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Pre-Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists treat ill, injured, and disabled patients of all ages with the goal of helping them develop, recover, or improve the motor skills required for daily life, including employment. Becoming an occupational therapist is academically challenging, but it's also personally and professionally rewarding. Not only will you help improve the quality of life for patients who have autism, missing limbs, cerebral palsy, and Alzheimer's disease, among others, you'll enjoy a lucrative career that's in demand.

To become a licensed occupational therapist, you will need to earn either a Master’s (MOT) or Doctoral (OTD) degree after completion of your undergraduate degree. According to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), there are currently 71 accredited doctoral programs and 168 accredited master’s programs in the U.S.

Occupational Therapy Programs in Indiana

  • Huntington University (OTD)
  • Indiana State University (MOT)
  • Indiana University (MOT and OTD)
  • Indiana Wesleyan University (OTD)
  • University of Indianapolis (MOT and OTD)
  • University of Southern Indiana (MOT and OTD)
  • Valparaiso University (OTD)

Pre-Requisite Courses

The following table includes the minimum-requisite courses for Doctor of Optometry programs in the US; however, many schools have additional recommended courses. Students should work with their advisor(s) to ensure all pre-requisite courses are completed in a timely fashion.

Introductory BiologyOne, w/labBIO151 or BIO203 or BIO204
Medical TerminologyOneBIO216
Human AnatomyOne, w/labBIO225 or ESS265/266L
Human PhysiologyOne, w/labBIO226 or BIO334 or ESS267/268L
General ChemistryOne, w/labCHE140/141L
General PhysicsOne, w/labPHY110
StatisticsOneMAT130 or PSY205 or BIO205
Behavioral Sciences
PsychologyThreePSY101 and PSY220 and PSY230

Preparing a Competitive Application

To be a competitive candidate, students should check directly with the schools they plan to apply for application requirements, information, and timelines. At Marian, meet early and often with your advisor to stay on track for a successful application.

A competitive candidate will generally:

  • Demonstrate strong academic performance in all courses (GPA 3.5 or higher)
  • Score at or above the 50th percentile on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), as necessary. (Many OT programs require the GRE, but not all.)
  • Demonstrate extensive familiarity with the profession through
    • Shadowingoccupational therapists to observe the daily responsibilities
    • Gaining extensive direct patient care experience through volunteering or a paid position
    • Getting involved in community service, volunteerism, and co-curricular activities
    • Seeking leadership opportunities in clubs, organizations, church, or sports
    • Conducting independent research to better understand the scientific literature. Research is not necessarily required for OT programs, but it could help distinguish you as an applicant.
  • Exhibit strong interpersonal skills, the ability to work with a diverse group of people, and a desire to help others

Student Success Stories

Marian University graduate Katelyn (Katie) Stout, Class of 2017

"The faculty and challenging biology curriculum at Marian University helped me be competitive as a graduate school applicant. I applied to eight schools and received interview offers from six. Of 500 applicants, I am one of just 32 students who were accepted by Huntington University, which was my first choice for earning a doctorate degree in occupational therapy."

Katelyn (Katie) Stout '17

Read Katie's Story

Want to Know More?

Trisha Staab, Ph.D.
Director of Pre-Medicine and Pre-Health Professions
(317) 955-6544

Office of Undergraduate Admission
(317) 955-6300
(800) 772-7264

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