For Undergraduate Students Applying to the Bachelor of Health Science Program at the University of Florida
The Occupational Therapy Accelerated Program is for University of Florida pre-occupational therapy students who are pursuing their Bachelor of Health Science (BHS) degree. The program is a combined degree program that allows students to take first-year Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) Program courses during their junior and senior years in the BHS Program. All first-year OTD courses count toward both the OTD and the BHS degrees. Students enrolled in the Occupational Therapy Accelerated Program will complete two semesters of year one OTD coursework while earning credit towards their BHS. After graduating with their BHS, they will have eight semesters of OTD coursework remaining, thus decreasing time to graduation and overall cost of tuition.
The accelerated program capitalizes on the foundational knowledge provided through the core courses offered in the BHS curriculum while allowing students to gain the knowledge needed for professional occupational therapy practice through the first-year OTD classes. The BHS core courses provide a multidisciplinary approach to learning for general practice in health care systems. The professional-level courses of the OTD have enhanced rigor, critical thinking, and depth, focusing on the occupational therapy literature with an emphasis on evidence-based practices and theory. The OTD courses include active student engagement and experiential learning opportunities that allow for integration of knowledge and skills.
- Students will apply in their sophomore year (second undergraduate year). Selection into the program also secures admission into the OTD Program contingent on successful academic progression. Each student’s progress is reviewed at the end of the junior year (third undergraduate year) to assure that the student has complied with the academic requirements for the combined degree program and maintained the high standards expected of a student participating in the combined degree program. Students will take three first-year OTD courses during the junior year. Students will continue to meet admission criteria for the OTD while they progress through the junior and senior years.
- During the senior year (fourth undergraduate year), students who have successfully completed the third year will take the remaining standard first-year OTD courses, and complete three BHS courses. At the end of the senior year, students in the program will receive a BHS degree from the University of Florida and will have completed their first two semesters in the OTD.