Pre-Occupational Therapy

Students who are service-oriented, compassionate , interested in health and human body issues, and academically competent can develop into skilled health care professionals.

Our undergraduate program emphasizes quality academics and Christian caring empathy and prepares students for entrance into graduate level health professional programs.

About occupational therapy

Occupational therapists work with individuals across their lifespan to enhance their health and well-being, job performance and quality of life. They assist people in setting goals and in designing interventions to successfully achieve those goals.

Many occupational therapy patients live with physical and/or cognitive disabilities, mental illness, and/or learning disorders. Occupational therapists work to better the lives of their patients, and to prevent additional disabilities by promoting health and well-being.

As an occupational therapist, you may work inside schools, hospitals, homes, and nursing facilities. According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc., occupational therapists work with patients of all ages and are often called on to educate the parents and families of their patients as well.

Industries you may work within include health and wellness, mental health, productive aging, and rehabilitation disability.

Occupational graduate schools in Virginia

Recommended courses and minimum GPA

Two minors are highly recommended for future occupational therapists: biology and psychology.

Future occupational therapists should take a variety of undergraduate courses in biology, psychology, English, mathematics, and sociology or anthropology. Students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in occupational therapy should choose several possible graduate programs and keep the required and recommended courses in mind as they complete their undergraduate degree.

Most universities require students applying to a graduate program to have at least a 2.0 in prerequisite coursework with a minimum GPA of 2.8. To be competitive, though, a 3.0 is recommended.

Documented observation hours

Some graduate programs require a certain number of documented hours of observation of occupational therapy services. Undergraduate pre-occupational therapy students should spend volunteer time observing occupational therapy services. Be sure to check with the graduate programs to which you are applying for the number hours recommended or required for admission.

These volunteer experiences should be documented and put in your personal student file so your professors can reference them in letters of recommendation to graduate occupational therapy programs.

More info

For more info about occupational therapy, visit the American Occupational Therapy Association.