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Role of Occupational Therapists

Occupational therapy—a vibrant, growing profession—makes it possible for people to achieve independence and to enjoy life to its fullest. Many practitioners choose to help children thrive in the “occupations” of childhood, which include learning, playing, and growing. Therapists work in schools with students who have learning disabilities or behavioral problems. Others work with premature newborns at pediatric hospitals or children with cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and other disabilities.

Occupational therapists also work with individuals in their homes, community centers, rehabilitation hospitals, businesses, and nursing homes. In these settings, occupational therapists help people with traumatic injuries, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, or mental health problems, learn to live productive lives through the use of meaningful occupations.

Those who join the field today may choose other areas of practice that are increasingly important. These new specialties include training workers to use proper ergonomics on the job, helping people with low vision maintain their independence, making buildings and homes more accessible, older driver evaluation and training, and promoting health and wellness.

Note: Information above was taken directly from the American Occupational Therapy Association.



Pursuit of Occupational Therapy at Clemson

Clemson University prepares students for application to a two-three year Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (OT) program.

Traditional PT Timeline

Pre-occupational therapy is not a major. Therefore, you must choose a degree-granting major (and minor, if appropriate). OT schools do not discriminate among the different disciplines from which you may choose, meaning that you can and should choose the curriculum that interests you most and excel. Be sure to accommodate prerequisite courses for your OT schools of interest.

What is considered competitive?

Admissions criteria vary by institution and should be verified individually. A competitive GPA for the occupational therapy program at MUSC has been a 3.6 in recent years, and a competitive applicant should score in the 60th percentile or higher on the GRE.

Core Preparation Courses

Anatomy and Physiology BIOL 2220 & 2230 or BIOL 3150 & 3160
Psychology PSYC 2010
Abnormal Psychology PSYC 3830
Sociology or Anthropology SOC 2010 or ANTH 2010
Statistics STAT 2300, STAT 3090, or MATH 3020

Additional Recommended Coursework

Oral Communication COMM 1500 or COMM 2500
Physics PHYS 1220+1240 & PHYS 2210+2230 or PHYS 2070+2090 & PHYS 2080+2100
Medical Terminology See Advisor
Note. Requirements vary by institution and should be verified individually.