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Undergraduate Preparation

Choosing a Major

There is no formal “pre-OT” major. Occupational Therapy programs are interested in broadly educated students who have developed excellent writing and speaking skills, possess analytic and synthetic thinking ability, and are enthusiastic, life-long learners. Understanding of the social aspects of rehabilitation medicine is just as important as understanding the science. Your major will not determine your success in applying to OT school. Your interests should determine your choice of major. Majoring in an area that you enjoy is more likely to lead to academic success than pursuing a field for which you have little enthusiasm. Regardless of your major, it is necessary to demonstrate an understanding of basic science.

Prerequisite Coursework:

Biology 111 & 112 plus labs 8 CH
Human Anatomy 4 CH
Human Physiology 4 CH
Statistics 3 CH
Lifespan Development 3 CH
Abnormal Psychology 3 CH
* Medical Terminology
* CPR Certification

*Prerequisite requirements may vary for individual OT Programs

GRE scores submitted at the time of application

To obtain credit for volunteer/work experience, each applicant must complete a set number of hours specifically in occupational therapy

Three reference forms; one from the occupational therapy practitioner who supervised volunteer or work experience. The second and third references should be provided by major advisors or professors.


Students are urged to do volunteer service in their intended Allied Health field. This is especially true for those interested in the Rehabilitation Sciences, but may also apply to other areas. You may volunteer only a few (e.g. 3) hours per week, but you must be dependable and your activities should extend over a significant period of time. The experience component of your applicant profile is increasingly important for some programs, so you should make the most of this opportunity. Also, you should ensure that someone familiar with your performance can serve as a reference.