Professional School Programs

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, MS

After graduating from UAH, the average curriculum of a Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree takes approximately 3 years. The American Occupational Therapy Association's (AOTA) Board of Directors suggests, with a target date of 2025, that schools transition to a doctorate-level single point of entry.

Doctor of Occupational Therapy, OTD

The Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree takes approximately 3 years to complete. Prospective occupational therapists must pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) to become licensed practitioners.

Various Schools in Alabama

Recommended Course & GPA Requirements

At UAH, we can help you become a competitive applicant for your future professional school. To do so, a 3.5+ cumulative and science GPA is recommended.

Pre-requisites of the below courses are enforced.

Schools look for these classes:
Hours NeededCourse NeededWhat to Take at UAHExtra
8 hrs (w/lab) General Biology BYS 119 & BYS 120  
8 hrs (w/lab) Anatomy & Physiology I and II BYS 215 & 216 or BYS 313 & 314  
4 hrs (w/lab) Kinesiology or Physics BYS 402 or PH 101   
4 hrs Precalulus Algebra MA 112+  
3 hrs Statistics MA 281 or PY 300  
9 hrs Psychology (Intro, Life-Span, Abnormal) PY 101, 201, 433  
3 hrs Sociology SOC 100  
Courses positively adding to your application:
Course NeededWhat to Take at UAH
Calculus MA 171
Chemistry I and II CH 121/125 & 123/126
Anthropology SOC 105
Exercise Physiology BYS 401
Medical Terminology BYS 320

The above courses support required and suggested coursework for Alabama schools. The combination of courses are guidelines, and specific requirements may differ among schools.

Entrance Exam


The GRE is the required entrance exam for OT school, which tests on verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing.

  • Verbal: Evaluation of written work, analysis of information obtained, and relationships among words and concepts.
  • Quantitative: Measures problem-solving skills; focuses on arithmetic, algebra, geometry and data analysis.
  • Writing: Measures critical thinking and analytical writing skills; Ability to articulate and support complex ideas effectively.
Testing Centers & Preparation

The GRE is offered multiple times during the year.

The strongest way to increase your score is to take practice tests. In between each test, assess strengths and weaknesses, focus on improving weaknesses, and re-assess with another practice test. Visit the GRE website and make an appointment with the Office of Pre-Health Advising for recommendations on preparation.

Timing and Organization

Take the exam once prepared. Many students do so in the Spring semester of the year they are planning to apply to professional school. Schedule a one-on-one advising appointment with the Pre-Health Advisor to discuss your individualized timeline.

Many programs begin to fill seats as soon as their application cycle opens. Plan ahead and apply early

Outside Class Experiences
It's More Than Just Grades

Health Care Experiences

What better way to make sure you want to be in healthcare than by shadowing? Shadowing will go a long way in not only making you a mature applicant, but making sure others see you as prepared.

Many schools have requirements on the number of documented shadowing hours needed for their programs. The Office of Pre-Health Advising can help you understand requirements needed for a strong application.

Community Service and Volunteering

Working in healthcare means having a heart of service. This means wanting to give back to the community. Find something enjoyable and go forth!

Keeping a Journal

Use a journal to record thoughts on your experiences. Activities come to life with reflection. Topics to consider writing about may include: Why one chose their profession, shadowing, or volunteering. This journal may be helpful when writing your personal statement.


Research experience can provide you with opportunities to work with faculty, learn skills beyond the classroom, use research methods, and engage in critical analysis. Research allows a better understanding between theory and practice using innovative and creative thinking.

Getting into professional school is about desiring to be a better person and better future professional. It's a complex process and we're here to help!