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Pre-Occupational Therapy Advising

What is Occupational Therapy?

Life is made up of occupations—meaningful everyday activities. Occupations can include many roles, such as being a student,  a friend, a parent, a spouse, a tennis player, an artist, a cook, or a musician. We don’t think about occupations until we have trouble doing them. Physical, emotional, or other challenges often prevent people from fully participating in the job of living. Occupational therapy incorporates valued occupations into the rehabilitation process (The American Occupational Therapy Association, 2021). 

What do Occupational Therapists do?

Occupational therapists help people of all ages participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Occupational therapists  help people function in all their environments (e.g., home, work, school, community) and address the physical, psychological, and cognitive aspects of their well-being through engagement in occupation.

Common occupational therapy interventions include

  • helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations
  • helping people recovering from injury to regain skills,
  • providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.

Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective and focus on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team (American Occupational Therapy Association,  2021).

Occupational Therapists Work in Diverse Settings

What is Pre-Occupational Therapy at WOU?

 

The Pre-Occupational Therapy track at WOU is designed to prepare you to apply for a graduate program in Occupational Therapy. Pre-Occupational Therapy is not a bachelor’s degree or certificate; it is a program that includes courses to meet prerequisites for admission to a future professional program in Occupational Therapy.

You are encouraged to apply your coursework towards meeting requirements for a Bachelor of Sciences degree. See the Pre-Occupational Therapy Advisor for recommendations regarding the specific courses you should be taking to meet the prerequisite requirements of the specific Occupational Therapy school you are interested in applying to and for information about specific majors and degree paths.

FAQs

What should I major in to earn a degree from WOU?

Occupational Therapy programs often accept students from many different majors including Psychology, Biology, Gerontology, Sociology, Exercise Science, etc. Ideally, you should major in an area that you enjoy and earn high grades. Additionally, the major should help you complete prerequisite requirements for the Occupational Therapy graduate programs you are interested in attending. See the Pre-Occupational Therapy Advisor for recommendations about specific majors and degree paths.

Does WOU offer a Degree in Occupational Therapy?

No. WOU offers the prerequisite courses needed to apply to an Occupational Therapy program of your choice. Click here for a list of Accredited Occupational Therapy programs on the West Coast.  For a full list of Occupational Therapy Programs by State and Accreditation Status see The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) School Directory.

Where can I find a list of specific classes I need to take to get into an Occupational Therapy program?

The specific courses you will need to get into an Occupational Therapy program will depend on the program(s) you are considering applying to and can be different from institution to institution. Some requirements are updated annually.  Programs may require courses in several areas including

  • Psychology
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Biology, Chemistry, Physics
  • Statistics
  • Social Sciences including Sociology or Anthropology
  • Humanities & Creative Arts

Additionally, many schools expect applicants to have applied internship experiences observing or working in the field of Occupational Therapy prior to admission.

See the Pre-Occupational Therapy Advisor to determine the specific courses you should be taking to meet the requirements of the specific Occupational Therapy school you are interested in applying to early in your program to prepare accordingly.

If I complete all the Pre-Occupational Therapy courses recommended by my advisor, will I get accepted into an Occupational Therapy Program?

No. Occupational Therapy Programs are highly competitive, and completion of the prerequisite courses does not guarantee admission to any specific program. Most graduate programs consider several factors in admission including completion of prerequisite courses, applied experiences, strong letters of recommendation, high grade point average, personal statement, etc. Working closely with your advisor can help strengthen your application.     

Resources for Students Interested in Occupational Therapy

Considering an OT Career? Here is a great place to start.
Why I chose Occupational Therapy? Students share what attracted them to the OT profession.
FAQ on Occupational Therapy and Career Planning
FAQ on Entry Level Master’s and Doctoral Degrees in Occupational Therapy

The following is a list of Accredited Occupational Therapy Programs on the West Coast including California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho as determined by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) School Directory. This list was last updated on 9/8/2021 and is provided for informational purposes. WOU is not endorsing any specific program listed below.

Accreditation status means that the program is in substantial compliance with ACOTE Accreditation Standards. Students must graduate from an accredited program to be eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification exam.

Other programs that are currently working through the accreditation process (i.e., Applicant, Candidacy, Pre-Accreditation status) do not appear in the list below.  

For a full list of programs by state and accreditation status see the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) School Directory

 

Questions about Pre-Occupational Therapy

that the website did not cover?

 

Contact:

 

Chehalis Strapp, Pre-Occupational Therapy Advisor

Phone: 503-838-8316

Email: strappc@wou.edu