School of Allied Health
Program in Occupational Therapy
1101 N. Campbell, Room 500
Phone: (915) 747-7270
PROGRAM COORDINATOR: Gretchen M. Schmalz
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR: Bois
ASSISTANT PROFESSORS: Hadlock, Schwander-Flores
CLINICAL ASSISTANT PROFESSOR: Funk
LECTURER: von Korff
Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy is a dynamic profession and an integral part of modern comprehensive health care. Men and women, as registered, certified occupational therapists, provide direction for an individual's participation in activities that are related to work and leisure for the purposes of promoting and maintaining health; preventing disability; evaluating and treating physical, social, and emotional disabilities; and regaining, retaining, and attaining maximum human function. Occupational therapists analyze, select, and direct evaluation and treatment, choosing from a wide variety of activities that are creative, manual, educational, related to the care of oneself, recreational, and vocationally oriented. Occupational therapy services are provided in a variety of settings, ranging from medical facilities to community health agencies, schools, and private practice.
- The professional course of study in occupational therapy is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education:
- P.O. Box 31220
Bethesda, MD 30824-1220
- The program at The University of Texas at El Paso leads to a designated baccalaureate degree, a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy, and the course of study is twenty-eight months in length. A minimum of 64 semester credit hours in prerequisites is required prior to enrollment as an occupational therapy major. The professional course of study is 28 months in length.
- Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy Degree
- Course Work
- ENGL 1311 or 1611, 1312
HIST 1301, 1302
POLS 2310, 2311
PSYC 1301, 2310, and three additional hours in PSYC
COMM 1301 or 1302
- Visual and Performing Arts (3 hours from University Core Curriculum Menu)
Humanities (3 hours from University Core Curriculum Menu)
Institutionally Designated Option (3 hours from University Core Curriculum Menu)
Total preprofessional course work is 64 semester credit hours.
Prior to enrollment in upper-division courses, a person is considered to be pre-occupational therapy. To be eligible for consideration for an occupational therapy major, a student needs to have an overall cumulative GPA of 2.7, plus a science (biology, chemistry) GPA of 2.5, and a behavioral science (psychology, sociology) GPA of 2.5 in the prerequisite course work listed above. Prior to application to the major, the student must have completed a minimum of 6 credit hours of science prerequisites and 6 credit hours of the behavioral science prerequisites. All prerequisite course work must be completed prior to enrolling in the upper- division courses for the fall semester in which the student is admitted to the major. The only exception is for those students who may be lacking POLS 2311. This prerequisite course or hours can be taken during the fall semester through the summer term of the junior year. This course must be passed with a grade of "C" or better. Failure to complete the course in this time frame with a satisfactory grade will prevent the student from enrolling in further courses in the major. To re-enroll as an occupational therapy major, the student would need to go through the application process for the next entering class. A new class is admitted each fall.
Upon enrollment in the professional phase of the program, a grade of "C" or higher must be earned in each occupational therapy course. If a student earns less than a "C" in any occupational therapy course, the next higher course may not be taken until the prerequisite course is repeated and passed with a "C" or better. An occupational therapy course may be repeated only once. A student who receives a total of 3 course grades of less than a "C" while enrolled in the major is no longer able to continue in the Occupational Therapy Program.
An applicant must submit an application for admission to the occupational therapy major to the Occupational Therapy Program's office by December 1st of the year preceding anticipated enrollment. Applications received after the December 1st deadline may be considered, but priority for initial selection will be given to students meeting the deadline. Selection into the occupational therapy professional program is based upon the number of applicants, space availability, academic performance, and a pre-admission test battery.
At the time of enrollment in the professional phase of the program, the student will submit the results of a recent physical examination, current TB test results, a record of current immunizations (including Hepatitis B vaccinations), and documentation of immunity to chicken pox. All students are required to maintain current CPR certification Level C, according to the American Heart Association Standards. Evidence of this certification is required at the beginning of the upper-division classes. Students are expected to be proficient in computer word processing. All occupational therapy majors will be required to show evidence of professional liability insurance.
In addition to traditional lecture and laboratory course work, the student is provided with opportunities to integrate theory and practice through clinical placement. Initial placements, known as Preceptorships, are in conjunction with academic course work. Units of field studies are provided in approved locations in Texas and surrounding states. Relocation to facilities out of the El Paso area, at the student's own expense, is required for most units of field studies.
Upon completion of all curriculum requirements, the designated degree of Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy is conferred. Graduates of the program will be able to sit for the national Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapist, Registered that is administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Successful completion of the NBCOT examination leads to certification by the NBCOT and allows the graduate to use the letters "OTR" (Occupational Therapy, Registered). Application for the certification examination includes some questions that relate to felony convictions.
For further information on potential limitation related to felony conviction, you can contact NBCOT at:
- National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
800 S. Frederic Ave. Suite 200
Gaithersburg, MD 20877-4150
- Conviction of a felony offense may result in ineligibility for licensure. Each case is considered on an individual basis by the state licensing agency. Successful completion of the program does not, in and of itself, guarantee that a license will be granted
Many states, including Texas, require a license to practice occupational therapy. Graduates are eligible to take the examination approved by the Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners. Upon successful completion of the examination, candidates become eligible for a license to practice occupational therapy in Texas. Most states with licensure, including Texas, accept the examination administered by the NBCOT.
All occupational therapy students must perform within limits of safe practice. A faculty member may drop a student from a course with a grade of "F" if the student's occupational therapy practice is deemed unsafe as defined in the Safe and Effective Practice Policy for students, which is posted on the Official Bulletin Board in the College.
Go To Upper-Division Occupational Therapy Courses