Pre-Occupational Therapy

Cornell College students pursuing occupational therapy are considered part of the Pre-Occupational Therapy program. Pre-Occupational Therapy is coordinated by the Dimensions for Health Professions. 

What is an Occupational Therapist?

OTs assist clients with exercises and activities that will allow them to master the skills needed to perform day-to-day tasks at home, work, school and in the community.  These activities range from teaching joint protection techniques, how to safely move from a bed to a wheelchair, and muscle strengthening exercises to teaching life skills such as cooking, dressing, driving, walking and eating. OTs create customized treatment plans for patients and assist them in implementing that plan. They make recommendations about adaptive equipment that would be useful and provide training in this equipment use.  OTs also work extensively with family members and caregivers, giving them important guidance in these roles. Occupational therapy can be a physically demanding job, as OTs spend a great deal of time working on their feet.  

OTs must complete a master- or doctoral-level program through a program accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) to practice as a licensed OT. 

Preparing for Occupational Therapy Programs at Cornell College

After receiving a degree from Cornell, most students enter a PhD program in Occupational Therapy. 

Choosing a Major

Most Pre-Occupational Therapy students major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB), Psychology, or Kinesiology at Cornell College. 

Prerequisite Coursework

Occupational therapy programs pay attention to a student’s academic record and seek well-rounded applicants interested in science who can work well with people. Prerequisites include courses in chemistry, biology, anatomy, physiology, psychology, and sociology. 

Because not all occupational therapy programs require the same prerequisites, it is best to meet with the Associate Director of Dimensions to review school-specific prerequisites beginning in your second year. 

Admissions Examination

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

Most master- and doctoral-level occupational therapy programs require the GRE for admission. The GRE is administered by the Educational Testing Service. 

Application Process

Students applying to occupational therapy programs utilize the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS)

Dimensions is your primary source for information when you reach the planning stage for your occupational therapy application. Cornell students are expected to utilize the Health Professions Committee before the start of their intended application cycle. 

Additional Resources

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook