Mount Mercy University’s pre-occupational therapy curriculum prepares students to join one of the fastest growing fields in health care today.

By combining classroom learning with clinical experience and individual advising, students who follow the pre-occupational therapy track in biology, chemistry or psychology are prepared to treat patients of all ages with injuries, illnesses or disabilities through the therapeutic use of everyday activities.

Students take coursework that successfully fulfills the requirements for their professional program of choice, while studying courses unique to their interests. Pre-OT students should expect to study coursework in Genetics, Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Developmental Psychology and Abnormal Psychology, depending on their major.

All science courses in the chemistry and biology programs utilize inquiry-based learning laboratory experiments, which help students hone their critical thinking skills — the same skills essential for success in all professional programs. Students who wish to follow this track through as psychology majors have access to crucial work experience opportunities and professional connections, leading to experience in helping patients develop, recover and improve the skills needed for daily living and working.

Our faculty take pride in supporting students in their academic growth, helping prepare application materials and coaching students in studying for professional placement exams. Guided by an interactive approach, engaging curriculum and faculty-student research, students develop valuable critical thinking, counseling and research skills. In addition, clinical experience — which includes shadowing occupational therapists at either of Cedar Rapids’ two award-winning hospitals — helps distinguish Mount Mercy graduates as well-prepared professionals.

Where can I go after studying pre-occupational therapy at Mount Mercy?

Mount Mercy University is one of the best schools in Iowa for pre-occupational therapy. Graduates from our pre-OT track have the opportunity to continue their studies at a variety of schools, including:

  • Creighton University
  • University of Minnesota
  • St. Ambrose University
  • Washington University (St. Louis, Mo.)
  • University of Missouri

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates demand for occupational therapists to grow by more than 27% by 2024. With rigorous course work in the social sciences, sciences and humanities, Mount Mercy is the best school in the region to start studying this in-demand field. Our alumni explain why:

“Mount Mercy provided me with opportunities, experience, education and friendships that I could not have imagined would be a part of my four years as a student there. I was educated by caring, motivated professors who were truly focused on my success. They encouraged me to work in the health care field and volunteer while completing my academic requirements.”

Dr. Melanie Giesler '01(Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, Medical Associates of Clinton, Iowa)