Pre-Occupational Therapy (OT) is not a degree-granting major, but rather a track for students who plan to attend occupational therapy school after their undergraduate studies.  Pre-OT students take a prescribed sequence of courses that prepare them for OT school, which is a two-four year professional program that awards the Masters of Occupational Therapy (MOT), or Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (DOT).  Pre-OT students can major in any field they choose as long as they have completed the prerequisite courses and have taken the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for OT schools that require it.  Pre-OT students work with a pre-OT advisor who helps with course sequencing and academic preparation for OT school.  The University of Iowa does not have an Occupational Therapy professional program.

Pre-OT accordion

Courses for admission to many OT programs (Courses can vary.  Be sure to consult with your advisor):

  • English:  composition, rhetoric, speech courses required for bachelor's degree
  • Anatomy: One semester.  Some schools require a lab.
  • Physiology: One semester.  Some schools require a lab.
  • Statistics: One semester.
  • Psychology: Three psychology courses.  Many schools require abnormal psychology and lifespan psychology/development.
  • Ethics
  • Biology course with a lab

 Recommended or other required courses for some schools

  • Physics
  • Electives in social sciences and humanities
  • Medical technical terminology
  • Sociology

  • All prerequisite courses must be completed by time of matriculation.  Most OT programs use rolling admissions and deadlines vary between fall and spring.  Check individual OT schools and consult with your OT advisor on admission deadlines. 
  • Some OT schools require the Graduate Record Exam, or GRE.  Information on registering for the GRE and reporting scores to schools can be found here:
  • Some OT schools are combined baccalaureate/professional programs; however most applicants complete a bachelor’s degree.
  • Applicants must provide at least three letters of reference submitted through OTCAS (for the majority of OT schools).
  • Competitive applicants will be invited for a personal interview.
  • All applicants must submit consent for a criminal background check.