Online OTA Associate Curriculum

As a student in St. Kate’s online Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) associate degree program, you will complete a total of 63 credit hours. You’ll start by taking 1-3 semesters of LIFE Core courses (Phase 1), followed by the 4-semester OTA professional course sequence (Phase 2). This will provide you with a well-rounded education that allows you to earn a degree and sit for the NBCOT® Exam, which you must pass in order to become a certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA).

Courses are offered year-round in the winter, summer and fall semesters. You may apply for admission to start in any term.

Blended Learning Model

Approved by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), our OTA degree program features a unique combined online and on-site curriculum. The online learning component, which represents 80% of the program, establishes the foundation you need to complete your in-person skills labs and fieldwork.

Phase 1: LIFE Core Sequence

You’ll start by taking 1–3 semesters of LIFE Core courses. All LIFE Core courses are provided 100% online—even those with labs! The number of semesters students take during the LIFE Core sequence varies depending on how many previous courses they transfer in, their personal preferences, and the availability of spaces in the OTA Professional Sequence (Phase 2, below).

Contact your admissions counselor to learn more about your timeline. They can review your previous college transcripts to make a preliminary plan.

Prerequisites for OTA Professional Sequence

Before progressing into the OTA Professional Sequence courses, you must (a) have a 2.5 grade point average across the four prerequisite courses listed below, and (b) complete each prerequisite course with a grade C or better. Earning a C in all courses will not meet the 2.5 prerequisite GPA requirement.

CoursesCourse NameCredits
BIOL 2400General Anatomy and Physiology with Lab*4
IPE 1020Medical Terminology1
PSYC 1000General Psychology4
PSYC 2020Lifespan Developmental Psychology*4

*If taken at another college, these courses must have been completed no more than five years prior to the start of the OTA Professional Sequence.

Supporting Course for OTA Professional Sequence

In addition to the prerequisite courses students are required to complete the following supporting course. The supporting course can be taken prior to the start of or during the first three semesters of the OTA Professional Sequence.

A minimum grade of C is required in this course

CourseCourse NameTotal Credits
PHIL 2440Biomedical Ethics4
Total Credits4

LIFE General Education Core

In addition to the program-required courses, students must complete the LIFE general education core curriculum. These requirements can be met with a mix of prerequisite, supporting, and additional elective courses. A maximum of two courses from the supporting course and LIFE general education core can be taken during the first three semesters of OTA coursework.

The following two courses will be available to OTA students in addition to the prerequisite and supporting courses to complete the LIFE general education core curriculum:

LIFE Core CourseCourse NameCredits
CORE 1000WThe Reflective Woman4
THEO 1000Theological Questions4

Transfer credits

St. Kate’s welcomes students with prior college experience. If you have completed a previous bachelor’s or A.A. degree from a regionally accredited institution prior to enrollment at St. Catherine University, you are exempt from the LIFE core curriculum requirement. If you have completed an A.A.S. or have taken courses without completing a degree, you should contact your admission advisor to find out how your previous college credits may transfer in to meet the general education core requirements. After first enrolling at St. Kate’s, however, you should plan on taking all remaining LIFE courses at St. Kate’s.

Phase 2: OTA Professional Course Sequence

After you’ve completed your LAS courses and met all prerequisite requirements, you’ll progress into phase two of your degree program, the OTA Professional Sequence. OTA courses are offered in a “cohort” format, meaning you’ll take a series of predetermined courses in a fixed, four-semester sequence.

During the OTA Professional Course Sequence, you will be expected to attend and participate in a total of 12 skills labs. These labs happen in pairs over two weekends each of the first three semesters of the sequence. During the last semester of the sequence, you will participate in 2 8-week long Fieldwork experiences. These experiences are full-time, in-person experiences.

OTA Professional Sequence: First Semester

CourseCourse NameCreditsSession
OTA 1100Foundations of Human Occupation with Lab21st half of semester
OTA 1120Role of the OTA with Lab21st half of semester
OTA 1140Psychosocial Approaches 1 with Lab22nd half of semester
OTA 1150Professional Growth and Community Engagement with Lab22nd half of semester
OTA 1280Level I Fieldwork; Experience 112nd half of semester

OTA Professional Sequence: Second Semester

CourseCourse NameCreditsSession
OTA 1290Level I Fieldwork; Experience 211st half of semester
OTA 2240Psychosocial Approaches 2 with Lab21st half of semester
OTA 2250Rehabilitation Practice 1 with Lab21st half of semester
OTA 2265Rehabilitation Practice 2 with Lab22nd half of semester
OTA 2275Pediatric Practice 1 with Lab22nd half of semester

OTA Professional Sequence: Third Semester

CourseCourse NameCreditsSession
OTA 2370Pediatric Practice 2 21st half of semester
OTA 2380Aging with Lab21st half of semester
OTA 2390Primary Care and OT with Lab22nd half of semester
OTA 2420Applied Skills with Lab22nd half of semester

OTA Professional Sequence: Fourth Semester

CourseCourse NameCreditsSession
OTA 2355Level II Fieldwork, Experience 161st half of semester
OTA 2365Level II Fieldwork, Experience 262nd half of semester
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The Ultimate Guide to Occupational Therapy and OTA

Get answers to your questions about the field, about the OTA career path, and about St. Catherine University’s Online OTA program.

book with cover title: Occupational Therapy Assistant Explained