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North Carolina School Options

Individuals desiring a career as an occupational therapist in North Carolina are required to complete an accredited OT program. However, only select groups of universities in North Carolina are currently offering occupational therapy programs.


Out of the North Carolina schools that have occupational therapy programs, Greenville's East Carolina University and the University of NC at Chapel Hill offer the largest graduate degree OT programs and courses in the state. Learn which option is best for you by reading information about both programs, below.

East Carolina University

ECU was founded in 1907 with a total student population of approximately 26,000 students, which makes this established university, the third-largest university in the entire state of North Carolina. East Carolina University offers twelve schools on three different college campuses. ECU's College of Allied Health SciencesOT programs can help a person achieve either a graduate certificate or a master's degree in occupational therapy. The top-rated OT programs at ECU combine labs, classroom lectures and fieldwork (full-time clinical work and an opportunity to take a course with both classroom and clinical instruction) and are designed for students who have a bachelor's degree in an area other than occupational therapy. The curriculum in the Master's program teaches group skills, occupational therapy concepts, neurological foundations, research, service management and systems management. Students can also get an accelerated Master's in occupational therapy at ECU, as well. The courses in the accelerated Master's degree program teach biostatics, developmental psychology, medical terminology, health care systems and an introduction to occupational therapy. The graduate program is for individuals who are already in an occupational therapy career or related field who would like to improve their skills in OT. The three primary courses in the graduate program include services assessment, assistive technology devices, implementation and resource management. In addition, students in the Allied Health Sciences graduate program at ECU can opt to take electives such as, OT services management or OT contexts and systems.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina was the first state university to open in the United States, opening its doors in 1795. This highly rated university has a student body of nearly 29,000 students spread across its 17 schools and colleges. The UNC's School of Medicine offers both a Master's program and a doctorate degree in OT. The Master of Science (M.S.) program at UNC's at Chapel Hill takes two years to complete is designed for students with a bachelor's degree in an area of study, other than occupational therapy. The courses in the M.S. Occupational Therapy program include studying the history of occupational therapy, musculoskeletal anatomy, neuroscience and occupational science in relation to children, teens, adults and seniors. Other features of the M.S. OT program involve fieldwork, independent study and experience in research, as well. Individuals who complete the requirements of the course are eligible to take the exam issued by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. The four-year doctorate program allows individuals who already have a master's degree in OT or other areas that are related to OT. The highly rated program is offered through seminars and classroom instruction on topics ranging from concepts in occupational therapy, trends in occupational science and the practice of occupational science. The courses teach theories and research methods in therapy and occupational science. In addition, those in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's OT Doctorate program are also required to complete research and teaching apprenticeships, as well.

Both North Carolina-based universities are established universities with top-rated programs in occupational therapy. If you're interested in attending the best occupational therapy, school in North Carolina -- choose between the two best options: East Carolina University or University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.