University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Redesigning Lives Globally
Twitter Facebook Instagram LinkedIn YouTube

Academics

PhD in Occupational Science: Course Sequence

Students are required to complete the following courses to be eligible to take the qualifying examination: OT 640, OT 641, plus 6 semesters of OT 660. In addition, they must complete 5 of the following courses: OT 604, OT 612, OT 642, OT 643, OT 644, OT 645, OT 646, OT 650, OT 651, OT 653, and OT 655. After passing the qualifying exam, students will take a minimum of 4 and maximum of 8 units of dissertation: OT 794. If only 4 units of OT 794 are needed, a cognate will be needed to complete the required 60 units to graduate.

Sample Course Sequence

The following sample program includes 16 units of cognates taken as four 4 unit courses. It could have included instead 12 units of cognates and an additional OT course. Note: cognates may be either 3 or 4 units each, depending upon the school, department, or division at USC.

First Year Course Overview

Read Course Descriptions here.

Fall Semester One

Fall semester generally begins in late August and continues for 16 weeks.

  • OT 640 Conceptual Foundations of Occupational Science (4 units)
  • OT 642 Therapeutic Uses of Self: Psychodynamic Perspectives (4 units)
  • OT 660 Research Practicum (2 units)

Spring Semester One

Spring semester courses begin in January and continue for 16 weeks.

  • OT 641 The Nature of Occupation (4 units)
  • OT 643 Meaningful Engagement in Everyday Life (4 units)
  • OT 660 Research Practicum (2 units)

Second Year Course Overview

Fall Semester Two

Fall semester generally begins in late August and continues for 16 weeks.

  • OT 644 Foundations of Research on Activity and Health (4 units)
  • Cognate (4 units)
  • OT 660 Research Practicum (2 units)

Spring Semester Two

Spring semester courses begin in January and continue for 16 weeks.

  • OT 653 Play and Occupation (4 units)
  • Cognate (4 units)
  • OT 660 Research Practicum (2 units)

Third Year Course Overview

Fall Semester Three

Fall semester generally begins in late August and continues for 16 weeks.

  • OT 655 Work and Leisure (4 units)
  • Cognate (4 units)
  • OT 660 Research Practicum (2 units)

Spring Semester Three

Spring semester courses begin in January and continue for 16 weeks.

  • Cognate (4 units)
  • OT 660 Research Practicum (2 units)

Fourth Year Course Overview

Fall Semester Four

Fall semester generally begins in late August and continues for 16 weeks.

  • OT 794 Doctoral Dissertation (2 units)

Spring Semester Four

Spring semester courses begin in January and continue for 16 weeks.

  • OT 794 Doctoral Dissertation (2 units)

Note: If additional semesters are needed to complete the dissertation, the student registers for OT 794 each fall and spring semester until the dissertation is submitted to the university.