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Pre Occupational Therapy

Pre-Occupational Therapy Coursework

Occupational Therapy (OT) is an applied science and health profession that provides skilled treatment to help individuals achieve and maintain independence in all facets of their lives. OT gives people the “skills for the job of living” necessary for independent and satisfying lives.

SMSU provides the required pre-professional coursework for students who intend to enroll in an occupational therapy program. Students seeking admission to an OT program need to complete a bachelor’s degree. Undergraduate students do not have to major in one of the sciences. Much of the pre-professional coursework for OT combines skills from a variety of areas including quantitative literacy, an understanding of behavioral and social sciences, and basic foundations of biology and other natural sciences. We encourage students to pursue a major that they find interesting so they will be successful.

Most applicants are also required to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for admission into an OT program. Please check with each program as this requirement varies between schools. The GRE measures the applicant’s verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. For more information about GRE and preparation for the exam visit

Acceptance to OT school can be highly competitive. High GPA, high test (GRE) scores, an impressive personal statement, and good recommendations are critical. Good applicants also have research experience, have clinical experience through job shadowing or internships, and participate in university/community service. Some programs may require a certain number of observation hours for acceptance into the program.

Science Department Office

SM 178
Southwest Minnesota State University
1501 State St.
Marshall, MN 56258

Course Guidelines

Due to variation in each school’s curriculum, the following is merely a guideline of typical requirements. To determine the exact requirements for each program, the student should work with their academic advisor to review each school to which he/she is applying.

Typical Course Requirements
SMSU Course Number Pre-Requisite courses for Program Semester Credit Hours
Biol 104 Medical Terminology 1
Biol 200

Introduction to cellular biology with lab

Biol 305/306 Anatomy and Physiology I and II with Lab 8
Soci 101 Introduction to Sociology 3
Social Sciences Additional courses in sociology, anthropology, or other social sciences may be required
Math 200 Statistics 3
Psych 101 General Psychology 3
Psych XXX two or more additional applied psychology courses covering developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, and/or lifespan development and aging 6+
Additional Recommended Courses
Exsc 100 Anatomical kinesiology with lab 4
Exsc 300 Biomechanics of Human Motion 3
Exsc XXX Upper level courses in exercise science 3
Phys 141/142
Or other science courses
College Physics I and II with lab 8


  • Complete Application
  • $20 Non-refundable Application Fee
  • Official High School Transcript(s)
  • ACT or SAT Test Scores

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  • Rank in the upper half of graduating class
  • or
  • Score a composite of 21 or above on the ACT or 990 on the SAT

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Last Modified: 8/21/23 5:08 PM | Website Feedback