If you like connecting with people on an individual level and would enjoy helping individuals with disabilities engage in activities that are meaningful to them, the field of occupational therapy (OT) could be a good fit for you. Occupational therapists work with individuals of all ages, from the neonatal ICU through old age, to help them gain and retain independence in daily activities. The pre-occupational therapy advising program at UMHB is designed to help students who plan to pursue a career in occupational therapy by providing them with information and the support they need as they prepare for and apply to graduate programs in occupational therapy.
Students wishing to pursue a career in OT may major in any field of study, as long as they also complete the required foundational courses in biology, anatomy, physiology, psychology, and others as required by individual graduate programs. However, UMHB has two preferred routes to prepare students for admission to an OT graduate program: the Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree and the Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Pre-OT Track. Offered through the School of Exercise and Sport Science, the Health Science curriculum combines required prerequisite courses with the academic rigor required to succeed in an occupational therapy program at the master’s or doctoral level. Similarly, the Psychology for Health Professions track prepares students who have special interest in the psychological aspects of rehabilitation for entry to competitive professional programs. UMHB’s pre-OT advisors are equipped to help you tailor your studies to your particular interests and navigate your way through the application process, whether you choose to major in Health Science, Psychology, or choose a different major such as Biology or Chemistry as your starting point toward a career in occupational therapy.
How long does it take to become an occupational therapist?
After you complete your undergraduate degree, it typically takes two more years to complete a master’s degree program in occupational therapy.
What courses do I need for admission into an OT program?
Course requirements vary for specific OT programs. The American Occupational Therapy Association offers a list of typical course requirements for admission to different types of OT graduate programs.
Are there entrance exams I will need to take?
The Graduate Record Examination general test is required for entrance to many occupational therapy graduate programs.
Pursuing Her Passion
Amber Steinbring is a 2016 exercise physiology graduate and is now pursuing a master’s degree in occupational therapy. She plans to work with children who have special needs to help them function to the best of their ability and reach their potential in life. She appreciates how UMHB provides the opportunity for students to learn from professors who are passionate about teaching and deeply invested in the future success of their students. “UMHB’s uplifting and Christ-like atmosphere has been such a blessing in my life, and I am extremely thankful for my professors who helped me get to where I am today.”
What is the job outlook for occupational therapists?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for occupational therapists is growing much faster than the average demand for all occupations, with the number of jobs expected to increase by 17% over the next decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021).
What OT programs have accepted UMHB alumni?
- University of Mary Hardin-Baylor MSOT program
- Texas Woman’s University
- Texas Tech University
To what kinds of jobs can this career path lead?
- Rehabilitation therapist
- Acute care specialist
- School-based specialist
- Hand rehabilitation specialist
- Community-based therapist
Why should I do my pre-occupational therapy studies at UMHB?
UMHB is known for its outstanding professors, who are great teachers as well as scholars.
Professors from UMHB’s own Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree program have served as advisors to help shape the pre-OT curriculum, so you know you will be covering the material you need to be ready for your graduate work.
Your professors will not only be ready to guide you in selecting the courses you will need to prepare for graduate school but will also be happy to provide the letters of recommendation you will need to apply to OT programs.