St. Catherine University OTA Program FAQs

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 prerequisite 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. 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.

Online coursework for OTA students

The online portion is only 80% of the OTA curriculum. Students must also complete 8 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 8 hands-on skills labs and 720 hours of fieldworkLabs 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 8 skills labs at a designated location within your program area. St. Kate’s offers Online OTA program labs in California, Minnesota, Texas and Virginia. During the admissions process, your counselor will work with you to select a lab location that works for you.

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 New York and enroll in our Virginia-based program as long as you have the means and desire to travel to the state of Virginia 8 different times while in the program.

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. 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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