Pre-Occupational Therapy


Students interested in a career in Occupational Therapy may pursue 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 prior to enrolling in the program. Students may pursue either a masters or doctoral degree in Occupational Therapy. We encourage students to consider applying to doctoral level OT programs as the field is increasingly shifting to require doctoral skills/degrees. 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-Health Advisor to select appropriate coursework based on their schools of interest and plan appropriate co-curricular experiences to build a high quality application. In addition to the information in this section, please check the general information at the pre-medical and pre-health section of the catalog.

Guaranteed Admission Program

Canisius students in the Sports and Exercise Health Care major meeting all requirements are guaranteed admissions to the D'Youville University Master of Occupational Therapy (OT) program. Contact the Pre-Medical Center for specific requirments for this program.

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:

Option 1:
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
Option 2:
BIO 324
Human Anatomy
and Human Anatomy Lab
BIO 340
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
or KIN 398 Statistics and Research Design


Psychology requirements vary at different schools. Students work with the Pre-Health Advisor to plan for any additional courses.

Note that completing these four courses, along with PSY 201 and PSY 202 is an excellent way to earn a minor in Psychology while 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 303Psychopathology3


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

Additional Pre-Occupational Therapy Courses

Some schools recommend additional coursework from the Sciences such as General Biology and/or General Chemistry. Please work with the Pre-Health Advisor to determine the best option for your future pathway.

Elective Courses

HRP 101 allows students to explore different health professions.

HRP 111 introduces students to medical terminology.

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

HRP 498 is an internship in medical informatics. A medical scribe internship is also available.

HRP 498A is a medical service learning trip.