Occupational Therapy Accelerated Program at Messiah University
Earn your bachelor's degree and a Master of Occupational Therapy degree in just five years
If your passion is helping and encouraging others, problem solving and working as part of a team to improve individuals’ quality of life and independence, Messiah's accelerated program in occupational therapy may be a good fit for you.
Occupational therapy is a growing allied health profession that prepares you to work with patients in a variety of health care settings to help restore abilities needed to perform activities of daily living, recovering from disease/injury or adapting environments to meet individual needs.
Messiah’s five-year accelerated program is designed for academically qualified first-year students who are confident they want to become occupational therapists. The program allows entering first-year students to complete undergraduate and graduate degrees at Messiah University, one of the top private Christian schools in the U.S., in less time than would be required to complete both of these degrees separately. Students who pursue this accelerated program earn both a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree (your choice of applied health science with a pre-occupational therapy concentration, or psychology) and a Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) degree from Messiah University in five years.
When studying in the accelerated occupational therapy program at Messiah University, you will:
- Obtain a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree at the end of your fourth year of study; a Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) at the end of your fifth year of study
- Prepare to work with individuals of all types and with a wide array of conditions
- Develop strong professional networks in the field through clinical experiences
- Enroll in classes that stretch you intellectually, physically and spiritually
Students enrolled in the accelerated occupational therapy program at Messiah are eligible to sit for the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam during or after their final semester. After passing the exam and graduating, you are eligible to apply for state licensure as an occupational therapist.
Employment opportunities are available in the following areas:
- Skilled nursing facilities
- Outpatient clinics
- Early intervention
- Mental and behavioral health
- Community settings
For more information on career planning for occupational therapy, visit the Messiah University Career and Professional Development Center.
You will choose one of two bachelor’s degrees to complete the occupational therapy accelerated program.
Applied health science (with a pre-occupational therapy concentration): This major is most appropriate if you enjoy studying the human body, basic science courses and how the body responds to both physical activity and disease. The pre-occupational therapy concentration provides a multi-dimensional approach to studying health and offers coursework in anatomy, exercise physiology, biomechanics, chronic disease, health promotion, exercise psychology and nutrition. Prerequisite psychology courses will be incorporated in the curriculum to prepare you for the integration of the mental and physical components of occupational therapy.
Psychology: This major is most appropriate if you enjoy studying human behavior, the motivations behind behavior and mental processes. You will study a wide-range of foundational psychology courses in lifespan development, abnormal psychology, experimental psychology, and sensation and perceptions. Prerequisite science courses will be incorporated in the curriculum to prepare you to understand the biological basis of behavior required for the field of occupational therapy.
The 5-year, accelerated B.S./MOT program will admit no more than 30 total new students each fall (split between the B.S. in psychology and the B.S. in Applied Health Science – Pre-OT). New admits will be accepted directly from high school.
Minimum high school entry requirements:
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (Grades of A or B in all high school science and math courses)
- SAT/ACT/CLT testing optional for 21/22 admissions cycle
- Minimum 1170 SAT, 24 ACT or 76 CLT
- High school students must apply to Messiah University by Jan. 15
- Selected applicants will be invited to interview virtually on November 18, 2021 or February 10, 2022
If SAT/ACT/CLT scores are not submitted, the following admission criteria will be followed:
- High school GPA of 3.5 or higher
- Must have two or more science classes with a lab with grade of B or higher
- Evidence of extracurricular activities and/or strong-leadership in school or community activities
- Honors courses, evidence of dual enrollment, or AP courses is preferred
National Board of Certification Exam
Occupational therapy students who meet academic and clinical requirements are eligible to sit for the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam, which certifies them as occupational therapists.
Want to learn more?
Questions regarding the occupational therapy accelerated program may be directed to Dr. Scott Kieffer at firstname.lastname@example.org.