Apr 19, 2021  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog

Pre-Occupational Therapy

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Occupational therapists are health care professionals trained to empower individuals to reach their own goals and to maximize their independence in personal care, work, school, play and leisure activities. They work with individuals of any age and in a variety of settings from neonatal intensive care units and other hospital settings, to community locations such as schools, work sites, and homes. Occupational therapists are uniquely qualified to identify and assess the functional limitations of individuals with disabilities and to develop strategies to remediate, compensate, or adapt for those limitations. These strategies include ways to overcome attitudinal and environmental barriers and to identify and improve access to assistive technology and services as a means of increasing occupational performance and satisfaction.

The pre-occupational therapy curriculum is designed to prepare students for admission to USD’s program in Occupational Therapy. Students are free to major in the discipline of their choice and complete the prerequisite coursework as part of their Bachelor’s degree work at USD. All students must have a strong foundation in the biological and behavioral sciences, excellent communication skills, and knowledge of the field of occupational therapy including health and social factors relevant in healthcare today. 

Additional information regarding the USD Occupational Therapy program is available by contacting: Department of Occupational Therapy, 605-658-5999, (www.usd.edu/ot); Graduate School, 605-658-6140; Academic & Career Planning Center, 677-5381; or Health Professions Advisors, 605-658-6226 or 658-6334.

John Dudley
College of Arts & Sciences/Associate Dean for Academics
Arts & Sciences 110


Pre-Occupational Therapy students must complete the following USD prerequisite coursework or their equivalent for enrollment in the USD Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program.  A minimum of 7 of the 9 required prerequisite courses including 2 of the 3 required science courses must be completed prior to application.  One course may not fulfill the requirement for multiple prerequisite courses.  All prerequisite courses must be completed by June 1 in the year of matriculation into the program.

Official scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) are also required.  Recommended GRE scores of 40% rank or above in the Verbal section, 45% rank or above in the Quantitative section, and 4.0 or above in the Written Analytic section are preferred. The results of the GRE may not be more than 5 years old.

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