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Pre-Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy jobs are projected to increase 16 percent through 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics. The flexibility of Augustana’s pre-occupational therapy (pre-OT) curriculum allows you to satisfy entrance requirements to any occupational therapy school in the country, and prepares you for success both in graduate school and in your career.

Most of our pre-OT students major in psychology, biology and/or neuroscience. Besides challenging coursework in biology and psychology, you can take advantage of the college’s liberal arts focus by taking classes in other areas in which you’re interested — political science, ethics, art, etc.

All of our pre-OT students who applied to OT school in recent years were accepted; up to 90% were accepted to their top choice schools. These included University of Illinois at Chicago, Rush University and Drake University.

For more information, contact pre-OT advisor Dr. Lisa Szafran in psychology.

What you'll learn

Disciplinary knowledge

Disciplinary knowledge

Gain a deep understanding of your subject and how it connects to other subjects.

Communication competence

Communication competence

Read and listen carefully. Express ideas (writing or speaking) suited to the audience.

Critical thinking and information literacy

Critical thinking and information literacy

Judge and construct arguments, raise questions and define problems. Make a conclusion based on evidence.

Intercultural competence

Intercultural competence

Understand real and imaginary similarities and differences. Use more than one perspective to view issues.

Creative thinking

Creative thinking

Combine ideas to create something new. Use imaginative ways of solving problems.


• You have two options: (1) a four-year Bachelor of Arts program at Augustana or (2) a coordinated degree program in occupational therapy with Washington University in St. Louis. If you quality, you spend three years at Augustana followed by either two years (Master of Science in Occupational Therapy) or three years (Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy) at Washington University.

• Dedicated in 2021, the $18 million Peter J. Lindberg, M.D., Center for Health and Human Performance houses Augustana’s new kinesiology major. A four-floor, 22,000-square-foot addition to the Hanson Hall of Science opened in 2019.

• Augustana’s CORE office and faculty will help you find clinical experience opportunities with OT professionals in local schools, hospitals and medical clinics. Some classes offer opportunities to work with populations likely to receive occupational therapy.

• Our internship program in Sydney, Australia, is popular with pre-OT students who want to travel abroad and gain valuable hands-on experience in the field.

Recent grads

Annika Strack '22 is an occupational therapy graduate student at Washington University in St Louis, Mo.

Hannah Vercellotti ’20 is an occupational therapist at Midwest Hand Care in Joliet, Ill.

Brittany Hatlestad ’19 is an occupational therapist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Ill.

Sara Melchior ’17 is an occupational therapist with Carle Health in Champaign-Urbana, Ill.

Amelia Garza ’13 is the associate director of major gifts at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Ill.

More Than I Imagined Hannah Vercellotti
“In four short years, I studied abroad, presented at academic conferences, completed a clinical experience, and held leadership positions in my sorority.”
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Sara Melchior
More Than I Imagined Sara Melchior
“My two advisors, Dr. Havard and Dr. Rose, were instrumental in helping me finish my degree in three years by giving me the best advice about which classes to take.”
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