Pre-Occupational Therapy


Occupational therapists work with people of all ages to enable them to perform activities associated with work and/or daily living. By preventing injury, adapting an activity for a client with injury or disability, or restoring skills following injury, the ultimate goal is to give the client more independence and a better quality of living. Occupational therapists perform evaluations of the client, which may include the client’s home or work environment, to identify the client’s goals and challenges, and then recommend treatment and/or adaptive strategies. OTs are found in a wide variety of practice settings, such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, school systems, home health services and workplace/industrial settings. The OT field is rapidly growing as demand steadily increases and interest in the profession expands. US News and World Report named OT as one of the 15 best healthcare careers of 2022.

There are currently two entry-level degrees: master’s degree and doctorate degree. The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) degree program length is usually 2 years. The Doctorate in Occupational Therapy degree (OTD) program lasts 3 years.

There are currently 7 fully-accredited entry-level OT programs in North Carolina:

The following entry-level programs have “developing”, “candidacy”, or “applicant” accreditation status:

  • Appalachian State University
  • Duke University
  • High Point University
  • UNC at Pembroke

For experienced OTAs who already possess a bachelor’s degree or associate’s degree, Cabarrus College of Health Sciences offers an accredited “bridging” program leading to an OT Master’s degree.

Recommended Core Courses

The following classes are recommended for completion of the basic pre-OT core at UNC Charlotte. The classes are recommended to cover the minimum basic requirements at the majority of occupational therapy schools.

Human Anatomy & Physiology 1+2, with labsBIOL 2273 + 2274  OREXER 2168 + 2169
General PsychologyPSYC 1101
Developmental Psychology (Child Psych + Adolescent Psych + Psych of Adult Dev/Aging)PSYC 2120 + 2121+2124
Abnormal PsychologyPSYC 2151
StatisticsSTAT 1220 or 1221 or 1222
Sociology or AnthropologyANTH 1101 and/or SOCY 1101
Ethics/Reasoning/LogicPHIL 3230 (Healthcare Ethics)
Medical TerminologyEXER 2299

**Each occupational therapy program establishes their specific prerequisites; always check the websites of the programs that you want to attend.

More Resources


Currently, there is no active student club for Pre-OT students. RESOURCES


American Occupational Therapy Association

NC Occupational Therapy Association


American Journal of Occupational Therapy


NC Board of Occupational Therapy

National Board Exam