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Occupational therapy prerequisite courses are intended to prepare you for professional studies within the School of Health Sciences.

You must obtain a bachelor's degree to be eligible for our program unless you are applying as a part of the Accelerated OTD program. No preference is given to any specific field of undergraduate study. In addition to the degree, the following prerequisite coursework must be completed prior to entrance into the program. All coursework must be completed and a bachelor's or master's/graduate degree obtained by June 1 of the year you intend to begin the USD OT program.

  • Applicants are allowed to have no more than two outstanding prerequisites at the completion of the fall 2021 semester for the 2021-2022 application cycle.
  • A minimum of six of the nine prerequisite courses must be completed at application submission.
  • A minimum of two of the three science prerequisite courses must be completed at application submission.
  • When calculating prerequisite and science prerequisite GPAs, if a course has been taken twice, the highest grade will be applied to the GPA. If it is taken more than twice, the average will be calculated and applied to the GPA.
  • Advanced Placement (AP) courses will be considered by the admissions committee. A minimum score of 4/5 must be met for any prerequisite coursework. An official score report must be sent to us by the application deadline to verify qualification of AP coursework. Credit must appear on the official college transcript and be equivalent to the appropriate college-level coursework in order to be considered.
  • CLEP credits will be considered by the admissions committee on a case-by-case basis.
  • Pass/Fail coursework will not be accepted in fulfillment of prerequisite requirements with the exception of medical terminology.
    • COVID-19 exception: While letter grades are still encouraged, a grade of pass or satisfactory will be accepted for any prerequisite coursework completed during the spring 2020 and summer 2020 terms.
  • All prerequisites must be taken within 10 years of applying to the program.
  • Cumulative, prerequisite and science prerequisite GPAs of 3.0 (as calculated by OTCAS) or better based on a 4.0 scale are required. Grades below a C in prerequisite coursework will not be accepted. Transcripts using a +/- grading system will be graded without acknowledgement of the +/- points. For example, grades of B+, B, and B- will all be calculated as a B for GPA purposes.
  • Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 may submit their application for review. Merit of the application will be determined by reviewing grades for the most recent 64 semester hours. 

Prerequisite Courses

The list of courses and credits below are the prerequisites that all applicants must complete prior to June 1 of the year they intend to begin the USD OT program. Sample USD courses are listed for each content area.

Course Subject Semester Credit Hours Sample of Acceptable Courses at USD
Biology 3 BIOL151/151L: General Biology I w/ Lab
BIOL 153/153L: General Biology II w/ Lab
Must be at the level for biology majors and must include a lab component
Microbiology and Cellular Biology are also acceptable content areas
Human Anatomy* 3 PHYG 220/220L: Human Physiology and Integrated Anatomy I
No survey courses are accepted
Human Physiology* 3 PHYG 230/230L: Human Physiology and Integrated Anatomy II
No survey courses are accepted
General Psychology 3 PSYC 101: General Psychology
Lifespan Development 3 PSYC 321: Human Development: Lifespan
All acceptable courses must cover the lifespan from conception through death and cover social, cognitive, emotional and physical development.
Abnormal Psychology 3 PSYC 451: Psychology of Abnormal Behavior
Introductory Sociology or Anthropology 3 SOC 100: Introduction to Sociology
ANTH 210: Cultural Anthropology
Statistics 3 STAT 281: Introduction to Statistics
PSYC 371: Statistics in Psychological Research
BIOL 420: Introduction to Biostatistics & Computational Biology
Medical Terminology 1-3 CLHU 101: Medical Terminology
HSC 250: Healthcare Terminology in the Clinical Setting
Physics - Recommended, but not required
PHYS 111: Introduction to Physics I
Orientation to Occupational Therapy - Recommended, but not required
OCTH 211: Introduction to Occupational Therapy
*If Human Anatomy and Human Physiology are offered in a combined course, two semesters of the course are required.