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Pre-Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists help patients regain control over important job-related or day-to-day functions that may have been impaired through accident, disease or birth trauma.

Augustana's pre-OT program includes courses in biology, psychology, chemistry and physics. The flexibility of the Pre-OT curriculum allows a student to satisfy entrance requirements to any of the occupational therapy schools in the country, and it prepares students for success both in graduate school and in their career.

Augustana assists pre-occupational therapy students in gaining clinical experience. The clinical experience required for entrance into occupational therapy programs is made available through the college at a variety of clinics in the Quad-Cities area and beyond.

Note: Pre-OT is not a major; the student can major in any field; biology and/or psychology are most common. For more information, contact Pre-OT advisors Dr. Lisa Szafran for psychology majors or Dr. Lori Scott for biology majors.

Augustana offers two program options in pre-occupational therapy:

• 3+2 program in conjunction with Washington University in St. Louis. In this program, students spend their first three years at Augustana and receive a B.A. degree with a major in either biology or psychology upon successful completion of the first year of the Washington University program. After a second year of graduate work, they receive an M.S. in occupational therapy.

• Four-year B.A. program (nearly any major) at Augustana followed by graduate work in occupational therapy. Students who choose this option may apply to any graduate program in the country or take advantage of an articulation agreement with Washington University in St. Louis. Augustana graduates who have met established criteria have a significant admissions advantage over students from other schools.

Program outline of recommended courses

CHEM121-123 General Chemistry; recommended for first year

BIOL210 Cell biology; recommended for first or second year

BIOL351 Human Anatomy; recommended for second year or third year

BIOL358 Neuroanatomy; recommended for third or fourth year

BIOL362 Human Physiology; recommended for third year

PSYC100 Intro to Psychology; recommended for first or second year

PSYC213 Child Development; recommended for first, second or third year

PSYC240 Statistics; recommended for first, second or third year

PSYC421 Abnormal Behavior; recommended for third or fourth year

SOC100 Intro to Sociology; recommended for first or second year

SOC305 Social Gerontology; recommended for fourth year

CLAS211 Greek/Latin for Science; can be taken at any time

Shadowing and internships may be done at any time.

Other relevant courses in math (calculus), physics, philosophy, speech communication, first aid and CPR certification may be required or suggested by specific graduate programs.

Prerequisites for the 3:2 or 4:2 OT program at the Washington University in St. Louis

The OT program with Washington University stipulates that you must have four of the following six prerequisites completed with a grade of B or better by the time of your application:

  • Physiology (e.g., BIOL362 Human Physiology)
  • One upper-level life science course (e.g., cell biology, human anatomy, neuroanatomy, zoology, genetics, ecology, botany)
  • One social science course (e.g., PSYC100, SOCI100, economics, political science, anthropology),
  • One statistics course (e.g., PSYC240),
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology

Augustana 3-2 applicants are not guaranteed admission at Washington University.  In order to be competitive applicants, they should also have:

  • A cumulative GPA at the end of seven terms of 3.25 or above
  • GRE test scores (current mean scores are 149 quantitative, 154 verbal and 4.0 analytical writing)
  • At least 30 hours of OT-related experience, including at least some time directly shadowing an OT
  • Three letters of recommendation, including one from Dr. Szafran or Dr. Scott as the pre-OT advisor and one from someone who supervised during OT-related experience
  • Demonstration of life experience including work, extracurricular activities, leadership, honors, community service and/or research

Admitted students also are encouraged to get their CPR certifications and take medical terminology (CL111) before matriculation to the OT program.