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

Kelly Erickson, PhD, OTR/L
Department Chair
Health Science Center,
Room 322
(218) 723-6256

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 2510 - Human Anatomy and Physiology I

Study of human anatomy and physiology. Topics include an introduction to cells, tissues, systems organization, osteology, fluid compartments, gross and microscopic anatomy, physiology of the circulatory system, and the gross anatomy of musculature. This course will be geared towards pre-nursing and pre-health occupational students with an emphasis on how basic anatomy and physiology functions in human health.

Expand and Collapse HSC 2209 - Medical Terminology

Studies the terminology common to medicine utilizing word elements (prefixes, suffixes and roots) basic for building medical terms and analyzing meanings using a programmed learning format; includes spelling and pronunciation of medical terms.

Expand and Collapse HSC 2500 - Introduction to Occupational Therapy

Provides an introduction to the profession of occupational therapy focused on the profession, the practitioner, and practice. The profession includes an overview of occupational therapy, a history of occupational therapy, and trends of the profession. The practitioner identifies educational preparation and certification criteria, organizations within the profession, roles and responsibilities of the practitioner, legal and ethical practice, and skills for therapeutic relationships. The practice of occupational therapy introduces occupational behavior, occupational therapy considerations across the lifespan, evaluation and intervention process, and occupation as intervention. The emphasis is on basic information, beginning skills, and exploration of the profession.

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 3331 - Statistics

Covers basic statistical concepts and methods useful in conducting research and evaluating results of studies done by others. Topics include frequency distributions and graphs, measures of central tendency and variability, transformed scores, correlations, multiple regression, hypothesis testing (t test, analysis of variance, and chi square), selection of appropriate statistics, calculation with MS Excel spreadsheets and SPSS, interpretation of the "results" sections of journal articles, and numeracy (understanding and using numbers in decision-making). Prerequisite: competence in arithmetic.

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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