Occupational Therapy

Overview

Occupational therapists (OTs) propose activities and therapies to obtain maximum independence for individuals who have mental, physical, emotional, or developmental problems.  They help patients learn how to perform single daily living skills and to develop work skills. Occupational therapists assess, treat, adapt, educate and often implement the use of assistive technology as well as prosthetic devices.  Occupational therapists work in clinics, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, extended care facilities, schools, and the patient’s home.

– Ted Johnson, Finding Your Way to a Career in the Health Professions

Prerequisites

Undergraduate requirements (varies by program):

 Biology (1 course)  BIO 150
 Human anatomy and physiology (2 courses)  BIO 143, BIO 243
 Medical terminology (1 course)  BIO 291
 General psychology (1 course)  PSYCH 125
 Developmental psychology (1 course)  PSYCH 241
 Abnormal psychology (1 course)  PSYCH 247
 Statistics (1 course)  STATS 110 or STATS 212

Be sure to check the admission requirements for the specific programs you will be applying to!

Experience:

Applicants must have 20 or more hours of contact or observation in occupational therapy. Observation in a variety of settings is beneficial. Most programs require one letter of recommendation from a professional within the field with whom you have undertaken substantial clinical observation.

CPR certification is often required.

Entrance exam:

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) – required at some schools

General application:

OTCAS – Costs $125 for the first school and $45 for each additional school.

Occupational therapy programs are two and a half years with coursework and clinical experience.

Resources

Links: 

Professional organization:

Student organizations:

List of graduate programs: