job! And they get straight A's! Most OT programs are looking for well-rounded students who excel in academics as well as life experience. OTs are a unique people who have chosen this profession for a reason. I do have to admit I have met many OTs that are a bit quirky, but someone's gotta do the job.

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In my program in Los Angeles, California

74 months ago

Well, I would highly advise you to get as much "on the job experience" as possible....I had much lower academic status and much much higher actual experience....but I'd try applying anyway...I know they like book smarts too...try to experience as much OT as you can....volunteer everywhere you can get into....

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Jenn in Newington, Connecticut

74 months ago

I am figuring out everywhere I want to apply to right now. I think the whole process is so stressful-- I want to go to a well ranked school 'just because' (stupid, I know).

I think I have fairly good credentials; however I lack leadership experience in student organizations. My cumulative gpa is above a 3.8, I've gotten all A's except one B in all my prereqs, I've done about 100 hours of observing/volunteering w/OTs in several different settings, and I've worked as a personal assistant in a dorm for people with disabilities for over 2yrs in college, as well as volunteered with various other organizations. Does this make me competitive? The websites for OT depts are so intimidating-- they act like every applicant is stellar in every possible area, and that the competition is fierce. Plus, the fact that each program accepts around 30 students or less when a lot more than that apply in daunting in itself! Please help!

Also, what is considered an acceptable GRE score? I can't find out from anyone or anywhere what exactly is 'good'!

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John in West Palm Beach, Florida

74 months ago

1000+ is good enough on the GRE especially with a good GPA.

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OTGURu in Saint Louis, Missouri

74 months ago

I am also considering going to OT. Currently have a masters in Nutrition but I do exercise programs for seniors to strengthen their balance and flexibility. Would this count as relevant work experience? Some of my participants are over 90 years old and we start with low intensity exercises and progress.

I am also considering either SLU or Wash U but the programs are soooo expensive- around $75,000 and I am not sure if I take out such a student loan I will come out ahead once I start working. I am making 40s right now with 8 years of experience, yet I see OT salaries start in mid 40s. With such a huge student loan, I might not come out ahead.

Relocation is not an option due to my family and there are no public universities offering the program in my city.

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John in West Palm Beach, Florida

74 months ago

OTdude in Milltown, New Jersey said: I wouldn't say you didn't have time to work because you were too busy trying to get straight A's. You will find out that in your future OT program there will be people who are going full-time, have small children, maybe even a part-time job! And they get straight A's! Most OT programs are looking for well-rounded students who excel in academics as well as life experience. OTs are a unique people who have chosen this profession for a reason. I do have to admit I have met many OTs that are a bit quirky, but someone's gotta do the job.

I respect your input but if this is the majority of applicants (which I doubt) then they do indeed deserve it more than me. However, my not having kids to look after shouldn't make me look lazy or inexperienced in life. Instead, I think it should prove that I have my priorities straight and know what is important. As far as work experience goes I don't really know what job I could have had during college that would have made me a better OT or PT. Anyway, I will do some volunteer work during my last semester of prereq's to make my application look more solid. Thanks again.

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OT girl in West Covina, California

74 months ago

This is in reference to John in West Palm Beach Florida. Your GPA is very good and having volunteer experience will be especially good. I don't think you need the "actual job experience" that directly relates to OT since you will get the volunteer OT work experience. You sound like you have will have a strong application. I agree with OT dude stating that you don't have to mention that you were too busy trying to get straight A's. I don't think that will even be an issue for you.

By the way, I am in OT school taking kinesiology class (4 week intense). There are 97 of us. 4 of my classmates have kids. I'm friends with them. They're getting A's but they don't sleep much. I think the ones who aren't getting A's are the party people.

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John in West Palm Beach, Florida

74 months ago

OT girl in West Covina, California said: This is in reference to John in West Palm Beach Florida. Your GPA is very good and having volunteer experience will be especially good. I don't think you need the "actual job experience" that directly relates to OT since you will get the volunteer OT work experience. You sound like you have will have a strong application. I agree with OT dude stating that you don't have to mention that you were too busy trying to get straight A's. I don't think that will even be an issue for you.

By the way, I am in OT school taking kinesiology class (4 week intense). There are 97 of us. 4 of my classmates have kids. I'm friends with them. They're getting A's but they don't sleep much. I think the ones who aren't getting A's are the party people.

Good to hear! Thanks for the advice and reinforcement.

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PT/OT Aide in Greeley, Colorado

74 months ago

I will be applying to the Colorado State University MSOT in December 2009. My undergrad is neuropsychology, I have a 3.6 GPA, and must only take the analytical writing portion of the GRE. So far I have A's in my pre-requisites. I am going into my 4th year as an occupational/physical therapy aide at an outpatient rehab clinic, and have logged over 4,000 hours in that position.

CSU does not require recommendations, and I do not believe they require personal interviews. I am fairly nervous about getting accepted into the program because my BA in Psych does not lead to any viable career, or for that matter, work that will pay enough to pay back my student loans!
Will my work experience mean very much in terms of admittance?

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kstyle in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

74 months ago

What are the cheapest schools? I am looking at mcg. Anyone know about service commitment programs?

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Esther in Los Angeles, California

73 months ago

Hi,
I need help or at least someone to tell me something to calm my nerves. I wondered how hard is it to get into USC.

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OTGURu in Saint Louis, Missouri

73 months ago

I am looking into some of the cheaper schools. If I can't manage to relocate I will just forget about OT. I went to a student loan calculator website and I realized that if I accumulate 60-70,000 in student loans, I will pay back approximately $800 a month for the next ten years. Not worth it at all. I am better off doing what I am doing with zero student loans.

A good rule of thumb is the total sum of your student loan should be lower than the your expected starting salary once you graduate. From thay calculator, the feed back I recieved was that I would need to make over $90,000 a year to be able to pay off that student loan in 10 years.

I want to have a life after I graduate and don't want to pay loans even when my kids are going to college.

If I can't get a cheaper school costing less that 40,000, then I am done with OT school. It is good to do your math sometimes. OTs are not MDs or PTs. They make much less, some as low as $40,000 per year.

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matt in Florence, South Carolina

73 months ago

I share some of your concerns OTGURu. I am in the middle of applying to MSOT and MOT programs for fall of 09. I am scared to death that the amount of my student loans will offset any financial advantage i would have in holding a master's degree.

Anybody here have advice or experience with coming out of school with loans, or managing student debt while in school?....I have heard the work settings that offer hella bonuses only do so cus the job sucks

OT is what I have wanted since I had a long stay in a rehab setting following some TBI's in 01....My only concern is this......I am going to be 27 going into a grad program...I will be 30 years old entering the workforce and will have 50-60k in debt.....will I ever be able to retire????? AAAAAAAA!!!!!

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OTGURu in Saint Louis, Missouri

73 months ago

I just run into a guy who is an OT, accumulated a huge amount of loan attending Ot school--about 60,000 is unable to repay it. He quit the OT career and went into sales for a pharamaceutical company so that he can be able to repay his loans. Quite scarely--isn't it.

I think most OTs have huge student loans and that is why you don't get much feedback on this topic.

Most are probably wondering what they got themselves into. I mean, thatamountof loan is almost equivalent to paying a second morgage.

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Sig in Chicago, Illinois

73 months ago

I have to admit the money issue is very scary. And I can see why there are quite a few posts that address this issue.

However, I also think doing what you love is important. If OT is something you love, and fulfills you then at the end of the day it should be worth it. Right?

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matt in Florence, South Carolina

73 months ago

It is worth it when at the end of the day as long as I can still meet my basic needs.

I know what population I would like to serve and it seems like OT would be my best route to do so. I guess it just ticks me off that people at my school are talking about getting stipends for a PhD in psych upon getting their undergrad, or having the local hospital pay all of their tuition for getting a BSN.
Here I am investing all my money into application fees to all of these schools to try and find one that will hurt my pocket in the smallest way possible.....I am willing to work and have done so all through school, but moving out of town and out of state will proove to be a bit more costly.

O well, im grateful to have my undies in a wad about this instead of something more serious.....

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OTGURu in Saint Louis, Missouri

73 months ago

I just visited one school. This is the infor. I got:
Cost of two year program 75k-80k.
Average student is able to work only 16 hours a week.
Average starting salaries in St. Louis, MO--Hospitals $44,000, Long-term care $48,000, community setting $30,000, school district $40,000. Those salaries are pretty dissapointing.
Average monthly loan payment: $850 per month for 10 years, plus two years of tremendous stress.
This is prety much what I am making right now with no student loans. I guess I would end up poorer as an OT. I was going for it simply for the diversity in employment opportunities and money as well.

Relocating is not an option due to family obligations.

I guess I will stick with what I got. The grass is not always greener on the other side.

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EMYG in Denver, Colorado

71 months ago

I'm applying to the MSOT program at Colorado State. I have a 3.7 GPA and a 4.0 in all of the pre-req's. But I only got a 4.5 on the analytical writing section of the GRE. I have been obsessing over the past few weeks about whether or not I will get in. Do you think applying early decision will help? Do you think I have a shot either way?

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EMYG in Denver, Colorado

70 months ago

PT/OT Aide in Greeley, Colorado said: I will be applying to the Colorado State University MSOT in December 2009. My undergrad is neuropsychology, I have a 3.6 GPA, and must only take the analytical writing portion of the GRE. So far I have A's in my pre-requisites. I am going into my 4th year as an occupational/physical therapy aide at an outpatient rehab clinic, and have logged over 4,000 hours in that position.

CSU does not require recommendations, and I do not believe they require personal interviews. I am fairly nervous about getting accepted into the program because my BA in Psych does not lead to any viable career, or for that matter, work that will pay enough to pay back my student loans!
Will my work experience mean very much in terms of admittance?

I think that you have very good credentials and I would think that your experience would be very highly valued. I have heard that CSU is mostly concerned with grades and scores, but I think that your work experiences could help put you over the edge. I think you have a good shot! Did you apply early decision? I did, and I'm sitting on the edge of my seat to hear back!

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chica in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

70 months ago

mk08 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said: Anyone have any good MOT program recommendations in the NJ or PA area? I am also open to programs in other states and would welcome suggestions. I read some earlier posts re: schools in CA that I am looking at as well, just trying to figure out costs, logistics etc.. I just thought I would begin my search in PA/NJ as I am a PA resident.

Hi, I am not sure if anyone replied to you, but I am also looking at schools for occupational therapy. These are school in or within the philadelphia area that offer that degree. Philadelphia Univeristy, Arcadia Univerity and PCOM. Hope this helps

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OTGuy09 in Tallahassee, Florida

67 months ago

Hi All,
I have been accepted into an OT program at a private school and, as OTGURu mentioned, the cost of the program is pretty off-putting. Anybody already an OT and have any advice on what kind of debt is acceptable/ should be avoided, loan forgiveness programs, etc? Just want to make sure I'm not making a huge financial mistake here.

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nancy in New York, New York

67 months ago

hey everyone.....

i have a bachelor's in business....can i still get a masters in occupational therapy and if so which program do you recommend in the northeast region.....are there any online programs?

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OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey

67 months ago

You can still receive a Master's in OT but you have to complete prereq's to apply to a program. It also depends how old some of your courses are. Seek academic advisement from an OT dept to get you started.

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OT Debator in Glen Carbon, Illinois

66 months ago

OTGURu in Saint Louis, Missouri said: I just visited one school. This is the infor. I got:
Cost of two year program 75k-80k.
Average student is able to work only 16 hours a week.
Average starting salaries in St. Louis, MO--Hospitals $44,000, Long-term care $48,000, community setting $30,000, school district $40,000. Those salaries are pretty dissapointing.
Average monthly loan payment: $850 per month for 10 years, plus two years of tremendous stress.
This is prety much what I am making right now with no student loans. I guess I would end up poorer as an OT. I was going for it simply for the diversity in employment opportunities and money as well.

Relocating is not an option due to family obligations.

I guess I will stick with what I got. The grass is not always greener on the other side.

So, I just got accepted into the MOT program at SLU and am debating whether it is really worth it or not? Seeing this comment has totally altered my opinion and now I am torn. It's what I want to do, but is it worth the time and money?

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OTGuy09 in Tallahassee, Florida

66 months ago

Wow, those numbers are pretty disappointing if they're accurate. Sometimes info like this that is online or distributed in schools is outdated, based on what my experience has been talking to OT's in the field. I spoke with one recently in the rehab unit of our local hospital who said the hospital was paying consistent with standard wages posted on the BLS website (65-68k annually) to keep competitive with other employers. I have also been told by OT's that A LOT of your salary boils down to how well you can negotiate, so...

Just food for thought.

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OThopefulGuy in Cambridge, Massachusetts

66 months ago

I was wondering if you guys had any suggestions. I wanted to see what yall think. I am in the process of applying to grad schools for OT for Fall of 09. Unfortuanetly due to some undiagnosed and untreated learning disabilities and getting deployed and loosing my father during college, it left me with a low C average. I did a year of Graduate work in MA in Counseling but stoped because it wasnt what I wanted, and I did get a 3.0 in grad school. Most schools want a 3.0 at minnium, and my gre was only a 830. I do have other things like being a veteran, with my job i work with MS patients all day. I guess I am wondering if I even have a chance? Any thoughts, or what I could do to help my chances?

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Shazza in Flagstaff, Arizona

66 months ago

EMYG in Denver, Colorado said: I think that you have very good credentials and I would think that your experience would be very highly valued. I have heard that CSU is mostly concerned with grades and scores, but I think that your work experiences could help put you over the edge. I think you have a good shot! Did you apply early decision? I did, and I'm sitting on the edge of my seat to hear back!

Did you get accepted to CSU for Fall '09?? I just got my acceptance letter today. Now I have to decide between CSU and Texas Women's University....Since CSU doesn't do interviews I no nothing about the program or the professors, etc other than what is on their website. I'm put off by the "Human Disease/Conditions" test you have to pass once you are already admitted...what is that about? I don't want to commit to a program that will kick me out based on not passing a multiple choice test with an 80% that covers 500 pages of a textbook....I wonder what the pass rate is.

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Emyg7 in Fort Collins, Colorado

66 months ago

I did get accepted. I am also pretty unsure of that multiple choice test, but I can't turn down the acceptance because of the amount of money I would lose going out of state. It's also supposed to be a great program (#7 I think). Maybe email them and ask what the pass rate is...I would be curious to know as well.

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OTGURu in Saint Louis, Missouri

66 months ago

OTGuy09 in Tallahassee, Florida said: Wow, those numbers are pretty disappointing if they're accurate. Sometimes info like this that is online or distributed in schools is outdated, based on what my experience has been talking to OT's in the field. I spoke with one recently in the rehab unit of our local hospital who said the hospital was paying consistent with standard wages posted on the BLS website (65-68k annually) to keep competitive with other employers. I have also been told by OT's that A LOT of your salary boils down to how well you can negotiate, so...

Just food for thought.

This info is veru accurate and up-to-date. Infact it is from SLU. I went in personally end of last year and spoke to them about the cost of the program, career outlook and starting salaries for OTs in St. Louis. This is what I got. I have since decided to stick with what I have since that amount of debt was completely unacceptable to me and my family. I was in the process of doing my prerequisites but have since stopped. I would say if you are young and time is on your side, go for it. I am 36 years old, no student debt currently and I simply cannot afford to pat $800 per month in student loans for 10 years.

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OThopefulGuy in Cambridge, Massachusetts

66 months ago

thanks for the comment, about you thinking its hopefuly. I havent heard back from any of the 5 universities that I applied 2. I am jus doubful that I will get it. But with God I guess anything is possible.

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Princess in Pensacola, Florida

66 months ago

OTGuy09 in Tallahassee, Florida said: Hi All,
I have been accepted into an OT program at a private school and, as OTGURu mentioned, the cost of the program is pretty off-putting. Anybody already an OT and have any advice on what kind of debt is acceptable/ should be avoided, loan forgiveness programs, etc? Just want to make sure I'm not making a huge financial mistake here.

I would tell you to try to find an organization that is willing to pay for your schooling. A hospital in my area has a therapy scholarship that pays for up to 2 years of schooling (books, school costs, lab fees, etc). I just have to sign an agreement stating that I will work for them for a certain amount of years in exchange. If I chose not to work there or leave before my contracted time is up. I will have to pay it all back. Find a program like that at a place that you think you would be willing to work for a few years. Two things can be gained one schooling fully paid for meaning ZERO loans to pay back and two you know that you already have a job lined up once you are done. Their program requires that you to already be accepted into a program (once you get the acceptance letter), a one page essay, and two recommendations.

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KK in San Leandro, California

65 months ago

Hey everyone. Reading all the posting makes me feel good to know that we are all in this together esp. there aren’t many people who are quite familiar with the field. I believe I will be posting here quite often even after starting the program.
To all of you who are facing challenges of getting into the program might think of me as a bit foolish but I have friends and families with different views about the school I’m getting into which is why I’m here seeking advice from you all. Thanks everyone. .
Main question: I got a 100% chance of getting into the OT program (combined: BS/MOT) in Chicago State University but am also debating if it would be worth the risk to abandon the opportunity and take my chance at applying at SJSU. (Current GPA 3.07, 40+ hours volunteer exp, A’s in all prerequisites)

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oldmaid

65 months ago

I am new to this forum. Just thought I'd add some food for thought: I have a 3.95 GPA (4.0 in prerequisites), a 1460 GRE, and about 60 hours of observation experience. I did not get accepted at Colorado State for fall 2009. Since they don't do interviews and don't ask for letters of recommendation, I guess it must have been my statement of purpose that was lacking...That's hard for me to believe, though, because I majored in English as an undergrad and worked for many years as a writer and copyeditor--in fact, I would say writing is my best skill. So maybe my statement of purpose was well-written but didn't say what they wanted to hear? Aside from that, I guess 60 hours of observation isn't good enough. In hindsight it seems my application would have looked better if I could have claimed years of experience as a COTA. Sadly, my sincere interest in pursuing a new career in OT did not speak to the admissions people.

Like several others on this forum, I am not at all certain that an OT salary would pay off financially, especially for someone entering the field in middle age. Not getting into my program of choice gives me another year to consider whether I really want to head down the path of giant student loans...

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OTdude in Piscataway, New Jersey

65 months ago

oldmaid said: I am new to this forum. Just thought I'd add some food for thought: I have a 3.95 GPA (4.0 in prerequisites), a 1460 GRE, and about 60 hours of observation experience. I did not get accepted at Colorado State for fall 2009. Since they don't do interviews and don't ask for letters of recommendation, I guess it must have been my statement of purpose that was lacking...That's hard for me to believe, though, because I majored in English as an undergrad and worked for many years as a writer and copyeditor--in fact, I would say writing is my best skill. So maybe my statement of purpose was well-written but didn't say what they wanted to hear? Aside from that, I guess 60 hours of observation isn't good enough. In hindsight it seems my application would have looked better if I could have claimed years of experience as a COTA. Sadly, my sincere interest in pursuing a new career in OT did not speak to the admissions people.

Like several others on this forum, I am not at all certain that an OT salary would pay off financially, especially for someone entering the field in middle age. Not getting into my program of choice gives me another year to consider whether I really want to head down the path of giant student loans...

Hey, you can look at it this way: You could have been #31 out of the top 30 seats they were filling. Since they do not conduct interviews, they cannot get any true sense of a person/applicant. I think not conducting interviews is absurd since many prospective students can "look" the part, but when it comes down to maturity, interpersonal skills, communication skills, professionalism, etc etc that interviewers can see during an interview, they run the risk of accepting 30 students who only look good on paper and cannot reason or problem solve or cope with grad school dilemnas.

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