Professional Master's Programs

Prerequisite Courses and Descriptions

FALL 2018

For students with an undergraduate degree in a discipline other than OT

Completion of the following courses can be accomplished through enrollment in on campus or online courses. Courses may be taken at a university or community college. Pass/fail courses or grades below a C are not accepted as prerequisite coursework.

Applicants can be in the process of completing the prerequisites when applying to the program; however, all admitted students must complete all prerequisites before the program begins in August.

Brain and Behavior
Course must appear on your transcript as taken in the year 2008 or later.
Course (minimum of 3 semester credits) must include structure and function of the human brain. The following course titles meet this requirement, have been approved by our department, and do not need to be reviewed: Brain and Behavior, Neuroanatomy, Behavioral Neuroscience, Neurophysiology, Neuropsychology, Physiological Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Biological Basis of Behavior, Neurobiology, Biological Psychology, PSYC 2012 Biological Psychology (via distance learning at the University of Colorado-Boulder) and the following approved CSU courses: BMS 345, PSY 252, PSY 458 or PSY 454. Available on-campus or online (  
Anatomy and Physiology
Course(s) must appear on your transcript as taken in the year 2008 or later.
Human anatomy and physiology may be taken as separate courses or as a combined anatomy and physiology course. If anatomy and physiology is offered as a two or three part sequence, all courses in the sequence must be completed.  The physiology content must include all human body systems and the anatomy content must include anatomical structure of the muscular, skeletal and nervous systems (including spinal cord) and weekly labs on human anatomy. Approved CSU equivalent courses: BMS 301 Human Gross Anatomy, BMS 300 Principles of Human Physiology. CSU equivalent online courses: BMS 300 Principles of Human Physiology and BMS 310 Anatomy for the Health Professions (

Lifespan Development

Courses in human development or developmental psychology that cover physical, cognitive and psychosocial human development across the entire lifespan (minimum of 3 semester credits). Approved CSU equivalent courses: HDFS 101, PSY 175. Available on-campus or online (
Any basic college-level statistics course (minimum of 3 semester credits). Approved CSU equivalent courses: STAT 201, STAT 204, STAT 301, STAT 307, STAT 311. Available on-campus or online (
Abnormal Psychology
Broad and introductory course (minimum of 3 semester credits) on abnormal psychology to help students become familiar and more comfortable with the phenomena traditionally known as mental illness. Approved CSU equivalent course: PSY 320. Available on-campus or online (
Introduction to Occupational Therapy
General introduction to the field of occupational therapy (minimum of 1-3 semester credits). The course must include content on history of the profession, the AOTA Code of Ethics and core values and Occupational Therapy Practice Framework. Approved CSU equivalent course: OT 110. We do not require that this course be completed at Colorado State University; however, if you choose to take the CSU course, it is available online ( during fall, spring and summer semesters.
Medical Terminology
Requirement can be met by completing a (1) course, (2) certification of completion from a hospital-based medical terminology course or (3) challenge exam.

General medical terminology course for the health and human service professions. Approved CSU equivalent course: OT 215. Available on-campus or online (  Other options include:

  • A certificate of completion from a hospital-based medical terminology course. 
  • Students may independently prepare to take a comprehensive multiple-choice medical terminology challenge exam upon entry into the program. Students are allowed two exam attempts within the first two weeks of the fall semester.  A minimum score of 80% is required to pass the exam and meet the medical terminology requirement.  Students taking this independent study route are encouraged to study the text by Brooks (4th edition-current). Exploring Medical Language. Mosby.

Human Disease/Conditions

Exam only

Upon entry into the program, students will be required to take a comprehensive multiple choice Human Disease/Conditions exam based on independent preparation using Atchison, B.J. & Dirette, D.K. (5th edition): Conditions in Occupational Therapy, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. This exam is given during the first two weeks of fall classes and a minimum passing score of 80% is required.

A study guide is provided below.

For each chapter:

  1. Define key terms
  2. Identify common abbreviations used
  3. Describe the condition including common signs and symptoms; etiology or course of the disease; causes; impact on occupational performance or participation of the individual, family or significant others  
  4. Differentiate different types or levels of conditions, when applicable 
  5. Describe common medical management

To supplement independent preparation, students may elect to take formal coursework. Completion of a formal course will not substitute for passing the human disease/conditions exam.

Biomechanics of Human Occupation
Course offered only to students admitted to CSU-OT master’s program. Students take course in July and August immediately before starting the master's program in August.

All accepted students must complete Biomechanics of Human Occupation, OT 450, through CSU in the summer before starting the program in August. This course is offered only to admitted students and occurs only during the summer session ( Please note: This course is offered as a web-based/in class lab hybrid, and students will be required to attend a daily two-hour laboratory on campus (Monday-Thursday over four weeks). Students are required to be on campus for class July 16-August 10, 2018.