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 Top 10 Occupational Therapy Schools in California in 2021.

Occupational Therapy in California State

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

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!

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

1

California State University, Dominguez Hills

Status: Accreditation<br>

California State University, Dominguez Hills offers MSOT and OTD

MSOT

  • 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
  • otprogram@csudh.edu
  • Last on-site: 2012/2013
  • Next on-site: 2022/2023
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Prerequisite Courses
    1. Human Anatomy with laboratory *
    2. Human Physiology with laboratory *
    3. Developmental Psychology (Across the Life Span) 
    4. Abnormal Personality or Abnormal Psychology
    5. Statistics
    6. 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

OTD

  • 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
  • otprogram@csudh.edu
  • 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

Status: Accreditation

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.

OT Masters

  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Accreditation
  • 50 Acacia AvenueSan Rafael CA 94901-2298888-323-6763
  • graduate@dominican.edu
  • 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

  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Applicant
  • 50 Acacia AvenueSan Rafael CA 94901-2298415-457-4440
  • diane.griffeath@dominican.edu
  • 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

Status: Accreditation

Samuel Merritt University offers OT Masters and  OT Doctorate

OT Masters

  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Accreditation
  • 450 30th Street, Suite 4706Oakland CA 94609-3302510-879-9220
  • admission@samuelmerritt.edu
  • Last on-site: 2017/2018
  • Next on-site: 2027/2028

OT Doctorate

  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Accreditation
  • 450 30th Street, Suite 4706Oakland CA 94609-3302510-879-9220
  • admission@samuelmerritt.edu
  • Last on-site: 2018/2019
  • Next on-site: 2023/2024
4

San Jose State University

Status: Accreditation

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.
  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Public
  • Status: Accreditation
  • One Washington SquareSan Jose CA 95192-0059408-924-3070
  • occupationaltherapyadmin@sjsu.edu
  • Last on-site: 2015/2016
  • Next on-site: 2025/2026

 OT Doctorate

  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Public
  • Status: Applicant
  • One Washington SquareSan Jose CA 95192-0059408-924-3070
  • occupationaltherapyadmin@sjsu.edu
  • Next on-site: 2024/2025
5

Stanbridge University

Status: Accreditation
  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Private Profit
  • Status: Accreditation
  • 2041 Business Center Drive, Suite 107Irvine CA 92612-1491949-794-9090
  • learn@stanbridge.edu
  • Last on-site: 2015/2016
  • Next on-site: 2021/2022
6

University of Southern California

Status: Accreditation
  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Accreditation
  • 1540 Alcazar Street, CHP-133Los Angeles CA 90089-9003323-442-2850
  • info@chan.usc.edu
  • 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

University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences-California Campus

Status: Accreditation

OT Masters

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

OT Doctorate

  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Profit
  • Status: Accreditation
  • 700 Windy Point DriveSan Marcos CA 92069760-591-3012
  • admissions@usa.edu
  • Last on-site: 2018/2019
  • Next on-site: 2025/2026

Part-time hybrid (Flex) track offered.

8

West Coast University-Los Angeles

Status: Accreditation

 OT Masters

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

OT Doctorate

  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Profit
  • Status: Accreditation
  • 590 N. Vermont AvenueLos Angeles CA 90004323-284-7920
  • swillis@westcoastuniversity.edu
  • Last on-site: 2018/2019
  • Next on-site: 2025/2026
9

Alliant International University

Status: Applicant
  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Private Profit
  • Status: Applicant
  • 10455 Pomerado RoadSan Diego CA 92131858-635-4000
  • admissions@alliant.edu
  • Next on-site: 2026/2027
  • Visit
10

Biola University

Status: Applicant

OT Masters

  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Applicant
  • 13800 Biola AvenueLa Mirada CA 90639562-903-6000
  • matt.rouse@biola.edu
  • Next on-site: 2025/2026

OT Doctorate

  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Applicant
  • 13800 Biola AvenueLa Mirada CA 90639562-903-6000
  • matt.rouse@biola.edu
  • Next on-site: 2026/2027
11

California State University, Dominguez Hills

Status: Applicant
  • 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
  • otprogram@csudh.edu
  • Next on-site: 2024/2025
12

CBD College

Status: Applicant
  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Applicant
  • 3699 Wilshire Blvd., 4th FloorLos Angeles CA 90010213-427-2200
  • cbdcollege@cbd.edu
  • Next on-site: 2025/2026
13

Dominican University of California

Status: Applicant
  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Applicant
  • 50 Acacia AvenueSan Rafael CA 94901-2298415-457-4440
  • graduate@dominican.edu
  • Next on-site: 2025/2026
14

Keck Graduate Institute

Status: Applicant
  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Applicant
  • School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, 535 Watson DriveClaremont CA 91711909-607-7855
  • sphs.admissions@kgi.edu
  • Next on-site: 2024/2025
15

Loma Linda University Health

Status: Candidacy
  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Candidacy
  • School of Allied Health Professions, A901 Nichol HallLoma Linda CA 92354909-558-4628
  • studyot@llu.edu
  • Next on-site: 2024/2025
16

Marshall B. Ketchum University

Status: Applicant
  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Applicant
  • 2575 Yorba Linda BoulevardFullerton CA 92831714-449-7400
  • cjolly@ketchum.edu
  • Next on-site: 2027/2028
17

Point Loma Nazarene University

Status: Applicant
  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Applicant
  • 9045-9055 Balboa AvenueSan Diego CA 92123619-849-2629
  • jeffsullivan@pointloma.edu
  • Next on-site: 2024/2025
18

San Jose State University

Status: Applicant
  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Public
  • Status: Applicant
  • One Washington SquareSan Jose CA 95192-0059408-924-3070
  • occupationaltherapyadmin@sjsu.edu
  • Next on-site: 2024/2025
19

Southern California University of Health Sciences

  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Applicant
  • 16200 Amber Valley DriveWhittier CA 90604562-475-5144
  • OccupationalTherapy@scuhs.edu
  • Next on-site: 2024/2025
  • Visit
  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Applicant
  • 16200 Amber Valley DriveWhittier CA 90604562-475-5144
  • michaelramcharan@scuhs.edu
  • Next on-site: 2025/2026
20

Stanbridge University

Status: Applicant
  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Profit
  • Status: Applicant
  • 2041 Business Center Drive, Suite 107Irvine CA 92612-1491888-789-6208
  • learn@stanbridge.edu
  • Next on-site: 2025/2026
21

Stanbridge University-Los Angeles

Status: Applicant
  • Degree Level: OT Masters
  • Institution Type: Private Profit
  • Status: Applicant
  • 2215 W. Mission RoadAlhambra CA 91803-1310866-742-1130
  • learn@stanbridge.edu
  • Next on-site: 2023/2024

Applicant additional location of Stanbridge University, Irvine, CA

22

University of Southern California

Status: Candidacy
  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Candidacy
  • 1540 Alcazar Street, CHP-133Los Angeles CA 90089-9003323-442-2850
  • info@chan.usc.edu
  • Next on-site: 2024/2025
23

University of the Pacific-Sacramento Campus

Status: Candidacy
  • Degree Level: OT Doctorate
  • Institution Type: Private Nonprofit
  • Status: Candidacy
  • 3200 Fifth AvenueSacramento CA 95817-2705916-520-7496
  • nperkins@pacific.edu
  • 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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.