St. Catherine University OTA Program FAQs

  1. How many program starts are available per year?
  2. Can I apply to the program without a high school diploma?
  3. How long does it take to complete the program?
  4. Can I complete all of the coursework online?
  5. Can I work while in the OTA program?
  6. Where will I complete my skills labs?
  7. Can I complete my fieldwork anywhere?
  8. What is the difference between Level I and Level II Fieldwork?
  9. How do I become a Certified OTA (COTA) after graduation?

1. How many program starts are available per year?

We offer three program starts per year, in January, May, and September.

2. Can I apply to the program without a high school diploma?

Yes, as long as you have a passing GED® score, but you will need to take the necessary prerequisites courses before you enter the OTA course sequence, which means it will take longer to graduate.

3. How long does it take to complete the Online OTA program?

It can take as few as 16 months if you have already completed all your prerequisites to begin the OTA curriculum right away. If you plan to complete some or all of your prerequisite courses with St. Kate’s it will take longer. On average, most of our students take between 16 – 24 months to complete the program.

St. Kate's OTA student working on online coursework

The online portion is only 80% of the OTA curriculum. Students must also complete 12 skills labs and 720 hours of fieldwork.

4. Can I complete all of the coursework online?

No, only 80% of the curriculum can be completed online. The remaining 20% is comprised of 12 hands-on skills labs and 720 hours of fieldwork. Labs and fieldwork must be done in-person.

5. Can I work while in the program?

The decision to work while in the program is entirely up to you. Keep in mind, however, the OTA program is considered full-time and is an academically rigorous program.

6. Where will I complete my skills labs?

You will complete 12 skills labs at a designated location within your program area. Keep in mind, you are not required to reside in the state where your skills labs will take place. You just have to be willing to travel to your assigned lab location. For example, you can live in Indiana and still participate in our Virginia-based program as long as you have the means and desire to travel to the state of Virginia 12 different times while in the program.

Online OTA student from St. Kate's working with a group of patients

7. Can I complete fieldwork anywhere?

Students can complete fieldwork in all states except Puerto Rico. We have a dedicated fieldwork coordinator who will work with students to identify approved fieldwork locations that best fit their needs.

8. What is the difference between level I and level II fieldwork?

Level I fieldwork gets students comfortable in a real-world setting, expanding their didactic knowledge through direct observation and select participation. This is done through a small group setting with your fellow OTA classmates.

Level II fieldwork has students working one-on-one with clients/patients, applying the theoretical and scientific principles they learned in their didactic courses. Students perform level I and level II fieldwork under the supervision of a certified OT professional.

9. How do I become a Certified OTA (COTA) after graduation?

All graduates of our Online OTA program are required to take the NBCOT® Exam in order to become certified OTAs (COTAs). We are dedicated to your success by providing you with support during and after the program. Our NBCOT Prep Coaching Program provides graduates with a study plan and one-on-one coaching that helps prepare them to sit for the NBCOT® Exam.

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