Pre-Occupational Therapy


Students interested in a career in Occupational Therapy have the option of pursuing any major along with completing specific prerequisites. Occupational Therapy schools requirements typically vary from a minimum of 60 credit hours to a bachelors degree being completed at the time of application. Students may pursue either a masters or doctoral degree in Occupational Therapy (we encourage students to consider applying to doctoral level OT programs.) Students must gain a thorough understanding of the profession through a range of shadowing experiences. The Canisius Institute for Autism Research provides excellent opportunities for students. Some programs may require a competitive score on the GRE. Students should work with the Pre-Med Advisor to select appropriate coursework based on their schools of interest and co-curricular experiences. In addition to the information in this section, please check the general information at the pre-medical and pre-health section of the catalog.

Recommended Pre-Occupational Therapy Courses

Academic admission requirements vary by school, but the following courses typically prepare a student to apply to multiple programs:

Anatomy & Physiology

At least one year of anatomy/physiology with laboratory:

BIO 114
Human Biology: Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology
and Human Biology: Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory
BIO 115
Musculoskeletal Anatomy and Physiology
and Musculoskeletal Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory


One semester of statistics:

PSY 201Basic Statistics for Behavioral Sciences3 or 4
or MAT 131 Statistics for Social Sciences
or MAT 141 Inferential Statistics and Computers for Science


Psychology requirements vary at the different schools. Students work with the PreMed Advisor to plan for any additional courses. (Note that completing the four courses, along with PSY 201 and PSY 202 is an excellent way to earn a minor in Psychology along with satisfying OT psychology prerequisites for a broad range of schools.)

Select one of the following:
PSY 101Introduction to Psychology I3
or PSY 102 Introduction to Psychology II
Take both of the following:
PSY 203Lifespan Developmental Psychology3
PSY 303Abnormal Psychology3


One course in Sociology:

SOC 110Introduction to Sociology3
or SOC 111 Contemporary Social Problems

Medical Terminology

One course in medical terminology is required by some schools.

HRP 111Medical Terminology1 or 3
or CLS 220 Greek and Latin Roots of Medical Terminology

Additional Pre-Occupational Therapy Course Suggestions


Some programs may require coursework in General Biology and/or General Chemistry.

Elective Courses

HRP 101 allows students to explore different health professions.

HRP 201 and HRP 202 allow students to explore areas of medicine in more depth.

HRP 498 is an internship in medical informatics.