Occupational Science & Technology

Occupational Therapy Program Curriculum


Graduate Curriculum

For information regarding the graduate curriculum and for course descriptions, see UWM's Graduate School website.


Undergraduate Curriculum

For descriptions of undergraduate courses, see the Undergraduate Catalog.
F, S, SU (fall, spring, summer) refers to semesters in which courses are taught.

*Admission to this BS/MS program will be offered for Fall 2013 and 2014. Beyond 2014 admission to the study of Occupational Therapy will be offered at the Graduate level only.


Prerequisites for application to the BS/MS Occupational Therapy Program

Course Number Course Name Credits Offerings
BIO SCI 202 Anatomy & Physiology I 4 F, S, SU
BIO SCI 203 Anatomy & Physiology II 4 F, S, SU
PSYCH 101 Intro to Psychology 3 F, S, SU
PHYSICS 110 Physics for the Health Professions 4 F, S
HCA 203 Human Life Cycle 3 F, S
KIN 270 Statistics in the Health Professions 3 F, S, SU
TOTAL: 21 credits


Curriculum Design

The professional curriculum of the Occupational Therapy Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee prepares the generalist occupational therapist for entry-level practice in the health care delivery system, communities, educational institutions, public health, and social service organizations. The professional curriculum is organized by content areas of foundational concepts of occupation and occupational therapy. These content areas include, but are not limited to, productive aging, work and industry, mental health, health and wellness, rehabilitation, disability, participation, and children and youth. The program emphasizes the development of critical thinking skills that integrate the above content areas to facilitate knowledge about diversity, advocacy, and client-centered practice across a broad range of settings.

The OT Program faculty maintain that no single theoretical model adequately prepares the generalist occupational therapy practitioner. Rather, the integration of knowledge and theory from social, natural, and physical sciences combined with sensitivity to diverse client needs provide a foundation for occupational therapy practice. This integration allows students to explore problems using multiple Frames of Reference (FOR) and the evidence that informs their use. The FOR guides the practitioner in the selection of evaluation and intervention methods and provides a knowledge structure by which to evaluate and integrate advances in occupational theory and practice. The program emphasizes the development of critical thinking skills that integrate the above content areas to facilitate knowledge about diversity, advocacy, and client-centered practice across a broad range of settings. The scholarly practitioner continuously re-evaluates and modifies intervention methods in response to client-specific conditions and progress. To function effectively in contemporary society, occupational therapists require basic competencies in oral and written communication, mathematics, the sciences, and technology. Concepts of occupation, occupational performance, and contexts, provide a unifying theme throughout the professional curriculum. Although unique to occupational therapy, concepts of occupation are derived in part from knowledge within the domains of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, medicine, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and technology.

Formal training in instrumentation and measurement, statistics, and qualitative and quantitative analytic methods prepare the practitioner to evaluate the occupational therapy literature, assess the quality of information upon which evaluation and intervention decisions are based, evaluate intervention outcomes, and improve practices. This knowledge and training results in a scholarly practitioner who understands and evaluates clients who are at risk for or who have challenges caused by disease, injury, development, aging, or inaccessible environment to improve their health and wellbeing. In addition to traditional course work, students will engage in fieldwork experiences throughout the OT educational program. In keeping with the mission of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, our vision and our philosophy, the OT Program strives to prepare students to develop heightened intellectual, cultural and humane sensitivities; scientific, professional and technological expertise; and a sense of purpose.