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Your Occupational Therapy Academic Experience

Make the Most of Your Time

  • Determine your top occupational therapy program choices.

    Each program will have specific course requirements you need to take as an undergraduate. Once you know those, it’ll be easier to plan your Illinois State academic schedule.

  • Take any prerequisites.

    Illinois State offers the classes you need to apply to an occupational therapy program. Before you get to that level, you might have to take a handful of other classes to get ready.

  • Talk to us.

    There’s a lot of coordination and planning that needs to happen to make sure you do everything you need before going on to a graduate program. You don’t have to do it alone. We’re here to help.


Your occupational therapy program will have specific course requirements, but here are some common ones.

Typical Occupational Therapy Program Requirements

  • Anatomy and Physiology - 2 semesters

  • Physics - 1 semester

  • Psychology - 3 semesters

  • Statistics - 1 semester

  • Sociology and Anthropology - 1 semester

  • Medical Terminology - 1 semester

What to Take at Illinois State

Some classes require prerequisites.

  • Anatomy and Physiology BSC 181 and then BSC 182 or KNR 181/183 and then KNR 182/184

  • Physics PHY 105

  • Psychology PSY 110, PSY 213, and PSY 350

  • Statistics PSY 138 or MAT 150

  • Sociology and Anthropology Talk to your advisor for the best options.

  • Medical Terminology HSC 105

Our recommendations for classes

Take additional courses to give yourself a competitive edge on your grad school application. We recommend:

  • Introductory Biology (BIO 101)
  • Introductory Chemistry (CHE 110/112)
  • English Composition and Writing (ENG 101 and 145)
  • Communication (COM 110)
  • Additional Psychology Courses
  • Introduction to OT (not offered at ISU)

Course Finder gives you descriptions for all your classes and any prerequisites you need.

Launch Course Finder

A Little Advice

  • Work hard. Occupational therapy programs are competitive. Keep your GPA at 3.0 and even higher for science and math grades. This helps you compete for your top choice with the best of them.

  • Check your Advanced Placement (AP) credit. Some schools don’t accept AP credit for any prerequisite course. Others limit the number of courses earned via AP credit. Explore your occupational therapy program’s specific policies.

Applying to Occupational Therapy Programs

Most students apply to graduate programs the fall of senior year. Before you apply, you’ll need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Your courses at Illinois State will help prepare you to take the GRE with confidence.