As an occupational therapist, you can help individuals develop, regain or retain the skills that allow them to learn, play, earn a living or take care of their personal needs. Occupational therapy can benefit people of all ages who have lost some of these skills due to physical or mental disease, injury, birth defect, or aging. The C-SC pre-occupational therapy program prepares students to complete their graduate degree and become professional occupational therapists.
Although C-SC students are prepared for admission to many OT graduate programs, the most popular choice is the 3-2 program that we offer in cooperation with Washington University in St. Louis, which is currently tied for the top ranking by U.S. News & World Report. You can earn your bachelor's degree at Culver-Stockton and complete your master's degree at Washington University in only five years. Students spend their first three years on the Culver-Stockton campus and the last two years at Washington University. This approach allows students to have the solid liberal arts foundation with strong reading skills, critical thinking and problem solving, as well as professional preparation for occupational therapy.
Students who enroll in the 3-2 program must meet C-SC's Common Experience requirements, the requirements of an undergraduate major (usually psychology or biology), and the core classes required by Washington University. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA and satisfactorily complete the SAT, ACT and GRE tests.
Participation in the 3-2 program does not guarantee admission into the highly competitive Washington University program. The average GPA for first-year students in the program is at least 3.5; the average ACT score at least 25; and GRE score are high.
C-SC students who do not get admitted to the Washington University program have the option to complete a fourth year at Culver-Stockton and apply to a variety of graduate programs after earning their bachelor's degree.
In addition to Washington University, recent C-SC graduates have entered graduate occupational therapy programs at the Concordia University, Mequon, Wis.; Midwestern University, Downers Grove, Ill.; Rockhurst University, Kansas City, Mo.; St. Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa; and the University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo.
OT majors are strongly encouraged to immediately become involved in other activities such as volunteer work, community service, and internships. In fact, most students complete two occupational therapy internships in their first five semesters. Students not only gain valuable experience but strengthen their attributes for applying to graduate schools. Students can select from the many internships developed by C-SC or submit their own proposal. Internships have included:
- Northwest Regional Medical Center, Kirksville, Mo.
- Barnes–Jewish Rehabilitation Center, St. Louis, Mo.
- Apex Rehabilitation, Quincy, Ill.
- Midwest Orthopedic, Hannibal, Mo.
- Hannibal Regional Hospital, Hannibal, Mo.
- Blessing Hospital, Quincy, Ill.
There is a growing need for occupational therapist nationwide, which means most students leave graduate schools with multiple job offers and a signing bonus. Our placement rate for C-SC graduates entering a graduate school program is 100 percent. The C-SC occupational therapy program maintains a list of our pre-OT alumni as well as those C-SC students who have completed their graduate program.
Individuals who do not complete their master's degree in occupational therapy often become OT aides or OT assistants. Both OT assistants and occupational therapist must maintain licensure in their state. Most often, students complete the graduate program and find a variety of career settings available in school systems, long-term care facilities, hospitals, and social service agencies. In some cases, the occupational therapist becomes a medical and health services manager, who plans, administers and supervises the delivery of health care services in hospitals, long-term care facilities, physician's offices and home health care organizations.
For a complete listing of the course offerings and requirements for a pre-occupational therapy major, please see the current academic catalog.