Undergraduate students who are considering pursuing occupational therapy at the graduate level may wish to explore entry level master’s programs as well as entry level doctoral programs. If interested in occupational therapy, students should regularly check the Occupational Therapy Association website for information about prerequisite requirements for selected programs including the minimum grade required for these undergraduate courses. Academic advisors will assist with course selection and sequencing. Entrance to occupational therapy programs is competitive and admission is based on: (a) academic excellence, (b) Graduate Record Exam scores, (c) letters of reference from faculty members and occupational therapists, (d) clinical observation experiences, (e) an essay, (f) prerequisite courses and (f) an interview.
There is no required major for admission to occupational therapy programs, but some common avenues are exercise science, athletic training or biology. Please contact a faculty member in any of those areas for advice if considering pursuing graduate programs in occupational therapy. Some of the most common prerequisite courses are:
- Anatomy and Physiology (2 semesters)
- Introduction to Psychology
- Lifespan Development
- Abnormal Psychology
- Sociology or Anthropology or Culture
Please note that there are other courses that specific programs require such as:
- Introduction to Research
- Structural Kinesiology
- Medical Terminology
- Biology elective
In addition to the prerequisite courses, most programs require observation hours in an occupational therapy clinic. Students may choose to do an internship in that type of setting or seek that experience outside of the class setting. Students are encouraged to review the requirements of the programs that they are considering.