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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 sociology. 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

Course number

Course name



General Chemistry



Cell biology 1st or 2nd


Human Anatomy 2nd or 3rd



3rd or 4th


Human Physiology



Intro to Psychology

1st or 2nd


Child Development

1st, 2nd or 3rd



1st, 2nd or 3rd


Abnormal Behavior

3rd or 4th


Intro to Sociology

1st or 2nd


Social Gerontology



Greek/Latin for Science


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.