Occupational Therapy Schools in California

Top 10 Occupational Therapy Schools in California in 2022

Looking for the best list of Occupational Therapy Schools in California[OT Schools in California]. Then here we have the top 10 list of Occupational Therapy Schools in California.

Let’s talk about Occupational Therapy in California State, Occupational Therapy license in California State and Occupational Therapy Schools in California in 2022.

There are many reasons why people choose to pursue a career in occupational therapy. Maybe you have always been interested in helping others achieve their goals, or perhaps you are looking for a career that is both challenging and rewarding. Regardless of your motivations, if you want to become an occupational therapist, you will need to attend one of the best occupational therapy schools in California.

The good news is that there are many great OT programs to choose from in California. In this article, we will profile the top occupational therapy schools in California, based on factors like accreditation, rankings, reputation, and cost of attendance.

Occupational Therapy in California State

California State has the “Occupational Therapy Association of California”. The Association (OTAC) is affiliated with the AOTA.

California is bounded by the U.S. state of Oregon to the north, by the states of Nevada and Arizona to the east, by the Mexican state of Baja California to the south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west.

So if your are looking for the OT Schools in these states, then please check OT Schools in Arizona and OT Schools in Nevada.

It also has the California Board of Occupational Therapy which is responsible for the issuance of a new or renewal of a license to practice OT in the California state.

The best occupational therapy schools in California are ranked according to the composite score of each school’s ranking on US News and World Report. The rankings are based on academic reputation, peer assessment, selectivity, retention rates, graduation rates and student-faculty ratio.

At the heart of occupational therapy, a profession is a deep understanding of human development and learning. Occupational therapists work with people aged from birth to old age, aiming to help them improve their skills in daily living and participation in society.


A career as an OT can be rewarding both personally and financially. Occupational therapists are paid well on average—the median salary for an occupational therapist was $84,070 in 2016 according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The BLS also predicts that there will be 19% growth for this occupation by 2026 making it one of the fastest-growing occupations out there!

There are many reasons why California is a great state to pursue a career in occupational therapy. The state is home to some of the best colleges and universities in the country, which offer top-notch programs in occupational therapy. In addition, California’s diverse population provides a wealth of opportunities for those interested in working with different cultures and populations.

How to Get Occupational Therapy License in California?

  • Start with the Online process at Breeze
  • Submit a transcript
  • Submit proof of passing the NBCOT exam
  • Complete fingerprinting for background checks
  • Submit Your passport-style photo
  • Submit licensure verifications as necessary 
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Official Transcript: $10
  • NBCOT Electronic Score Verification: $40
  • Fingerprint Processing Fee: $49
  • Fingerprint Rolling Charge: $17
  • Passport Photo: $15
  • Other State Licensure Verifications: $0
  • Envelope and Stamps: $2
  • Initial (Prorated) Licensure Fee: $110

Source: The Traveling Traveler

Top 10 Occupational Therapy Schools in California in 2022

NoSchoolsAccreditation Status
1California State University, Dominguez HillsAccreditted
2Dominican University of CaliforniaAccreditted
3Samuel Merritt UniversityAccreditted
4San Jose State UniversityAccreditted
5Stanbridge UniversityAccreditted
6University of Southern CaliforniaAccreditted
7University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences-California CampusAccreditted
88. West Coast University- Ot School in Los AngelesAccreditted
9Alliant International UniversityAccreditted

1. California State University, Dominguez Hills

California State University, Dominguez Hills offers MSOT and OTD

California State University offer Masters’s degree in Occupational Therapy which is accredited by American Occupational Therapy Association. The university also has an on-campus clinic where students can get practical experience.

If you’re looking for the best Occupational Therapy schools in California, look no further than California State University, Dominguez Hills. They offer an excellent OT Masters’s program that is currently in accreditation status. This means that their curriculum meets or exceeds the standards set by the American Occupational Therapy Association.

In addition, their faculty is experienced and dedicated to providing quality education to their students. As a result, graduates of their program are well-prepared to enter the workforce as competent and skilled occupational therapists. CSU Dominguez Hills is the school for you if you’re looking for a top-notch OT program.

OT Masters

  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Public
  • Status: Accreditation
  • College of Health, Human Services, and Nursing, 1000 East Victoria Street, WHA 320hCarson CA 90747-0005310-243-2726
  • [email protected]
  • Last on-site: 2012/2013
  • Next on-site: 2022/2023
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Prerequisite Courses
    • Human Anatomy with laboratory *
    • Human Physiology with laboratory *
    • Developmental Psychology (Across the Life Span) 
    • Abnormal Personality or Abnormal Psychology
    • Statistics
    • Medical Terminology
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Volunteer hours and verification
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • GRE – Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning
  • GRE – Analytic Writing
  • Basic computer skills

California State University, Dominguez Hills is one of California’s best occupational therapy schools. They offer a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy and are still in the process of accreditation. The program has an excellent reputation and its graduates are in high demand. The admissions process is very competitive, but if you are lucky enough to get in, you will be getting an excellent education. The faculty is experienced and dedicated, and the student body is diverse and supportive. If you are looking for an OT school that will give you the best chance of success, California State University, Dominguez Hills should be at the top of your list.

OT Doctorate

  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Public
  • Status: Applicant
  • College of Health, Human Services, and Nursing, 1000 East Victoria Street, WHA 320hCarson CA 90747-0005310-243-2726
  • [email protected]
  • Next on-site: 2024/2025
  1. A completed and awarded Bachelor of Arts or Sciences degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  2. Completion of the following prerequisites (must be within the last ten years):
    1. Human Anatomy with laboratory (3 Credits)
    2. Human Physiology with laboratory (3 Credits)
    3. Developmental Psychology or Human Development (Across the Lifespan) (3 Credits)
    4. Abnormal Psychology (3 Credits)
    5. Statistics (3 Credits)  

Note: Completion of a Medical Terminologies course is also required, but could be taken during the first semester in the program if not done prior to admission to the program.

  1. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in bachelor’s degree and pre-requisite coursework.
  2. Completion of 80 hours of documented volunteer experience under the supervision of a registered occupational therapist.
  3. Three letters of recommendation: one letter from the occupational therapist supervising volunteer hours and two from professionals that can attest to student’s ability to complete graduate coursework.
  4. A minimum combined Verbal and Quantitative GRE Scores of 286, with required minimum scores of 140 on the Quantitative Reasoning and 146 on the Verbal Reasoning sections. A minimum Analytic Writing score of 4 is required. * Note GRE scores must be within the last five years.
  5. Attendance to an OTD Information Session prior to applying to the program.
  6. A personal interview with members of the Occupational Therapy Program Admissions Committee.
  7. If accepted, completion of the CSUDH medical history questionnaire and physical examination with proof of required immunizations are mandatory.
  8. If accepted, student must sign up for any fieldwork management, background screening and/or compliance tracking systems being utilized by the program prior to admission.
  9. If accepted, student needs to display professional responsibility by becoming a member of both the state as well as national professional organizations in occupational therapy prior to the start of the program.

2. Dominican University of California

The Dominican University of California offers OT Masters and OT doctorate degrees. Here OT Master’s degree is accredited, whereas OT Doctorate is in applicant status.

The Dominican University of California is a private, not-for-profit institution that offers high-quality occupational therapy (OT) programs at the masters and doctorate levels. The university is located in San Rafael, California, beautiful California.

Dominican has a long history of excellence in OT education, and its programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). The OT program at Dominican is founded on the principle of social justice. Its faculty members are dedicated to preparing students to become competent, ethical, and compassionate occupational therapists committed to promoting the health and well-being of all people.

The university’s commitment to social justice is also evident in its strong partnerships with community organizations that provide opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience working with diverse populations. If you are looking for an OT program that will challenge you academically and prepare you to make a difference in the lives of others, the Dominican University of California is the right place for you.

OT Masters

Dominican University of California is one of the best Occupational Therapy schools in California, and it offers an OT Masters’s program that is still in the accreditation process. The school has a long history of providing excellent education to its students, and its faculty are highly experienced in their field. The school offers a wide range of courses that cover all aspects of Occupational Therapy, and its students have the opportunity to learn from some of the best practitioners in the country.

The school’s location in San Rafael, CA, also makes it a convenient option for students who live in the Bay Area. Dominican University of California is an excellent choice for anyone considering a career in Occupational Therapy, and its OT Masters program is a great option for those who want to pursue a higher level of education.

  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Accreditation
  • 50 Acacia Avenue San Rafael CA 94901-2298888-323-6763
  • [email protected]
  • Last on-site: 2019/2020
  • Next on-site: 2022/2023
Application DeadlinesTuition Rate Per UnitNumber of UnitsFormat and Length
Fall: Deadline Extended to April 4, 2022*
 
$1,192

View Tuition and Financial Aid Information for details.
80 Units
 
In-person

36 months

A Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from a regionally accredited institution of higher education is required to apply to our graduate programs.

  1. Completed Application
    Submit an OTCAS application. A Dominican University application is not required. Note: No new applications can be accepted on OTCAS until after the first week of July.
  2. Official Transcript(s)
    Dominican requires official transcripts of all coursework, including all undergraduate, graduate, community college and study abroad (unless University-sponsored).  Find complete instructions on how to submit your transcripts to Dominican here.
  3. 3.0 GPA 
    Applicants must meet a minimum GPA of 3.0 in their most recent 60 semester units of work, including both graduate and undergraduate coursework.
  4. Personal Statement
    Please provide a brief essay describing your professional and personal goals, as well as your reasons for pursuing this degree. 
  5. Interest in Dominican University
    Write a brief, 200 word essay describing why you chose to apply to Dominican. If you’ve previously applied to this program, write an additional 150-200 words describing what has changed to ready you for the program since the last time you applied. 
  6. Observation/Volunteer Experience
    Applicants to the Occupational Therapy Program are required to complete a total of 60 hours of observation/volunteering in human services, and 40 of those hours must be with an OTR. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the OT program is making exceptions to our current policy for Observation/Volunteer hours for the Fall 2021 application cycle.  The following forms are required with your OTCAS application.
    • Submit volunteer experience form through the OTCAS application. Observation/Volunteer hours require 40 hours of OT Relevant experience within the previous 3 years. Observations hours can be conducted in a virtual environment. Your supervisor(s) will fill out your volunteer form, then upload the completed form directly into your OTCAS application. If you do not complete all of your volunteer work experience at one location, a separate form is needed for each location. Time sheets or other facility forms cannot be submitted as proof of volunteer work.
    • Submit reflection form through the OTCAS application. Alternative learning experiences are accepted to fulfill no more than 20 hours of documented experiences. Alternative learning experiences are listed on the form.
  7. Resume
    Submit a resume with your application. Your resume must include an “Other Relevant Work Experience” section to account for experience related to the OT profession. This should not include the volunteer experience that you submitted on the volunteer form. 
  8. Two Letters of Recommendation
    We require a minimum of two letters of recommendation to be submitted through the application. The salutation for the letters should be: “Dear Occupational Therapy Admissions Committee.” Please do not ask individuals to contact the committee directly on your behalf as these recommendations will not be considered. 
  9. Official GRE Score (optional)
    GRE scores are optional. If you do submit scores, please use the Dominican University of California OTCAS (code 4107) when indicating your program as a score recipient. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) will transmit official GRE scores electronically to OTCAS.
  10. Prerequisite Courses
    Complete all prerequisite courses listed below. A 3.0 GPA is required. Priority consideration is given to candidates who have completed all prerequisites by the application date. If you are granted admission with pending prerequisite coursework, you must successfully complete all in progress prerequisites and/or degree conferral before the program starts. Dominican does not accept any courses taken the summer before the start of the semester.
    • Human Anatomy with lab (completed within the last 5 years).
    • Human Physiology with lab (completed within the last 5 years).
    • Lifespan Development (or Developmental Psychology).
    • Introduction to Psychology.
    • Abnormal Psychology (Psychopathology).
    • Statistics (math or psychology only, not business).
    • Medical Terminology (1 unit or more).
    • Introduction to Sociology or Cultural Anthropology (recommended, but not required).
  11. Personal Interview
    Applicants who have been selected to continue on in the application process will receive an invitation to interview.
  12. International Applicants
    International candidates must meet additional admissions requirements.

Please note: Criminal background checks, or information relating to a student’s criminal background, are not used as part of the admissions process at Dominican University of California (DUOC). Students should be aware that some programs train students to sit for the State of California or national licensure and certification examinations that qualify them to work in the field relating to their program of choice.

The following programs constitute a list of 2021/2022 DUOC programs that train for licensure or certification: Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physicians Assistants, Counseling Psychology, Art Therapy (Marriage & Family Therapy), and Education. 

Students with questions relating to criminal background requirements, who wish to enroll in these programs at DUOC should speak to an Academic Advisor and reference the specific qualifications for degree completion, and license or certification. 

OT Doctorate

Dominican University of California is one of the best Occupational Therapy schools in California. They offer an OT Doctorate and are still in the Applicant status.

After graduation, students are eligible to take the national certification examination to become a Registered Occupational Therapist (OTR). There are many reasons why the Dominican University of California is one of the best Occupational Therapy schools in California. Their commitment to excellence in education, small class sizes, and dedicated faculty creates an environment that is conducive to learning and success. Students who graduate from the Dominican University of California will be prepared to enter the workforce as competent and compassionate occupational therapists.

  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Applicant
  • 50 Acacia AvenueSan Rafael CA 94901-2298415-457-4440
  • [email protected]
  • Next on-site: 2025/2026
Application DeadlinesTuition Rate Per UnitNumber of UnitsFormat and Length
December 1, 2022 for
Fall 2023
 
TBD*

 
100 Units
 
In person

36 months
*Tuition information will be added pending candidacy in Fall 2022.

Students admitted to the OTD program will have completed a Bachelor’s degree in any field of study from an accredited four-year college or university, demonstrate an understanding of the basic tenets of OT, have experience exploring OT as a career, exhibit positive interpersonal skills and demonstrate a commitment to pursuing excellence as an OT practitioner, leader, advocate, scholar and innovator. 

  1. Completed Application
    Submit an OTCAS application. A Dominican University application is not required. Note: New applications will be accepted on OTCAS starting the first week of July through the first week of December.
  2. Official Transcript(s) 
    Dominican requires official transcripts of all coursework, including all undergraduate, graduate, community college and study abroad (unless University-sponsored). Submit your transcripts on OTCAS as part of your application.
  3. 3.0 GPA 
    Applicants must meet a minimum GPA of 3.0 in their most recent 60 semester units of work and for all prerequisite courses, including graduate and undergraduate coursework.
  4. Personal Statement
    Please provide a brief essay describing your professional and personal goals, as well as your reasons for pursuing an OT degree. 
  5. Interest in Dominican University
    Write a brief, 200 word essay describing why you chose to apply to Dominican. If you’ve previously applied to this program, write an additional 150-200 words describing what has changed to ready you for the program since the last time you applied. 
  6. Observation/Volunteer Experience
    Applicants to the Occupational Therapy Program are required to complete a minimum  of 40 hours of observation/volunteering in human services, and 20 of those hours must be with licensed occupational therapists. The remaining 20 hours can be fulfilled through observation/volunteering in non-OT human services settings or via Alternative OT learning experiences. 
    • Submit volunteer experience form through the OTCAS application. Observation/Volunteer hours require 40 hours of OT Relevant experience within the previous 3 years. Observation hours can be conducted in a virtual environment. Your supervisor(s) will fill out your volunteer form, then upload the completed form directly into your OTCAS application. If you do not complete all of your volunteer work experience at one location, a separate form is needed for each location. Time sheets or other facility forms cannot be submitted as proof of volunteer work.
    • Alternative OT learning experiences hours must be documented on the OT Alternative Experience Reflection Form. Alternative learning experiences are accepted to fulfill no more than 20 hours of documented experiences. 
  7. Resume
    Submit a resume with your application. Your resume must include an “Other Relevant Work Experience” section to account for experience related to the OT profession. This should not include the volunteer experience that you submitted on the volunteer form. 
  8. Two Letters of Recommendation
    We require a minimum of two letters of recommendation to be submitted through the application. The salutation for the letters should be: “Dear Occupational Therapy Admissions Committee.” Please do not ask individuals to contact the committee directly on your behalf as these recommendations will not be considered. 
  9. Official GRE Score (optional)
    Scores on the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) are not required, but will be considered in the evaluation of an applicant’s admissibility if submitted. If you do submit scores, please use the Dominican University of California OTCAS (code 4107) when indicating your program as a score recipient. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) will transmit official GRE scores electronically to OTCAS.
  10. Prerequisite Courses
    Complete all prerequisite courses listed below. A 3.0 GPA is required. Priority consideration is given to candidates who have completed all prerequisites by the application date. If you are granted admission with pending prerequisite coursework, you must successfully complete all in progress prerequisites and/or degree conferral before the program starts. Dominican does not accept any courses taken the summer before the start of the semester.
    • Human Anatomy with lab (completed within the last 5 years)
    • Human Physiology with lab (completed within the last 5 years)
    • Lifespan Development (or Developmental Psychology).
    • Introduction to Psychology
    • Abnormal Psychology (Psychopathology)
    • Statistics (math or psychology only, not business)
    • Functional or Clinical Neuroanatomy or Neuroscience (completed within the last 5 years)
    • Medical Terminology (1 unit or more)
  11. Personal Interview
    Applicants who have been selected to continue on in the application process will receive an invitation to interview.
  12. International Applicants
    International candidates must meet additional admissions requirements.

Please note: Criminal background checks, or information relating to a student’s criminal background, are not used as part of the admissions process at Dominican University of California (DUOC). Students should be aware that some programs train students to sit for the State of California or national licensure and certification examinations that qualify them to work in the field relating to their program of choice.

The following programs constitute a list of 2021/2022 DUOC programs that train for licensure or certification: Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physicians Assistants, Counseling Psychology, Art Therapy (Marriage & Family Therapy), and Education. 

Students with questions relating to criminal background requirements, who wish to enroll in these programs at DUOC should speak to an Academic Advisor and reference the specific qualifications for degree completion, and license or certification. 

Fall 2023 DeadlineDecember 1, 2022
InterviewsHeld in February

Application window is July 18-December 1. Admissions decisions are made in February.

If an application deadline falls on a weekend and/or holiday, applications will be accepted through the end of the next business day.

3. Samuel Merritt University

Samuel Merritt University is an institution with a long and proud history of educating students in the field of Occupational Therapy. Founded in San Francisco in 1909, the university was one of the first to offer a professional OT program in the state of California. Samuel Merritt University is a leader in occupational therapy education, offering both Masters’s and Doctorate degrees in OT.

The university is committed to preparing students for successful careers in occupational therapy, and its faculty are leaders in the field. With a strong focus on clinical practice and research, Samuel Merritt University is an excellent choice for those seeking a career in Occupational Therapy.

Samuel Merritt University: OT Masters

Samuel Merritt University is one of the best Occupational Therapy schools in California. They offer a Master’s in Occupational Therapy. The school has a lot to offer its students and is definitely worth checking out if you want to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy.

  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Accreditation
  • 450 30th Street, Suite 4706
  • Oakland CA 94609-3302510-879-9220
  • [email protected]
  • Last on-site: 2017/2018
  • Next on-site: 2027/2028

Samuel Merritt University: OT Doctorate

Samuel Merritt University is one of the best occupational therapy schools in California. It offers a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy and is still in Accreditation status. The school’s curriculum focuses on hands-on learning experiences. This allows students to gain the skills and knowledge they need to become successful occupational therapists.

In addition, the faculty at Samuel Merritt University are experienced and passionate about their field. They are always willing to help students reach their full potential. As a result, Samuel Merritt University is an excellent choice for those interested in pursuing a career in occupational therapy.

  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Accreditation
  • 450 30th Street, Suite 4706Oakland CA 94609-3302510-879-9220
  • [email protected]erritt.edu
  • Last on-site: 2018/2019
  • Next on-site: 2023/2024

4. San Jose State University

San Jose State University is a large, public university located in the heart of Silicon Valley. The university offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs, including a highly respected Occupational Therapy program. The OT program at SJSU is unique in several ways. First, the program offers both Masters’s and Doctorate degrees in Occupational Therapy.

The Doctorate degree is still in the applicant’s status, which makes SJSU one of the only universities in the country to offer this level of OT training. In addition, the SJSU OT program has a strong focus on community outreach and service learning. As a result, students in the program can gain real-world experience working with diverse populations in various settings. This hands-on approach to learning ensures that graduates are well prepared to enter into any number of OT practice areas.

San Jose State University: OT Masters

  • A: The program is four academic semesters (two academic years) with two 3-month full-time fieldwork placements. The fieldwork placements are completed after the four semesters of academic work is completed. Following successful completion of the second fieldwork placement, the student graduates with a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy and is eligible to sit for the national OT certification.

San Jose State University is one of California’s best Occupational Therapy schools. It offers an OT master and is still in accreditation status. The curriculum provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become effective practitioners in a variety of settings. In addition, the faculty is committed to providing a supportive and enriching environment that nurtures each student’s individual strengths and interests. As a result, San Jose State University is an excellent choice for those seeking a high-quality Occupational Therapy education.

  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Public
  • Status: Accreditation
  • One Washington SquareSan Jose CA 95192-0059408-924-3070
  • [email protected]
  • Last on-site: 2015/2016
  • Next on-site: 2025/2026

 San Jose State University: OT Doctorate

San Jose State University is one of California’s best occupational therapy schools. The university offers a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy, and is currently in applicant status. The San Jose State University program is designed to prepare students for a career in occupational therapy. The curriculum includes anatomy, physiology, and psychology coursework, as well as clinical rotations. The school also offers a unique research opportunity, which allows students to gain first-hand experience in the field. When it comes to choosing an occupational therapy school, San Jose State University is an excellent choice.

  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Public
  • Status: Applicant
  • One Washington SquareSan Jose CA 95192-0059408-924-3070
  • [email protected]
  • Next on-site: 2024/2025

5. Stanbridge University

Stanbridge University is committed to helping students reach their academic and professional goals. The university offers a variety of programs, including an OT Masters’s degree. The program is designed to prepare students for a career in occupational therapy. The curriculum includes coursework in research, anatomy, and physiology. In addition, students will complete clinical rotations in order to gain practical experience.

The admissions process is competitive, but the university offers a variety of financial aid options to help students afford their education. Stanbridge University is an accredited institution, and its programs are highly respected in the occupational therapy community. As a result, Stanbridge University is an excellent choice for students who are interested in pursuing a career in occupational therapy.

Stanbridge University is one of the best occupational therapy schools in California. The university offers a Master’s degree in occupational therapy and is in the process of accreditation. The university is known for its excellent faculty and small class sizes. US News and World Report ranked Stanbridge University’s Occupational Therapy program among the top 5% of all programs in the nation. The university is dedicated to providing its students with the best possible education and has a 100% pass rate on the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy Exam. Stanbridge University is an excellent choice for anyone interested in pursuing a career in occupational therapy.

  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Private Profit
  • Status: Accreditation
  • 2041 Business Center Drive, Suite 107
  • Irvine CA 92612-1491949-794-9090
  • [email protected]
  • Last on-site: 2015/2016
  • Next on-site: 2021/2022

6. University of Southern California: OT Schools in Los Angeles

The University of Southern California is one of the world’s leading private research universities. Located in Los Angeles, USC is home to a diverse community of scholars and students from around the globe. USC offers a wide range of academic programs, including the Master of Occupational Therapy degree. The USC OT program is committed to preparing students for success in a variety of settings, from hospitals to schools to private practice. With a curriculum emphasising evidence-based practice and hands-on learning, USC OT students are prepared to positively impact their patients’ lives. If you’re looking for a top-ranked OT program that will challenge and inspire you, look no further than USC.

  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Accreditation
  • 1540 Alcazar Street, CHP-133Los Angeles CA 90089-9003323-442-2850
  • [email protected]
  • Last on-site: 2013/2014
  • Next on-site: 2023/2024

The program is in the process of transitioning to the entry-level doctoral degree. Please contact the program for further information.

Program locations: Irvine and Riverside, CA*
*New Riverside location pending accreditation. Hybrid delivery program offered.
The program is in the process of transitioning to the entry-level doctoral degree. Please contact the program for further information.

7. the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences-California Campus

The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences-California Campus offers an occupational therapy master’s and doctorate degree program. The campus is located in the city of San Diego, and the university offers a variety of clinical experiences and opportunities for research. The faculty is experienced and committed to providing high-quality education, and the campus provides a supportive environment for students.

The OT program at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences-California Campus is accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association, and the university is a member of the Association of American Universities.

University of St. Augustine: OT Masters

The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences-California Campus is one of California’s best Occupational Therapy schools. It offers a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy and is currently in the process of becoming accredited. The school strongly focuses on helping its students become competent and compassionate occupational therapists.

In addition, the faculty is highly experienced and dedicated to teaching their students the latest techniques and research in the field of occupational therapy. as a result, the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences-California Campus is an excellent choice for anyone considering a career in occupational therapy.

  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Private Profit
  • Status: Accreditation
  • 700 Windy Point DriveSan Marcos CA 92069760-591-3012
  • [email protected]
  • Last on-site: 2017/2018
  • Next on-site: 2024/2025
  • Part-time hybrid (Flex) track offered.

University of St. Augustine: OT Doctorate

The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences is one of California’s best occupational therapy schools. Their Doctorate program is still in accreditation status, but they offer an excellent education for their students. The faculty is experienced and passionate about their field, and they provide a well-rounded education that prepare their students for a career in occupational therapy. In addition, the school’s location in San Diego provides ample opportunities for students to gain real-world experience working with patients. The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences is an excellent choice for those seeking occupational therapy careers.

  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Profit
  • Status: Accreditation
  • 700 Windy Point DriveSan Marcos CA 92069760-591-3012
  • [email protected]
  • Last on-site: 2018/2019
  • Next on-site: 2025/2026

Part-time hybrid (Flex) track offered.

8. West Coast University- Ot School in Los Angeles

West Coast University is a private university with its main campus in Los Angeles, California. The university offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the health sciences and nursing. Founded in 1909, the university has been serving the community for over a century.

The Los Angeles campus was established in 1997 and offers a variety of programs in occupational therapy, including a Master’s degree and a Doctorate. The OT program at West Coast University is unique in that it emphasizes both evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning. As a result, graduates are well-prepared to enter the workforce as competent and compassionate occupational therapists.

 West Coast University-Los Angeles : OT Masters

West Coast University-Los Angeles is one of California’s best occupational therapy schools. The school offers a master’s degree in occupational therapy and is currently in the process of seeking accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). In addition to its excellent occupational therapy program, West Coast University-Los Angeles also has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The school has a diverse student body and offers a supportive environment for all students. Additionally, the faculty and staff at West Coast University-Los Angeles are dedicated to helping students succeed. The school provides an excellent education for future occupational therapists, and is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a top-quality occupational therapy program.

  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Private Profit
  • Status: Accreditation
  • 590 N. Vermont AvenueLos Angeles CA 90004323-284-7920
  • [email protected]
  • Last on-site: 2014/2015
  • Next on-site: 2022/2023

West Coast University-Los Angeles: OT Doctorate

West Coast University is one of the best Occupational Therapy schools in California. The school offers an OT Doctorate and is still in the process of being accredited. The faculty is wonderful, and the course offerings are great. I definitely recommend this school to anyone considering a career in Occupational Therapy.

  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Profit
  • Status: Accreditation
  • 590 N. Vermont AvenueLos Angeles CA 90004323-284-7920
  • [email protected]
  • Last on-site: 2018/2019
  • Next on-site: 2025/2026

9. Alliant International University

Alliant International University is a private university with its main campus in San Diago. The university also has two satellite campuses, one in Mexico and one in California. Alliant offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate programs, including a Masters’s in Occupational Therapy program, which is currently in the applicant stage. Alliant is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and is a member of the Association of American Universities.

The university has a strong commitment to social justice and diversity and offers a number of scholarships and financial aid options for students who demonstrate financial need. Alliant also offers a number of unique research opportunities for students, including the opportunity to work with faculty on research projects related to their field of study. With its cutting-edge programs and commitment to social justice, Alliant International University is an excellent choice for those looking for top-quality education.

  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Private Profit
  • Status: Applicant
  • 10455 Pomerado RoadSan Diego CA 92131858-635-4000
  • [email protected]
  • Next on-site: 2026/2027
  • Visit

10. Biola University

Biola University is a private evangelical Christian university located in La Mirada, California. The university was founded in 1908 as the Bible Institute of Los Angeles and is today considered one of the leading institutions of higher education in the Western United States.

Biola offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs, including a Master in Occupational Therapy and a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. Both programs are currently in the applicant stage and have not yet been accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association. However, both programs are highly respected within the occupational therapy community and are expected to be accredited in the near future. With its strong academic programs and commitment to Christian values, Biola University is an excellent choice for those seeking a quality education.

Biola University: OT Masters

Biola University is one of the best Occupational Therapy schools in California. They offer OT Masters and are still in Applicant status. Their curriculum is based on evidence-based clinical practice and they have a strong commitment to Christian values. The faculty is experienced and passionate about their work, and the students are highly engaged in their studies. The campus is beautiful and situated in a convenient location. I would highly recommend Biola University to anyone interested in pursuing a career in Occupational Therapy.

  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Applicant
  • 13800 Biola AvenueLa Mirada CA 90639562-903-6000
  • [email protected]
  • Next on-site: 2025/2026

Biola University: OT Doctorate

Biola University is not only one of the best Occupational Therapy schools in California, but it is also unique in that it offers an OT Doctorate and is still in Applicant status. The program at Biola is challenging and provides students with the opportunity to learn from some of the best faculty in the field. In addition, the admissions process is competitive, which helps to ensure that only the most qualified students are accepted into the program. As a result, students who attend Biola can be confident that they are receiving a high-quality education that will prepare them for success in their careers.

  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Applicant
  • 13800 Biola AvenueLa Mirada CA 90639562-903-6000
  • [email protected]
  • Next on-site: 2026/2027

11. California State University, Dominguez Hills

California State University, Dominguez Hills is a public university located in the city of Carson, California. The university was founded in 1960. The university offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs, including an Occupational Therapy Doctorate program which is currently in the applicant stage. The OT Doctorate program at CSUDH is designed to prepare students for occupational therapy careers.

The program curriculum includes coursework in anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology, as well as courses in occupation-based practice and research methods. The program also includes a fieldwork component, allowing students to gain hands-on experience working with clients in a clinical setting. Upon completing the program, graduates will be eligible to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy examination and earn their Occupational Therapist license.

California State University, Dominguez Hills is one of California’s best occupational therapy schools. The university’s OT program is highly respected and ranked by U.S. News & World Report. The program offers a Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD) and is still in applicant status. The university is located in the city of Carson, just south of Los Angeles.

The campus is large and beautiful, with plenty of green space and modern facilities. The student body is diverse and friendly, and the faculty are experienced and dedicated to their students’ success. CSUDH is an excellent choice for anyone considering a career in occupational therapy.

  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Public
  • Status: Applicant
  • College of Health, Human Services, and Nursing, 1000 East Victoria Street, WHA 320hCarson CA 90747-0005310-243-2726
  • [email protected]
  • Next on-site: 2024/2025

12. CBD College

CBD College is a unique institution which offers an OT master’s degree which is still in the applicant stage. The college has a great location in terms of accessibility and offers quality education.

CBD College is a renowned teaching institution which offers an OT master’s degree. The college has a great reputation and is still in the process of the applicant stage. This makes it an ideal choice for those who want to pursue a career in this field. The coursework is designed to prepare students for a career in occupational therapy. It covers topics such as anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology.

In addition, students will learn how to work with patients of all ages, from infants to the elderly. The curriculum is also designed to give students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through clinical rotations. CBD College is an excellent choice for those interested in pursuing a career in occupational therapy.

CBD College is one of the best occupational therapy schools in California. They offer a masters program and are still in applicant status. The school has a great curriculum that focuses on hands-on learning. They also have a unique approach to teaching that allows students to learn at their own pace. Additionally, they offer a variety of services and resources that make it easy for students to get the most out of their education. CBD College is a great choice for those looking for an OT masters program.

  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Applicant
  • 3699 Wilshire Blvd., 4th FloorLos Angeles CA 90010213-427-2200
  • [email protected]
  • Next on-site: 2025/2026

13. Dominican University of California

The Dominican University of California is a private institution established in 1890. The university has an array of undergraduate and graduate programs, from accounting to psychology. It also offers a Doctor of Occupational Therapy program, which is still in the applicant stage. The OT program at Dominican University is designed to prepare students for a career in occupational therapy. The curriculum includes coursework in medical sciences, human development, and rehabilitation.

In addition, students must complete a fieldwork placement in order to graduate. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy examination. With its strong academic programs and commitment to service, Dominican University of California is an excellent choice for those interested in pursuing a career in occupational therapy.

  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Applicant
  • 50 Acacia AvenueSan Rafael CA 94901-2298415-457-4440
  • [email protected]
  • Next on-site: 2025/2026

14. Keck Graduate Institute

The Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) is a private graduate school located in Claremont, California. It was founded in 1997 with a focus on education and research in the applied life sciences. KGI offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in a variety of disciplines, including business, bioscience, chemical engineering, and nursing. In addition to its academic programs, KGI operates an industry-sponsored research institute and an entrepreneurial incubator. KGI is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

KGI is best known for its innovative approach to education. Rather than traditional classroom-based instruction, KGI students receive hands-on training in state-of-the-art facilities. This approach has been successful in preparing students for careers in the rapidly changing field of applied life sciences. For example, KGI’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program has a 100% pass rate on the registered nurse licensing exam.

In recent years, KGI has expanded its academic offerings to include a Doctor of Occupational Therapy program. This new degree program is currently in the applicant stage with the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).

Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) is one of California’s best occupational therapy schools. It offers a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy and is still in Applicant status. KGI’s program is unique because it emphasizes interdisciplinary collaborative care. This means that students will learn how to work with other health care professionals to provide the best care for their patients. In addition, KGI provides research opportunities for its students to contribute to the profession’s advancement. KGI is an excellent choice for those who want to pursue a career in occupational therapy.

  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Applicant
  • School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, 535 Watson DriveClaremont CA 91711909-607-7855
  • [email protected]
  • Next on-site: 2024/2025

15. Loma Linda University Health

Loma Linda University Health (LLUH) is a Seventh-day Adventist health sciences university located in Loma Linda, California. The university offers a wide range of degree programs, including an OT doctorate which is still in the candidacy stage. LLUH has a long history of Adventist education and health care, dating back to the founding of the Adventist Health System in 1905.

In addition to its academic programs, LLUH also operates a world-renowned medical center and conducts research into a variety of health topics. As a result, LLUH is uniquely positioned to provide an excellent education and training for future OTs.

Loma Linda University Health is one of California’s best Occupational Therapy schools. It is unique in that it offers a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy and is still in Candidacy status. This means that the school is continually working to improve its program and make it the best it can be. The faculty is dedicated to their students and are always available to help them succeed. The campus is beautiful and the facilities are top-notch. I would highly recommend this school to anyone considering a career in Occupational Therapy.

  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Candidacy
  • School of Allied Health Professions, A901 Nichol HallLoma Linda CA 92354909-558-4628
  • [email protected]
  • Next on-site: 2024/2025

16. Marshall B. Ketchum University

Marshall B. Ketchum University is a private university in Orange, California. The university was founded in 1904 and offers a variety of programs, including a Doctor of Occupational Therapy program, which is currently in the applicant stage. The OT program at Marshall B. Ketchum University is designed to prepare students for careers as occupational therapists. The program focuses on developing the skills and knowledge necessary to provide high-quality Occupational Therapy services.

The curriculum includes coursework in human anatomy and physiology, psychology, as well as clinical experiences. Students in the OT program will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through fieldwork placements. Marshall B. Ketchum University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). For more information about the OT program at Marshall B. Ketchum University, please visit the website or contact the admissions office.

Marshall B. Ketchum University is one of California’s best occupational therapy schools. They offer an OT Doctorate program that is still in applicant status. The DocOT program is a two-year, full-time program that requires completion of a doctoral research project. The unique thing about this school is that they also require a one-week on-campus residency each year. This is a great opportunity for students to get hands-on experience and learn from faculty who are experts in the field. Marshall B. Ketchum University should be at the top of your list if you are looking for an accredited occupational therapy program in California.

  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Applicant
  • 2575 Yorba Linda BoulevardFullerton CA 92831714-449-7400
  • [email protected]
  • Next on-site: 2027/2028

17. Point Loma Nazarene University

Point Loma Nazarene University is widely considered to be one of the best Occupational Therapy Schools in California. The university’s OT program is still in the applicant stage but is already highly respected by industry professionals. The faculty at PLNU is experienced and dedicated, and the school’s facilities are top-notch.

Perhaps most importantly, PLNU offers a unique curriculum that focuses on real-world applications. This means that students will be prepared to hit the ground running when they graduate. With its commitment to excellence, it’s no wonder that Point Loma Nazarene University is quickly becoming the go-to destination for aspiring OTs.

Point Loma Nazarene University is one of California’s best Occupational Therapy Schools. I am unique because I have my Masters in Occupational Therapy and am still an Applicant. Point Loma Nazarene University has a beautiful location overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The campus is very spread out, and it can take a while to get from class to class. The professors are all very experienced in their field and are passionate about teaching. The class sizes are small, which allows for more one-on-one time with the professor if needed. Overall, I am very happy with my decision to attend PLNU for my Occupational Therapy master!

  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Applicant
  • 9045-9055 Balboa AvenueSan Diego CA 92123619-849-2629
  • [email protected]
  • Next on-site: 2024/2025

18. San Jose State University

San Jose State University is widely regarded as one of California’s best Occupational Therapy schools. The OT doctorate program is still in the applicant stage, but the school has a long history of producing top-notch occupational therapists. SJSU graduates have gone on to work in a variety of settings, from hospitals and clinics to private practices and research facilities.

In addition, SJSU offers a wide range of extracurricular activities and organizations that allow students to get involved in the community and learn more about their chosen profession. As a result, San Jose State University is an excellent choice for anyone interested in pursuing a career in Occupational Therapy.

San Jose State University’s occupational therapy program is ranked as one of the best in California. The university offers a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree, and students in the program benefit from small class sizes, experienced faculty, and state-of-the-art facilities. In addition, the university’s location in the heart of Silicon Valley provides students with unparalleled opportunities for experiential learning. As a result, it’s no surprise that San Jose State University’s occupational therapy program is one of the most popular in the state. If you’re looking for a top-notch OT education, San Jose State University is the place to be.

  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Public
  • Status: Applicant
  • One Washington SquareSan Jose CA 95192-0059408-924-3070
  • [email protected]
  • Next on-site: 2024/2025

19. Southern California University of Health Sciences

Southern California University of Health Sciences is one of California’s best Occupational Therapy schools. The school offers OT doctorate and OT masters, which are still in the applicant stage. The school is strongly committed to providing its students the best possible education.

The faculty is experienced and highly qualified. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for a career in occupational therapy. The school provides a supportive environment for its students. The school has a strong commitment to providing quality education to its students.

If you are looking for one of the best Occupational Therapy schools in California, look no further than Southern California University of Health Sciences. They offer a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy and are still in Applicant status. That means they are constantly working to improve their curriculum and ensure their students get the best possible education. In addition, their location in Los Angeles County means that students have access to some of the best hospitals and clinics in the country. If you want to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy, Southern California University of Health Sciences is the place to go.

  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Applicant
  • 16200 Amber Valley DriveWhittier CA 90604562-475-5144
  • [email protected]
  • Next on-site: 2024/2025
  • Visit

Southern California University of Health Sciences is one of California’s best occupational therapy schools. The school offers a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy and is still in the applicant status. The school has a strong focus on research and offers a variety of courses that prepare students for a career in occupational therapy. The school also has a strong commitment to community service and offers a variety of opportunities for students to get involved in the community. Southern California University of Health Sciences is an excellent choice for those considering occupational therapy careers.

  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Applicant
  • 16200 Amber Valley DriveWhittier CA 90604562-475-5144
  • [email protected]
  • Next on-site: 2025/2026

20. Stanbridge University

Stanbridge University is one of the best Occupational Therapy Schools in California. The University offers an OT Doctorate, which is still in the applicant stage. The program is designed to prepare students for a career in Occupational Therapy. The program will provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become occupational therapists. The program will also prepare students for the National Certification Examination for Occupational Therapists.

Southern California University of Health Sciences is one of California’s best occupational therapy schools. The university offers a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy and is still in applicant status. The university’s program is unique in that it focuses on evidence-based practice and gives students the opportunity to learn from expert faculty members. In addition, the university provides a hands-on learning environment that helps students prepare for their future careers. As a result, Southern California University of Health Sciences is an excellent choice for those interested in pursuing a career in occupational therapy.

  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Profit
  • Status: Applicant
  • 2041 Business Center Drive, Suite 107Irvine CA 92612-1491888-789-6208
  • [email protected]
  • Next on-site: 2025/2026

21. Stanbridge University-Los Angeles

Stanbridge University-Los Angeles is one of the best Occupational Therapy Schools in California. The school offers an OT master’s which is still in the applicant stage. The school has a strong commitment to excellence and prepares its students for success in their chosen careers. The faculty is experienced and passionate about their work, and the curriculum is rigorous and comprehensive. Stanbridge University-Los Angeles is an excellent choice for those seeking a top-quality education in Occupational Therapy.

Stanbridge University is one of the best occupational therapy schools in California. The university offers a masters in occupational therapy and is still in applicant status. The university provides an education that is based on clinical reasoning and evidence-based practice. The curriculum incorporates global health perspectives to provide students with a culturally competent education. The faculty members are experienced clinicians who are dedicated to their students’ success. The university has a state-of-the-art facility that includes an on-campus clinic, library, and classrooms. Stanbridge University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. The university is committed to providing outstanding education to its students.

  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Private Profit
  • Status: Applicant
  • 2215 W. Mission RoadAlhambra CA 91803-1310866-742-1130
  • [email protected]
  • Next on-site: 2023/2024

Applicant additional location of Stanbridge University, Irvine, CA

22. University of Southern California

The University of Southern California is one of California’s best Occupational Therapy Schools. They offer an OT doctorate which is still in the candidacy stage. The school has a strong commitment to research and offers many opportunities for students to get involved in research projects. The faculty is also very supportive and encourages students to participate in professional development activities. Overall, the University of Southern California is an excellent choice for students interested in pursuing a career in Occupational Therapy.

  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Candidacy
  • 1540 Alcazar Street, CHP-133Los Angeles CA 90089-9003323-442-2850
  • [email protected]
  • Next on-site: 2024/2025

24. University of the Pacific-Sacramento Campus

The Occupational Therapy doctoral program at the University of the Pacific in Sacramento is one of the best in California. The program is still in the candidacy stage, but it is fast becoming one of the country’s most respected Occupational Therapy programs. The University of the Pacific faculty are some of the most experienced and qualified in the field, and they are committed to providing their students with the best possible education.

The University of the Pacific curriculum is rigorous and challenging, but it is also designed to prepare students for a successful career in Occupational Therapy. If you are looking for an Occupational Therapy program that will challenge you and help you grow as a professional, the University of the Pacific is a great choice.

The University of the Pacific-Sacramento Campus is one of California’s best occupational therapy schools. It offers a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy and is currently in Candidacy status. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) and is Board-approved. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for entry-level practice as occupational therapist. The school has a strong commitment to clinical education, and all students are required to complete a clinical internship. The University of the Pacific-Sacramento Campus is an excellent choice for students who are looking for a high-quality occupational therapy education.

  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Candidacy
  • 3200 Fifth AvenueSacramento CA 95817-2705916-520-7496
  • [email protected]
  • Next on-site: 2022/2023

Conclusion

I hope you find the best Occupational Therapy Schools in California. It is a difficult decision, but there are some things to consider when choosing one school over another.

That’s why we have created this list of OT schools that may be right for you and your plans. If none of these seems like a good fit or if you want more information on how occupational therapy can help with specific issues, don’t hesitate to contact me!

1. How do I become an occupational therapist in California?

To become an occupational therapist in California, you will need to complete a bachelor’s or master’s degree in occupational therapy from an accredited institution. You will then need to pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam. Once you have completed these the steps, you will be licensed to practice occupational therapy in California.

2. What are the best occupational therapy schools in California?

There are many excellent occupational therapy schools in California. Some of the best include California State University, Dominican University etc. Each of these schools offers a high-quality education that will prepare you for a successful career in occupational therapy.

Harsh Sharma

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.