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.

Healthcare Worker Scholarship

The Healthcare Worker Scholarship is an annual $500 scholarship awarded to a student pursuing a career in the healthcare field who submits the best 200 word essay on the topic of how choosing a career in healthcare can make a positive difference in their community. Applicants must be college students pursuing a healthcare related undergraduate degree or graduate degree. High school students are also eligible if they plan to study a healthcare related major and will be at least 18 years of age by the date of scholarship reimbursement. This scholarship is sponsored by, a leading healthcare salary information website in the United States. Healthcare Worker Salary provides a comprehensive resource of useful information for aspiring healthcare workers, including salaries for different professions, schools and programs available and recommended resources. Eligibility: To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must be: At least 18 years of age. A college student pursuing a healthcare related undergraduate degree or certificate at an accredited college or university. High school student planning to pursue a healthcare related major.

Dr. Ralph E. White Graduating Senior Scholarship

California State PTA awards a scholarship each year for $500 to two (2), successful applicants of the Graduating High School Senior Scholarship who intend to pursue a career in a medical field. Two students selected to receive a Graduating High School Senior Scholarship are awarded an additional $500 from the Dr. Ralph E. White Graduating Senior Scholarship Program.

PIF/Lifeline Scholarship Program

Scholarships are available for adult students who are enrolled in one of the following programs: physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech/hearing therapy, mental health, or rehabilitation. Recipients must be preparing for, or already invovled in, careers working with people with disabilities/brain related disorders.

Doctor on Demand Scholarship

The Doctor On Demand Scholarship will award $5,000 to an exceptional student representing the next generation of modern medicine. The Doctor On Demand scholarship is available to any Medical, or Undergraduate student enrolled in a health-related field-of-study at an accredited college or university. This includes current, and recently graduated high-school students who will be attending their first semester fall. Application Instructions In a PDF, please provide a cover page with the following information: Name Email Phone Number College/University Year in School In the document, please answer the following question in 500-600 words: Please remember a time where you knew for certain you wanted to enter a medical field. Was there a specific event that triggered this? Was it something you were always drawn to? Why have you chosen health services over any other career? Once you have finished the essay, please email cover sheet (with above information) and essay in a PDF format to Please complete the survey in addition to submitting the essay. Survey answers will NOT be factored into scoring essay, but is a requirement to be considered for the scholarship award.

Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS)

Eligible Applicants You are eligible to apply for this scholarship at a school that participates in the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students program if you are From a disadvantaged background as defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: An individual from a disadvantaged background is defined as one who comes from an environment that has inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skill, and abilities required to enroll in and graduate from a health professions school, or from a program providing education or training in an allied health profession; or comes from a family with an annual income below a level based on low income thresholds according to family size published by the U.S. Bureau of Census, adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index, and adjusted by the Secretary, HHS, for use in health professions and nursing programs. A citizen, national, or a lawful permanent resident of the United States or the District of Columbia, the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico or the Marianas Islands, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the American Samoa, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated State of Micronesia. Eligible Disciplines Under this program, funds are awarded to accredited schools of medicine osteopathic medicine dentistry optometry pharmacy podiatric medicine veterinary medicine nursing (associate, diploma, baccalaureate and graduate degree) public health chiropractic allied health (baccalaureate or graduate degree programs of dental hygiene, medical laboratory technology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, radiologic technology, speech pathology, audiology, and registered dietitians) graduate programs in behavioral and mental health practice (includes clinical psychology, clinical social work, professional counseling, or marriage and family therapy) programs providing training of physician assistants

Benjamin Trust Fund

Scholarships provide partial support for individuals living in the Virgin Islands who have pursued degrees in nursing, midwifery, physical therapy, occupational therapy, pharmacy, master’s level public health and audiology. Other degree and certificate programs may be considered.

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.

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.

AOTF Illinois Scholarship

Two scholarships of $500 each for residents of Illinois enrolled in an accredited occupational therapy educational program in Illinois - one at the professional level and one at the associate degree.

Carolyn Kohn Memorial Scholarship

* For student seeking a post-professional graduate degree; * Must be a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association; * Demonstrate a need for financial assistance; * Have a sustained record of outstanding scholastic achievement; * Must be a full-time student currently enrolled in an accredited or developing occupational therapy educational program. * Must be currently enrolled in a minimum of two courses per semester in an accredited institution of higher education; * Graduate program must require a dissertation, thesis, special project, or research component; * Must be a New York resident. Check website for any update on award deadline.

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