According to the
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), occupational therapists (OTs)
and occupational therapy assistants (OTAs), “help people across the lifespan
participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use
of everyday activities.” OTs work to help people lead satisfying and
independent lives. OT careers often involve working with individuals in their
homes and examples include the following: helping people restore essential
skills that may have been lost following an accident; aid disabled children in
participating in social situations; assist individuals that are experiencing
physical and possibly cognitive changes due to age. Benefits of becoming an OT include the
ability to practice in various settings, excellent job opportunities,
flexibility and high job satisfaction. According to the Bureau of Labor
Statistics, the median salary for an OT in 2017 was $83,200.
Look to the Future
Because admission requirements for occupational
therapy programs vary from one program to another, students should contact the
program(s) of their choice early in their Hendrix career. Also remember that
this is not a major at Hendrix. It is your responsibility to
contact each school you are applying to and get approval for any course you
might wish to substitute for a program’s pre-requisite.
health care experiences, and leadership activities are essential. You need lots
of experience working with people for people. Be involved and serve on 1-2
Hendrix clubs or committees.
Observe occupational therapists!
Many schools require time spent observing, shadowing or interning with
an occupational therapist, and most admitted students will exceed the minimum
requirements. Hendrix internships require a minimum of 120 hours. You should
try to do more than 120 hours and with different OTs if possible.
Keep your academic record strong
Few individuals get admitted with only the minimal requirements, and
most admitted students have GPAs of 3.2 or above. Programs are looking for the
most highly qualified students and will therefore have higher expectations and
standards. When choosing your schools to apply to, check to make sure you will
meet or exceed the requirements.
Get to know some health care providers, faculty and work/volunteer supervisors.
All of these individuals can be a resource for you to obtain new and valuable
opportunities. Always maintain a good rapport with these contacts as well. You
never know when you will need a letter of recommendation, and you want to make
sure they can provide you with a great letter, not a mediocre one.
Stay up on current
The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) is a great resource
for staying up-to-date on current issues impacting OTs. Another
organization is the OTCAS that provides good information. A list of OT programs can be found here.
For information, contact Richard Murray in the Biology
Examples for Course Selection
are listed below. Requirements vary at different institutions.
BIOL 150 Cell Biology
BIOL 205 & 215 Human Anatomy and Physiology w/labs
BIOL 340 Microbiology w/lab (or BIOL 320
Animal Physiology w/lab)
BIOL 362 Exercise Physiology w/lab
CHEM 110 & 120 General Chemistry I and II w/lab
Introduction to Psychology
PSYC 240 Childhood and Adolescence
PSYC 245 Adult Development and Aging
PSYC 385 Abnormal Psychology (Note: there are PSYC pre-reqs for this
College Algebra and Trigonometry (not taught at
Hendrix, some may accept MATH 120 Functions & Models)
MATH 215 Introductory Statistics or
PSYC 290 Statistics
1 Sociology or
PHYS 210/220 General Physics I
& II (w/Lab)
PHYS 230/240 General Physics
I&2 (w/Lab) (Calculus-based)
PHYS 235/245 General Physics I&2
*This course is not offered at Hendrix. You would be
expected to complete it at another institution either online or in the