Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences - Pre-Occupational Therapy

Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences - Pre-Occupational Therapy
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What is Health Sciences – Pre-Occupational Therapy?

Are you an Occupational Therapy Assistant who is passionate about making a positive impact on peoples’ lives? Do you thrive in dynamic healthcare environments? The University of Cincinnati’s one-of-a-kind, 100% online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences – Pre-Occupational Therapy degree is your gateway to a fulfilling career where you can blend your compassion with professional expertise.

Our graduates are equipped with the tools to:

  • Further their careers,
  • Become better practitioners, and
  • Enter a graduate-level occupational therapy program.

Occupational therapy graduate degree program admission requirements differ among institutions, but our curriculum meets most prerequisite requirements. Due to the competitive nature of admissions to most occupational therapy schools’ graduate programs, completion of this degree does not guarantee acceptance to an occupational therapy program.

Is a BS in Health Sciences – Pre-Occupational Therapy Degree right for me?

Are you an Occupational Therapy Assistant looking to unlock your potential in your healthcare career? Would you like to earn your Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences – Pre-Occupational Therapy degree while you work? UC Online’s one-of-a-kind, 100% online BSHS – Pre-Occupational Therapy program is ideal for compassionate individuals who aspire to help others lead healthier, happier, and more functional lives through the art of occupational therapy. Our graduates have the knowledge and tools required to pursue a graduate school program, or advance their careers as certified occupational therapy assistants.

Students who complete this program will have the prerequisites they need to apply for occupational therapy graduate programs across the country. UC’s Health Sciences programs have an excellent reputation for being academically rigorous and preparing students well for their graduate studies. Graduate programs in occupational therapy are often very competitive. You can set yourself apart from your competition with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati.

Pre-Occupational Therapy Curriculum

Occupational therapy, rooted in mental health, emphasizes holistic treatment, addressing individuals’ mental health alongside other aspects of their well-being. Our curriculum reflects this ethos, focusing on mental health and holistic care to honor the essence of occupational therapy.

Our comprehensive online Pre-Occupational Therapy Bachelor’s program is designed to enhance students’ proficiency as practitioners. It blends foundational subjects with intensive study in anatomy, pharmacology, nutrition, and biomechanics.

Additionally, through our partnership with the College of Arts and Sciences, students have the unique opportunity to concurrently pursue a minor in psychology, enriching their understanding of patient dynamics and providing a competitive edge in the job market.

Our curriculum is designed to equip students with a deep understanding of factors that impact patient care. For example, our Pharmacology course delves into the intricacies of medications, enabling students to grasp the nuances of their patients’ treatments. Similarly, our Medical Terminology course empowers students to decipher complex medical jargon. These components ensure our graduates are adept in addressing the diverse needs of their patients and excel in their professional endeavors within the healthcare field.

Program Highlights

  • 100% online
  • All incoming BSHS – Pre-Occupational Therapy students are eligible for up to a $1,500 scholarship
  • Graduate in 2-4 years as a full- or part-time student
  • Classes start in spring, summer, and fall
  • Some articulation agreements are available
  • Simultaneously earn a minor in psychology through our partnership with the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Curriculum rooted in mental health and holistic care
  • Dedicated student support from start to graduation

Accreditations and Rankings

  • The University of Cincinnati and all of its regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
  • Top tier of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report.

Occupational Therapy Career Outcomes

A career in occupational therapy can be a rewarding and engaging lifetime pursuit. Our flexible online bachelor’s degree is the first step to launching yours.

The field of occupational therapy is ideal for those who seek a purposeful career making a positive impact on the lives of others. As an occupational therapist, you will address the human needs of your patients, helping them regain autonomy and self-confidence. Occupational therapists use occupation or purposeful activity as therapy to treat people suffering from physical, cognitive, and psychological impairments. The use of these occupations can help individuals lead more independent and fulfilling lives.

Occupational therapists are required to obtain at least a master’s degree before beginning their careers. The Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences – Pre-Occupational Therapy offered through UC Online provides the baseline of knowledge required to apply to an occupational therapy graduate program with confidence.

Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) work in private practices, hospitals, rehab centers, senior centers, outpatient centers, clinics, schools, in-home care, and many other settings.

This unique field of medicinal therapy is widely applicable, so occupational therapists find themselves working with patients of all ages. Occupational therapists can work with children, the elderly, mental health patients, physical rehabilitation patients, and more. As such, this field has many opportunities for employment and a high rate of job security. Regardless of specialization, the common thread between all occupational therapists is the desire to affect a positive and tangible change in their patients’ lives.

While the BSHS – Pre-Occupational Therapy degree maintains a primary focus on the occupational therapy discipline, our program also equips graduates with a comprehensive health degree, empowering them to pivot into alternative career paths or pursue further education. Some examples of alternative career paths can be found here. While not exhaustive, they provide a glimpse into some of the available options.

Is UC Online right for me?


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The UC Online bachelor's advancement program will help OTAs advance their career and give them a competitive advantage.
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Learn from Nationally Renowned Faculty
The real-world focused faculty are relevant, inspiring, attentive, supportive and connected!

There is an 18% projected job growth over the next 10 years for occupational therapy.
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Student Testimonials
Maria M. headshot
“I always knew I wanted to go back to school to earn my bachelor’s degree. UC’s online program laid out an easy pathway for former COTAs like me to advance my education. With the online program, I was able to maintain full-time work while balancing coursework at my own pace. Furthering my education with a bachelor’s in health sciences is helping me advance in my current role outside of the occupational therapy field.”

Maria M.
Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences - Pre-Occupational Therapy

HSBO Testimonial Image
“I was motivated to seek a bachelor's degree in health sciences because I was a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA/L) wanting to continue my education for my master's degree in occupational therapy. I found out that UC offered a bachelor's degree in health sciences that was directly related to occupational therapy and was designed as an online program for COTAs transitioning to OTs, so it was a no-brainer that this was the program I wanted to pursue. I am very happy with my choice to attend UC. As a working COTA/L, the online format worked for my schedule without reducing or changing my work schedule. I would describe the experience of taking online classes as individualized and positive. Taking online classes requires a lot of self-control, organization and motivation. I had never taken exclusively online classes before so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was very pleased with the flexibility and pace of the courses. Despite being off campus, I felt very connected and supported by all of my instructors. After graduation from UC, I began the Master of Occupational Therapy weekend program at the University of Findlay where I am currently taking classes. I would highly recommend UC!”

Cece T.
Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences - Pre-Occupational Therapy

Jessica Z - Pre-Occupational Therapy
“I’ve been a COTA since 2009 and always wanted to continue my education to become an Occupational Therapist. However, I was not able to do so because I needed to continue working for my family that consists of four children while going to school. Most programs were not set up where I would have been able to continue to work, therefore I was unable to go back to school. The Pre-OT distance learning program allowed me to continue to work and attend classes online. I was eager to join UC because the college also offers the MOT program and I knew it would be an easy transition. The program was intense at times, however it was very doable. I had only taken one online class prior to UC about 11 years ago. I was nervous if I would be able to figure it out. The classes were set up easily and the professors were very quick to reply via email with any questions that I had. I was able to work full-time and finish my bachelor’s degree in four terms while pursuing my dreams and still providing for my family. I feel as prepared as a student could feel when entering a master’s program now. ”

Jessica Z.
Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences - Pre-Occupational Therapy

“At the time that I learned about UC's program, I had just decided that I needed to continue my education towards getting my master's degree in occupational therapy. My home situation had recently changed and I found myself being the primary income. UC presented a wonderful layout with ease of transitioning to the master's program and ensuring that I had all the appropriate classes I would need to pursue to further my education. For me, the choice of doing the whole program online was what secured UC as my choice. Working full time in the Dayton area wasn't ideal for driving to Cincinnati for classes, but the option to continue my education online was very appealing. I previously took lots of online classes for my general education courses, but UC's classes online were much more organized and easier to follow. The layout of each class allowed for my work life and school life to coexist without having an overwhelming stress feeling. After completing my bachelor’s degree, I am planning to continue my education in occupational therapy and obtain my master's degree. ”

Lauren A.
Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences - Pre-Occupational Therapy

Jessica G OT
“I sought out the UC BS in Health Sciences - Pre-Occupational Therapy program because it allowed me to further my educational career, all while still working and having a family. As an Occupational Therapy Assistant, I wanted to go on to the Master's program but had to complete my Bachelors first. I had looked at other universities but didn't feel their degree was in my interest. I didn't want management in Healthcare, I wanted to expand in Health Science. The program at UC offered the flexibility of being online and the degree that would help further my career. The design of the program was based on what I felt I could handle. The advisors helped me plan out the program based on my scheduling abilities. Upon graduating from the Pre-OT program, I am now in the Masters of Occupational Therapy program at UC and am looking forward to my furthering my career in OT! ”

Jessica G.
Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences - Pre-Occupational Therapy

Anthony Mucci Testimonial
“When I returned to civilian life, I decided to get my master's in occupational therapy. I needed a flexible program that would fit with my work schedule, meet the prerequisites of the graduate programs I was looking at, and allow me to complete my bachelor’s degree relatively fast. I found the University of Cincinnati's fully online degree, which met all my criteria. ”

Anthony M.
Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences - Pre-Occupational Therapy

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