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occupational science

Occupational science is the study of human occupation — the activities we do every day — across the lifespan and cultures. St. Kate’s occupational science/pre-occupational therapy major prepares you to help people engage in productive occupations that contribute to their physical, psychological and spiritual health, well-being and overall quality of life.

As an occupational therapist, you will work with people of all ages and abilities in a variety of settings. These include hospitals, mental health programs, rehabilitation centers, long-term care facilities, community-based settings and public school systems.

Dual degree: Classroom to career

The foundation of our occupational therapy (OT) program is the emerging discipline of occupational science — and we offer one of the first undergraduate programs in occupational science (OS) in the United States. You receive two degrees from St. Kate’s upon completion, in five-and-a-half to six years: a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Science and a Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy.

Our occupational science major is available only in conjunction with St. Kate's Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy (MAOT) program. You may pursue other majors at St. Kate’s and apply to the MAOT program directly. This option will take approximately two to three additional years after earning your bachelor’s degree.

Accredited curriculum

Our unique dual-degree program integrates classroom instruction with laboratory and fieldwork experiences that teach you how to work with individuals who have or are at risk for physical, behavioral or emotional disabilities. The MAOT curriculum, in particular, draws from many fields, including biology, psychology, neuroscience, kinesiology and public health.

You also take courses in medical ethics and human rights advocacy, as well as writing-intensive courses. We emphasize new models of the practice — so you stay ahead of the curve — and our curriculum is designed to create occupational therapy leaders for the future of healthcare, education and social services.

National certification

After fulfilling all graduation and fieldwork requirements in our dual-degree program, you are eligible to sit for the National Occupational Therapy Certification Exam. (Occupational therapists must have a master’s degree or higher and be certified to work in the field.) Each year, more than 90 percent of St. Kate’s graduates pass this exam to become a registered occupational therapist.

Innovative school and leader

St. Kate’s occupational science/pre-occupational therapy major is part of the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health, which collaborates with 900 clinical training sites in the Twin Cities for community work and learning projects. Dean Penelope Moyers is past president of the American Occupational Therapy Association and has been at the forefront of occupational therapy education for the past 25 years.

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