occupational therapy schools Pennsylvania (PA)

Alvernia University


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Alvernia University is located in Reading, Pennsylvania, which puts it in close proximity to big cities like New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC. It is a private Franciscan Roman Catholic university that prioritizes morals and ethics in students’ studies. The school’s Franciscan roots are a traditional part of its history and a guiding principle in its identity. Education includes both classroom-style teaching and real world learning and practice. Alvernia University offers a graduate Master of Occupational Therapy degree. It also offers a five-year Bachelor’s in Health Sciences and Master’s in Occupational Therapy combined program for freshmen.

Chatham University


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Chatham University is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Over 2,000 students are enrolled in the university in 60 different graduate and undergraduate programs. The university primarily focuses on degree programs in the areas of arts and sciences, sustainability and health, and business and communications. It has been named a college of distinction multiple times by U.S. News & World Report, and it has also been lauded for its efforts to be an environmentally friendly campus. Chatham University offers two different Doctor of Occupational Therapy programs, with one three-year program for entry-level graduate studies and one 16-month program for post-professional studies.

Duquesne University


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Duquesne University is a private university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a Catholic university that assists students in spiritual development alongside academic development. Service to the community and to the Church are key goals held up by the university. The occupational therapy program carries these same goals. The program aims to give students a well-rounded education with a strong focus on compassionate care. Clinical fieldwork, experiential learning, and community engagement are also very important in the curriculum. Both master’s and doctorate programs in occupational therapy are offered at an undergraduate and graduate combination course, and both are entry-level programs.

Elizabethtown College



Elizabethtown College, often shortened to Etown, is a private college in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. It is a small-scale school with around 1,500 students and an 11:1 student to faculty ratio. Etown offers over 100 student organizations and clubs to encourage students to get engaged with their classmates and their community. The campus spans over 200 acres. Both of Etown’s occupational therapy programs are accelerated degree programs. The BS/MS program is a five year program with six months of fieldwork, and the BC/OTD program is a six year program with six months of fieldwork and an additional 14-week capstone experience.

Gannon University


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Gannon University is a private college in Erie, Pennsylvania. It also has a second campus in Ruskin, Florida. Gannon is a private Catholic, Diocesan university with a student base of nearly 4,500. The teachings of the university support an education that is focused on both scholarship and service. Faith, leadership, and social responsibility are some of its most important principles. Gannon University offers three OT programs. The first is a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree program. The second is a three-year master’s degree at a graduate entry level, which includes six months of full-time field work. The third program is a three to four year program for occupational therapy assistants to become Registered Occupational Therapists.

Gwynedd Mercy University



Gwynedd Mercy University is located in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania. It is a Catholic institute that offers degree programs in multiple arts and sciences concentrations. Gwynedd Mercy is part of the Sisters of Mercy colleges which exist across the United States. The school’s mission reflects both their roots in religious and spiritual practices as well as their commitment to service. Their campus is fairly large at 25 square miles. The occupational therapy department offers a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy graduate degree program. It is a two and a half year program, with five academic terms and one term of fieldwork.

Messiah College


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Messiah College is a private, Christian college in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. It has a strong faith community that integrates evangelical Christian teachings with their academic courses. It is a nationally ranked college with just over 3,000 students currently attending, giving it a small school feeling. Programs for travel during studies are offered by the college through both mission work and study abroad opportunities. Messiah College’s occupational therapy program offers a Master in Occupational Therapy degree. It is a full-time program designed to be completed over the course of two years. The program is accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association.

Misericordia University



Misericordia University is located in Dallas, Pennsylvania. It is a Catholic liberal arts university that was founded by the Sisters of Mercy. Providing service to others is a key tenet of the school, as is providing personal attention and support to all students. It is home to over 2,600 students in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. Misericordia offers multiple occupational therapy programs. These include entry-level master’s and doctoral programs, a weekend study master’s program, a post-professional master’s degree program, and a post-professional doctoral program. The wide variety of programs ensures there is a class schedule and pathway that fits every student’s needs.

Saint Francis University



Saint Francis University is in Loretto, Pennsylvania. It is a private Catholic, Franciscan institute that focuses on liberal arts programs. It is one of the oldest Catholic colleges in the nation. The university spans over 600 acres, making it a truly impressive mixture of farmlands and forest. It identifies the values of generosity, discovery, faith, respect, and joy as traits of paramount importance. The occupational therapy program combines pre-professional and professional phases, and the bachelor’s and master’s degrees earned also include a minor in psychology. Other minors can be added to further Saint Francis University’s multidisciplinary approach to occupational therapy.

Salus University


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Salus University is a private university located in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia. The college specializes in health care programs, referring to itself as the “future of health science.” It provides its students with early clinical exposure in their freshman and sophomore years that continues through their time at the school as opposed to many programs that do not offer field experience until much later on. They offer an MS in occupational therapy as well as a post-professional doctorate program. The course emphasizes an interprofessional approach to therapy with a well-rounded education and a holistic method of treatment.

Slippery Rock University


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Slippery Rock University, also referred to as SRU, is a university located in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania. As a public university known for its health profession degrees, SRU is part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). It is committed to instilling leadership and civic responsibility values in its more than 8,500 students. The college offers a Doctor of Occupational Therapy program that is primarily delivered through on-campus learning and scheduled fieldwork placements off-campus. Both generalized knowledge and specific training in various areas of occupational therapy are available so students can gain the skills they need for work in any manner of occupational therapy jobs.

Temple University


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Temple University is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a public, research-focused university that offers a wide variety of majors. Temple University is a large college with about 40,000 students between its undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. The college also features NCAA Division I sports programs. It offers a Master in Occupational Therapy degree and a Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree. Both programs are accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association and highly ranked. Fieldwork is especially important in these programs, with students getting to experience hands-on practice in their first year working towards their degree.

Thomas Jefferson University


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Thomas Jefferson University is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university’s programs and fields of study focus heavily on preparing students for the modern world and their futures. It prides itself on the “21st-century curriculum” in all of their courses which emphasize the future of various jobs and of the ever-changing state of education. Discipline crossover is common, as is experiential education, to allow students to see what their job expectations will be first-hand. Research is another large part of the curriculum, giving students the opportunity to make new discoveries in their field. Thomas Jefferson University offers both master’s and doctorate occupational therapy programs.

University of Pittsburgh



The University of Pittsburgh is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is highly involved in research, and is a state, public university. As a preeminent doctorate-granting university, it is a member of the Association of American Universities. The University of Pittsburgh is a large college with over 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students, but it still maintains a student to faculty ratio of about 14:1. The college offers both master’s and doctoral programs for occupational therapy. These programs feature hands-on practice right in the classroom as well as learning opportunities in fieldwork placements.

University of Scranton



The University of Scranton is a Catholic and Jesuit liberal arts university in Scranton, Pennsylvania. It is a private institution with a deep connection to its historic religious roots. These roots are reflected in their mission, which has spirituality at its core as well as a dedication to community service. The occupational therapy department prioritizes holistic and humanistic practices, as well as a compassionate learning environment for all students. Active learning in lab and real-world environments is a key part of the five-year entry level program. A Doctor of Occupational Therapy program is planned for the near future alongside their currently existing master’s program.

University of the Sciences



University of the Sciences, otherwise known as USciences, is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. USciences is focused on degree programs in the field of healthcare, and its focus has allowed it to become one of the leading universities in health sciences. It is a smaller university, which lends itself to a more intimate and personal classroom setting with plenty of opportunities for faculty-led research. USciences offers three different pathways for occupational therapy degrees, each of which is accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association. These pathways include a six year accelerated undergraduate and graduate hybrid, a graduate master’s pathway, and a graduate doctorate pathway.

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