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Occupational Therapy Scholarships

The academic field of occupational therapy (OT) is a preprofessional course of study that is designed to prepare you for a graduate program. The ideal degree candidate for this type of program will have sufficient quantities of empathy, patience, manual dexterity and physical stamina. Keep reading to find out more about this exciting major and  about the range of occupational therapy scholarships.

Becoming an occupational therapist involves several steps. You'll first need a bachelor's degree. Then you can enroll in a graduate-level (either master's or doctoral) occupational therapy degree program. Upon completing your graduate studies you'll then be eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy exam. Once you've successfully completed all of these steps you'll be eligible for the title Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR).

At the bachelor's degree level you can choose whatever major you want as long as the curriculum of the major includes the courses you'll need for an OT grad program. Examples of these courses include anatomy and physiology, biology, psychology, ergonomics, mechanical physics, kinesiology and gerontology. 

A partial list of the college majors that work well with this course load include biology, sociology, psychology and liberal arts. There are a growing number of colleges offering a combined bachelor's/master's degree program that will allow you to complete your studies in five years.

Most occupational therapy scholarships pertain to the study of this field at the graduate level. Some of the scholarship opportunities are designed for students specializing in a particular OT concentration such as pediatrics or psychiatric disabilities. If you are looking for scholarships at the undergraduate level you might want to investigate what's available under the category of your major.

The career prospects for occupational therapists are outstanding. Job opportunities are expected to increase at a much faster than average rate over the coming decade. One factor fueling this growth will be an increase in the elderly population. As out nation ages our need for occupational therapy increases.

Follow the links below to explore the range of occupational therapy scholarships. 

AMBUCS Scholarships for Therapists

AMBUCS offers scholarships to students (U.S. citizens) in their junior/senior year in a bachelor's degree, or a graduate program leading to a master's or doctoral degree. Students must be accepted in an accredited program by the appropriate health/therapy profession authority in physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, and hearing audiology. Assistant programs are not eligible. Awards are based on financial need, commitment to local community, demonstrated academic accomplishment, character for compassion and integrity, and career objectives.

AOTF New York Scholarship

Scholarships for occupational therapy students at professional master's degree level in New York state, who are residents of the state of New York and who are members of the New York State Occupational Therapy Association. Scholarship amount TBD. Please check website for any changes in award deadline.

Julia D. Sweeney Endowed Scholarship

Scholarships awarded to an occupational therapy or occupational therapy assistant student within the state of New Mexico. Scholarship amount TBD. QUALIFIED APPLICANTS MUST: Meet all eligibility requirements; Have a sustained record of outstanding scholastic achievement; Supply application data including: (1) Two references and (2) Program Director's statement;

Whittier Hospital Volunteer Scholarship

Criteria: 1. Must be pursuing a degree in registered nursing (RN), licensed vocational nursing (LVN), physical therapy, respiratory therapy, occupational therapy, laboratory technology, radiology technology, physician, speech pathology, medical dietary science and pharmacology. 2. Must be a resident of the Greater Whittier Area and have a permanent address from one of the following locations: Whittier, El Monte, Hacienda Heights, La Habra, La Habra Heights, La Mirada, La Puente, Pico Rivera, Rowland Heigts, Santa Fe Springs and Norwalk. 3. Must have a minimum 2.5 GPA. Contact Information: Students interested in applying for this scholarship should pick up an application from the Center for Scholarship Information ((562) 985-2549; mailto:scholarships@csulb.edu; USU-108).

AOTF District of Columbia Scholarship

Applicants must be currently enrolled and have completed at least 1 year of occupational therapy specific coursework in an AOTA accredited or developing post-professional level program OR enrolled in an occupational therapy assistant program. One scholarship awarded annually to a student currently enrolled in the occupational therapy education program at the Howard University and who resides in the Washington, DC metropolitan area (i.e., the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland, and Northern Virginia). Scholarship amount TBD.

Janet L. Hoffman Loan Assistance Repayment Program (LARP)

Who may apply: Maryland residents who provide public service in Maryland State or local government or nonprofit agencies in Maryland to low income or underserved residents.How to apply: Complete and file a LARP General application. Third-year law students must file a Pre-Graduation Law Application and LARP General application.When to apply: LARP General applications become available in June. The application deadline is September 30. Pre-Graduation Law Applications become available in September of your third year of law school. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTSYou must have earned a degree from a college in Maryland, or from any law school, or a resident teacher certificate from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). You must be employed full-time (35+ hours per week) in state or local government or in a nonprofit organization in Maryland. Your employer must help low income, underserved residents or underserved areas in the state. You must have educational loans from a university, government, or commercial source that you used to pay college expenses. You may not be in default on a loan. Your annual gross salary cannot exceed $60,000. If married, your annual gross salary cannot exceed $60,000, and your combined salaries cannot exceed $130,000. If employed as a nurse faculty member, your annual gross salary cannot exceed $75,000. If married, your annual gross salary cannot exceed $75,000, and your combined salaries cannot exceed $160,000. This is a service-based program. Prior service obligations from other State of Maryland scholarships must be completed by July 1. One position cannot fulfill two service obligations simultaneously.PRE-GRADUATION LAW STUDENT REQUIREMENTSYou must be a law student attending University of Maryland, Baltimore or University of Baltimore and in your third and final year of school. You must submit a Pre-Graduation Law Application before graduation in May, together with verification of an employment offer. You must submit a LARP General application by September 30 and meet all eligibility requirements listed above.

ALCOA Foundation Academic Scholarship

To provide financial assistance to registered nurses who are pursuing a bachelor's or graduate degree to prepare for a career in occupational and environmental health. Amount Awarded: $1500 Number Awarded: 1 each year. Duration: 1 year; may be renewed up to 2 additional years. Eligibility: This program is open to registered nurses who are enrolled in a baccalaureate, master's, or doctoral degree program. Applicants must demonstrate an interest in, and commitment to, occupational and environmental health. Selection is based on 2 letters of recommendation and a 500-word essay on the applicant's professional goals as they relate to the academic activity and the field of occupational and environmental health. Additional Information: Funding for this program is provided by the Alcoa Foundation.

BHP-Coal New Mexico Scholarship

Requirements: 1. Enrolled member of Navajo or Ute Mountain Ute Indian. Certification of Tribal membership is required. 2. High school senior admitted to college, students currently atteding or admitted to a four-year college. 3. Minimum cumulative B average or 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. GPA must have been attained as a high school senior or from current college performance. 4. ACT SCORE: 22 or better 5. Must be registered as a full-time student and show proof of full-time student status prior to award payment. 6. Major course of study must be in the following areas: engineering (mining, civil, mechanical, electrical), business/accounting, environmental/reclamation sciences, labor/industrial relations, purchasing, or occupational safety.

The Karen Jacobs Scholarship

One scholarship of $500 for a Massachusetts resident enrolled in an accredited occupational therapy educational program in Massachusetts at the professional degree level. One scholarship of $250 for a Massachusetts resident enrolled in an accredited OTA program in Massachusetts. Applicants must be members of the Massachusetts Association for Occupational Therapy.

NorthCoast Medical Scholarship

Applicants must be currently enrolled and have completed at least 1 year of occupational therapy specific coursework in an AOTA accredited or developing post-professional level program OR enrolled in an occupational therapy assistant program. QUALIFIED APPLICANTS MUST: Meet all eligibility requirements; For Post-baccalaureate scholarships, this must be the first degree in Occupational Therapy; Have a sustained record of outstanding scholastic achievement; Supply application data including: (1) Two references and (2) Program Director's statement; Applicants for post-baccalaureate scholarships must be enrolled at the professional level (Master's or OTD) in an accredited or developing Occupational Therapy educational program and have completed 1 full year of Occupational Therapy coursework.

SOTA Conference Scholarship

College/Department: Applied Sciences and Arts - Occupational Therapy OT major, member of SOTA, academic standards, financial need, involvement in OT/ or OT Promotion.

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