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Occupational Therapy Bachelor’s Degree

What Is An Ota

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy at Deakin

To put it simply, occupational therapy assistants help with the treatment of people with disabilities, injuries and illnesses.

OTAs usually work under the supervision of an occupational therapist and help deliver rehabilitative plans. They demonstrate treatment activities and review client progress. Sometimes they perform administrative duties, like updating files and billing reports.

Best Undergraduate Majors For Occupational Therapy

What are the best pre-occupational therapy undergraduate majors to choose from?

If youre seriously considering occupational therapy as a career, there are many undergraduate majors to choose from before you start grad school for occupational therapy.

Because of this, I wanted to lay out 7 great undergraduate options to choose from prior to getting your Masters or Doctorate in Occupational Therapy.

These undergraduate degrees will help you on the path to becoming a successful and well-rounded occupational therapist.

How Long Does It Take

A bachelors in Occupational Therapy will have a typical length of 4 years in a full time schedule. That said, there are many ways to speed up the timeframe by either taking more units via online coursework, community college, or taking free classes at that could transfer to universities in the US.

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Speak With An Admissions Counselor

Committed to helping you create an academic timeline based on your previous education, your admissions counselor will build a positive rapport with you from the very start.

Depending on the amount of coursework you are comfortable completing at once and your desired program start date, your counselor will help you figure out the best sequence and timing for completing any LIFE Core and prerequisite courses you need to take to apply to the OTA program in your target timeframe.

Your admissions counselor will also help you determine if any courses youve taken in the past may already meet the prerequisite requirements, which would allow you to begin your OTA coursework sooner.

How long does it take to become an OTA? Find out how to earn your degree in as few as 16 months.

Ota Program Accreditation Status:

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The baccalaureate-degree-level occupational therapy assistant program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association , located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, ACCREDITATION COUNCIL FOR OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY EDUCATION ACCREDITATION MANUAL VI.E. Revised June 2020 Section VI – Page 18 North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTEs telephone number c/o AOTA is 652-AOTA and its web address is

The program must have a preaccreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapy assistant administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy . After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant . In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduates ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

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Ready To Start Your Journey

Many online schools run both physical therapy and occupational therapy programs, but these healthcare degrees and careers differ. For instance, the former helps patients with pain and motion, whereas the latter helps patients with completing daily tasks. Here, we explore the best occupational therapy programs, highlighting program details, true program costs, and postgraduate career options.

Bachelor Of Occupational Therapy: Admission Process

The admission to the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy courses are done either on the basis of merit list or entrance examination. The admission to the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy courses are mainly done in the month of May or June every year. However, this year the admission process has been postponed due to the pandemic.

The following are some of the important details of the admission process of the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy courses.

Candidates aspiring for admission to the course are required to fulfill the following minimum eligibility criteria.

  • 10+2, completed from a recognized educational Board.
  • Physics, Chemistry, Biology, or Mathematics as the main subjects of study at the 10+2 level.
  • A minimum aggregate score of 50% at the level of graduation.
  • Candidates appearing for their final 10+2 examination are also eligible to apply for the course on a provisional basis.

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Recognition Of Prior Learning

The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning which exceeds the normal entrance requirements for the course and is within the constraints of the course regulations. Students are required to complete a minimum of one-third of the course at Deakin University, or four credit points, whichever is the greater. In the case of certificates, including graduate certificates, a minimum of two credit points within the course must be completed at Deakin.

You can also refer to the Recognition of Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree and how to apply for credit.

Check Out The Get Into Ot School E

Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy)


I hope this list gave you some good pre-occupational therapy undergraduate major ideas!

And please keep in mind, just because your undergraduate degree isnt on this list, doesnt mean it isnt a good major for you! You can major in ANYTHING before applying to OT school as long as you complete the requirements that your program requires.

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What Is A Bachelors In Occupational Therapy Degree

A bachelors degree in occupational therapy gives you a solid foundation of coursework in science, psychology, and sociology through the framework of helping ill or injured patients recover. In an undergraduate OT program, you will take courses in the following topics:

You will also complete clinical hours in an occupational therapy setting, where you can apply the knowledge and skills you have learned in your program.

Do note that to obtain a license to become an occupational therapist, you will need a graduate degree, which is why many of our top choices offer combined bachelors and masters degree programs. You will also need to pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy .

Eastern Kentucky University, our No. 6 degree program, shows this video from the American Occupational Therapy Association to describe what an occupational degree can do for you.

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Pass The Nbcot Occupational Therapist Exam

After you have completed course and fieldwork requirements and have graduated from an accredited OT program, you will need to sit for the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy exam. The purpose of the NBCOT® certification exam is to protect the public interest by certifying only those candidates who have the necessary knowledge of occupational therapy to practice. Passing the NBCOT® certification exam is a requirement for attaining state licensure. Once you pass the NBCOT® certification exam, you can apply for state licensure. Occupational therapy licensure varies by state so it is important to understand licensure requirements for the state you intend to practice.

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Where Could A Bachelor Of Occupational Therapy Take You

Youll graduate eligible to pursue a wide range of career opportunities working with communities and populations to achieve and maintain health and well-being. You could help children with sensory issues realise their full learningand life potential. You might help elderly people maintain the capacity to live in their treasured family homes. Perhaps youll help those recovering from workplace trauma return to their passion.Accredited with conditions by the Occupational Therapy Council and approved by the Occupational Therapy Board.

*Entry into the research stream will be based on academic merit.Note: This degree is only available in blended mode and on-campus attendance is required. If you are a continuing student in the degree and are unable to attend campus, please contact your program coordinator for program advice.

  • 22% industry growth predicted by 2024
  • 1000 hours of work-based training
  • Research or industry streams

Discover Your Path Today


Prerequisites for occupational therapy assistant programs shouldnt stress you out they should excite you! Now you have an idea how long it can take to complete prerequisites, its time to get to work. To find out what prerequisites you may have to take before starting the Online OTA program at St. Catherine University, contact an admissions counselor today.

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Applicants With Work And Life Experience

Youll need to meet the minimum entry requirements and subject prerequisites for your chosen course.

If you have no formal education qualifications you may be eligible for a selection rank based on your work, life or service experience.

  • If youve been in paid employment, relevant to the course youre applying for, for a minimum of six months full-time , this work may be assessed for your selection rank.
  • If youre 21 years or older you can sit the Special Tertiary Admissions Test through your local TAC.
  • You can apply for an ACU bridging course. Our bridging courses allow you to transition back into studying and can give you a head start on the relevant undergraduate degree.
  • If you have served in the defence force, your rank and time in service may contribute to your selection rank.

Earn An Accelerated Bachelors Degree And Transition Directly Into Our Masters Program

This specialty 3+2 degree offers an accelerated baccalaureate degree in the study of health and occupation. Upon successful completion in three years, you will be admitted into the Master of Occupational Therapy program.

This program will allow a student to complete the requirements for an undergraduate degree while transitioning into the Master of Occupational Therapy program .

The 3+2 degree is a selective program and acceptance is not guaranteed.

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What Are The Best Bachelors In Occupational Therapy Degrees

At CollegeRank, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals. Please feel free to visit our dedicated methodology page for a step-by-step breakdown. For questions, comments, badge downloads, or data corrections, please feel free to reach out to us at

Best Majors For Occupational Therapists

Santa Ana College Occupational Studies Bachelor’s Degree Program

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed’s data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Occupational therapists help patients of all ages learn new skills, adapt to new challenges caused by an accident or illness and manage daily life. Becoming an occupational therapist can take many years of education, including a master’s degree, as well as fulfilling licensing requirements. For those interested in pursuing a career in occupational therapy, planning ahead by choosing a relevant bachelor’s degree major can be helpful. In this article, we explain what majors are most helpful for those planning to become occupational therapists, including kinesiology, biology, psychology and health science.

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Kinesiology And Exercise Science/physiology

Kinesiology and exercise science is the study of human movement and the bodys natural physiological adaptations to exercise. By earning such a degree, students are typically prepared to:

  • Demonstrate a knowledge of human anatomy, physiology, development, behavior, and movement
  • Analyze and evaluate research related to human nutrition, health, and exercise
  • Conduct health, fitness, and performance assessments on individuals and use this information to develop exercise programs for those individuals

As such, its an obvious choice for those who are interested in potentially pursuing a career in occupational therapy.

What Makes A Good Ot Masters Degree Program

When exploring different OT graduate programs, its important to look for certain institutional characteristics that are particularly effective in an academic setting. A few to look for would be:

  • A wide variety of diverse coursework options
  • Effective mix of practical learning in the field and traditional classroom lecture
  • State-of-the-art facilities
  • Plenty of options for fieldwork opportunities
  • Small class sizes
  • The opportunity for individualized faculty advisement, if needed

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Other Factors We Consider

The metrics below are just some of the other metrics that we use to determine our rankings.

  • Major Focus – How much a school focuses on occupational therapy/therapist students vs. other majors.
  • Major Demand – How many other occupational therapy/therapist students want to attend this school to pursue a bachelor’s degree.
  • Educational Resources – How many resources are allocated to students. These resources may include educational expenditures per student, number of students per instructor, and graduation rate among other things.
  • Accreditation – Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or accredited by a recognized occupational therapy/therapist related body.

Our complete ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best schools for occupational therapy/therapist students working on their bachelor’s degree.

University Of Southern California

Respiratory Therapy Bachelor

Why It’s #1: USC comes in as our top-ranked program because of how well it supports students. Among all schools ranked, USC boasts the highest graduation rate at 92%. Despite paying the highest tuition, students in this school have some of the lowest percentages of student loans. This means the majority of their funding comes from scholarships, grants, and other financial aid programs. USC also runs the most online programs among these schools, which improves access and scheduling flexibility for students.

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Development Into A Health Profession

The health profession of occupational therapy was conceived in the early 1910s as a reflection of the Progressive Era. Early professionals merged highly valued ideals, such as having a strong work ethic and the importance of crafting with one’s own hands with scientific and medical principles. The National Society for the Promotion of Occupational Therapy , now called the American Occupational Therapy Association , was founded in 1917 and the profession of Occupational Therapy was officially named in 1921.William Rush Dunton, one of the founders of NSPOT and visionary figure in the first decades of the profession struggled with “the cumbersomeness of the term occupational therapy”, as it lacked the “exactness of meaning which is possessed by scientific terms”. Other titles such as “work-cure”, “ergo therapy” , and “creative occupations” were discussed as substitutes, but ultimately, none possessed the broad meaning that the practice of occupational therapy demanded in order to capture the many forms of treatment that existed from the beginning.

The profession has continued to grow and expand its scope and settings of practice. Occupational science, the study of occupation, was founded in 1989 as an academic discipline to provide foundational research on occupation to support and advance the practice of occupation-based occupational therapy, as well as offer a basic science to study topics surrounding “occupation”.

What Is A Major In Occupational Therapy

A major in occupational therapy is an undergraduate major that will allow you to continue on to get your master’s in occupational therapy. In order to be an occupational therapist, you need both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. The master’s degree must be in occupational therapy, but there are many options for what type of bachelor’s degree you can earn. Occupational therapists also need a license from their state in order to practice once they have completed their master’s degree and other requirements such as an exam.

You may choose completely unrelated majors and then decide to become an occupational therapist later or you may know when you start your undergraduate program that you intend to become an occupational therapist so you choose a major that is more relevant. In this way, almost any major can be an occupational therapy major, but there are some that are more helpful than others.

Related:What Is Occupational Therapy?

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Most Popular Bachelor’s Degree Colleges For Occupational Therapy

For its 2022 ranking, College Factual looked at 44 schools in the United States to determine which ones were the most popular for occupational therapy/therapist students pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Combined, these schools handed out 850 bachelor’s degrees in occupational therapy/therapist to qualified students.

Explore A Bachelor’s Degree In Occupational Therapy

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists must have a graduate degree in occupational therapy as well as a state license. Acceptance into a professional occupational therapy program usually requires a bachelor’s degree, which could be in occupational therapy, or any other field, provided the student completes necessary prerequisites in areas such as biology and physiology. Occupational therapists teach therapeutic techniques to treat patients with injuries, illnesses or disabilities. They observe patients and review their medical history to set goals and activities, and evaluate a patient’s daily environment to better accommodate a patient’s needs.

Class Curriculum

Occupational therapy requires general course work in psychology, English, and biology. Further occupational therapy course work is required in anatomy, physiology, and neuroscience. Specific course work may be required in motor learning, biomechanics, healthcare systems, and corresponding laboratory course work.

Students working toward an education in occupational therapy may be required to conduct research studies and read current research in subjects related to occupation therapy. Students working toward an education in occupational therapy may also be required to have work experience in an occupational therapy setting, either through voluntary or internship work.

Building a Career

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What Is A Degree In Occupational Therapy

After suffering from a major injury or health incident, people often lose the ability to function as fully as they did before. They may be suffering from loss of movement, a speech impediment, or even severe depression. When this happens, an occupational therapist is there to help people through, teaching them how to eat, exercise, and focus to regain movement, overcome disorders, and eradicate depression. In an occupational therapy program, youll learn how to help people in a time of great need.

In an occupational therapy program, youll study health, behavioral psychology, grief, speech therapy, and physical education coursesamong othersthat will prepare you to develop customized and effective recovery plans for your patients after graduation. Youll also learn about modern disability equipment, allowing you to design home plans for patients that allow them to live normally with a disability. Many students also intern with professional occupational therapists as part of their coursework.


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