Skip to main content
5 answers
6
Asked 613 views

How do I go about pursuing pediatrics occupational therapy as someone who is a political science major? Is it unheard of, given that I am not a stem major?

I am currently a political science major which I love very much, but I have always wanted to engage in some form of care. I know to work on prerequisites and shadowing hours for OT school, but i am worried my background may not be good for the career choice.

Thank you comment icon You are welcome and any other questions I can answer please do not hesitate to ask. Martin Schoen
Thank you comment icon Of course, I will let you know! Thank you again. Sara

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

6

5 answers


0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Martin’s Answer

Excellent point! Firstly, let's put aside the opinions of others about your current major. Remember, it's your life and you're in control! To pursue a career as a Physical Therapist (PT) or Occupational Therapist (OT), you'll need specialized training in these areas. This might mean changing your major to focus on these programs, but don't worry, your previous coursework can cover any elective requirements.

A solid foundation in the sciences is necessary, along with acceptance into a program that aligns with your career aspirations. Initially, you'll embark on a more generalized program, which will then allow you to delve deeper into clinical and didactic studies in pediatrics as you advance.

Yes, it's going to be a challenging journey, but remember, this is your lifelong career we're talking about. The few years of rigorous training will undoubtedly be worth it if it's what truly ignites your passion. Keep your eyes on the prize and remember, your future self will thank you for the hard work you put in now!
Thank you comment icon I appreciate this so much, thank you! I'll do my best. Sara
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Sara !

It is perfectly fine to change your major while in college. I had friends that did that all the time while we were students.

A political science major or degree has nothing to do with Occupational Therapy so I would suggest that you change your major as soon as you can to either biology, anatomy or one of the other human sciences. You will also have to concentrate on volunteering or interning at an Occupational Therapy facility before you get accepted for a Masters in Occupational Therapy. This is required in New York State where you live. Your state requires that you have your Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy. Once you pass the National Board Certification Exam, you can apply for your license. New York requires you to obtain your Masters Degree in New York state, so you will have to check state requirements if you decide to move for your undergrad and Masters degree.

A transition from Political Science to an appropriate Occupational Therapy related major is fine to do and you can think about it more. It's always fine to change your mind. I know it is not easy to choose between two career choices that you love, but think about the academic timeline you have for yourself and what you are more drawn to - political science or occupational therapy ? Give it some time to think it over. It's always best to take the courses necessary for your future career.

There are some colleges in your area that offer both or either a Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Occupational Therapy. I have left a listing of links below for you to explore and consider possibly transferring if you really decide to go for the Occupational Therapy degree. If not, it's fine to stay with political science, but it is not a good or beneficial match for a career in Occupational Therapy.

I hope that this is helpful and I wish you well moving forward with your decisions !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

YORK COLLEGE https://www.york.cuny.edu/occupational-therapy
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY https://steinhardt.nyu.edu/departments/occupational-therapy
NEW YORK INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY https://www.nyit.edu/degrees/occupational_therapy_bsms
TOURO UNIVERSITY https://shs.touro.edu/programs/occupational-therapy/
DOWNSTATE HEALTH SCIENCES UNIVERSITY https://www.downstate.edu/education-training/school-of-health-professions/programs/occupational-therapy/index.html
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for the insight and resources! I will be looking into these colleges and programs further. Sara
Thank you comment icon You are very welcome, Sara ! Have a great day ! Michelle M.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

bill’s Answer

To align with your field of interest, it's essential that you undertake a course in physical therapy. Unfortunately, your political science background may not be directly applicable in this area.
Thank you comment icon Understood. Thank you for the insight! Sara
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Sara,

Here's your actionable guide to transition from a Political Science Major to a Pediatrics Occupational Therapist:

1. Dive into the Field: Start off by exploring the field of pediatrics occupational therapy. Get familiar with the roles of occupational therapists, the educational requirements, job prospects, and potential challenges.

2. Acquire Relevant Experience: As a political science major, you might lack experience in healthcare or therapy. To bridge this gap, consider volunteering or shadowing occupational therapists who work with children. This will give you a real-life glimpse into the profession.

3. Undertake Prerequisite Courses: Graduate programs in occupational therapy often require prerequisite courses in biology, anatomy, psychology, and physiology. You may need to complete these courses either during your undergraduate studies or through post-baccalaureate programs.

4. Explore Post-Baccalaureate Programs: If your undergraduate degree doesn't cover the prerequisite coursework for occupational therapy programs, think about enrolling in post-baccalaureate programs. This will help you meet the requirements before applying to graduate school.

5. Apply to Occupational Therapy Programs: Once you've met the prerequisites, start applying to accredited graduate programs in occupational therapy, specifically those with specializations in pediatrics. Be ready to provide transcripts, recommendation letters, personal statements, and possibly GRE scores.

6. Complete Graduate Program and Clinical Rotations: After getting accepted into an occupational therapy program, you'll engage in intense academic coursework and clinical rotations. This will give you hands-on experience with pediatric patients under the supervision of licensed therapists.

7. Secure Licensure and Certification: Upon graduating, you'll need to pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam to get licensed. Consider getting a specialized certification in pediatric occupational therapy to boost your credentials.

8. Look for Job Opportunities: Once you're licensed and certified, begin your job hunt in pediatric settings like hospitals, clinics, schools, or rehabilitation centers. Networking with professionals in the field can also aid in securing job placements.

Top 3 Reliable Sources Used:

American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA): AOTA provides information on educational requirements, licensing procedures, career outlooks, and resources for aspiring pediatric occupational therapists.

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT): NBCOT develops and administers certification exams for occupational therapists, offering detailed information on licensure requirements and exam preparation resources.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): BLS provides data on job outlooks, salary information, and general trends in the occupational therapy field, helping you understand the demand for pediatric occupational therapists and make informed career decisions.

May God bless you on your journey!
JC.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for this step by step guide! I was really able to get an idea of what to expect, I appreciate it a lot. I have started working on the first few steps, and I hope to do well moving forward. Sara
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Susie’s Answer

I am so thrilled that you are excited about the field of OT and I think someone with your background, in political science, would make an excellent OT! My eldest child is in OT school - doing a Doctorate in OT (OTD) at RUSH, in Chicago. And my youngest is a political science/religion double major- who I happen to think would make an excellent OT! I know a lot of the classes my youngest took have helped open their eyes to cultural inequities and has broadened their knowledge base so much- all good things to bring into the OT field. You most likely will need to take a year or two between undergrad and OT school (either MS or OTD) to pick up the pre-requisite courses, and that is not unusual. My eldest has know they have wanted to be an OT since age 6-7, yet still needed a year between undergrad to finish all the pre-requisites. And is still the youngest in their OTD class. I think it is so helpful to the profession to bring in folks from all different types of undergraduate majors, not just the usual exercise science, psychology, or kinesiology.
Thank you comment icon This was very comforting to hear given my major, thank you so much! I hope to do my best. Sara
Thank you comment icon You will bring a unique and valuable perspective into the field and that is wonderful! I hope you go for it! I am a pediatric PT but had I known about OT 35 years ago when I was applying to schools, I may very well have become an OT instead. Rehab is an incredible field and I think you will do very well. Best of luck! Susie Susie Donohue
0