Program description

Occupational Therapy

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences partners with academic affiliates to offer a 12-week Occupational Therapy Internship. The internship is arranged by the academic fieldwork coordinator from your college or university and is provided after you complete the academic portion of your degree program.

Occupational therapy offers two levels of practice — an occupational therapist and an occupational therapy assistant.

To prepare for a career as an occupational therapist, you must complete an education program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education. A list of accredited programs is available from the American Occupational Therapy Association Inc.

To become an occupational therapy assistant, you must complete either a two-year associate degree or an accredited certificate educational program.

All courses of study require a period of supervised clinical experience (for example, fieldwork) and successful completion of a national certification examination.

The Occupational Therapy Internship at Mayo Clinic provides the high-quality didactic and clinical fieldwork needed to create a well-rounded, fully competent occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant.

Throughout your internship, you are exposed to adaptive training activities, equipment, videos and resources. These prepare the student for treating individuals with medical diagnoses typically seen in the rehabilitative clinical setting, such as stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, cancer, cardiac conditions and neurological impairments.


See accreditation information for Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.


The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation offers comprehensive physical medicine and rehabilitation care for both inpatients and outpatients. At Mayo Clinic, physician evaluations, as well as physical and occupational therapy services, are available. Inpatient rehabilitation care is provided at Mayo Clinic Hospital — Rochester, Saint Marys Campus, part of Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota.

Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester includes an extensive outpatient complex, Mayo Clinic Hospital — Rochester, and substantial research and education facilities.

This Mayo Clinic site is among the largest, most advanced medical centers in the world.

Graduation and certification

Occupational therapy interns graduate from their respective colleges or universities upon successful completion of their fieldwork. They are then responsible for scheduling and completing their certification tests through the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy Inc.

Those who pass the test are awarded the title of registered occupational therapist or certified occupational therapy assistant. Individual states may also require licensure.


For the majority of the internship, your learning schedule includes eight-hour days, five days a week. While the regular workweek is usually 40 hours, additional projects, patient activities and homework may be assigned.

Class size

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences admits occupational therapy interns in the four date ranges a year as set by the American Occupational Therapy Association Inc. Each internship is a 12-week fieldwork experience.

In our rehabilitation unit and the acute care hospital unit, the student is in a collaborative model, where one clinical instructor supervises more than one student. In other areas, a one-on-one model of clinical instruction is provided.

March 27, 2015