The USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy has a long history of being “the first.” Ranked the nation’s top occupational therapy graduate educational program by U.S.News & World Report, USC has held the #1 ranking for more years than all other programs combined. The Division:
- Initiated the first professional and Post-Professional OT master’s degree programs
- Conceived and developed the first Ph.D. program in occupational science
- Conducted the first ever large-scale randomized trial and cost effectiveness study on preventative occupational therapy
- Established the country’s first Center for Occupation and Lifestyle Redesign®
- The Division’s comprehensive state-of-the-art undergraduate and graduate programs are designed so your degree from USC prepares you for worldwide excellence and leadership in both clinical and academic sectors of the profession
Renowned Researchers and Practitioners
Many of the most renowned practitioners and theorists in occupational therapy have been or presently are members of our faculty, and USC is internationally renowned as a hotbed of clinical innovation and theoretical development in the profession. Members of the Division have produced many of the landmark books, articles, and research reports in sensory integration, occupational behavior, occupational science, and clinical reasoning—four of the most respected theoretical traditions guiding occupational therapy practice today.
Pioneers such as A. Jean Ayres, Mary Reilly, Wilma L. West, and Elizabeth J. Yerxa contributed to the growth and international reputation of the USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. Among current and emeritus faculty:
- Four have been recipients of the Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lectureship, the highest academic honor of the American Occupational Therapy Association
- Ten faculty members are on the AOTA Roster of Fellows
- Four have been admitted to the prestigious AOTF Academy of Research
- Two have received distinguished honors from the American Anthropological Association
Collectively, our faculty hold doctorates in occupational therapy, anthropology, social psychology, education, child development, higher education administration, and occupational science. They possess expertise in test development, qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, and in the many specialties of occupational therapy practice. All are committed to educating the next generation of professional leaders, and they have built a community that respects research and practice, ideas and values, openness to nontraditional views, and a strong sense of responsibility to the public good.