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Coursework & Fieldwork BA in Political Science

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PoliSci-OT

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Hey there!!

So I'm in a bit of a predicament.

I will be graduating with my BA in Political Science in about a month. Groovy thing is, I've also recently decided that Occupational Therapy is something that I'm really interested in. I've read a lot that a BA in OT isn't necessary, but all Master's programs require certain coursework. I haven't taken any of those pre-reqs and the last time I took a science class was my first year of college: Chem.

Anybody out there that has gone through this situation? What did you do? Were there any places willing to let you volunteer or intern without being in an OT program already?

Any help would be truly appreciated!
 

beestrng

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Dont need a BA in OT as they dont offer it anymore. You can take the prereqs at your community college. Typical prereqs are Bio, Anatomy/Physiology, Physics and some soc/psy classes. You need to look at certain programs to see which one you want to go to. State school is obv cheaper and better. Prereqs differ at each program

OTCAS is the central place to submit apps to many programs.

Where abouts are you located?
 

thebiggestsky

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Anybody out there that has gone through this situation? What did you do? Were there any places willing to let you volunteer or intern without being in an OT program already?

Yes. Lots of us. And you can definitely call/email places and say you're interested in shadowing or volunteering. I made a contact list of hospitals/clinics/SNFs that I found on Google and went down it and got pretty good responses. Some places are overloaded with students and won't be interested in having another one come on board, but most places are pretty good about being upfront about that (in my experience). The more settings (peds, acute, SNF, etc.) you can observe, the better!

Edit to add: I was an English major. So you definitely don't need to be a pre-health or OT student. However, hospitals might require you to fill out a lot of paperwork or an application, and prove that you're up to date on your vaccinations.
 
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FutureOT6

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Hey there!!

So I'm in a bit of a predicament.

I will be graduating with my BA in Political Science in about a month. Groovy thing is, I've also recently decided that Occupational Therapy is something that I'm really interested in. I've read a lot that a BA in OT isn't necessary, but all Master's programs require certain coursework. I haven't taken any of those pre-reqs and the last time I took a science class was my first year of college: Chem.

Anybody out there that has gone through this situation? What did you do? Were there any places willing to let you volunteer or intern without being in an OT program already?

Any help would be truly appreciated!
Hi PoliSci-OT!

I originally graduated with a BA in Poli Sci. I didn't decide on OT until a few years later. Once I was sure I wanted to pursue OT, I started researching programs and seeing what courses were required for pre-reqs. A lot of schools want the same or similar courses - anatomy and physiology 1 & 2 with lab, psychology courses (developmental and abnormal), statistics, etc. Those are the ones that I've seen the most. Some schools also want physics, medical terminology, or bio. I'd start finding some schools that you think you might be interested in based on program, location, reputation, etc, find out what pre-reqs they want and start planning to take those courses - don't be afraid to reach out to admissions!

Study hard to do well in pre-reqs. Some schools value the GPA of your pre-reqs over your overall GPA.

I didn't have much difficulty with observing/volunteering without being in an OT program. I did hospital (outpatient) and school based. I just let them know that I was a prospective OT student and what I wanted to do. I had to do some HIPAA training and background checks, other paperwork, but other than that it wasn't too complicated.

I thought my BA in Poli Sci would hinder me a little, but it hasn't! This year I applied to 7 programs. I've been accepted to 2, waitlisted at 1, rejected by 2, and still waiting to hear from 2!

Feel free to message me. Best of luck to you!
 

OTGuy30

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Hey Polisci-OT,
I was in a similar position as you. I graduated college with a BA in Philosophy and didn't decide OT as career until a couple years after leaving school. In my case, i never took Psychology or most of the prereqs so i had to start from scratch. However, if you apply yourself, you can do well. Community colleges usually offer those courses.

There are places that offer opportunities to shadow an OT. I received my observation hours from clinics and hospitals.

To submit your application for Master's program, many school use OTCAS; however other schools have their own applications.
 

LAtoSDtoOT

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I'm also a non traditional path student without stellar grades. Business major with a 3.0 undergrad and 4.0 prereq. I got into 4 programs 1st year applying. There is hope. GRE was good not great. Schools that interviewed liked me more.
 

brisa2004

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I also was a Poli Sci major for my BA but decided on OT later. I took the prerequisites at a community college and was able to get into OT school. I've been an OT for 7 years now and love it! Don't let your undergrad degree keep you from a great field!
 
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scubagator87

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Hey there!!

So I'm in a bit of a predicament.

I will be graduating with my BA in Political Science in about a month. Groovy thing is, I've also recently decided that Occupational Therapy is something that I'm really interested in. I've read a lot that a BA in OT isn't necessary, but all Master's programs require certain coursework. I haven't taken any of those pre-reqs and the last time I took a science class was my first year of college: Chem.

Anybody out there that has gone through this situation? What did you do? Were there any places willing to let you volunteer or intern without being in an OT program already?

Any help would be truly appreciated!

YUP. Anthropology major over here. I took ALL of the pre-reqs about 4 years after I graduated with my BA, over a span of about 2 or 3 years. Took them at a local accredited community college. It seems like your bachelor's doesn't really matter, but some schools have course requirements that you just would never have taken unless you were a health sciences major (like research, advanced neuroscience, etc). Just be sure to take a look at the pre-reqs in programs you might be interested in and see if you can take them at a school near you or even online; then contact the OT departments and ask to make sure they'll accept those courses.

Tons of places let you volunteer without being in an OT program; schools, various rehab facilities, hospitals, etc. It helps if you have a connection somewhere to get your foot in the door. Can definitely be frustrating at first.
 

scubagator87

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Also you should note that if you took Chem your freshaman year, some schools won't accept pre-reqs that are 5 years or older, so you may need to retake it. I majored in anthro and ended up having to take another anthro class to meet the requirement lol. Had to retake stats as well.
 
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