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Pre-Occupational Therapy

In its simplest terms, occupational therapists (OTs) help people of all ages participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Unlike other professions, occupational therapy helps people function in all of their environments (e.g., home, work, school, community) and addresses the physical, psychological, and cognitive aspects of their well-being through engagement in occupation.


An Occupational Therapist may have a Master’s or Doctoral Degree; the entry-level degree requirement for the occupational therapist will move to the doctoral level by July 2027. Students enrolled at Eastern who decide to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy should complete a baccalaureate degree in an appropriate major, such as Psychology, Biology, Kinesiology, Neuroscience, Sociology, or Public Health, and apply to a graduate program. A 3.50 GPA and a solid performance on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), taken the summer before senior year, are required. Most programs also require 45+ experience hours with a licensed occupational therapist and three letters of recommendation (1 academic, 1 professional, and 1 of your choice).


Each OT program has different requirements. It is very important to identify which programs you plan to apply and plot out their requirements accordingly.  Students can research programs using the AOTA School Directory.  Additional information about occupational therapy and important links can be found at the American Occupational Therapy Association and the Centralized Application Service for Occupational Therapy Programs websites.



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Contact Information

Pre-Health Professions Advising

Eastern Illinois University
Life Sciences Building - 2072
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-7141

Pre-Nursing Advising

Eastern Illinois University
9th Street Hall - 2100
600 Lincoln Avenue Charleston 61920

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