Pre-Occupational Therapy

Occupational Health Program


Occupational Therapy Specialties

Driving & Community Mobility | Environmental
Modification | Feeding, Eating, and Swallowing |
Gerontology | Low Vision | Mental Health | Pediatrics | Physical Rehabilitation


Occupational therapists help individuals, who have been limited by injuries or permanent disabilities, adapt to basic life functions and daily routines.

Occupational Therapist vs. Physical Therapist

Occupational therapists focus on rehabilitation that promotes independence in daily activities for the individual affected by temporary or permanent disability; as mentioned above, OTs help patients adapt to daily activities. Physical therapists focus on rehabilitation that strengthens mobility in a particular area of the body. 


What do I need to become an occupational therapist?

In order to become an occupational therapist, an individual must earn a Master's of Occupational Therapy, MOT. A bachelor's degree is required for admission to an MOT program. Certifications are also available to OTs who would like to specialize in a particular area. Below you will find the following certifications:

Board Certification — available to a licensed occupational therapist only

  • Gerontology
  • Mental Health
  • Pediatrics
  • Physical Rehabilitation

Specialty Certification — available to a licensed occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant

  • Driving and Community Mobility
  • Environmental Modification
  • Feeding, Eating, and Swallowing
  • Low Vision
  • School Systems

For more information about these certifications, please visit the American Occupational Therapy Association, AOTA, website.

Which major should I select at UNT for a pre-OT path?

Popular/Possible majors for pre-occupational students at UNT:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, General Track, College of Education
  • Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Studies, College of Health & Public Service
  • Bachelor of Science in Public Health, College of Health & Public Service
  • Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Integrative Studies, College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences

Note: Occupational Therapy programs do not require a particular degree. As long as you complete a bachelor's degree, along with all prerequisites, you will meet the education requirements of an Master's in OT program. 

For more information about each major, please visit the UNT Catalog and select 'majors, minors, certificates' that is found beneath the link to ‘Catalog Home’.

What courses do I need for occupational therapy programs?

Please refer to our Pre-Occupational Therapy Packet for a list of prerequisites for each Texas OT program. To review prerequisites for OT programs outside of Texas, please refer to each individual school's website. 

Timeline: When do I apply to occupational therapy school?

Students must apply to occupational therapy schools one year before entering a program. On the traditional four-year path, students will apply during the summer after their junior year of college, complete their bachelor's degree at the end of their senior year, and enter OT school the following summer/fall semester.

Note: Each student's timeline is different. Your UNT academic advisor/counselor is committed to creating a plan that accommodates your individual goals and circumstances. 

What makes a competitive application to occupational therapy school?

Admission to an occupational therapy program is very competitive and students should create a strategic plan well in advance. Below you will find typical categories of a competitive application. Please contact our advisors in the UNT Office of Health Professions to further explore each competitive characteristic and to create your pre-occupational therapy plan. 

Call, click or come by for more information!

Office of Health Professions: 940-369-7500 | | Hickory Hall, Room 256

competitive application: GPA, GRE, community service, leadership,work experience, university organizations, shadowing different OT specialties


CATEGORY competitive
GPA 3.6-4.0
GRE Verbal: 150+
Quantitative: 150+
Writing: 4+
Shadowing 150-250 Hours
Volunteering 200+ Hours

What is the GRE?

The GRE, Graduate Record Examination, is the entrance exam that must be taken before applying to occupational therapy programs. The score range for the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE is 130-170. The range for the writing section is 0-6. For more information about the GRE, please visit the official ETS website.

How do I apply to occupational therapy school?

Occupational therapy programs in the United States use one application service to obtain student information:

Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service, OTCAS

Are there any scholarships available to pre-occupational therapy students?

Yes, the following scholarship is offered to pre-health students:

The Dr. Charles D. and Vernil Mitchell Endowed Scholarship

To be considered, a student must enroll as a full-time undergraduate student in any degree-granting major in the College of Science and be a graduate of any high school in Dallas ISD.  For more information about this scholarship please contact Todd Lang.

Additionally, general scholarships are offered to students through each department and college across campus. Below you will find scholarship webpages for the popular majors listed above:

College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences:

  • Psychology Major Scholarships
  • Integrative Studies majors should click on the 'College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences' link for more information.

College of Education:

  • Kinesiology majors should click on the 'College of Education' link for more information

College of Health and Public Service:

  • Rehabilitation Studies Major Scholarships
  • Public Health majors should click on the 'College of Health and Public Service' link for more information

If you do not see your major listed under one of the three colleges listed above, please visit the scholarship website of the college that houses your major.

What pre-health student organizations are there at UNT? 

HERE you will find a list of health-related student organizations at UNT. 

Professional Organizations and Resources

American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
Texas Occupational Therapy Association (TOTA)
Occupational Therapy Education and Careers
Explore Health Careers

Who can help me create a plan for this career path?

If you are a current student, please visit to schedule an appointment.

For general questions email:

To view contact information for individual pre-health advisors, visit this siteOn the left, under "Office of Health Professions Pre-Health Advising" you will find all of the pre-health advisors' emails. 



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