The path to becoming an occupational therapist.

Occupational therapists treat injured, ill or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. By helping patients develop, recover, improve and maintain the skills needed for daily living, they help restore independence and confidence to their patients. By following the pre-occupational program at UNI, students are on an efficient pathway to complete prerequisites, which will prepare them for a physical therapy program.

It is important to keep in mind that the pre-occupational therapy track is not an academic major; rather, it’s a suggested program of study that prepares students to apply to professional school upon completing their undergraduate degree.

Occupational therapist with patient
Megaphone icon


Employment of occupational therapists is projected to grow 17% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.


The biology department’s Pre-Occupational Therapy Club provides networking opportunities, helps students with graduate school applications, and offers internship and/or job-shadowing opportunities for its members.

Money icon

Average Salary

The average salary for an occupational therapist in 2020 was $86,280 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Common Pre-Occupational Therapy Majors

Biology Major

With several required and recommended pre-occupational therapy courses counting toward your UNI degree, a biology major is an efficient pathway to complete your prerequisites, and it will provide you with a strong science background to prepare you for a occupational therapy program.

Movement & Exercise Science Major

About 90% of our pre-OT movement and exercise science students are accepted for graduate studies in occupational therapy. Movement and exercise science is the No. 1 major for pre-occupational therapy students at UNI.

Athletic Training & Rehabilitation Studies Major

As a pre-health major in athletic training and rehabilitation studies, you gain a solid foundation in classroom knowledge and clinical understanding that paves the way for advanced studies in multiple health professions.