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Occupational Therapy

Pre-occupational therapy students are completing the necessary prerequisite courses in order to apply to a graduate program in occupational therapy. Pre-OT students are also learning about the profession by volunteering with practicing professionals while developing their leadership skills and awareness of community needs.

What type of education is required?

A plan to prepare for a graduate health professional program.

Coursework required for most schools

The UW OT program requires the following prerequisites:

  • Chemistry 120 Principles of Chemistry
  • Biology 118 & 119 Physiology and lab
  • Biological Structures 301 Human Anatomy
  • Educational Psychology Basic Statistics (completed within the last five years)
  • Psychology 305 Abnormal Psychology
  • Psychology 206 or 306 Developmental Psychology
  • Sociology 110 Survey or Sociology or
  • Anthropology 202 Sociocultural Anthropology

It is important to check every school you’re considering; many have other prerequisites.

Things to be aware of

Applicants must have experience working or volunteering with people who have mental, physical, or developmental disabilities to demonstrate their interest in and understanding of the field. Observation or work in at least two different types of OT settings are recommended. One experience should be extensive ( at least 40 hours) with an occupational therapist.

Three letters of recommendation, at least one from an occupational therapist, are required.

Preparing for the major

You should begin preparation early in your academic career. UW prerequisites can usually be fitted into most major curricula. For programs that require more extensive science preparation, careful planning is required.

UW’s OT program requires the Graduate Record Exam.

Websites to visit

General advice

Apply widely. OT programs are competitive. There are three schools in Washington that have Occupational Therapy programs: the UW, the University of Puget Sound, and Eastern Washington University. Not all programs have exactly the same prerequisites and admissions procedures.