Physical and Occupational Therapy

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 (MOT) 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 completion of all academic and clinical requirements. Both graduate degree programs are accredited.

Prospective applicants to each program must meet required prerequisites, complete observation hours with a licensed practicioner, meet minimum scores on the GRE/MAT and provide letters of reference as instructed on the respective program admissions page.  Applicants must also meet all requirements for admission to the ISU Graduate School.

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. It is advantageous to select a major that incorporates the specific program prerequisites. 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 contact the Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy for advising at Please refer to the Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy program pages for the most current admissions requirements. 

Occupational Therapy Graduate Program

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 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. AOTA's phone number is 301-652-AOTA; website is 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).  Annual NBCOT program results for ISU's MOT program are available on the NBCOT website.

Occupational Therapy Preparation

Occupational therapists are health practitioners with graduate-level degrees, who help people participate in the things they want and need to do across the lifespan, through the therapeutic use of everyday activities or “occupations”. Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities participate in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injuries regain skills, and providing strategies to promote participation in everyday life activities for older adults who experience physical and cognitive changes.

The participatory nature of occupational therapy is extremely broad and requires practitioners who have an interest in the complexity of humanity and the diversity of human occupations. Occupational therapists must also have the ability to think critically and creatively so they can address occupational performance problems that result from developmental issues, disease, trauma, and mental illness. To meet these needs, students must enter the profession with a foundation in the liberal arts, as well as biological, physical, and social ­sciences. Graduate-level programs in occupational therapy require specific coursework as prerequisites to apply for admission to their programs. Graduate-level programs in occupational therapy do not require a specific undergraduate degree for admissions.

B.S. Health Science, Pre-Occupational Therapy Concentration

The Bachelor of Science in Health Science (BSHS) Pre-Occupational Therapy Concentration (4+3) is a degree program designed for students interested in a future career in this health profession. The program provides a concentration area for students who wish to eventually apply to a graduate program in occupational therapy. One BSHS degree concentration area, Pre-Occupational Therapy, allows students to obtain a broad health science background by completing a BSHS degree. Once completed, students with the BSHS degree have the necessary academic prerequisites to apply to many graduate-level occupational therapy programs, though students  should carefully check the prerequisite requirements for the programs to which they wish to apply, since different programs may have some different admission requirements. Admission and completion of this concentration area does not guarantee admission into ISU’s Master of Occupational Therapy program.

This concentration prepares students to apply to graduate programs in occupational therapy. Graduate occupational therapy programs will accept a wide range of undergraduate degrees, however, the B.S. in Health Science with the Pre-Occupational Therapy Concentration prepares students for future practice in health care, while efficiently including the courses required for admission into graduate programs in occupational therapy.

B.S. Health Science, Accelerated Pre-Occupational Therapy Concentration

The B.S. in Health Science, Accelerated Pre-Occupational Therapy Concentration (3+3), which is 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 as an undergraduate. During the first three years, students who wish to pursue this concentration area complete a course of study that meets the ISU General Education requirements, the BS Health Science Core courses, and the OT program prerequisite course requirements. Student applicants must complete Chemistry (CHEM 1101) and Statistics (MATH 1153) with an earned grade of B or better before applying for accelerated entry status. Prospective students should apply by September 30 during the fall semester of their academic junior year for accelerated entry status. If accepted, they complete the pre-professional year within the OT program during their senior year. During the spring semester of that pre-professional year, students will apply to the ISU Graduate School and the MOT Program to be considered for acceptance.  Students will receive a Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree in May of that year. If accepted into the post-professional year, students continue as a graduate student in the third semester (summer) of the Master of Occupational Therapy curriculum. Successful students will complete and receive  their master's degree two years later. Due to the competitive nature of admission to graduate-level occupational therapy programs, students must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or better throughout the BSHS curriculum.

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.

The combination of the BSHS and MOT program creates a seamless entry into the occupational therapy profession, ensuring all prerequisites in social, physical, and biological sciences are completed in a timely manner. For the most current information and application instructions for the BSHS Accelerated program, check out the webpage or contact Dr. Amanda Henscheid, Director of BSHS Pre OT Accelerated at

Admission into the Master of Occupational Therapy Program

Students with a bachelors degree may be admitted for fall semester entry into the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program by applying either through the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application System (OTCAS) system or a paper application and through the standard ISU Graduate School admissions procedure.  Applicants must satisfy the prescribed prerequisites and other admission requirements as outlined on the MOT website.  Although any undergraduate major is acceptable for entry into the MOT program, it is recommended that applicants select a degree that aligns closely with our required prerequisites listed below.

Occupational Therapy Program Prerequisites

Applicants must complete the following prerequisite courses with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in each of the specified categories.

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

Human Development
Abnormal Psychology
Cultural Anthropology

BIOLOGY (2 courses, 4 semester credits each)

Human Anatomy and Physiology, each with laboratory;  These courses must have been completed within the last 5 years. 

CHEMISTRY (3 semester credits)

Chemistry, College-level chemistry course.  Laboratory not required.  General Chemistry preferred.

MATHEMATICS (3 semester credits)

Statistics -  Statistics course from any department.  Research Methods, Tests and Measurements and Marketing Statistics will NOT meet this requirement.

ENGLISH/COMMUNICATION (5-6 semester credits)

Speech, Public Speaking or Communication - 2-3 credits

LIBERAL ARTS  (15 semester credits)

15 credits from the following departments, with no more than 8 credits from any department:


Fine Arts (music, art, theater, dance)

Language (including sign language)
Political Science


Physics with Laboratory
Technical Writing

Physical Therapy Graduate Program

The Physical Therapy Graduate Program is accredited by the Commission on ­Accreditation of Physical Therapy ­Education (CAPTE) 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia, 22305-3085; Telephone: 703-706-3245; email:; website:

Admission into the Physical Therapy Program

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

Physical Therapy Program Prerequisites


Anatomy and Physiology each with laboratory, 8 semester credits. These courses 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. Botany courses will NOT be accepted.

CHEMISTRY (2 courses)

General Chemistry with laboratory, 8 semester credits.  These courses must have been completed within the last 7 years.  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)

General Physics with laboratory, 8 semester credits. These courses must have been completed within the last 7 years.  A more recently completed physics course at upper division or graduate level with laboratory may also meet this requirement. Must be algebra based physics appropriate for health professions and science majors.

MATHEMATICS (1 course)

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

PSYCHOLOGY  (2 courses)

Introduction to Psychology OR Sociology.   3 semester credits.


Abnormal OR Human Development/Lifespan Psychology.  3 semester credits


Medical Terminology.  At least 1 semester credit.

Physical and Occupational Therapy Faculty

PTOT Courses