University of Southern California
University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Academics
Academics

Doctor of Philosophy (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, OT 648, OT 649, OT 661, and 4 semesters of OT 660. In addition, students must complete a minimum of 26 units (10 units for students with Advanced Standing) of elective cognate courses. After passing the qualifying exam, students must take a minimum of 4 units of OT 794 as they complete an independent research dissertation. A total of 60 units is required to graduate (40 units for students with Advanced Standing); thus, students will need to complete 4 additional units of either OT 794 or elective cognate courses.

Sample Course Sequence

Course Descriptions for OT Courses

Note: Students with Advanced Standing will typically complete 3-4 elective cognate courses in years one and two instead of 7-8 elective cognate courses noted in the sample course sequence that follows. 

First Year Course Overview

Fall Semester One

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

  • OT 640 Conceptual Foundations of Occupational Science (4 units)
  • OT 660 Research Practicum (2 units)
  • Elective Cognate Course (4 units)

Spring Semester One

Spring semester begins in January and continues for 16 weeks.

  • OT 648 Researching Occupation: Engagement, Meaning, and Society (4 units)
  • OT 660 Research Practicum (2 units)
  • Elective Cognate Course (4 units)
  • Elective Cognate Course (4 units)

Summer Semester One

Summer semester begins in late May or early June and continues for 10-16 weeks.

  • Elective Cognate Course (2-4 units)

Second Year Course Overview

Fall Semester Two

  • OT 641 The Nature of Occupation (4 units)
  • OT 660 Research Practicum (2 units)
  • Elective Cognate Course (4 units)
  • Elective Cognate Course (4 units)

Spring Semester Two

  • OT 649 Researching Occupation: Function, Participation, and Health (4 units)
  • OT 660 Research Practicum (2 units)
  • Elective Cognate Course (4 units)

Summer Semester Two

  • OT 661 Grant Writing for Occupational Science (2 units)
  • Elective Cognate Course (2-4 units)

Third Year Course Overview

Fall Semester Three

  • Completion of Qualifying Exam (GRSC 800)

Spring Semester Three

  • OT 794 Doctoral Dissertation (2 units)

Summer Semester Three

  • OT 794 Doctoral Dissertation (2 units)

Fourth Year Course Overview

Fall Semester Four

  • OT 794 Doctoral Dissertation (2 units)

Spring Semester Four

  • OT 794 Doctoral Dissertation (2 units)

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