South Dakota Occupational Therapist School

Steps to Become an Occupational Therapist in South Dakota

While sites like Mount Rushmore National Memorial attract visitors to South Dakota, the state government is working hard to make South Dakota attractive to residents, as well.  South Dakota is leading the nation in implementing the federal stimulus package, restoring funding for programs and services.

The state received $632 million and has allocated $282 million for infrastructure (bridges and roads, water systems, building repairs, and energy projects), $181 million for education and $132 million for public assistance programs, $23 million for public safety and $14 million for state services.

To be an Occupational Therapist in South Dakota, one needs to have at least a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy; have passed the NBCOT exam for Occupational Therapy to qualify as an Occupational Therapist, Registered or OTR; and obtain a license from the state.

An accredited MS program offered by South Dakota occupational therapy schools is usually is approved by the Accrediting Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).  For admission, students must have already earned a Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with a grade point average of 3.0 or better.  No specific major is required, however, at least six of the nine prerequisite courses must be completed prior to applying and all prerequisite courses must be completed prior to the first day of the program. Prerequisites usually are Biology, Human Anatomy, Physiology, General Psychology and Abnormal Psychology, Life Span Development, Statistics, Physics, Introductory Sociology or Anthropology, and Introduction to OT.

South Dakota universities require a physical exam and record of immunizations for all new students.  In addition, health care programs require a vaccination for hepatitis B. Graduate students also must take the GRE and most programs expect a combined minimum score of 950.  Other graduate program admission requirements include an interview, personal statement or essay and letters of recommendation.  For an MS of OT, a background check is required, too.

Most programs have limited space, so early application is recommended. For information on the requirements of a specific program, check out the university’s website.

Through campus based and online programs, aspiring Occupational Therapists in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Aberdeen and Watertown, South Dakota may be able to prepare themselves for the possibility of employment in some of the largest hospitals and healthcare facilities in the state including the Sanford USD Medical Center, Rapid City Regional Hospital, Avera Saint Luke's Hospital and Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center.

Occupational Therapy Schools

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