The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire offers a rigorous curriculum and experiential learning opportunities that will prepare you well for a career in occupational therapy. Occupational therapists serve as critical members of a comprehensive treatment team, frequently consulting with physicians, physical and speech therapists, nurses, social workers, psychologists, vocational counselors, teachers, other allied health specialists and family members.
Pre-occupational therapy is not a major at UW-Eau Claire, but rather a declaration of your intention to continue your education and enroll in an occupational therapy graduate program. Courses taken by pre-occupational therapy students prepare them to work with children and adults who have physical, cognitive or emotional disabilities that interfere with their ability to function independently and engage in daily activities. No specific undergraduate major is required for a career in occupational therapy, but many UWEC students choose to major in rehabilitation science, psychology or chemistry. Minors in pre-health science and kinesiology are also available.
Certain skills and experiences are usually favored when applying for graduate school. For example, many occupational therapy master's programs require a high GPA, a competitive Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score, letters of recommendation, observational or actual work experience in occupational therapy and a completed application with the Occupational Therapy Centralized Application Service (OTCAS). Science aptitude and strong communication skills are also expected.
Our exceptional faculty and career advisors are aware of these requirements and ensure you gain the knowledge and experiences necessary for acceptance into graduate school.
The UW-Eau Claire Foundation provides many scholarships for incoming and current Blugolds, including those interested in pre-occupational therapy. Learn more about which scholarships and resources are available to you by checking out our scholarships page.
Financial aid at UW-Eau Claire
Working to make your college education affordable is very important to us. We are here to walk you through the financial aid process and make applying for aid and paying your bill as easy as possible.
To get this process started, please contact our staff at Blugold Central — our one-stop-shop for tuition and financial aid. They will help you learn how to pay for your education and minimize debt, freeing you up to focus on your academics.
Learn more about our financial aid process at UWEC.
Relevant student organizations. On-campus student organizations — like the Pre-Physical & Occupational Therapy Club — connect students like you who are also interested in becoming occupational therapists. These extracurriculars are an excellent way to volunteer, job shadow and learn about potential graduate schools and employers.
Valuable partnerships. UW-Eau Claire students benefit from several major medical facilities in the region that provide the area with not only state-of-the-art quality healthcare but also opportunities for volunteering, clinical observations and internships. UW-Eau Claire specifically has strong ties to Mayo Clinic Health System, Marshfield Clinic and Sacred Heart Hospital, as well as smaller healthcare facilities like the Chippewa Valley Free Clinic.
Innovative facilities. UW-Eau Claire is one of only a few schools of its size with a career center dedicated to supporting pre-occupational therapy students. The William J. and Marian A. Klish Health Careers Center offers one-on-one advising, opportunities to meet with professional school admissions representatives, connections to health-related clinical research and volunteer opportunities, and workshops designed to provide effective tools for career development and competitive applications.
Admission requirements and prerequisites may differ depending on which occupational therapy master's program you are considering, so it is important to check for specific requirements. In general, students interested in a career in occupational therapy will focus on these topics during their undergraduate career:
- Human Anatomy
Learn more about pre-occupational therapy in the UWEC course catalog.
A few majors that would best support a career path in occupational therapy include: