Pre-Occupational Therapy: Pre-Professional Program

Undergraduate Program

Pre-Occupational Therapy: Pre-Professional Program

PSU speech and hearing faculty member working with a client

Pre-Occupational Therapy Pre-Professional Program Overview

Occupational Therapists are healthcare professionals who assist individuals with physical, developmental, or mental impairments to overcome challenges, independently perform tasks, and fully participate in their daily lives. Occupational Therapists must be able to recognize the psycho-social impact of dysfunction and treatment and provide support to patient and family.

Portland State offers a strong pre-occupational therapy program that enables students to complete their prerequisite coursework, earn a baccalaureate degree, and obtain assistance in preparing for and applying to Master of Occupational Therapy or Doctor of Occupational Therapy (DPT) schools across the country.

Pre-occupational therapy is a professional track (not a major), but common majors for pre-occupational therapy students include: Health Studies: Health Science and Psychology. Students can choose any major while also completing their pre-occupational therapy coursework. You can discuss with your pre-occupational therapy advisor how these two components fit together in your course plans. You must be accepted by a professional school, such as Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR, to complete the professional phase. The School of Occupational Therapy at Pacific University offers a three year entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program.

Prospective students interested in PSU can meet with a pre-occupational therapy advisor to learn about the pre-occupational therapy track.

Degree Details

Location Definitions:

On campus:
100% on campus
100% online
Combination of online and on campus
  • PPT
    Pre-Professional Track
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term

Pre-Occupational Therapy Pre-Professional Program: Why PSU?

PSU has dedicated pre-health advisors to help students plan their coursework, support them in gaining relevant healthcare experience, and guide them through the process of applying to occupational therapy schools.
There are a huge range of clinical and other volunteer opportunities available in the Portland area to help students better understand the role of occupational therapists and other healthcare providers, gain exposure to different clinical settings, and boost their application to occupational therapy programs in the future.

Beyond the pre-requisite courses needed to apply to occupational therapy programs, PSU offers many additional courses of interest to pre-occupational therapy students, including Applied Kinesiology (PHE 370), Communicable and Chronic Disease (PHE 363), Gender, Race, Class, & Health (PHE 452), Biomedical Ethics (PHL 446), Sociology for the Health Sciences (SOC 250), and many others.

Many of Portland State’s departments and schools offer student research opportunities, including Biology, Chemistry, and the School of Public Health.

PSU has the Ignite Scholarship program, developed in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente and Portland Leadership Foundation, which emphasizes a culture of support and community for students in healthcare career pathways that can sometimes be complex and overwhelming. Students who receive the Ignite scholarship will be part of a program emphasizing leadership and mentorship (supported by a $5,000 scholarship), which includes serving as mentors for incoming pre-health students.

Incoming pre-health students seeking mentorship can apply to be matched with PSU's Ignite mentors. This is a one-year commitment (fall, winter and spring terms) for mentors and mentees.

Student organizations on campus help students to connect with peers pursuing pre-health tracks or science fields, as well as many different multicultural, social, and community involvement focused groups. Examples of student groups include the Health Promotion Student Organization, Portland State Women in STEM, Science Outreach Society, Biology Investigation and Outreach, and the Neuroscience Club at PSU.

What can I do after completing the pre-professional program in Pre-Occupational Therapy?

Students in the Pre-Occupational Therapy track at PSU go on to earn a Master of Science (MS) in Occupational Therapy or a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD). Pacific University offers a three-year Doctor of Occupational Therapy program.

Featured Courses

  • PHE 363 Communicable and Chronic Disease
  • PHY 337 Physics in Biomedicine
  • PHE 452 Gender, Race, Class, & Health
  • PHL 446 Biomedical Ethics
  • SOC 250 Sociology for the Health Sciences


Pre-Occupational Therapy is a pre-professional track, not a major. Students can select any major of their choice.


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).