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What is the difference between the BSHS Pre-OT and BSHS Pre-OT Accelerated concentrations?

  • The BSHS Pre-OT concentration is a major that prepares students to apply to entry-level graduate programs in occupational therapy. The curriculum gives students a foundation in health science while incorporating in prerequisite courses for many occupational therapy programs.
  • The BSHS Pre-OT Accelerated concentration is similar in that it also gives students a foundation in health science and facilitates their completion of prerequisite courses to enter the MOT Program at ISU.
  • This concentration allows students to begin to take classes in the MOT Program at ISU while they are undergraduate students, allowing them to enter the profession one year faster than their peers who use a traditional entry to the MOT Program.

It is important to note that entrance into the BSHS Pre-OT Accelerated concentration is competitive, and requires students to apply in the fall of their junior year. Students must also complete major requirements (general education, major core courses, and concentration requirements) by the end of their junior year to be prepared to take a full-time load of occupational therapy courses during their senior year.

How can students determine which concentration is a better fit for their needs?

  • The Pre-OT Accelerated concentration was designed to be an efficient path to entering the occupational therapy profession. It is ideal for students who know they want to be an OT early in their college experience, plan to continue in the MOT Program at ISU, and are able to plan their courses efficiently to complete all general education, major core, and concentration requirements by the end of their junior year. It is an especially nice option for students who don’t have a minor, and therefore don’t have many upper-division elective credits needed to graduate because the OT coursework can fulfill these elective credits.
  • The pre-OT concentration is a good fit for students who want to be able to apply to a variety of OT programs beyond the MOT Program at ISU. It is also a nice option for students who want more flexibility in their schedule to take additional elective classes, complete a minor, or engage in other on-campus activities such as athletics.

How can I find volunteer or work opportunities with an OT or OTA?

  • There are occupational therapy practitioners working in almost every community! We recommend potential applicants reach out to places that commonly employ occupational therapy practitioners and ask to be connected to them. Some places that commonly employ occupational therapy practitioners include hospitals, school districts, skilled nursing facilities, home health care agencies, pediatric therapy clinics, and hand therapy clinics.

What if I apply to the BSHS Pre-OT Accelerated concentration but I don’t get in?

  • Students who are not accepted into the Accelerated Option can choose to complete their BSHS degree with the Pre-OT Concentration. They can then apply as a traditional applicant to any graduate program in occupational therapy, including the MOT Program at ISU.

What if I apply to the program but have 1 or 2 classes left to finish to graduate, in addition to the OT coursework, when I start the occupational therapy coursework in August?

  • Students accepted into the BSHS Pre-OT Accelerated concentration must complete all of their general education courses, BSHS Major core courses, and the Pre-OT Accelerated concentration courses before they can start the occupational therapy coursework. If they do not complete all of these courses with at least a “C” before the start of the semester in which they are scheduled to start the occupational therapy coursework, they will be dismissed from the concentration.

If I apply to and get accepted into the Pre-OT Accelerated concentration, is there anything that would prevent me from getting accepted into the MOT program (which is necessary to continue as a graduate student)?

  • If a student does not earn at least a 3.0 in all classes during the first year of MOT coursework, they may not be admitted into the MOT Program.

What if I start the MOT program and need to withdraw?

  • A student may voluntarily withdraw from the graduate entry-level program in Occupational Therapy at any time. A student who withdraws from the program will notify the department in writing, within five working days of making the decision. Students who withdraw may apply for readmission to the program during the next regular admissions cycle following withdrawal. Additional information about withdrawing, including financial information, can be found in the ISU Policy on Withdrawal and Drop.  

What do I need to do to successfully graduate from the MOT Program and be eligible for credentialing and licensure?  

  • As detailed in the course catalog, students must complete all required courses with 80% or better, earn a satisfactory grade in all clinical coursework (fieldwork), complete a group professional project with satisfactory grades, and take a comprehensive written exam (the OTKE).
  • Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist, administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the graduate will be an occupational therapist, registered (OTR). In addition, all states require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination.

What impact would a felony conviction have on a student or graduate’s eligibility for certification and credentialing?  

  • A felony conviction may affect a graduate's eligibility to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy Examination for OTR or to apply for a state license to practice as an Occupational Therapist. Potential applicants who are concerned about a felony conviction are encouraged to reach out to the Program Director prior to applying.

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