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General Admissions & OTCAS Best undergrad major for OT school

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newgradot

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Hey everyone!

We saw this question pop up on the OT subreddit. "What is the best undergrad major for occupational therapy school".

One of our writers did a great job explaining the benefits of certain majors and how to use them for leverage in grad school admissions and your professional career.

The Best Undergrad Major for Occupational Therapy School - NewGradOccupationalTherapy

Spoiler alert. There is no perfect major! Just make sure you have the right pre reqs and be able to explain how your major can contribute to the OT profession :)

Edit: forgot to share the link!
 

Finalchuckle

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Interesting.
I wondered if a certain major would give you an edge to get into OT school because there can be some strange majors wanting to become OT.

Basic Anatomy and physiology pre-reqs get you into the school, but once A&P gets more in depth, I would expect an "odd major" would have to study twice as much to remember structures, pathologies, muscles, ligaments, tendons, origins, insertions, etc....


I majored in Kinesiology - Clinical movement.
My courses were a mixture of exercise science and athletic training, so I am hoping it gives me some leverage to get into grad school.
 

SandmanOT

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Undergraduate majors really don't matter much in my opinion. OT school will teach you the necessary content needed and having a different academic background can sometimes make you stand out during the application process. It may also provide you with a different prospective when creating treatment ideas and completing assignments when you're in school. In my program, we had some random majors such as anthropology and music majors and they did just fine in the science courses.

In my opinion, follow your interests and don't select a incredibly difficult major if you think it'll consume your undergrad experience. You are better off picking a major that you are passionate about (besides OT) that gives you some free time to get involved in volunteer/observation hours/extra-curriculars. This will make your application stand out more when it comes to applying.
 

FINGERS_CROSSED

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I agree with SandmanOT. Your undergrad major does not really matter. I was an environmental science major and got into OT school. I think some schools value the variety.
 

OT3

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In general, I would not do kinesiology, psychology, or any hard sciences. Those are way too common and don't stand out. The actual major you choose is irrelevant, for the most part, but like I said, it could help you stand out. Just have a great reason on why you discovered you want to be an OT. I found that schools like different majors, like art or history, because you can provide different perspectives or take on things which also helps progress the field once you're a professional as well.
 

lilbunnies

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I did psych with a minor in social work.
Totally helped me out in my interview because they asked me what empathy is and how it relates to OT. I was able to give them a great answer. I also was lucky and wrote my senior thesis on empathy and perspective taking in relation to social psychology. I don't think it really matters though, I just found mine to be extra helpful during admissions.
 

Nonameiwant

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I really don't think it matters, because once you have the required overall gpa schools are looking for, they tend to just look at your pre-reqs.

As a side note I majored in both Anthropology and Sociology. Sociology was easy, a lot of reading and some analyzing, but it was difficult not to receive an A in the course. Anthroplogy was more in depth. My university offered anthropology with a health emphasis. For this major,I was able to take some science courses (besides my to pre-reqs), along with more biological anthropology courses. My hard science courses were rope memorization in order to achieve a good score on the test, while my anthropology courses involved reading a number of research papers, extracting the necessary information, and having to critically explain the evidence etc. Each anthro course I took required anywhere from 500+ pages of reading a semester.

I definitely will agree that some majors may not be as rigorous as others, but they all have their own challenge to them.
 
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