Study the intersection of health and human behavior

Help others get on the path to wellness. At the intersection of health and human behavior, UNE’s Occupational Studies degree will teach you how to work with diverse individuals and populations to assess their wellness and guide them toward healthier lives. We offer a minor in Assistive Technology that will broaden your career horizons as you learn how to equip clients with tools that will enhance their independence. Combining health sciences, wellness promotion, and human occupation, this major is a perfect foundation to a health professions graduate degree or for careers in the health and wellness industry.

Why UNE for your Occupational Studies degree

You’ll earn your Occupational Studies degree in a uniquely interprofessional educational environment. With more than a dozen health professions programs and a robust Education Department, UNE situates this major within a web of innovative, interdisciplinary University partnerships.

Headshot of Megan DeMorris

Megan DeMorris ’20

Occupational Studies/Pre-OT


The atmosphere and how nice everyone is at UNE really drew me here. I also like how quaint the campus is. We’re right on the water, and just walking around on campus, people hold the door open for you, say hi to you, and don’t ignore you. You’re actually a person here. You can walk up to anyone or walk around the hallways and start a full-on conversation with anyone.

I wanted to be an occupational therapist right out of high school because of an internship where I shadowed OTs, PTs, and speech therapists. As I've started in the major, it's very inclusive of all areas of wellness, and it's a very holistic way of looking at health — I really liked that aspect of it. It’s a person-based major and career path, which is something that's really important as our society is moving away from that.

Beyond the Classroom

I got really involved with Outing Club second semester of my first year. By the end of the semester, I ran for club president and got it. For two years, I was doing that and planning all of the trips. I started our first annual spring break trip, which was really exciting and super successful.

We went out to Utah to Zion National Park with 10 people. I came up with the idea for a spring break trip because we do so many awesome, cool things anyway, I felt like, why not take that extra step? I chose different hikes for different days and found an affordable campground right near the national park. We coordinated to book flights, made a plan for food — then we just went for it.

There were two days that we hiked Angels Landing, which was incredible. Then we did Observation Point, which is an 8-mile roundtrip hike that’s unexplainably pretty. We even saw snow at one point on that trail, but we were also in the desert, so it was really unique. On the other days, we did a bunch of smaller hikes. It was a really good bonding experience — the people from that trip are some of my closest friends.

Set For Success

After graduation, I am going to apply to grad schools. I'm probably going to stay at UNE and go to the M.S.O.T. program. I think the way we’re taught lets you know what to expect and really helps you succeed in whatever program you're going to go into. There are so many resources on campus that help you through the steps of getting into grad school or job searches. UNE also helped me find and assisted me in applying for my upcoming internship with Momentum in Windham.

UNE is the perfect place to go if you are looking for a small school. All of the professors have been absolutely amazing, and I don't think that you find that at a lot of places. The professors and advisors that I have go out of their way to assist me and make me comfortable and a priority. All of them know me by name and have a sense of what I'm doing with my life and my interests and hobbies. They just really want you to succeed. I think that's an important part of going to school.

There was a lot of background and guidance to be able to do what I wanted, but I had the freedom to make decisions and lead. They set the stage, and I played the show.

Occupational Studies/Pre-OT

What will you study? B.S. in Occupational Studies Curriculum Overview

The following are some examples of the exciting courses that the Occupational Studies major offers:

  • Holistic Health
  • Stress Management
  • Equine-Assisted Therapy and Wellness
  • Foundations of Assistive Technology
  • Substance Misuse and Prevention
  • Disability Studies
  • Occupational Science
  • Introduction to Occupational Therapy


WCHP Common CoursesCredits
BIO 104/104L – General Biology w/Lab4
BIO 208/208L – Anatomy & Physiology I w/Lab4
BIO 209/209L – Anatomy & Physiology II w/Lab4
BIO 309 – Pathophysiology3
ENG 110 – English Composition4
EXS 120 – Personal Health & Wellness3
EXS 180 – Motor Learning & Performance3
IHS 130 – Interprofessional Health Care First Year Experience3
IHS 310 – Ethical Practice in Health Professions3
MAT 120 – Statistics3
PHY 125/125L – Introduction to Biomechanics w/Lab or PHY 110/110L – General Physics w/Lab4
PSY 105 – Introduction to Psychology3
PSY 205 – Abnormal Psychology3
PSY 250 – Lifespan Development3
SOC 150 – Introduction to Sociology3
One (1) Advanced Studies Course3
One (1) Creative Arts Course (with prefix ARH, ART, or MUS)3
One (1) Explorations Course3
One (1) Social Global Awareness Course3
Total Credits62
Program Required CoursesCredits
OS 305 – Introduction to OT & Related Fields (formerly HWOS 305) or NUTR 220 – Nutrition3
OS 313 – Occupational Media (formerly HWOS 313)3
OS 315 – Assessment for Wellness Consultation (formerly HWOS 315)3
OS 316 – Research Methods (formerly HWOS 316)3
OS 341 – Health and Wellness in an Aging Society (formerly HWOS 341)3
OS 405 – Occupational Science (formerly HWOS 405)3
OS 414 – Stress Management (formerly HWOS 414)3
OS 424 – Health Education: From Theory to Practice (formerly HWOS 424)4
OS 432 – Disability Studies & Inclusive Communities (formerly HWOS 432)3
OS 434 – Substance Misuse & Prevention (formerly HWOS 434)3
PUB 200 – Foundations in Public Health3
Total Credits34
Open elective courses (as needed to reach 120 credits)Variable
Minimum Total Required Credits120

To learn more about the program visit the Academic Catalog or read our Occupational Studies student handbook (PDF).

Meet our faculty and professional staff

Experience an Assistive Technology Community Mobility Course

Career Paths for Occupational Studies Majors

Through training in occupational science, motivational interviewing, assistive technology, wellness assessment, stress management, and health education, you will develop the technical and analytical skills needed for a rewarding career helping others reach their health goals.

Growing Fast

The health care and social assistance industry is one of the largest industries in the country and jobs in the field are increasing at more than double the national average. Nearly 22 million jobs are projected by 2022 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Career Advising in the Occupational Studies Program

Whether you have a specific career goal in mind or a vague idea of the field that interests you, Career Advising is here to help you plan your next step.

Occupational Studies Facilities

Campus Center

The 55,000-square foot Campus Center houses a sports complex that includes a 25-yard/six-lane handicapped-accessible swimming pool, an eight-person hot tub, and a fully-equipped fitness center with two racquetball courts and a free weight area. It also contains a 12,100-square-foot gym with a 1/12-mile balcony track, showers, a sauna, and locker rooms.

Center to Advance Interprofessional Education and Practice

UNE is one of a handful of private universities with a comprehensive health education mission that includes medicine, pharmacy, dental medicine, nursing, and an array of allied health profession programs.

In UNE’s HWOS program, you will take part in interprofessional education initiatives that prepare you to work with other aspiring health professionals to practice comprehensive and collaborative team-based care. Through service-learning and field experiences, you benefit from exercises that also include students from other UNE health discipline programs.

Interprofessional Simulation and Innovation Center

As a HWOS student, you utilize our Interprofessional Simulation and Innovation Center to apply the knowledge you gain in the classroom to realistic clinical situations before putting actual patients at risk.

Guided by skilled instructors, you participate in simulations specifically designed to enhance your clinical aptitudes. Rather than just hearing about and reading about difficult or unusual cases, you experience them by treating our high-fidelity patient simulators and patient actors in scenarios that mimic real life.

Two C O M students and a nursing student practice working together on a simulated patient
Exterior shot of Innovation Hall, a brick building with windows

Occupational Studies/M.S.O.T 3+2

Now you can begin earning your Master of Science in Occupational Therapy during your undergraduate studies. This accelerated program will allow you to earn a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Studies and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy in as little as five years.

Learn more about our accelerated program

Experiential Learning in Occupational Studies

With a focus on skills development, the Occupational Studies major provides opportunities for hands-on learning through collaborative projects, undergraduate research, service learning, internships, and extra-curricular activities that complement coursework.

Occupational Studies Activities and Opportunities

  • Run a summer camp for children with autism spectrum disorder
  • Research adaptive sports, holistic health methods, and stress management
  • Earn certification as a Peer Health Educator
  • Organize Boys and Girls Club festivals
  • Mentor youth in empowerment programs
  • Implement community-based health interventions
  • Engage older adult cognition through creative arts
  • Design disability advocacy programs

Finding the Pieces Camp

The University of New England, City of Biddeford, and Autism Society of Maine partnered to develop the Finding the Pieces Camp. The camp, designed for children in York County who have autism, is staffed by undergraduate UNE students from the Occupational Studies program and the Education program, all of whom have studied autism. Campers attend free of charge thanks to the support of generous sponsors.

Internships for B.S. in Occupational Studies Students

Occupational Studies internship sites are focused on community-based, health and wellness promotion. A wide array of enriching internship opportunities exist at sites including:

  • Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation
  • Maine Medical Center Research Institute
  • Carlisle Academy Integrative Therapy and Sports
  • My Place Teen Center
  • St. Louis Child Development Center
  • St. Joseph's Rehabilitation & Residence

The Occupational Studies Internship Coordinator connects you with community sites and supports you throughout the internship experience. A site supervisor provides direct supervision and guidance while on site. Through your internship, you make significant, positive impacts in the community, while gaining invaluable experience, skills, and mentorship.

You earn credit for the experience through the Occupational Studies 490 Internship course, offered every Fall and Spring Semester. You can tailor the experience to fit with existing academic and extracurricular commitments, pursuing between one to three credit hours. Coursework includes weekly reflective journals and meetings, a foundational paper, an internship project, and a summative portfolio.

To learn more about your internship experience, contact Caryn Husman at or (207) 602-2065.

Service Learning

As part of the Occupational Studies curriculum, you complete Service Learning Projects. These projects bring you out into the field to perform important work with local organizations while gaining invaluable experience and community connections — UNE’s Department of Service Learning offers additional opportunities. At the annual Occupational Studies Day of Scholarship, student-led research projects are showcased to the UNE and the surrounding community at an interactive, professional poster session, where you practice skills in effective presentation and communication. 

Service-learning initiatives connect students, faculty, and professional staff with opportunities to engage in meaningful and mutually beneficial service activities within a variety of community settings. Service-learning instills a lifelong commitment toward helping others, while positively impacting individual, family, and community health outcomes among populations served. Examples include working with the homeless population, implementing health fairs, and developing age-appropriate recreational activities at a local Boys and Girls Club.

Apply Today

Ready to begin your future in UNE’s Bachelor of Science in Occupational Studies? Get started today.