UC’s Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences – 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 advance their careers as certified occupational therapy assistants, or pursue a graduate school program.
Students who complete this OTA bachelor advancement 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.
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 Therapist Career Duties
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.
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.
Occupational therapists work in private practices, hospitals, clinics, schools, homes and many other settings. This unique field of medicinal therapy is widely applicable, so occupational therapists find themselves working with patients of all ages, from young children to the elderly.
The field of occupational therapy has many specializations. Occupational therapists may also specialize in treating certain patient diagnoses, such as individuals with autism or brain injury, or can specialize in providing specific treatments, such as hippotherapy, or sensory integration through a combination of advanced training and experience. Regardless of specialization, the common thread between all occupational therapists is the desire to affect a positive and tangible change in their patients’ lives.
This page includes information from O*NET Resource Center by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.
“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!”
“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. ”
“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!
“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. ”
“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. ”
Occupational therapists work in private practices, hospitals, clinics, schools, homes and many other settings. This unique field of medicinal therapy is widely applicable, so occupational therapists find themselves working with patients of all ages, from young children to the elderly. As such, this field has many opportunities for employment and a high rate of job security.
The field of occupational therapy has many specializations. Occupational therapists can work with children, the elderly, mental health patients, physical rehabilitation patients, and more. Regardless of specialization, the common thread between all occupational therapists is the desire to affect a positive and tangible change in their patients’ lives.
No – the program is designed for currently licensed OTAs who are looking to obtain their bachelor’s degree, either for career advancement or in anticipation of applying to grad school to become occupational therapists or schooling in another discipline. The Pre-Occupational Therapy program is a stepping stone to grad school. You would be eligible to take the national certification exam after completing a master’s or doctorate-level occupational therapy program.
The majority apply to OT grad school to obtain their master’s or doctorate in OT. However, some go on to get a Master’s in Education, Public Health, or School Psychology. Possibilities are endless and up to the individual. Some students simply want to obtain a bachelor’s degree for career advancement.
No, the BS in Health Sciences – Pre-Occupational Therapy program is not a bridge program. Acceptance into the Pre-Occupational Therapy program does not guarantee admission into the UC Doctoral OT program. However, the UC OTD program does reserve 20% of its cohort spots for OTAs. In the past, these spots have been filled by graduates of the UC online Pre-Occupational Therapy program.
Additional resources to support you from start to finish.
© 2023 University of Cincinnati Online Copyright Information