Prerequisites

To access a detailed document with prerequisite information that will assist you in evaluating your coursework,please click here to open a pdf file. We do not need to conduct a transcript review prior to your application to the program. Ensuring that your coursework meets the criteria outlined in the attached guide will prepare you to apply from the standpoint of coursework.

There are 8 total prerequisite courses. Four of these are fixed (core body of knowledge). Three are in categories that allow flexibility in the specific coursework that satisfies the prerequisite (flexible prerequisites). These 7 courses may be taken at accredited universities, colleges or community colleges. Online courses will be accepted from nationally accredited institutions if the course credit is equivalent to that of a typical on-site course. The final prerequisite is an occupation course, which does not have to be taken for credit, but must meet specific criteria (see below).

FIXED PREREQUISITE COURSE

1 AND 2: ANATOMY and PHYSIOLOGY
A total of two courses in anatomy and physiology are required.
Any of the following course combinations will suffice:

OPTION 1: Anatomy course with human anatomy lab component + a physiology course

             OR

OPTION 2: Anatomy & Physiology I + Anatomy & Physiology II. There must be an anatomy lab with human content somewhere in this sequence

             OR

OPTION 3: Anatomy & Physiology I course with human anatomy lab + physiology course 

3.  ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY
This course must cover a broad spectrum of intellectual/ developmental disabilities, psychopathology/mental health and behavioral disorders.  

4. STATISTICS
This course must cover both descriptive and inferential statistical methods.  

FLEXIBLE PREREQUISITE CATEGORIES

5. HUMAN DEVELOPMENT/BEHAVIOR
This course should cover aspects of typical individual human growth and development and/or behavior. 

6. SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND SYSTEMS
Courses in this category should address the study of social entities and constructs that influence human action. The study of cultural groups, social institutions and socio-cultural practices are all acceptable. 

7. MODES OF REASONING
The intent of this category is to recognize coursework that has challenged the applicant to apply a strategic process of reasoning or problem solving.

Timing: The 4 fixed prerequisites and the 3 flexible prerequisites MUST have been taken within the 5 years prior to application to the program. The only potential exceptions are for those who work in fields focused on a specific area AND who have taken the coursework in the past (for example, mental health professionals may not have to retake abnormal psychology). Applicants requesting a waiver of the 5-year rule should document their justification and send it via email to OSInfo@med.unc.edu prior to the application deadline. The Admissions Committee will review and make decisions about waiver requests as quickly as possible.

OCCUPATION PREREQUISITE

NOTE: The occupation prerequisite must have been taken in the past three (3) years and must be completed prior to application. One of the essays in the application is a reflection on this learning experience, and you must be able to complete that essay and submit it with your application.

The intent of the occupation prerequisite is to expose you to a situation in which you attempt something that is a novel challenge and that has an outcome, either a product (something you’ve created) or performance. We ask you to participate in this prerequisite to reflect on the types of learning processes that may be experienced by our clients during occupational therapy. The occupation prerequisite does NOT have to be taken for credit. However, it must have the following characteristics:

  1. new learning/challenge (not something you already do or know how to do)
  2. formal (structured) learning context, but does not have to be a "for credit" course
  3. at least once a week for a minimum of 6 weeks
  4. social context (other learners present in person, i.e., no online courses)
  5. results in a product or performance
  6. learners must be active (not just recipients of information)
  7. course content is not designed to be used to benefit, teach or communicate with others (such as foreign languages, sign language, coaching, therapeutic recreation methods, etc).

Examples of possible occupation prerequisites include classes in dance, theater, visual arts, sewing, photography, ceramics, manual arts (welding, plumbing, etc.), sports/recreation (tennis, scuba diving), woodworking, creative writing, etc.