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Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Offered at the Doisy College of Health Sciences, Saint Louis University's undergraduate degree in occupational science prepares you for a Master of Occupational Therapy degree, the minimum educational requirement to become a licensed occupational therapist.

OT students

Major in Occupational Science

Occupational science examines everyday activities and their relationship to human development, health, and well-being. You’ll study the principles of occupational science beginning your freshman year.

SLU's occupational science and occupational therapy program is divided into two phases: a three-year pre-professional phase during your freshman, sophomore and junior years, followed by a two-year professional phase starting your senior year. Students who meet all program requirements after the junior year can enter directly into SLU's Master of Occupational Therapy program, earning both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years.

SLU pre-OT students are matched with a faculty mentor who supports their professional development. Undergraduate students have opportunities to conduct research and produce projects and papers acceptable for publication and presentation at professional conferences.

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Highlighted Courses
  • OCS 1000: Seminar in OT Practice
  • OCS 1010: Introduction to OS and OT
  • OCS 3120: Study of Occupation
  • OCS 3220: Contexts of Occupation
  • OCS 3320: Development of Humans as Occupational Beings
  • OCS 3520: Occupational Health and Wellness
  • OCS 3620: Lived Experience of Disabilities
  • OCS 3720: Critical Perspectives of Culture, Occupation and Justice
Internships and Careers

Upon completing an accredited educational program and receiving a master’s degree or entry-level clinical doctorate degree in occupational therapy, graduates are required to successfully pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) examination. Most occupational therapists work in school systems, medical centers and long-term care facilities and community based practice.


SLU’s occupational therapy faculty are certified occupational therapists who are nationally recognized within their profession and dedicated to developing competent graduates who are responsive to the needs of society.

Tuition and Fees

Saint Louis University takes pride in being one of Barron's Best Buys in College Education and Kiplinger's Best Values in Private Colleges.

For information regarding the upcoming academic year’s tuition rate, fees and financial aid, visit SLU Financial Services.

2018-2019 Tuition and Fees
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Application Requirements and Deadlines

Freshman admission criteria includes a minimum GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale and an ACT composite score of at least 24, with no subsection lower than 22 (or equivalent SAT scores). Four years of high school science, including chemistry, biology and preferably anatomy or physics, is also required, along with four years of math and four years of English. Admitted OT students have an average GPA of 3.7 and average ACT composite score of 26.

In order to qualify for early OT admission consideration, you must have an ACT composite score of 30 or higher with no subsection lower than 28 (or equivalent SAT scores), a 3.85 GPA (weighted) or higher on a 4.0 scale, and have satisfied the curriculum requirements listed above.

The application deadline is Dec. 1. Late applications are not considered. Admission decisions will be made Feb. 1.

Transfer Application Requirements and Deadlines

The program reserves up to 10 seats for qualified sophomore and junior transfer students with entry beginning at the fall term. Transfer students must have a minimum 3.2 cumulative GPA, write a 500-word personal essay and have minimum 20 hours of experience in a variety of occupational therapy practice settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools or community organizations. Students must have their 20 hours of experience documented in the journal of experiences.

Students should apply by Feb. 15 for fall entry. Essays and the journal of experience should be sent to the department at

If you already attend SLU and are interested in transferring to this program, make an appointment with your academic advisor to review coursework and eligibility. You will also need to schedule a meeting with our occupational therapy academic advisor, Tara Ernst, at

External transfer students should contact SLU's Transfer Admissions Office at 314-977-2500.A transfer advisor will review your coursework and eligibility for OT, as well as discuss admission procedures to the University.

Accreditation and Program Outcomes

SLU's occupational therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE's telephone number, c/o AOTA, is 301-652-2682. Information on accreditation standards can be found on their website. The total number of  graduates from the Saint Louis University Master of Occupational Therapy program during the three-year period of 2015-2017 was 163 out of 170 students for an overall graduation rate of 95.9 percent. Learn more about program outcomes and technical standards.

Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist, administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the graduate will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). In addition, most states require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.


Unique Program

Based in Occupational Science

SLU’s OT program is one of five in the country that is based in occupational science, which offers you a unique preparation and perspective as a practicing therapist. You'll also gain practical experience in clinical settings around the St. Louis metro area, including local schools and private practices.