Admissions Office
The College of St. Scholastica
1200 Kenwood Avenue
Duluth, MN 55811
(218) 723-6046
(800) 249-6412
TTY/TDD: (218) 723-6790

Steve Cope, Sc.D., OT/L
Department Chair
Science Center, Room 2123
(218) 723-5915

Pre-Occupational Therapy

Fast Facts: Pre-Occupational Therapy 

  • Becoming an occupational therapist requires a master's degree, which means students first need to complete an undergraduate degree. One of the most common undergraduate majors for pre-OT students is psychology, but any major is acceptable, including health humanities.
  • Pre-OT advisors can help students identify the prerequisite courses needed for OT graduate school.
  • Network with other undergraduate pre-OT students by joining St. Scholastica's Student Occupational Therapy Association.
  • St. Scholastica offers a M.S. Occupational Therapy program. St. Scholastica gives priority review to M.S. Occupational Therapy applicants with a CSS undergraduate degree. Priority review does not mean guaranteed admission.   


The occupational therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449, (301) 652-2682,

Graduates of the St. Scholastica M.S. Occupational Therapy program earn high pass rates on the NBCOT Exam.

Career Outlook

The job outlook for the occupational therapy profession is extremely positive. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 27 percent increase by 2024 in the number of positions for OT professionals, mainly due to the increasing number of elderly people and school-aged children who require these services. Graduates of St. Scholastica's Occupational Therapy Program are highly regarded; many receive job offers from the sites where they completed their fieldwork.  

The salary prospects for occupational therapists are equally good.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the 2014 median salary for OTs as $78,810. Many St. Scholastica graduates work in Duluth and the surrounding areas, although positions are available in other parts of the region and country.

Sample curriculum

Here are some classes you may potentially take in preparation for graduate school. Please note that you may not need all of these courses to fulfill your graduate school pre-requisites. This list doesn't necessarily include courses needed for your major or general education requirements. Be sure to create your course plan in consultation with your advisor.

Course Creation Center

Expand and Collapse Coursework

Expand and Collapse BIO 2110 - Anatomy and Physiology I

Introductory study of anatomy and physiology of the vertebrate body with an emphasis on the human. Topics include an introduction to cells, tissues, and systems organization, osteology, fluid compartments, gross and microscopic anatomy, physiology of the circulatory system, body defense systems and the gross anatomy of musculature. 3 class hours, 3-hour lab. Prerequisite: BIO 1110 or BIO 1036.

Expand and Collapse BIO 2120 - Anatomy and Physiology II

Continuation of BIO 2110. Topics include gross and microscopic anatomy, physiology of the renal system, respiratory system, digestive system, nervous system and endocrine system. 3 class hours, 3-hour lab. Prerequisite: BIO 2110.

Expand and Collapse PSC 1501 - Short Course in Physics

Selected topics from introductory physics for students who wish or need an understanding of physical concepts for their professional or personal enrichment. Some hands-on activities. Topics include force and motion, energy, waves, momentum, fluid mechanics, heat, sound, light, electricity and magnetism. Problem solving at the level of elementary algebra.

Expand and Collapse PSY 1105 - General Psychology

Designed to provide an overview of concepts, methods, and applications of psychology. Topics include psychology as a science, research methods, perspectives of psychology, sub disciplines of psychology, biological foundations of behavior, developmental psychology, sensation and perception, learning, memory, thinking, language development, intelligence testing, personality, psychological disorders, psychological and biomedical therapies for psychological disorders and social psychology.

Expand and Collapse PSY 2208 - Lifespan Developmental PSY

Cognitive, personality/social, and physical development from conception to death. Within a life span developmental perspective, the course examines research methods, developmental theories, and application of research findings to selected problems in the major periods of the life span: the prenatal period, infancy, early/middle/late childhood, adolescence, and young/middle/late adulthood. The developmental perspective provides an important foundation for understanding normal children and adults, while also providing the essential knowledge base for the modern view of psychological disturbances as "normal development gone awry." This approach has practical implications for individuals with interests in parenting, caregiving, education, social services, and health sciences with both normal and exceptional populations. Prerequisite: none, but sophomore standing recommended.

Expand and Collapse PSY 3330 - Research Methods

Overview of research process designed for upper-division students interested in reading and/or conducting research. Topics include logic of scientific research, types of research, phases of a research study, designing experimental and correlational studies, sampling, quantitative and qualitative methods for collecting data, evaluation and writing of research reports, and ethical issues.

Expand and Collapse SOC 2433 - The Family and Society

Exploration of the meaning and variety of family life in the United States and other cultures. Classic and contemporary theories are combined with recent research findings to understand the changing definitions and contexts of family life. Emphasis is placed on the study of the family in a broader context, including the influence of neighborhoods, schools and religion, socioeconomic inequalities, gender roles, domestic abuse, divorce, and a life span approach to family life.

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  • "My OT experience has been metamorphic so far. The first time I set foot in an occupational therapy room, I was astounded by the palpable energy. The OTs I shadowed made the word 'therapy' a verb; there was no such thing as a passive session."

    – Joy Anderson, '16