When people face challenges in their ability to do everyday tasks due to physical injury, mental illness or learning disabilities, occupational therapists (OT) find ways to engage their patients in these activities so they can return to independence. OTs work in a variety of settings and with patients across the lifespan.
A unique path to become an occupational therapist
Typically, an occupational therapist earns a four-year undergraduate degree and then a two-year master's in occupational therapy before becoming licensed to practice.
But at Union, our unique bridge program allows students to earn an occupational therapy assistant associate degree in two years and then transitions directly into the Master of Occupational Therapy bridge program for another two years. That means graduating with a master's degree in a total of four years instead of six or more!
Already an OTA? Anyone who is a licensed occupational therapy assistant can enroll in the bridge program and complete the master's degree in two years (including summers).
Why try the Master of Occupational Therapy bridge program?
- Complete your full college education to get licensed as an occupational therapist in just four years!
The curriculum is designed in a hybrid format to support the needs of adult learners who may be currently working in the profession or who may reside outside of the local area.
- Enter a high-demand medical career where you can use your creativity to change lives.
I became an occupational therapist because I enjoy the creativity and implementing "fun" ways to help others get back to doing tasks they enjoy or miss doing! I love seeing a patient reach a goal when they had almost given up and being a smiling face and support for family members as they watch their loved one struggling. For me, Union was a special place and I will forever cherish my time there. My teachers and friends have had a life-long impact on me and God knew was he was doing when he led me to study there.
Union College graduate and home health occupational therapist in Hawaii
Why study at Union College?
We make it easier to get to your career goals faster.
A program designed around you
Union's Master's of Occupational Therapy program is designed as a bridge program for occupational therapy assistants seeking to earn a graduate degree and transition to a career as an occupational therapist. We use a hybrid format to support the needs of adult learners who may be currently working in the profession, or who may reside outside of the local area. A combination of synchronous and asynchronous online courses and periodic in-person course requirements will address hands-on and practical skills. The program is rigorous, full-time, and designed to build on the existing foundation of knowledge and experience of an occupational therapy assistant.
The master's program is two full years, which includes six trimesters (including two summers).
A faster path for OTAs
You must be a licensed occupational therapy assistant to enter our program, but that means a faster track to your goals. And you won't find that option at very many other places — there are just a few bridge programs in the country.
Students of all beliefs are welcome at Union. We approach education from a Christian perspective, with an emphasis on service and making a difference in people's lives.
Occupational therapy is an extremely rewarding career. We have the opportunity to collaborate with our clients in addressing their goals and what they identify as most meaningful. Occupations are not just the things that occupy your time, but also the things that give you meaning and purpose. We are privileged to have the opportunity to empower our clients to improve their health, wellness, independence, and engagement in meaningful occupations.
Director of the Union College Occupational Therapy Program
Work in an inpatient setting (ICU, Hospital, Inpatient Rehabilitation, or Skilled Nursing) to help those recovering from illness or injury regain independence and return home or transition to the next level of care.
Work in school systems as part of the special education team to support student learning and facilitate access and engagement in occupations in the school environment.