Pre-Occupational Therapy Course Requirements

Course Requirements Overview

This is a guide to common pre-occupational therapy course requirements.

Professional schools have a variety of prerequisites required for admission to their programs. On this page, we include information about timelines for pre-occupational therapy  requirements and the options available. 

  • Many programs prefer in person coursework, and some programs may not allow online coursework. See individual schools for policies.
  • Individual schools may require or recommend additional courses.
  • All prerequisites must be completed with a letter grade of C or higher. Some schools may require a B or higher.
  • Schools vary on Credit-By-Exam (AP/IB/CLEP) policies and preferences for prerequisites. Please see "Can I Claim AP/IB Credit?"
  • School requirements can change. See individual school websites and admissions guides under “Research Occupational Therapy Schools Before You Apply.” We always recommend checking for any updates.

Recommended Pre-Occupational Therapy Courses

Most Texas OT schools require:

  • Biology:  Lecture – 3 hrs;  Lab – 1 hrs (University of Incarnate Word)
  • Anatomy: Lecture – 3 hrs;  Lab – 1 hrs
  • Physiology: Lecture – 3 hrs;  Lab – 1 hrs
  • General Chemistry:  Lecture – 6 hrs;  Lab – 2 hrs
  • Psychology: Lecture - 6 hrs
  • Social Sciences:  Lecture – 3 hrs
  • General Physics/Biomechanics:  Lecture – 3 hrs
  • Math:  Statistics – 3 hrs
  • English:  Rhetoric (Composition) and Literature – 6 hrs

(OT School Prerequisite Course Timelines is available at the bottom of this page.)

Some occupational therapy schools require humanities and social/behavioral science courses.  We strongly recommend taking courses in the following areas. 

  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Ethics
  • Analytical problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Writing, interpersonal communications, and presentation skills
  • Cultural studies
  • Spanish and other language studies relevant to your career goals

UT Austin courses are typically taken to fulfill requirements.

Subject Lecture Lab/Notes
  • BIO 311C* + BIO 311D  OR
  • [BIO 315H + BIO 325H] (honors) 


*Only required for Univ. of Incarnate Word. 



BIO 311 D is not specifically required, but it is a UT Austin prerequisite for other required upper-division Biology courses.


  • BIO 206L*
  • BIO / INB 446L


  • BIO / INB 365S


  • BIO /INB 165U


  • CH 301 OR
  • CH 301H (honors) OR
  • CH 301C (for Chemistry majors)



CH 301 is not specifically required, but it is a UT Austin prerequisite for required upper-division Biology courses.



(May be able to substitute Kinesiology courses - Biomechanics KIN 320 OR Human Movement KIN 425K)

  • PHY 317K   OR
  • PHY 302K   OR
  • PHY 303K   (for Engineering majors)  OR
  • PHY 301  (for some Science and Engineering majors)

Starting FALL 2021, PHY 105M/N will replace lab numbers PHY 102M/N, PHY 103M/N, and 117M/N.

  • If PHY 317K 
    • PHY 105M  OR  PHY 117M 
  • If PHY 302K 
    • PHY 105M  OR  PHY 102M 
  • If PHY 303K 
    • PHY 105M  OR  PHY 103M  (for Engineering majors)
  • If PHY 301 
    • PHY 101L  (for some Science and Engineering majors)
Medical Terminology
  • CC 306M
See schools for information about completion of this course.
  • SDS 302F OR
  • SDS 320E

Note: Calculus or SDS 302F or SDS 320E will satisfy math prereq for BIO 446L & BIO 365S. Students with calculus credit have more statistics course options. Most Texas OT schools accept the following: SDS 302F, 320E, M 316, EDP 371, PSY 418, SOC 317L, STA 309, 309H.


Rhetoric (Composition)
  • RHE 306 OR
  • RHE 309K OR
  • Any Writing Flag course in RHE Dept.
  • E 316L OR
  • E 316M OR
  • E 316N OR
  • E 316P OR 
  • Any Literature course in English Dept.
Social & Behavioral Sciences
  • PSY 301 AND


  • PSY 333D OR
  • PSY 352P

Some programs may accept sociology or anthropology in place of one psychology course.

  • Sociology
    • SOC 302
  • Anthropology
    • ANT 302

Check school admissions websites. Some schools require and some recommend additional science and non-science courses.



Occupational Therapy School Prerequisite Course Timelines 

See the Occupational Therapy Schools Prerequisite Courses Timelines below.

This timeline includes pre-occupational therapy course requirements for admission to most Texas and U. S. occupational therapy schools.  Completing the pre-occupational therapy courses and extracurricular activities generally requires six semesters or longer, regardless of the student’s age or year in college. Your personal timeline may differ from this sample. Work with your academic advisor to incorporate these courses into your degree plan.

Important Note: 

Timelines do not include all course options and details.

To be sure that you are fulfilling all requirements, see individual school websites. Research occupational therapy schools before you apply!


Additional Course Information