BHS in Pre-Occupational Therapy

Degree Program Description

Occupational therapists are skilled health professionals who provide services to infants, children, adults and older persons experiencing physical, emotional or mental limitations in performing everyday activities. The department's philosophy supports a holistic model that emphasizes empowerment and the mind, body, spirit. The curriculum focuses on the value of occupation in relationship to health and wellness. The department's mission is to produce competent practitioners who can meet the challenges and changes occurring in institutions, community-based programs and educational settings in both urban and rural areas of Missouri. Occupational therapists are employed in public and private schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, mental health facilities, nursing homes, home health agencies, community health programs and industry. As independent health practitioners, they are also involved in business, working with disability claims, in work-hardening programs and wellness/health promotion, or as proprietors of their own therapy services. Occupational therapists also work as educators, administrators, consultants and researchers. The department offers a Bachelor of Health Science in Occupational Therapy (BHS) followed by the entry level master degree (MOT). To become a registered therapist the master degree is required.

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Major Program Requirements

The professional degree program requires three years of course work after completion of all prerequisites and university general education requirements. Six months of field experiences in affiliated clinical and community-based sites, must be completed within 24 months after required didactic courses.

Students with a bachelor’s degree must complete the prerequisite courses and meet the university and OT admission requirements.

The following are MU courses. Students transferring from other institutions should seek advisement from the school and OT advisors and select appropriate prerequisite courses for admission. Medical terminology proficiency and 30 hours of observation is required. In addition to university, college and degree requirements, students must complete the following:

Major core requirements
Prerequisites to the major
COMMUN 1200Public Speaking3
Select one of the following:5
General Principles and Concepts of Biology
and General Biology Laboratory
Introduction to Biological Systems with Laboratory
PSYCH 2510Survey of Abnormal Psychology3
PHYSCS 1210College Physics I4
H_D_FS 2400Principles of Human Development4
MPP 3202Elements of Physiology5
SOCIOL 1000Introduction to Sociology3
or ANTHRO 1000 General Anthropology
PSYCH 1000General Psychology3
ESC_PS 4170Introduction to Applied Statistics3
or STAT 1300 Elementary Statistics
OC_THR 1000Introduction to Occupational Therapy1-2
or HLTH_SCI 1000 Introduction to the Health Professions
Departmental course requirements
PTH_AS 4222Gross Human Anatomy (The Health Professions)7
OC_THR 4060Professional Issues1
OC_THR 4240Applied Neurophysiology for Allied Health Students3
OC_THR 4390Lifespan Assessment4
OC_THR 4220Clinical Kinesiology3
OC_THR 4520Fundamentals of Occupational Therapy4
OC_THR 4310Foundations of Occupational Therapy4
CDS 3200Essentials of Pathology2
OC_THR 4270Clinical Pathophysiology3
OC_THR 4622Fieldwork I Older Adults1
OC_THR 4650Lifespan Interventions4
OC_THR 4770Community-Based Practice3
OC_THR 4970Research Methods3
OC_THR 4422Fieldwork I - Children1
OC_THR 4450Pediatric Practice4
OC_THR 4350Rehabilitation Practice4
OC_THR 4670Hand and Upper Extremity Intervention2
OC_THR 4620Lifespan Occupations II2
OC_THR 4750Cognition Across the Lifespan2
OC_THR 4920Clinical Documentation2
Total Credits93-94

Professional Certification

Upon successful completion of all courses, including field work experiences, students are eligible to sit for the examination of the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, 800 South Fredrick, Suite 200, Gaithersburg, MD 20977-4150, (301) 990-7979. Successful completion of the exam is required by state regulatory agencies before entering into the profession.

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Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester.  A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available.

Note: Students should plan on working on a major wile taking prerequisites for Occupational Therapy.  Admissions to the Occupational Therapy program is highly competitive.

First Year
HLTH_SCI 1000*3COMMUN 12003 
OC_THR 1000*1Elective course*3 
BIO_SC 1500 or 1010 and 10205SOCIOL 1000, RU_SOC 1000, or ANTHRO 10003 
PSYCH 10003ENGLSH 10003 
MATH 11003HIST 1100, 1200, or POL_SC 11003 
 15 15  
Second Year
H_D_FS 2400 (Writing Intensive)4PSYCH 25103Professional Component Begins 
ESC_PS 4170, STAT 1300, or STAT 12003Humanities course3PTH_AS 42227
Humanities3CDS 21903OC_THR 40601
MPP 3202 or 3333 and 33375Elective*2 
 PHYSCS 12104 
 15 15 8
Third Year
CDS 32002OC_THR 43904OC_THR 46202
OC_THR 45204OC_THR 44202OC_THR 46702
OC_THR 42203OC_THR 46504OC_THR 46221
OC_THR 42403OC_THR 44221OC_THR 47703
OC_THR 43104OC_THR 42703 
 16 14 8
Fourth Year
OC_THR 43504OC_THR 70002 
OC_THR 44504OC_THR 70051 
OC_THR 47502OC_THR 80001 
OC_THR 49202OC_THR 89501 
OC_THR 49703OC_THR 89001 
 OC_THR 80063 
 OC_THR 80053 
 OC_THR 80033 
 15 15  
Fifth Year
OC_THR 80874OC_THR 79836 
OC_THR 80023OC_THR 79936 
OC_THR 89991  
OC_THR 80951  
OC_THR 80902  
OC_THR 79202  
 13 12  
Total Credits: 161

Denotes elective coursework.  These specific courses are not required, though the credit hours are required to reach the minimum amount of credit hours (59) needed to be eligible for the OT Professional Program.

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree.  Degree Audits are not available for all programs; however, please consult with the appropriate college or school for audit information.

MU students who have attended since August 2007 can request a degree audit by logging in to myZou and navigating to Self Service, then Student Center, and clicking on “Request Degree Audit.” The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress.

MU students who have NOT attended since August 2007 can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to

For newly admitted or prospective students, MU degree audits can be created at Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities.  For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center in the lower level of the Student Success Center.  No appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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