In order to become a practicing occupational therapist, students must obtain a masters degree in occupational therapy. However, you may also pursue a doctorate degree in occupational therapy, which is offered at several schools around the country, including here at UF. Information about the UF OTD program is available online.
What should I major in?
Occupational therapists come from a variety of undergraduate majors. Common and applicable majors may include psychology, kinesiology, education, and others. The Bachelor of Health Science Program is popular and recommended for University of Florida undergraduates.
What should I do?
Volunteering and shadowing experiences are key to a well rounded undergraduate education. It is great to have exposure with different populations, and is actually a requirement for Masters of Occupational Therapy and Doctorate of Occupational Therapy programs. Even if you may not be thinking about applying to graduate schools yet, volunteer experience can help you decide that occupational therapy is right for you, while boosting your resume. SOTA is a great way to find out about volunteer opportunities and get to know other students with similar goals.
The Mentor/Mentee Program is a great way to connect with older students who can give tips on masters/doctorate program applications, Bachelor of Health Science Program applications, which classes to study extra hard for, good volunteer experiences, and to be another friendly face around the HPNP.