Pre-Occupational Therapy

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Featured Course:

Neurophysiology & Motor Control

This course allows for a better understanding of how the nervous system works, including neural control of human movement.

What is Occupational Therapy?

  • Occupational therapists assist patients who are injured, ill or disabled to recover, improve and maintain skills necessary for work and daily living. They use a holistic approach, evaluating patients’ abilities, needs and environmental barriers. Based on their evaluation, they generate a treatment plan addressing skill development and environmental modifications. Their work helps patients actively and meaningfully participate in their day-to-day lives.
  • Occupational therapists may work in the home, hospital, clinic or community setting to enable clients to adapt to or overcome obstacles and optimize involvement in daily life.

Why Alma?

Many schools encourage students, regardless of major, to consider strengths they could bring to the career. At Alma, students will develop strengths across different areas during their liberal arts education. Students will also have access to opportunities related to the pre-therapy field.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Hands-on experience with dissection in a human anatomy lab.
  • Therapeutic courses taught by a licensed physical therapist.
  • Experience culturing and experimenting on skeletal muscle cells within the Molecular Aspects of Muscle Physiology course.
  • Ability to learn about motor learning and control, a topic relevant to both occupational therapy, in Neurophysiology and Motor Control.
  • Courses outside of the sciences, such as Health Communication, Ethics and Medicine and Health Care Administration that build knowledge/skills directly applicable to occupational therapy.

How Do I Become an Occupational Therapist?

Occupational therapy requires a master’s degree from an accredited program. Students pursuing this career can complete the pre-occupational therapy curriculum at Alma College and then matriculate to a two-year master’s or three-year doctorate program.

Accelerated Degree: 3-2 WashU Agreement

Students interested in completing their occupational therapy education early may pursue the Alma/WashU accelerated program. For this track, students complete three years at Alma College followed by two years at Washington University. This results in a Bachelor’s degree from Alma College and a Master’s of Occupational Therapy from Washington University.

Where Will You Go?

Your Alma education will prepare you to continue your path towards a career that focuses on your particular academic interest or speciality.

Some of the schools our alumni have chosen are:

  • University of Michigan – Flint
  • University of Arizona
  • University of South Dakota
  • Washington University

Additional Resources

The American Occupational Therapy Association provides information for both students and professionals, and a list of accredited programs.