Curriculum: Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences - Pre-Occupational Therapy

March 15, 2022
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curriculum icon Curriculum at a Glance

The BS in Health Sciences – Pre-Occupational Therapy degree is an online associate to bachelor’s completion program. Bachelor’s degree-seeking students at the University of Cincinnati are required to complete a minimum of 120 semester credit hours for graduation. Up to 68 semester credit hours of prior college coursework taken at an accredited institution can be transferred in and applied to the program. Students may be required to take additional coursework to meet the 120 credit hour minimum requirement. To learn more about our online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences curriculum, we encourage you to review the curriculum offerings listed below.

Accreditation: The University of Cincinnati and all of its regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Foundations of Quantitative Reasoning

Project-based course, emphasizing problem-solving, model-building, and basic data manipulation in real-world contexts. Topics include problem-solving, statistical reasoning, linear and exponential modeling, and modeling with geometry.

Musculoskeletal Anatomy

This course is designed to provide the student with basic, hands-on information in human surface anatomy and the origins, insertions, actions and nerve supply of the major muscles of the body. It also introduces the students to basic palpation and other handling techniques necessary to perform physical assessments. Basic information on common musculoskeletal injuries and conditions is included in the course.

General Exercise Physiology

This course covers the study of the physiological systems of the human body and how they relate to exercise and stress. Topics include energy systems, metabolism, muscle, cardiovascular, respiratory, neural, endocrine, environmental, and work physiology.

Physics for Allied Health

This course is an introduction to physics for future health care professionals. Lectures and labs are centered around a survey of topics that apply to the allied health profession. Topics include mechanics (units, motion, forces, friction, gravity, inertia, lever systems, momentum, work, energy, power), thermodynamics (temperature and heat), pressure and fluids, waves and sound, basic electricity and safety, and light.

Medical Terminology

This course introduces students to the language of medicine and allied health while reviewing the major organ systems of the body. Students will learn at their own pace within the boundaries of the course schedule.

Health Care Ethics

This course considers ethical theories and principles applicable to the allied health professions. Using scholarly inquiry, the student will analyze ethical dilemmas that may occur in the student’s professional role as well as other disciplines. The student will address ethical issues across the lifespan in diverse socioeconomic and cultural situations.

Introduction to Statistics

A one-semester comprehensive introduction to statistics suitable for students in biology, nursing, allied health, and applied science. Discussion of data, frequency distributions, graphical and numerical summaries, design of statistical studies, and probability as a basis for statistical inference and prediction. The concepts and practice of statistical inference including confidence intervals, one and two sample t-tests, chi-square tests, regression and analysis of variance, with attention to selecting the procedure(s) appropriate for the question and data structure, and interpreting and using the result.

Introduction to Biomechanics and Kinesiology

This course is designed to provide the student with a basic understanding of the fields of Biomechanics and Kinesiology. This includes terminology, an examination of concepts and principles, and performing the analyses and calculations necessary to examine mechanical characteristics of basic human movements. Students will also examine the basic structural and kinematic characteristics of the musculoskeletal system, including the major joints of the spine and the extremities. This course is designed to meet the skills sets described by the ACSM and the NSCA as necessary components for entry level certifications.

Abnormal Psychology

This course is a survey of the major categories of psychological disorders based upon the delineations of the current DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual), e.g. anxiety, addictions, mood, personality, and psychotic disorders. Students will discuss the etiology, prognosis, and treatment modalities and cover ethical issues in treatment. Historical and current research will be discussed.

Sensation and Perception

This course centers on a) human sensory machinery and its role in the processes of perception (e.g. vision, audition, touch, speech) b) traditional and contemporary theories of perception and perceptual processing and c) how perception is tightly linked to action and the human movement system, and includes a discussion of the philosophical assumptions that motivate the science of psychology.

Personal Nutrition

This course looks at the importance of an appropriate diet and nutritional practices in one’s life. It provides students with an introductory look at macronutrients and micronutrients. It reviews their basic metabolism, absorption, transport, and their effects on an individual’s diet to promote optimal health and lessen the risk for chronic disease. Students will assess and compare dietary intakes to national reference standards.

Motor Learning and Movement Control

This course is designed to provide the student with a basic understanding of the neuroanatomic and neuro-muscular components of human movement. This includes terminology, basic neuro-anatomy as it relates to the neuromuscular system, an examination of concepts and principles of movement control and motor learning. Students will execute self-directed motor learning activities, performing the observations and analyses necessary to form conclusions regarding the neuromuscular performance characteristics of human movements.

Introduction to Cognitive Psychology

This course explores what is going on in your mind when you (a) pay attention, (b) learn and remember, (c) imagine, (d) talk, and (e) reason and think. It is not a comprehensive treatment of the field of cognitive science/psychology, but rather an effort to introduce the most exciting and fruitful areas of current research.

Developmental Psychology

This course provides an introduction to developmental science, focusing specifically on developmental theories, research methods, and findings relevant to human development across the lifespan. The course will cover the development of the brain, the development of perception and cognition, social and emotional development, abnormal development, and the influences of biological, sociocultural, and psychological factors on development.


This course provides an overview of the structure and function of the biological systems that support human behavior. Topics covered include development, motivation and reward, cognitive functioning, pharmacology, brain imaging, neuroplasticity, sensory physiology, sensation and perception, and various other brain functions.

Pharmacology for Health Sciences

The course focuses on common pharmacologic agents and their effects on health and health behaviors. The students will learn the general classifications and subclassifications of common pharmacologic substances, their indications and contraindications for use, and their actions and side-effects. Included in the course is a discussion of basic physiology and how these agents alter it, how those alterations affect activity tolerance, and the necessary adjustments in activity programs in order for those programs to remain safe. The basic pathophysiology of common medical conditions will be introduced as it relates to the effects and side-effects of drugs commonly used for that condition.

Senior Experience I & II

Students participate in a self-designed evidence based practice project that requires they utilize knowledge from their OTA experience combined with the knowledge acquired during their Health Sciences education. During the first half semester, students will develop a clinic based question about a current intervention they use or would like to use in their practice setting. The students locate relevant peer reviewed evidence materials, and critically appraise the literature. During the second half semester, students will continue to critically appraise the literature as needed and then will synthesize and evaluate the evidence to develop a paper and presentation discussing the efficacy of the treatment for potential clients. The students will also integrate steps to properly implement the treatment in the clinic.

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The University of Cincinnati is one of the first institutions to offer online courses. Innovation in education is at the forefront of what we do. We have expanded the convenience and quality of our online learning to online degree programs. Today, we offer nearly 100 degrees from undergraduate to doctoral programs.

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