Pre-Occupational Therapy

Pre-Occupational Therapy
PreProf

Introduction

Pre-Professional Pathways are not offered as majors at Western, nor are they at most other universities, but they can be incorporated into or taken alongside any degree-granting major offered at Western.

Western students prepare for entry to a graduate program in occupational therapy by obtaining a baccalaureate degree, completing the prerequisite course work for entry into specific programs, and by obtaining a broad variety of volunteer clinical experience under the direction of an occupational therapist. 

Students can enter many of the allied health or medical professions from most any major. Some majors are more practical since they contain many or all of the prerequisites within the major. Examples of majors that cover some or all of the prerequisites include: Bio-Anthropology, Biology, Community Health and Kinesiology/Pre-Physical Therapy, and Kinesiology/Pre-Health Care Professions.

Beyond the Classroom

Western's Pre-Healthcare Professions Advising Office provides mentoring and advising to students interested in pursuing careers in healthcare professions. The office works with students to enhance their chances of gaining successful admission to the professional school of their choice. Services range from individual academic advisement to preparing students for the final application process.

Western's Associated Students is home to 200+ clubs, including those for students pursuing healthcare professions.

Careers and Graduate Studies

Most occupational therapy graduate programs require submission of scores for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), general test only.

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Sample Jobs

  • Occupational Therapist

Requirements and Course Details

Pre-Occupational Therapy Advising

Students prepare for entry to a graduate program in occupational therapy by obtaining a baccalaureate degree, completing the prerequisite course work for entry into specific programs, and by obtaining a broad variety of volunteer clinical experience under the direction of an occupational therapist. Students may complete undergraduate degrees in any area. Most programs require submission of scores for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE – general test only).

Specific information on each occupational therapy program can be obtained from the American Occupational Therapy Association at www.aota.org/Educate/Schools.aspx. Students are encouraged to review prerequisite courses early in their academic planning and to develop a plan of study within the first quarter of entry to Western.

Pre-Occupational Therapy is not a major at WWU.

Program Checkpoints

Freshman/Sophomore Years

Meet with a Pre-Occupational Therapy advisor to complete a plan of study. You must examine the requirements of OT schools you wish to qualify to apply to, to determine which of these courses you should complete.

  • MATH 114 (pre-req for chem 161) (see GUR note 1).
  • Chemistry: (see requirement & GUR note 2)
    • CHEM 161 if using BIOL 101 as pre-req for BIOL 348, 349
    • CHEM 161, 162 if using BIOL 205 as a pre-req for BIOL 348, 349.
  • PSY 101 (see GUR note 3), PSY 230 Developmental Psychology, PSY 250 Abnormal Psychology (see GUR note 4). Sociology, or Anthropology (see GUR note 5)
  • BIOL 204, 205 (or BIOL 101) (See GUR note 6) (Pre-req for BIOL 348)
  • Physics 101 (see requirement & GUR note 7).
  • Statistics (MATH 240, KIN 307, or BIOL 340).
  • Other GURs.

Junior Year

Work on completing:

  • BIOL 348, BIOL 349 (see note below 8).
  • Other Occupational Therapy prerequisites (see note below 9).
  • Clinical experience hours (be sure to include a variety of settings and target populations, for example mental health youth adult etc.). See your Pre-OT advisor for assistance setting up clinical experience hours.
  • Major requirements.
  • Prepare for the Graduate Records Examination (GRE).

Senior Year

  • Take the GRE in the fall.
  • Request letters of recommendation from professors, administrators and professionals.
  • Complete remaining Occupational Therapy prerequisites.
  • Complete major requirements.
  • Two quarters before graduation, meet with major faculty advisor for major evaluation and apply for graduation.

GUR Notes

  1. Math 114 fulfills the QSR GUR requirement.
  2. A chemistry course is only required by some OT programs, but Chem 161 is required for BIOL 204 & 349, & CHEM 162 is required for BIOL 205. CHEM 161 & 162 can also contribute to fulfilling the Natural Sciences GUR requirement.
  3. PSY 101 contributes to fulfillment of SSC GUR requirement.
  4. Select behavioral science course beyond Psychology 101 by examining the requirements of OT schools you are interested in being qualified to apply to, to see if they have any specific requirements.
  5. Course from SSC GUR category can be selected.
  6. BIOL 101, 204, 205 contribute towards fulfilling the Natural Sciences GUR requirement.
  7. A physics course is only required by some OT programs. A physics course can also contribute to fulfilling the Natural Sciences GUR requirement.
  8. Only HHD and Biology/Anthropology majors are allowed to resister for Biol 348 at WWU. Students in other majors requiring Biol 348 for professional school may be granted an override if they request one from the instructor at least three weeks prior to phase I of registration.
  9.  You must examine the requirements of OT schools you wish to qualify to apply to, and ensure you complete their requirements by discussing these requirements with your advisor so they can be included in your plan of study.