Occupational Science & Technology

B.S./M.S. Combination Professional Entry Track Admission & Graduation Requirements

Occupational therapy is a profession whose unique focus is on occupation and daily life activities that promote full participation in life roles as an active member of a community. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee offers a full array of occupational therapy education which allows students completing a Master's degree to be eligible to take the national Occupational Therapy certification examination. Students are prepared for Master's level study through the Bachelor of Science (BS) Occupational Studies Program. Students who complete this undergraduate program will need to meet all admission criteria to the UWM Graduate School for admission to the M.S. program. The combined BS and MS degree programs (Professional Study in Occupational Therapy) are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).


Students interested in the BS in Occupational Studies spend two years satisfying general education requirements and prerequisites for the professional years of study. To progress into the professional years, students must apply for admission.

Entry into the professional years of study is dependent upon:
  1. Completion of UWM's General Education Requirements before the fall semester of the professional years.
  2. Verification that the following courses, or their equivalent, will be completed by the end of the spring semester before the professional years:
    • Anatomy & Physiology I and II ( BIO SCI 202 and 203 )
    • Introduction to Psychology ( PSYCH 101 )
    • Human Life Cycle ( HCA 203 )
    • Statistics in the Health Professions: Theory and Practice ( HMS 270 )
    • Physics for the Health Professions ( PHYSICS 110 )
  3. *It is strongly suggested to take Physics 100 (Quantitative Preparation for Physics) prior to enrolling in Physics 110.
  1. Students must achieve a 2.75 GPA in the courses listed above and must obtain a C or better in each of these courses. No more than three of these courses may be repeated. It must be emphasized that a 2.75 GPA is a minimum GPA and does not guarantee admission into the professional program. A cumulative GPA of 2.75 is also required and will be based upon all courses taken including transfer credits and courses that have been repeated. This is a minimum GPA and does not guarantee admittance. Since students who complete the B.S. program must meet all eligibility requirements for graduate study, they are strongly encouraged to maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA throughout their undergraduate years.
  1. To ensure that students entering the Professional Study in Occupational Therapy program have a basic understanding of "disability" and the impact of a disability on a person, a minimum of 70 hours in a disability-related experience is a requirement of the admission process. A disability is defined as a mental and/or physical impairment which interferes with participation in activities of daily living, work, and leisure. The 70 hours must be in an environment where the applicant directly observes and interacts with a person with a disability. The following situations qualify as a disability-related experience:
    • Personally experiencing a disability,
    • Involvement with a person with a disability,
    • Working in a disability-related environment, or
    • Volunteering in a disability-related environment.

    This experience must be documented on a form provided by the College of Health Sciences, Office of Student Affairs by April 15 of the year of application.

  1. Completion of a written application due on April 15.

Students are encouraged to submit an application if they plan to have all requirements listed above completed before the fall semester of application.

Second degree candidates must complete only parts 2, 3, 4 & 5 of the requirements listed above to be considered for admission to the professional program.

Students who do not have an overall GPA (across all course attempts) of at least 2.75 will be considered by the O.T. Admissions Committee for acceptance into the O.S. professional program with probationary status. Students must have achieved at least a 2.75 GPA in the specific courses required for admission into the O.S. professional program and must have received a grade of at least a C in each of those courses. Students admitted with probationary status will be required to maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 in all courses taken during the first two semesters of the O.S. professional program. If this does not occur, the student's record will again be reviewed by the O.T. Admissions Committee to advise the O.T. program director in regards to action to be taken.

Students are admitted to the professional program once per year in the fall semester.

All students admitted to the BS in Occupational Studies degree program will be required to complete a Background Information Disclosure form (HFS64). A background check, which identifies a past criminal record, does not necessarily preclude an individual from pursuing studies in occupational therapy or becoming a successful practitioner. Should there be a discrepancy between the information reported by the student on HFS-64 and the reports issued by the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Family Services, the student will be subject to dismissal from the occupational therapy program and reported to DHFS per HFS 12.20 (1)(c), Wis. Adm. Code.

Complementary Programs

Students may choose to supplement their learning by integrating one or more of the following certificate programs into their undergraduate studies. Students must meet with their academic advisor to declare their intention to complete the certificate.

Academic Advising

We provide assistance to students throughout the entire academic process in planning their academic path and choosing course work that meets all University and pre-professional occupational studies requirements. Faculty advisors are assigned to students once they are admitted to the professional program.

To schedule an advising appointment, call the College of Health Sciences, Office of Student Affairs appointment line at (414) 229-2758.