Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy

Program Description Type Degree
Health Science, B.S. with Concentration in Pre-Occupational TherapyDegreeB.S.
Health Science, B.S. with Concentration in Pre-Occupational Therapy, AcceleratedDegreeB.S.

Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy

The Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy offers the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and the Master of Occupational Therapy graduate degrees for those students wanting to enter the professions of occupational or physical therapy. The programs are three years in length and degrees are granted after successful completion of all academic and clinical requirements. Both graduate degree programs are accredited.

The Physical Therapy Graduate Program is accredited by the Commission on ­Accreditation of Physical Therapy ­Education (CAPTE) 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia, 22314; Telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accrediation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.

The Occupational Therapy ­Graduate Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. AOTA's Phone number is 301-652-AOTA; website is http://www.acoteonline.org. Graduates will be able to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).

A 3.0 overall GPA for all prerequisite course work and a 3.0 GPA in each science area is required for consideration for admission into either program. Applicants must additionally meet all requirements for admission to the Graduate School. In addition to specific course prerequisites, applicants will have to provide evidence of having worked in a physical therapy or an occupational therapy setting as an aide or volunteer.

Undergraduate students preparing for physical or occupational therapy should choose a major that is of interest to them and will assist in completion of prerequisite course work. Baccalaureate students will have advisors in their major department, but should also seek additional health professions' advising through the Pre-Health Advising Office. Students who have completed a baccalaureate degree and who are completing prerequisites for physical or occupational therapy should call the Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy for appropriate advising. For further information on physical therapy or occupational therapy entrance requirements and program description, refer to the Graduate Catalog or department website at http://www.isu.edu/dpot/.

Admission into the Physical Therapy Program

Although any undergraduate major is acceptable for entry into the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, preparation must provide a strong background in natural and social sciences and include the following prerequisite courses. 

Physical Therapy Program Prerequisites

  • BIOLOGY (3 courses). Botany courses will NOT be accepted.

1 & 2. Anatomy and Physiology each with laboratory (vertebrate or human), 2 semesters or 2-3 quarters. This course must have been completed within the last 7 years. Courses on human anatomy and physiology MUST be listed in Biology, Zoology, Anatomy or Physiology Departments for fulfillment of this requirement.

3. Exercise Physiology, 2 or 3 credits. This course may be found in Physical Education departments.

  • CHEMISTRY (2 courses)

1 & 2. Introductory Chemistry with laboratory, 2 semesters or 2-3 quarters. A more recently completed chemistry course at upper division or graduate level with laboratory may also meet this requirement. Must be courses for science majors.

  • PHYSICS (2 courses)

1 & 2. Introductory Physics with laboratory, 2 semesters or 2-3 quarters. A more recently completed physics course at upper division or graduate level with laboratory may also meet this requirement. Must be courses for science majors.

  • MATHEMATICS (1 course)

1. Statistics - 3 or more units. Courses about research methods or tests and measurements will NOT meet this require­ment.

  • PSYCHOLOGY and SOCIOLOGY or ANTHROPOLOGY or HEALTH SCIENCE (3 courses)

1. Introductory Psychology. More recent upper division psychology courses may be accepted.

2. Sociology or Anthropology or Health Science or Psychology (1 course). This course must be relevant to health care, rural societies, cultural diversity, aging, health care administration, abnormal psychology, or epidemiology. Marriage/Family, religion, or history courses will NOT meet this requirement.

3. Course in Human Development or Motor Development Learning (2-3 ­credits).

  • MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY (1 semester)

1. One semester of medical terminology.

Computer Competence and Technical Writing

Applicants must be competent in working with computers and be able to use word processing and spreadsheet software prior to entry into the program. A course in technical writing is strongly recommended.

Admission into the Occupational Therapy Program

Students may be admitted for fall semester entry into the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program through the normal graduate school admissions procedure by satisfactorily completing the prescribed prerequisite courses and satisfying the other admission requirements as listed on the MOT program application form.

Students may also have the option of early pre-professional entry into the program through the established guidelines of the Bachelor of Science in Health Science (BSHS), Pre-Occupational Therapy, Accelerated Concentration. During the first three years of this Concentration of the BSHS degree, students follow a structured course of study that will meet their interests, university degree requirements, and Occupational Therapy Program admissions requirements. Students may apply to this degree option in the Fall of their junior year. Students are admitted to the pre-professional year for occupational therapy during their senior year on a competitive basis. With successful completion of the pre-professional year in the OT program, each student will receive a Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree and continue (after acceptance by the Graduate School) directly into the second and third year curriculum for the MOT degree.

The combination of the BSHS and MOT program creates a seamless entry into the occupational therapy profession, ensuring that all prerequisites in social, physical, and biological sciences are completed in a timely manner. For further information on the BSHS and the MOT program, contact the Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy at (208) 282-4095 or Dr. Kelly Thompson, Director of BSHS Pre OT Accelerated (thomkel2@isu.edu).

MOT Program Prerequisites

  • SOCIAL BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE (4 courses, 3 credits each)

Human Development - 1 semester
Sociology - 1 semester
Abnormal Psychology - 1 semester
Cultural Anthropology - 1 semester

  • BIOLOGY (2 courses, 4 credits each)

Anatomy and Physiology, each with laboratory (vertebrate or human); 2 semesters or 2-3 quarters. This course must have been completed within the last 7 years. Courses on human anatomy and physiology MUST be listed in Biology , Zoology, Anatomy or Physiology Departments for fulfillment of this requirement.

  • CHEMISTRY (1 course, 4 credits)

Introductory Chemistry with laboratory, 1 semester. A more advanced chemistry course at upper division or graduate level with laboratory may also meet this requirement. Must be a course for science majors.

  • MATHEMATICS (1 course)

Statistics - 3 or more units. Courses about research methods or tests and measurements will NOT meet this require­ment.

  • ENGLISH/COMMUNICATION (2 courses)

Composition - 3 credits

Speech Communication - 2 or 3 credits

Technical Writing (not required, but highly recommended) - 3 credits

  • OTHER REQUIRED COURSES

At least 5 courses from this category are required, 3 credits each, chosen from but not limited to:

  • economics
  • history
  • education
  • humanities
  • ethics
  • literature
  • fine arts
  • philosophy
  • foreign language
  • HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:

Introductory Physics with Laboratory

Technical Writing

Computer Competence

Applicants must be competent in working with computers and be able to use word processing and spreadsheet software prior to entry into the program.

Occupational Therapy Preparation

Occupational Therapists are health practitioners with graduate-level degrees who help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. 

The curative nature of occupational therapy is extremely broad and requires practitioners with an interest in the complexity of humanity and the diversity of human occupation. They also need the ability to think critically and creatively and to be able to address occupational performance problems resulting from disease, trauma, and mental illness. To be prepared, a student must enter the profession with a foundation in the liberal arts in addition to biological, physical, and social ­sciences. For this reason, graduate-level programs in occupational therapy require specific coursework as a prerequisite to applying for admission to their programs. Graduate-level programs in occupational therapy do not require a specific undergraduate degree for admissions.

The Bachelor of Science in Health Science (BSHS) Pre-Occupational Therapy Concentration (4+3) is a degree program designed for students who are interested in a future career in the health profession. It provides a concentration area for students wishing to eventually apply to a graduate program in occupational therapy. One BSHS degree concentration area, Pre-Occupational Therapy, allows for the student to obtain a broad health science background by completing a BSHS degree. Once completed, the student is positioned with the necessary academic prerequisites to apply to many graduate-level occupational therapy programs (but students must carefully check prerequisite requirements for all programs they are interested in to assure fulfillment of each program's individual requirements). Admission and successful completion of this concentration area does not guarantee admission into the ISU Master of Occupational Therapy program.

The second BSHS professional concentration area, Pre-Occupational Therapy, Accelerated (3+3) (available to a limited number of students selected on a competitive basis), provides the opportunity for students to enter the graduate-level ISU Occupational Therapy program during their fourth undergraduate year and complete a pre-professional year in the program while undergraduates. During the first three years, students wishing to pursue this concentration area complete a course of study that meets the ISU General Education requirements and the OT program prerequisite course requirements. These students may apply during the fall semester of their junior academic year for accelerated entry status. If accepted, they complete the pre-professional year within the OT program during their senior year. Upon successful completion of the pre-professional year, each student will receive a Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree and continue (after acceptance by the Graduate School) as a graduate student directly into the third semester (summer) of the Master of Occupational Therapy program with expected completion and awarding of the master's degree two years later.

Students not accepted into the accelerated concentration area may continue within the pre-OT curriculum, earn their bachelor's degrees, and apply to graduate-level occupational therapy programs at ISU and elsewhere through the traditional graduate school processes.

Due to the competitive nature of admission to graduate-level occupational therapy programs, students are strongly encouraged to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 throughout the BSHS curriculum.

Physical and Occupational Therapy Faculty

PTOT Courses