BHS in Occupational Therapy Assistant

Degree Program Description

The Bachelor of Health Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant (BHS-OTA) Program will prepare students to practice as occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) who will then work under the supervision of occupational therapists in their career. Occupational therapy assistants are skilled health professionals who provide services to individuals across the lifespan to maximize their independence in meaningful everyday activities. OTAs use research, scientific evidence, and a holistic approach to incorporate an individual’s valued occupations into the intervention process. The BHS-OTA degree provides an additional degree option for students who wish to complete an undergraduate degree that allows for immediate employment in a health profession with high employment and entry-level salaries. In addition, graduates of the BHS-OTA program will have the opportunity to continue their education by pursuing a clinical doctorate degree in occupational therapy should they wish to practice at a higher practitioner level as an occupational therapist, and/or the option of completing a PhD to pursue a career in rehabilitation science, all while being able to work as a licensed OTA. The BHS-OTA will prepare students for entry-level practice in diverse practice settings including hospitals, schools, long-term care facilities, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, early intervention programs, mental health programs, community agencies, and emerging areas of practice. At the completion of their education, MU OTA students will:

  • Utilize and integrate evidence into professional practice to ensure high quality health care services and use of scientifically supported interventions. Use of research to make informed decisions for best practice.

  • Participate in self-directedlifelong learning behaviors including self-reflection and clinical reasoning as expected in the healthcare environment. 

  • Demonstrate clinical competence as an entry-level OTA with use of occupation-based principles in order to meet the demands of an ever-changing practice environment in rural and metropolitan areas and with a variety of client populations. 

  • Address the occupational needs of individuals and communities to improve community health outcomes. 

  • Demonstrate high level professionalism behaviors and adherence to the Code of Ethics as they develop a professional identity through a baccalaureate project in the area of clinical practice, administration, leadership, advocacy, or education.  

  • Develop the skills necessary for cultivating intraprofessional and interprofessional relationships as all individuals work toward common goal of improved outcomes. 

Major Program Requirements

Courses Required Pre-BHS-OTA:

Prior to acceptance to the BHS-OTA program, students must complete a minimum of 46 credit hours which includes foundational and pre-requisite content for the professional component of the curriculum. Students will be required to earn a grade of C or higher in each pre-requiste course and complete all science courses within four years of their application to the program. These 46 hours must include the courses listed below. Students must complete all OTA prerequisites prior to starting the professional coursework in the BHS-OTA program. Students are encouraged to have as many, if not all, general education requirements, University requirements, and College of Health Sciences requirements completed prior to starting the professional coursework in the BHS-OTA program. However please note they must all be completed prior to being able to graduate

Courses Required Pre-BHS-OTA:
STAT 1200Introductory Statistical Reasoning3
or STAT 2500 Introduction to Probability and Statistics I
or ESC_PS 4170 Introduction to Applied Statistics
BIO_SC 1010
BIO_SC 1020
General Principles and Concepts of Biology
and General Biology Laboratory
or BIO_SC 1500 Introduction to Biological Systems with Laboratory
PTH_AS 2201
PTH_AS 2203
Human Anatomy Lecture
and Human Anatomy Laboratory
MPP 3202Elements of Physiology5
Behavioral and Social Sciences
H_D_FS 2400Principles of Human Development3
PSYCH 2510Survey of Psychopathology3
SOCIOL 1000Introduction to Sociology 3
CDS 2190Medical Terminology3

A minimum CUM GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, including all undergraduate completed coursework, is required for both application and graduation.

Courses Required within BHS-OTA:

An additional 74 credit hours of Occupational Therapy Assistant curriculum will be required. A grade of B- or higher is required in all OC_THR courses.

OC_THR 3010OTA Practice Fundamentals3
OC_THR 3020Theory and Practice for OTAs3
OC_THR 3110Fundamentals of Evidence-Based Practice3
OC_THR 3120Medical and Psychosocial Conditions in Occupational Therapy3
OC_THR 3130WFundamentals of Activity Analysis - Writing Intensive3
OC_THR 3140Professional Documentation2
OC_THR 3150Measuring Functional Movement3
OC_THR 3160Fieldwork Level 1A2
OC_THR 3210Ethics in OT3
OC_THR 3220OTA Practice in Physical Rehabilitation3
OC_THR 3230Assistive Technology and Adaptations2
OC_THR 3240OTA Practice with Infants and Early Childhood3
OC_THR 3250Fieldwork Level IB2
OC_THR 3260Introduction to Baccalaureate Project: Choosing an Area of Focus1
OC_THR 4120OTA Practice with Older Adults3
OC_THR 4130Psychosocial Practice3
OC_THR 4140OTA Practice with School-Aged Children and Adolescents3
OC_THR 4150OTA Practice in the Community3
OC_THR 4160Fieldwork Level I C2
OC_THR 4180Baccalaureate Project I3
OC_THR 4210OT Advocacy and Scholarship2
OC_THR 4230OTA Management and Leadership3
OC_THR 4250Professionalism and Specialization for OTAs3
OC_THR 4260Fieldwork Level I D2
OC_THR 4280Baccalaureate Project II3
OC_THR 4320Fieldwork Level II A4
OC_THR 4340Fieldwork Level II B4
Total Credits74

Students must complete 16 weeks of Level II fieldwork as well as a baccalaureate project within 24 months following the completion of the didactic portion of the program.

Accreditation, Certification, Licensure

The baccalaureate-degree-level occupational therapy assistant program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is The program must have a preaccreditation review, complete an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapy assistant administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT), Inc. located at One Bank Street, Suite 300, Gaithersburg, MD 20878. NBCOT's telephone number is (301) 990-79-79 and its Web address is After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

Students must complete 16 weeks of Level II fieldwork as well as a baccalaureate project within 24 months following the completion of the didactic portion of the program.

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Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester, for the courses within the BHS OTA. Coursework is subject to minor changes as the program makes occasional curricular revisions to meet accreditation requirements and to reflect contemporary occupational therapy practice.

Please note that there is a total of 74 credits of coursework required within the OTA program.  

Third Year
OC_THR 30103OC_THR 31503OC_THR 31402
OC_THR 30203OC_THR 32302OC_THR 32103
OC_THR 31103OC_THR 32403 
OC_THR 31203OC_THR 32502 
OC_THR 31602OC_THR 32601 
OC_THR 3130W3OC_THR 41303 
 17 14 5
Fourth Year
OC_THR 41203OC_THR 42102OC_THR 43204
OC_THR 41403OC_THR 42303OC_THR 43404
OC_THR 41503OC_THR 42503 
OC_THR 41602OC_THR 42602 
OC_THR 41803OC_THR 42803 
OC_THR 32203  
 17 13 8
Total Credits: 74

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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. 

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner. Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, click on the Academic Progress Tile, then select Request Degree Audit. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress. This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students 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

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via 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 are considering a change of major or are exploring multiple majors, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Discovery Center by calling (573)884-9700 or through MU Connect Discovery Center service in you success network.

  • If you have decided on a major, visit an academic advisor in the School or College that you are interested in to discuss the process of declaring the major

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career 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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