Occupational therapists treat patients who have injuries, illnesses, or disabilities through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They may work in offices or in hospitals, or may be embedded in schools, nursing homes, and home health services. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistic, employment of occupational therapists is projected to grow 14 percent from 2021 to 2031, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Occupational therapists typically need a graduate degree in occupational therapy. All states require occupational therapists to be licensed.
At Westminster, students on a pre-occupational therapy track will major in Psychology. They will typically apply to graduate-level Occupational Therapy programs between their junior and senior years, allowing for a direct transition following graduation, but some wait until after they graduate to apply in order to further their education and gain more relevant experience. Still others may apply to participate in our Bachelor’s Degree Plus Program that leads to a Westminster degree plus a Doctor of Occupational Therapy from Chatham University.
The following courses are also strongly recommended:
Course requirements may vary from one professional program to another, so it is the responsibility of the student to be aware of specifics regarding their schools of interest. Good planning and working closely with academic and health professions advisors are essential to maximize chances of success in the highly competitive Occupational Therapy school application environment.
Please contact the Chair of the Department of Psychology, Dr. Deanne Buffalari.
Bachelor's Degree Plus Programs
In addition to our Pre-Occupational Therapy program, qualified students who want to go on to earn a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) can save time and money through one of two articulation agreements with Chatham University.
Students accepted to the 3+3 program spend three years at Westminster and then three years at Chatham, earning both their bachelor’s degree and their Occupational Therapy doctorate upon the completion of all requirements at the end of just 6 years.
Students accepted to the 4+3 program are guaranteed acceptance into Chatham’s Entry-Level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (ELOTD) program upon graduation from Westminster if they meet the entry requirements.