Education Career Articles

Connect Facebook Connect Twitter Connect Google+ Connect Pinterest Connect Stumbleupon

Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Occupational Therapy

Majors Overview March 16, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in occupational therapy and their education requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Occupational Therapy

Most states require aspiring occupational therapists who want to practice their profession to hold both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in occupational therapy. Accordingly, several schools offer combination occupational therapy programs, wherein graduates gain a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Occupational Therapy degree after they complete the first half of the program. Typically, four-year colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degree programs in occupational therapy through their physical therapy or health sciences departments.

Graduates prepare for licensure and certification as occupational therapists during the first half of the program. They gain a strong grasp of the rudiments of therapy treatments, medical procedures, and patient assessment. The bachelor’s degree program in occupational therapy involves a combination of classroom lectures on human anatomy and disabling conditions and practical and clinical experience. While a bachelor’s degree may prove inadequate by itself in helping a student earn occupational therapy licensure, enrolled students within the program can gain a solid background in the industry and prepare for continuing education via a master’s degree in occupational therapy.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria to the highly competitive occupational therapy programs typically require incoming students to boast a minimum high school grade point average of 2.8. Prerequisite courses in abnormal psychology, general psychology, human anatomy, and biology are also required to be taken by sophomores and college freshmen before they can gain admission to an occupational therapy major.


Coursework within a bachelor’s degree program in occupational therapy is devised to impart a strong grasp of basic principles in health care, in addition to a strong foundation in occupational therapy sciences. Core coursework may include topic areas such as the following:

•Disabling conditions
•Occupational therapy processes
•Health services practice management
•Occupational analysis
•Biomedical ethics
•Human development and functioning
•Functional anatomy
•Occupational practical
•Functioning assessment
•Applied neurology

Job and Wage Outlook

Occupational therapists are expected to see an above-average job growth rate of 29% over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $75,400; the highest wages were paid to professionals employed with home health care services. In 2012, as many as 113,200 individuals were employed as occupational therapists in the United States in nursing care facilities, hospitals, and healthcare services.

Continuing Education Choices

Licensure is mandatory in every U.S. state for occupational therapists seeking to practice their profession. Passage of a national licensure examination can qualify them to receive the credit of Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR). Prior to taking the national exam, students are required to complete a master’s degree program in the field. The National Board for Certifying Occupational Therapy, among other individual boards, offers voluntary certification options to enable these professionals to enhance their career prospects.

Showing schools in your area

Matching School Ads
1 Program(s) Found
  • Fortis offers nursing programs including ADN, PN, BSN degrees, and more
  • 40+ schools in 15 states including Florida, Arizona, Ohio, and Virginia
  • All colleges are accredited by ABHES, ACCSC, ACICS, or other accrediting bodies
  • Fortis Online serves benefits to US military service members
  • Grants & scholarship aid may be available for qualifying students
  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
  • Does psychology interest you? See if Grand Canyon University could be a good fit for your journey in discovering the human mind!
  • GCU offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in either General Psychology or Industrial & Organizational Psychology.
  • The College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GCU provides a job focused education, blending the study of traditional humanities in a modern context.
  • GCU offers a variety of learning options, including: traditional degree programs offered at our main campus, online degrees, or evening classes meeting once a week at various locations.
  • Founded in 1949, GCU is a regionally accredited, private Christian university and is recognized as offering some of the best online education programs in the nation.
  • Request information and learn more about our program offerings, start dates, financial aid and more!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Helps You Find the Right College within Minutes.
  • Get Matched to the Perfect Psychology Degree Programs From Top Colleges Here.
  • Learn at Your Own Pace and Get Qualified to Pursue a Career You Will Love.
  • Answer a Few Questions and You Are One Step Closer to Enroll in a Top College!
  • Online Courses

Showing schools in your area

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
  • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • Education Connection is a 100% Free College Matching Service used by 50,000 People Daily.
  • Get Matched to Psychology, Counseling, Human Services, Organizational, and Clinical Psychology Degree Programs and MORE.
  • View Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate and Graduate Certificate Degree Programs in Psychology and Human Services Near YOU!
  • Accredited and Flexible Psychology Degree Programs to Fit Your Time and Budget. Use Our Matching Service - It's Easy and FREE!
  • Online Courses

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!