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Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists help patients of all ages develop, maintain, or rehabilitate their ability to perform living or work tasks.

The content knowledge expected by occupational therapy schools are very similar to those for Biopsychology, Psychology, or Biology so many students major in one of these areas. One of the benefits of studying at Monmouth College is the personal attention.

This preparation enhances communication skills, writing skills, leadership, and the ability to critically analyze information. Pursing a pre-OT education through Monmouth College provides a research intensive experience with ample opportunities for student-designed independent research.

Equipment & Facilities

The new $42 million dollar Center for Science and Business promotes interaction among what have been traditionally independent departments. Students interested in OT can take advantage of the behavioral research and observation rooms.

There is also a physiology lab that is equipped with computer work stations for monitoring physiological processes through ECG, EEG, EMG and galvanic skin responses. Pre-OT students may have special interest in the opportunity to do research on exercise physiology or to hone skills in anatomy and physiology through the cadaver lab.

Conferences & Publications

When possible, research is submitted for presentation at conferences or publications in journals. All seniors are encouraged to present their research at ILLOWA or the Tri-State Psychology Research Conference, both regional undergraduate research conferences.

The Midwestern Psychological Association (MPA) holds an annual professional conference in Chicago, where students may also present their research to a broader audience. In addition to these conferences, students also present their research to the Monmouth College community at the annual Senior Science Poster Session, held near the end of Spring semester.

Observation Opportunities

Monmouth College is near several Occupational Therapy sites where students can shadow OT professionals during the school year. Departmental faculty and the Wackerle Career and Leadership Center are also able to help students set up required shadowing hours during summer breaks near their home town.

A master’s degree in an Occupational Therapy program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) is typically the minimum requirement in order to take the licensure exam for Occupational Therapy. Most graduate programs require 50 to 100 hours of observation in two different settings prior to admittance to the master’s program.

What Occupational Therapists can do:

  • Work with those with autism to help enhance participation in performance of activities of daily living, education, work, leisure, play and social participation.

  • Help patients with terminal illnesses and those with chronic pain develop active self-management strategies.

  • Work with individuals dealing with alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, eating disorder, or stress-related disorders.

  • Help restructure patients daily lives, find meaning in daily occupation and redefine their sense of identity.

  • Help the elderly lead more productive, active and independent lives through a variety of methods.

  • Work with the elderly in terms of home modifications, fall prevention, chronic conditions and more.

American Occupational Therapy Association

The AOTA is the accrediting agency for OT schools. The site,, provides links to the accredited graduate schools and there is a wealth of information under the “Education and Careers” tab.

Career Area Opportunities

  • Administration and Management
  • Early Intervention
  • Elderly
  • Home and Community Health
  • Mental Health
  • Physical Disabilities
  • Sensory Integration
  • Technology
  • Work and Industry