Preprofessional Studies

Preprofessional studies in the College of Applied Health Sciences are designed for students who intend to pursue their undergraduate or graduate education in professional programs of the AHS College. Preprofessional students in AHS can be Disability and Human Development, Kinesiology, Nutrition Science, or Rehabilitation Sciences majors. Advisors for students in pre-occupational therapy and pre-physical therapy are available in the AHS College Office of Student Affairs and the department offices. Students are also encouraged to participate in the preadmission information sessions which are held monthly within the OT and PT departments. Scheduling information for these sessions can be found on the AHS website.

Completion of the required course work or attainment of the minimum grade point average does not guarantee admission to a professional program. Pre-OT and pre-PT students must complete all the requirements for a bachelor’s degree, including a major, in addition to the preprofessional studies.

Pre-Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists provide services to maximize the function and satisfaction of persons whose daily life performance has been interrupted and jeopardized by disease, disability, life stress, and other factors. The occupational therapist provides the individual with opportunities for involvement in carefully chosen work, play, or self-care activities. The occupational therapist also uses various methods of mutual problem solving, environmental modification, adaptive devices, technology, and biomechanical and sensorimotor treatment methods to support and enhance performance.

Many occupational therapists work within hospital settings, but there is growing emphasis on prevention and treatment of people with disabilities in nonclinical settings. As a result, many new areas of employment are now available. For example, occupational therapists are increasingly employed in school systems where they work with children with disabilities, enhancing their ability to perform as students. Working with in-home health organizations, occupational therapists help individuals and families function more adequately at daily tasks. In industrial settings, they aid workers' with disabilities or injuries return to gainful employment. In addition, occupational therapists have developed private practices.

The preprofessional course work listed below prepares students to apply to the professional program in the Department of Occupational Therapy in the College of Applied Health Sciences after completion of the undergraduate degree. Students should contact or (312) 413-0124 for further information.

Pre-occupational therapy students may choose any major but should work with a preprofessional advisor to plan a course of study that fulfills pre-occupational therapy studies requirements as well as the requirements for the major.

The pre-occupational therapy requirements follow and should be completed as part of the undergraduate degree program.  The courses listed below must be completed with a grade of C or better.

Required Courses a
BIOS 110Biology of Cells and Organisms4
PSCH 100Introduction to Psychology4
PSCH 242Introduction to Research in Psychology3
KN 251Human Physiological Anatomy I c,d5
KN 252Human Physiological Anatomy II c,d5
PSCH 270Introduction to Psychological and Behavioral Disorders d,e3
PSCH 320Developmental Psychology d3
Choose from one of the following courses in statistics: f4
Statistical Methods in Behavioral Science
Statistical Methods
Introduction to Statistics
Introduction to Statistics for the Life Sciences
Introductory Sociological Statistics
One of the following:3
World Cultures: Introduction to Social Anthropology
Introduction to Sociology (strongly preferred)
Total Hours34

Other minimum admissions requirements include an earned bachelor’s degree in any field, CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) certification with Health Providers Status, 3.00/4.00 GPA for the last 60 semester hours earned for the baccalaureate degree, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score of at least 300 combined on the verbal and quantitative sections, three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Applicants with a GPA of below 3.00 or GRE combined score below 300 who display strengths in other areas may be considered for admission. Students must apply for admission to the program approximately one year before planned enrollment.

Pre-Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a health profession whose primary purpose is the promotion of optimal human health and function through the application of scientific principles to prevent, identify, assess, correct, or alleviate acute or prolonged movement dysfunction. Physical therapy encompasses areas of specialized competence and includes the development of new principles and applications to more effectively meet existing and emerging health needs. Other professional activities that serve the purpose of physical therapy are research, education, consultation, and administration.

The physical therapist, working in cooperation with other health professionals, serves the individual needs of the client and the health needs of society. The physical therapy profession depends heavily on knowledge and application of the basic medical and behavioral sciences, coupled with specialized knowledge and skills in the clinical arts and sciences.

Physical therapists may work as staff, supervisors, or self-employed practitioners who serve clients directly; as administrators of clinical departments, health agencies, or educational programs; as healthcare agency consultants; as clinical or academic teachers; or as researchers.

They may work in hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, schools for children with disabilities, neighborhood health centers, physicians’ offices, nursing homes and convalescent centers, private and public health agencies, sports settings, and universities.

Pre-physical therapy students may choose any major but should work with an advisor to plan a course of study that fulfills the pre-physical therapy studies requirements as well as the requirements for the major. Students are advised to declare an educational goal of pre-physical therapy upon entering UIC which will alert them to specific workshops and other pertinent information.

The pre-physical therapy requirements follow and should be completed as part of the undergraduate degree program.

Required Courses a
BIOS 110Biology of Cells and Organisms b4
Select one of the following general chemistry sequences:10
Matter and Energy
Foundations of Chemical Inquiry I b,c
Chemical Dynamics
Foundations of Chemical Inquiry II b,c
Honors and Majors General and Analytical Chemistry I b
Honors and Majors General and Analytical Chemistry II b
MATH 170Calculus for the Life Sciences4
or MATH 180 Calculus I
PHYS 131Introductory Physics for Life Sciences I b4
PHYS 132Introductory Physics for Life Sciences II b4
PSCH 100Introduction to Psychology d4
PSCH 242Introduction to Research in Psychology3
Select one course in developmental or abnormal psychology from the following:3
Introduction to Psychological and Behavioral Disorders d
Developmental Psychology
KN 251Human Physiological Anatomy I e5
KN 252Human Physiological Anatomy II e5
Total Hours46

In addition, applicants must complete a minimum of 40 hours of documented volunteer or observation experiences in a variety of physical therapy facilities. Current certification in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) with Health Provider Status is recommended prior to beginning the professional program. Students must also have earned a bachelor’s degree prior to enrolling in the program.

The minimum GPA for application to the program in physical therapy is 2.50/4.00 in science and nonscience courses. The competitive GPA, however, is considerably above this level. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) taken within five years of the date of application. Students must apply for admission to the program approximately one year before planned enrollment. Students should call (312) 996-6646 for additional information.