Pre-Occupational Therapy

Pathway to Occupational Therapy

What is Occupational Therapy?

In its simplest terms, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants 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.

American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. OT Definition

Masters of Occupational Therapy Pathway

  • Complete all of the pre-requisites for Occupational Therapy School
  • Complete at least 60 human service hours of volunteer experience or direct observation of people with disabilities, illness and/other disadvantages
  • Complete a Bachelor’s degree
  • Apply to accredited Occupational Therapy programs
  • Complete the MS in Occupational Therapy (2 ½ years)
  • After graduation, pass the National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)
  • After successfully completing the exam, you will be an Occupational Therapist, registered (OTR)

Pre-Occupational Therapy Program

Students interested in pursuing a career in Occupational Therapy begin their studies at UMBC by following our Pre-Occupational Therapy curriculum which consists of at least three years of pre-requisites (~73 credits).  A Bachelor’s degree is required prior to beginning an Occupational Therapy program.  Upon successful completion of a Bachelor’s degree and the required pre-requisites, students will complete two and a half years of Occupational Therapy at another institution.  Currently, Towson University has the only program in the state of Maryland.

Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of Occupational Therapist is projected to grow 18 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.  The median annual wage for Occupational Therapists was $84,270 in May 2016.  Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Occupational Therapists,
on the Internet here (visited Feb 20, 2020).