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Pre-Occupational Therapy


According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, occupational therapists “help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). 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, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.”

Here you will find information on pre-occupational therapy required coursework, tests required for admission to occupational therapy programs, and additional useful websites about the field of occupational therapy.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for occupational therapists is projected to increase by 33% between 2010 and 2020.


Many occupational therapy (OT) programs require the following coursework for admission. However, different schools may have different pre-requisite coursework so be sure to check with individual schools about their admission requirements.  For example, some schools require

Biological Sciences

Most OT programs require the completion of a two-semester introductory biology sequence and coursework in anatomy and physiology. At Edgewood, we recommend the following Biological Sciences courses for a pre-OT route:

  • Bio 151 General Biology: Cell Biology and Ecology (or)
  • Bio 152 General Biology: Genetics and Evolution (or)
  • Bio 210 Anatomy and Physiology I
  • Bio 211 Anatomy and Physiology II


Most OT programs require at least one semester of general chemistry. At Edgewood College, the one-year general chemistry sequence is:

  • Chem 120 General Chemistry I
  • Chem 121 General Chemistry II


Some OT schools require mathematics and/or statistics. We advise that you take at least one math course and one course in statistics, such as:

  • Math 114A Precalculus A: Algebra
  • MATH 114B Precalculus B: Trigonometry (necessary if OT school requires physics)
  • Math 121 Statistics


Some OT programs require a one-year physics sequence with labs.  If Physics is required for your program, then you will need to take MATH 114A and 114B.

  • Phys 130
  • Phys 131


Many OT programs require courses in lifespan development and psychology. At Edgewood, these courses include:

  • Psy 101 General Psychology
  • Psy 340 Abnormal Psychology
  • Psy 345 Lifespan Development
  • Psy 210 Child Development or
  • Psy 220 Adolescent Development

Additional Coursework

Some OT programs requires courses in:

  • English or composition.
  • Anthropology or Sociology
  • Medical Terminology

Many occupational therapy programs also require 20 to 60 supervised volunteer hours.

Relevant tests

Many OT programs require Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores for admission. A fee reduction program is available. Individual programs vary, so check with each OT program about any prerequisite tests.