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Pre-OTD Track for OTAs

Pre-OTD Track

This educational opportunity is available to Occupational Therapy Assistants to earn a Bachelor in Health Science (B.H.Sc.) degree and upon completion of the Pre-OTD Track be guaranteed admission to the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) Entry Level Program at Nova Southeastern University, Tampa, FL. or Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Classes for NSU's 3 1/3 years, blended distance/face-to-face OTD program takes place at the NSU Tampa Bay Regional Campus and online. The program, designed to attract creative and compassionate individuals who like to help others achieve their potential, meets the need for occupational therapy education beyond a Masters degree by students who want flexibility while performing their current occupations.

NSU’s Ft Lauderdale based Face to face Doctor of Occupational Therapy (O.T.D.) program is designed with you in mind. Your face-to-face didactic, research and clinical training prepares you to excel as a skilled interdisciplinary health care team contributor across diverse practice settings. You’ll not only graduate sooner with our accelerated 3 ⅓ year curriculum – you’ll also have the opportunity to learn from professors considered by many O.T.s and other medical professionals as leaders in the profession.

For more information on admissions requirements, please see the BHS Admissions Page.

Required General Education Courses NSU Course Coding
Written Composition 6 credits at or above COMP 1500
Mathematics 6 MATH credits at or above MATH 1040
Humanities 6 credits in any courses with a prefix of ARTS, FILM, HIST, HUMN, LITR, PHIL, SPAN, WRIT or any Foreign Language
Social and Behavioral Sciences 6 credits in any courses with a prefix of COMM, GEOG, GEST, GLBS, POLS, PSYC, ECN, INST or SOCL
Natural and Physical Sciences 6 credits consisting of BIOL, MBIO, CHEM, ENVS, PHY
Subtotal of Required General Education Courses 30 credits
Required BHS Courses (minimum) Semester Credit Hours

BHS 3110: Health Care Ethics

This course is designed to introduce ethical thinking and concepts regarding health care to prepare the student with the essential vocabulary and thought processes to understand, evaluate and participate in ethical decision making. Students will be introduced to the idea that ethical problems are largely a matter of reason and that progress toward solutions can be gained through an application of normative ethical (philosophical) theory.


BHS 3120: Introduction to Epidemiology

The purpose of this course is to introduce the history and development of epidemiology in relation to public health and disease. Communicable, epidemic and endemic as well as social diseases will be discussed. 


BHS 3150: Principles of Leadership

This course will provide an overview of numerous leadership theories to prepare the student for a leadership role in Health Care. The course will critically analyze the differences between leadership and management.


BHS 3155: Conflict Resolution in Health Care

The purpose of this course is to develop an understanding of conflict and effective conflict resolution strategies that increase personal achievement and create collaborative relationships in the workplace. A variety of health care disputes including employee-employee conflict, supervisor-subordinate conflict, patient-patient conflict, and patient/client-provider conflict are analyzed and problem-solving methods are applied that reduce stress, manage conflict, and create environments of positive growth, personal and organizational safety, and intrapersonal and interpersonal satisfaction.


BHS 3160: Health Policy

This course provides the student with a broad understanding of Health Policy, how health care is organized, and how the practitioner can better work in the system. The focus will be on policy issues of population health and its determinants, access to care, and its impact on health. Students receive an introduction to key features in the US health care system, and will examine issues of rising health care costs and the quality of the care given. (Because there are a number of changes forthcoming as a result of recent legislation, some of the material presented this semester may change radically!)


BHS 4000: Cultural Competency in Health Care

The purpose of this course is to develop competency and better understanding when confronted with issues related to culture, diversity and ethnically based customs, rituals, alternative health care choices, folk medicine, cultural structure and viewpoints and the practitioner's delivery of health care.


BHS 4031: Statistics for the Health Sciences

This course is designed to introduce the conceptual foundation of statistical analysis & statistical reasoning of health sciences data, and prepare the student to calculate, interpret and utilize appropriate software packages for basic statistical analysis.


BHS 4100: Academic and Professional Writing 
(must be taken during first semester of enrollment in program)

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the format, content and thought processes for successful academic and professional writing through utilization of APA form and style manual. An overview of proper sentence and paragraph structure, grammar, punctuation usage, formatting and bibliographic referencing will be discussed.


BHS 4140: Independent Capstone Health Science Studies

(Required Course Course effective for entering students in Fall 2019 and beyond)

Students select an area of study in cooperation with the course advisor and/or program director to produce a culminating, experiential and interprofessional project. The project may include such items as work-related studies, conference attendance, grant proposals and/or planning documents. A comprehensive paper will be developed and delivered according to the APA form and style manual. Students must receive departmental and advisor approval in order to be allowed to register for this course.

Course pre-requisites, if any: COMP 1500, COMP 2000, BHS 4100 and Senior Academic Status


BHS Electives

Minimum of 6 credits of any course with BHS prefix other than required core courses listed above.

Subtotal of the Required B.H.S. Courses 33
Required Courses (Can be also used to fulfill natural and physical science requirements) Semester Credit Hours

BIOL 1500: Biology I with Lab

*Fulfills Biology Requirement

An introduction to the biological sciences for students interested in pursuing a career in this area. Includes subcellular and cellular organization, structures/function, biochemistry, classical/molecular genetics, and population dynamics - all arranged around evolution as a major theme. Includes laboratory sessions.


BIOL 3312: Human Anatomy and Physiology w/ Lab

This course deals specifically with form and function of human systems. The lecture period stresses human physiology; the laboratory is devoted to anatomy, histology, and physiology. The lecture and laboratory are presented in a unified fashion with the aim that each reinforces the other in presenting a complete picture of functional morphology. Although lower vertebrates are used for comparative purposes, human systems receive major emphasis in both lecture and laboratory.

OR (both courses fulfill Anatomy/Physio Requirement - min. 3 credits)

BIOL 3320 Anatomy and Physiology I w/ Lab: 

This is the first part of a two-part course that deals specifically with form and function of vertebrate organ systems. The lecture period stresses human physiology and the laboratory is mainly devoted to gross anatomy. However, the lecture and laboratory are presented in a unified fashion with the aim that each reinforces the other in presenting a complete picture of functional morphology. Although lower vertebrates are used for comparative purposes, mammalian systems receive major emphasis in both lecture and laboratory.

5 (3312) or 4 (3320)

PHYS 2350: General Physics I/Lab

First of a two-part series covering mechanics, thermodynamics, vibrations, and waves. Includes laboratory sessions. This course has been exempted from the requirements of the Writing Across the Curriculum policy.

OR (both courses fulfill Physics/Kinesio - min. 3 credits)

EXSC 3700: Kinesiology

A study of the anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics of the muscle system as it relates to the principles of movement. Students will learn the muscle groups involved with specific movements and the results of the action of particular muscle groups on overall movement. Both normal and impaired movements will be analyzed.

4 (2350) or 3 (3700)

BIOL 2600: Medical Terminology

This course covers the basic structure of medical terms, including roots, prefixes, and suffixes. Emphasis will also be placed on the terminology of body systems. Medical terms related to anatomy, physiology, pathology, clinical procedures, laboratory tests, and medical abbreviations will be covered. Also, students will learn medical terminology related to specialized areas of medicine such as cancer medicines, nuclear medicines, radiology/radiotherapy, pharmacology, and psychiatry.


PSYC 2350: Life-Span Human Development

This course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of systematic changes within the individual from conception through death. Unlike many studies of development, this course is structured around issues of development rather than examination of development from a chronological perspective. This structure will allow the student to more completely grasp life-span issues. Family, social roles, lifestyle, psychological disorders, mental abilities, and death and dying will be examined.

Open/Transfer Electives
Any combination of coursework consisting of additional BHS prefixed elective courses and/or transfer courses of any prefix with a course level of 1000 or above resulting in a total of 57 credits
Subtotal Open Electives/Transfer Elective Courses 49

**Many of the general education, pre-OTD track and open elective requirements may be fulfilled through prior OTA course work**

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