To apply to the BS Occupational Studies Program you must complete the University of Wisconsin System Online Application.



For the most up-to-date information, visit the UWM Enrollment & Financial Services website . Be sure you are viewing the Undergraduate Fee Schedule for the appropriate semester.

UWM offers the following Tuition Reduction Programs for out-of-state residents:

Mandatory/Segregated Fees

These funds are earmarked for the support of certain student services. See the Mandatory/Segregated Fees document for the appropriate semester on the UWM Enrollment & Financial Services website .

Students enrolling exclusively in audit or off-campus classes are not charged segregated fees and will not be able to use some campus facilities or obtain a University bus pass. If you fall into one of these categories, but want full access to all campus facilities, you may pay an additional fee based on the number of credits taken.

Additional Course Fees

There may be additional course fees (in addition to regular tuition) that could include differential tuition, distance education fees, or special course fees. To see if your courses have additional fees, go to .


UWM & CHS Scholarships

Complete the FAFSA then go to the UWM Panther Scholarship Portal . Sign in using your PAWS credentials and complete the General Application and the CHS application. You may save your work and return to the portal at a later time.

You will then see a list of scholarships that you may apply to. Review each scholarship and click the “apply” button to any/all that you qualify for. If the scholarship requires additional information (and the application is open), you will click the “apply” button and can choose to answer the supplemental question(s) or not.

Check your UWM email for your application status. Additional information can be found at .

State & National Scholarships/Awards

UWM Emergency Grant

UWM has been awarded a grant through Great Lakes Community Investments to issue undergraduate students emergency funds when they have unforeseen circumstances that may negatively influence their academic success. Students can be awarded up to $1,000 for non-academic expenses (e.g., car repairs, medical bills, rent, utilities, child care, food, etc.). Learn more about the grant at .



You’ve decided you enjoy working with persons with disabilities either through direct care or administrative service. Not quite sure which is the best career path? The Bachelor of Science in Occupational Studies allows you the chance to pursue a variety of career options. A flexible educational path, combined with a blend of elective courses, and you’ll be prepared to work in different health and human service settings.

You will also be particularly well prepared for further graduate study in Occupational Therapy and other disability related disciplines. Acceptance and completion of the undergraduate program in occupational studies does not guarantee admission into the Master of Occupational Therapy Program.

Become part of a large interdisciplinary department with specialty areas in assistive technology, engineering, occupational therapy and therapeutic recreation. Learn from faculty who are among the strongest in the nation in terms of their leadership, professional credentials and research productivity.

Why choose us?

  • You’ll be able to take advantage of a flexible educational path with a combination of face-to-face, blended and online formats.
  • You can choose from dynamic elective courses in areas of assistive technology, disability and occupation, and therapeutic recreation.
  • We’re known for our unique specialization in assistive technology. Our Assistive Technology & Universal Access Laboratory and courses feature state-of-the-art equipment that is unmatched in the state.
  • You can also pursue a Therapeutic Recreation track and work with clients and their families to combine leisure interests and community resources together with therapy.
  • Unique to the program are several research-oriented courses in the area of scientific inquiry, biostatistics, measurement and evidence informed practice. This will provide you a strong foundation for graduate education or involvement in research.
  • You can prepare for diverse employment opportunities, including in growth areas such as occupational health, prevention and quality of life programs and technology.

Admission to UWM

Admission to UWM

New College Students

On your application for admission to UW-Milwaukee, select “Occupational Studies” as your intended area of study. You will be classified as “Occupational Studies-Intended” upon admission to the University.

After you have completed the prerequisite courses during your first two years of study, you will be eligible to apply for admission to the major and professional core courses.

Transfer Students

You can be guaranteed admission to UWM by participating in the Guaranteed Transfer Program . After fulfilling certain credit and grade point average requirements, you will transfer with the same rights and privileges as those who begin their education at UWM.

To see how your credits will transfer to UWM, check out the UW System Credit Transfer Wizard .

Application Process

Go to for the most up-to-date information about the application process, including deadlines, sending transcripts and test scores, and more.

Students who meet UWM standard admissions requirements will be admitted directly into the College of Health Sciences as “Occupational Studies-intended.”

Transfer from UW Colleges

UWM General Education Requirements

UW Colleges EquivalentUWM EquivalentRequired
English: Must earn 'C' or better
in ENG 102
English 102X
Foreign Language*X
Math: Must earn 'C' or better in
MAT 110
Math 1053
Natural Sciences**X
Social Sciences**X

*Can be satisfied with 2 years of a single foreign language in high school.
**Satisfied through coursework below.

Foundation Courses

UW Colleges EquivlaentUWM Equivalent
BIO 280: Human Anatomy* AND

BIO 281: Human Physiology*

CTA 103: Introduction to Public SpeakingCOMMUN 103
ENG 210/BUS 210: Business Communication ENG 205
MAT 117: Elementary StatisticsMTHSTATS 215/KIN 270
PHY 141: College Physics IPHYSICS 120/121
PSY 201: Intro to PsychologyPSYCH 101
PSY 309: Abnormal PsychologyPSYCH 412

*The combination of BIO 280 (formerly PHS 235) and BIO 281 (formerly ZOO 234) at any UW College is equivalent to the combination of Bio Sci 202 (4 credits, GE:NS+) and Bio Sci 203 (4 credits, GE:NS+) at UW-Milwaukee. If a student has credit for ONLY BIO 280 OR 281, those courses are NOT individually equivalent to Bio Sci 202 and/or 203.

Admission to Major

Upon admission to the Occupational Studies major, students must earn a “B-“ or higher in Bio Sci 202, Psych 101, complete Eng 102 and Math 110 and maintain a 2.75 cumulative GPA.

Transfer from Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC)

Course Requirements for Entry into the Major

A 2.75 cumulative GPA on courses (or their equivalents) required for admission to the major.

Suggested Courses in MATC Curriculum NOT Required for Admission to Major

MATC EquivalentUWM Equivalent
NATSCI 201: Anatomy and Physiology IBIO SCI 202
NATSCI 202: Anatomy and Physiology IIBIO SCI 203
NATSCI 221: College Physics IPHYSICS 120/121
SOCSCI 134: Human Growth & Development OR
SOCSCI 188: Developmental Psychology OR
SOCSCI 237: Child Psychology OR
SOCSCI 238: Life-Span Psychology
PSYCH 260*
MAT 260: Basic StatisticsMTHSTATS 215**
MATH 198: CalculusMATH 231
ENG 198: Speech OR
SPEECH 201: Elements of Speech

**Will serve as a substitute for KIN 270 in the OS curriculum
***Will serve as a substitute for HCA 203 in the OS curriculum

Recommended Course Plan

If you are interested in obtaining a degree in Occupational Studies from UW-Milwaukee, the following recommendations will help you plan your work.

Semester I

MATC EquivalentUWM Equivalent
12-13 Total Credits
ENG 202: English Composition 2ENG 102
NATSCI 201: Anatomy and Physiology IBIO SCI 202
SOCSCI 231: General PsychologyPSYCH 101
MATH 200: Intermediate AlgebraMATH 105
Semester II

MATC EquivalentUWM Equivalent
13-16 Total Credits
NATSCI 202: Anatomy and Physiology IIBIO SCI 203
ENG 198: Speech OR
SPEECH 203: Interpersonal Communication
Elective CreditsElective Credit
SOCSCI 134: Human Growth & Development OR
SOCSCI 188: Developmental Psychology OR
SOCSCI 237: Child Psychology OR
SOCSCI 238: Life-Span Psychology
PSYCH 260*

* You may take a 3 credit course in Humanities, Fine Arts, Natural Science, or Social Science that will satisfy the Ethnic Studies/Cultural Diversity and/or the Interdisciplinary Studies requirement.

Masters of Occupational Therapy

Students planning to pursue a Master’s of Occupational Therapy should consult the MS Occupational Therapy website and their advisor in the College of Health Sciences Office of Student Affairs for information on MS OT prerequisite courses. Acceptance and completion of the undergraduate program in occupational studies does not guarantee admission into the Master of Occupational Therapy Program. Some information is available in the UWM Academic Catalog .


Angela Kowalski, MS
Recruitment Coordinator
UW-Milwaukee College of Health Sciences

Aggie Northrup, MS
Academic Advisor
UW-Milwaukee College of Health Sciences

For admissions related questions contact the UWM Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 414-229-2222.

For transfer credit evaluation questions contact the UWM Registrar’s Office at 414-229-3800 or .

Admission to Major

Admission to Major

Students interested in the BS Occupational Studies program are encouraged to contact the College of Health Sciences Office of Student Affairs. Students with bachelor’s degrees in other areas are welcome and encouraged to contact Student Affairs for a credit evaluation.

Students will automatically be admitted to the major after completion of 57 credits. Within those 57 credits students must have a B- or better in:

  • BIO SCI 202
  • OCCTHPY 151
  • OCCTHPY 201
  • PSYCH 101
  • THERREC 202

At the time of admission to the major, students must declare at least one track that they will complete.

Upon admission to the major, students must maintain a 2.75 cumulative GPA. Failure to attain a semester GPA of 2.75 or higher will result in the student being placed on academic probation for one semester. A second semester GPA below 2.75 will result in dismissal from the program. Program required courses can be repeated. Any given course may be repeated only one time. It is important for students to understand that we want you to succeed. Meet with your Advisor each semester to identify areas of concern PRIOR to academic probation or dismissal from the program.

Meet With Your Advisor

Meet With Your Advisor

To schedule an advising appointment, call 414-229-2758 or visit Northwest Quadrant Building B, Room 6425.

I’m a new student.  How do I start?

You are assigned an academic advisor upon admission to UWM. New Student Orientation (NSO) helps those who are new to campus to learn and understand the enrollment process and enroll in classes for their first semester at UWM!

Who is my advisor?

Aggie Northrup, MS

You can also see the name of your advisor and contact them directly by accessing your student center in PAWS .

When should I meet with my advisor?

Students are encouraged to meet with their advisor at least once per semester to ensure timely progress to graduation.

  • Enrolling for spring semester?
    Schedule an appointment with your advisor in October or November.
  • Enrolling for fall semester?
    Schedule an appointment with your advisor in March or April.

Students are also welcome to schedule an appointment with their advisor at any time to discuss academic challenges, career opportunities, or any other questions.

How can my advisor help me?

CHS boasts professional academic advisors who understand the challenges of balancing academics, work, family, and the social aspects of college life. Advisors partner with you to:

  • Explore your academic and career interests
  • Plan the sequence of your courses
  • Prepare for course enrollment
  • Access tutoring and other academic support
  • Identify opportunities for campus involvement
  • Connect you to campus resources
  • Plan for graduation



General Education Requirements (GERs)

Total Credits:12
English: Must earn "C" or better in English 102
Prerequisite: placement test
Math: Must earn "C" or better in Math 105
Prerequisite: placement test
Foreign Language
Satisfied with 2 years of a single language in high school
Natural Science
Satisfied below by Foundations courses
Social Science
Satisfied below by Foundations courses
Cultural Diversity
Satisfied below by OS core courses
Select course from the approved GER Arts list
Select course from the approved GER Humanities list
THERREC 103 Introduction to Leisure recommended

Learn more about UWM’s General Education Requirements .

Foundations Courses

Total credits:34
BIO SCI 202: Anatomy & Physiology I
MS OT Prerequisite
BIO SCI 203: Anatomy & Physiology II
MS OT Prerequisite
COMMUN 103: Public SpeakingHU3
ENGLISH 205: Business Writing OR
ENGLISH 207: Health Science Writing
HCA 203: Human Life Cycle
MS OT Prerequisite
KIN 270: Statistics in the Health Professions: Theory and Practice
MS OT Prerequisite
OCCTHPY 151: Foundations of Scientific Inquiry for Occupational Studies3
PHYSICS 120: General Physics
MS OT Prerequisite
PHYSICS 121: General Physics LabNS+1
PSYCH 101: Introduction to Psychology
MS OT Prerequisite
PSYCH 412: Psychopathology3

Core Courses

Maximum of 1 course may be repeated.

Total Credits: 30
OCCTHPY 201: Introduction to Occupational Science & TechnologyF3
THERREC 202: Disability: Society and the PersonF3
OCCTHPY 220: Gadgets & Gizmos: Introduction to Assistive TechnologyS3
OCCTHPY/THERREC 245: Client Diversity: Interdisciplinary PerspectiveS3
OCCTHPY 260: Enhancing Health through ActivityS3
OCCTHPY 320: Introduction to Ergonomics for the Health ProfessionsS3
OCCTHPY 340 (540): Evidence for Practice I: Applications of BiostatisticsF3
OCCTHPY 341 (542): Evidence for Practice II: Appraising EvidenceF/S3
OCCTHPY 401: Overview of Medical ConditionsS3
OCCTHPY 530: Contemporary Issues and Professional Preparation in Occupational StudiesS3

Track Requirements

Disability and Occupation Track

The Disability and Occupation Track is predominantly aimed towards students that want to become Occupational Therapists or seek employment in other direct care positions working with persons living with a disability.

Total Credits21
THERREC 202: Disability: Society and the Person3
OCCTHPY 250: Concepts of Time and Occupation3
THERREC 303: Inclusive and Disability Programs in the Community3
OCCTHPY 315: Group Process in Rehabilitation3
OCCTHPY 401: Overview of Medical Conditions3
OCCTHPY 505: Work and Disability3
OCCTHPY 625: Design and Disability3
Download the sample 4-year plan (PDF)

Applications of Assistive Technology Track

The Applications of Assistive Technology Track is aimed towards students who are interested in applying technology and/or designing environments and products that enhance the capabilities of people.

Total Credits21
OCCTHPY 220: Gizmos & Gadgets: Introduction to Assistive Technology3
OCCTHPY 250: Concepts of Time and Occupation3
OCCTHPY 420: Principles of Human Factors and Usability3
OCCTHPY 521: Essentials of Assistive and Rehabilitation Technology3
OCCTHPY 593: Introduction to Biomedical and Rehabilitation Instrumentation3
OCCTHPY 595: Vision I: Introduction to Low Vision and Visual Impairment3
OCCTHPY 625: Design and Disability3
Download the sample 4-year plan (PDF)

Therapeutic Recreation Track

The Therapeutic Recreation Track is aimed toward students who are interested in the field of Therapeutic Recreation.

Total Credits21
THERREC 103: Introduction to Leisure3
THERREC 203: Therapeutic Recreation Process3
THERREC 300: Therapeutic Recreation Assessment and Documentation4
THERREC 308: Therapeutic Recreation in Physical Rehabilitation and Behavioral Health4
THERREC 310: Facilitation Techniques in Therapeutic Recreation4
THERREC 400: Issues and Trends in Therapeutic Recreation3
Download the sample 4-year plan (PDF)

Free Electives

The number of free electives required varies (23-29 credits) depending on the track that you follow. You must take a minimum of 9 credits at the 400 level or higher. We encourage you to pursue a minor or certificate program with your free electives.

Recommended Minors/Certificates

Get Involved

Get Involved

Students with paid or unpaid experience in the area of disability, diversity, leadership and undergraduate research are best prepared for employment and graduate studies. Students in the OS program are encouraged to become involved. Program, campus and community opportunities are shared with students through a variety of ways.

Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA)

SOTA offers opportunities to Occupational Studies and Occupational Therapy students to become actively involved in a college-level association that is linked with both the state and national level OT associations.

SOTA offers a vehicle for students to express their ideas and opinions, be an advocate for occupational therapy, become acquainted with the workings of an organization, volunteer in the community, raise funds for charity organizations, and become involved in campus activities. The organization is dedicated to ensuring a successful organization for future OT students and creating cohesion, good communication and unity between students and faculty.

Contact the Center for Student Involvement for information on how to join SOTA and many other service, leadership and organization training opportunities.

UWM Office of Undergraduate Research

The UWM Office of Undergraduate Research is a centralized location for undergraduates seeking on-campus research opportunities and faculty seeking enthusiastic, motivated undergraduate students with whom to collaborate.

Volunteer Service

The UWM Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research provides the campus with different opportunities to volunteer throughout the city and beyond. Each week of the year there are opportunities to make a real difference in Milwaukee and beyond by working to improve the environment, mentoring local kids, stocking shelves at a food pantry, serving breakfast to Milwaukee’s homeless community, engaging in an alternative spring break, and helping older adults.

Learn more about volunteer opportunities at .


Students must achieve the following to complete an undergraduate degree in occupational studies:

  1. Satisfactory completion of 120 credits with a cumulative 2.750 GPA or better in all credits earned at UWM;
  2. Satisfactory completion of the University General Education Requirements ; and
  3. Completion of the last 30 credits in residence at UWM.

You should contact your advisor at the beginning of your senior year to ensure that all requirements are being met.

Students planning to continue their education at the graduate level should note that the UW-Milwaukee Graduate Program in Occupational Therapy requires a 3.00 GPA for admission with full graduate standing. Admission to graduate programs is competitive and a 3.00 does not guarantee admission.

Use UWM’s Graduation website to review campus-wide graduation requirements, graduation application deadlines, applying for graduation, and ordering your cap and gown.

Employment Outlook

Employment Outlook
There are several different types of entry level positions in disability and health care available to Occupational Studies graduates. Completion of the undergraduate program in occupational studies does not meet requirements for employment as an Occupational Therapy Assistant. Some examples of employment include Community Service Managers and Recreational Therapists.


  • Community Service Managers: $65,320
  • Recreational Therapists: $47,860

Expected Growth

Employment of community service managers is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Much of the job growth in this occupation is the result of an aging population. An increase in the number of older adults will result in a need for more social services, such as adult daycare and meal delivery, creating demand for social and community service managers. Employment of social and community service managers is expected to increase the most in industries serving the elderly, such as services for the elderly and persons with disabilities.

In addition, employment growth is projected as people continue to seek treatment for their addictions, and as illegal drug offenders are increasingly sent to treatment programs rather than to jail. As a result, managers who direct treatment programs will be needed.

Employment of recreational therapists is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

As the U.S. population ages, more people will need recreational therapists to help treat age-related injuries and illnesses. Older people are more likely to experience a stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and mobility-related injuries that may benefit from recreational therapy. Therapists will also be needed to help healthy seniors remain social and active in their communities. Recreational therapy services can help the aging population to maintain their independence later in life. For example, recreational therapists can help older people prevent falls by teaching them modified yoga exercises that improve balance and strength.

In addition, the number of people with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity, is growing. Recreational therapists will be needed to help patients maintain their mobility, to teach patients about managing their conditions, and to help patients adjust recreational activities to accommodate any physical limitations. Therapists will be needed also to plan and lead programs designed to maintain overall wellness through participation in activities such as camps, day trips, and sports.

Recreational therapists will increasingly be utilized in helping veterans manage service-related conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or injuries such as the loss of a limb. Recreational therapists can lead activities that help veterans to reintegrate into their communities and help them to adjust to any physical, social, or cognitive limitations.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Recreational Therapists ; Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social and Community Service Managers .

Faculty & Staff

Faculty & Staff