Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Occupational Science
All applicants to the PhD program must:
- Complete a baccalaureate degree in an appropriate field, such as Occupational Therapy or one of the biological or social sciences, with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 from an accredited college or university.
- Complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test within five years of the date of application. While the University of Southern California has no minimum score requirement, please note that the PhD cohort accepted for fall 2016 received an average of 160.8 on the verbal section, an average score of 154.3 on the quantitative section, and an average score of 4.6 on the Analytical Writing section.*
- Submit at least three academic letters of recommendation.
- Show evidence of academic potential (based on master’s-level study if relevant), research skills and interest. Review our funded research and PhD immersion experiences to determine if your interests align with potential mentors from among the following researchers:
- Lisa Aziz-Zadeh PhD
- Sharon Cermak EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA
- Florence Clark PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
- Gelya Frank PhD
- Mary Lawlor ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA
- Natalie Leland PhD, OTR/L, BCG, FAOTA
- Sook-Lei Liew PhD, OTR/L
- Cheryl Mattingly PhD
- Beth Pyatak PhD, OTR/L, CDE
- Shawn Roll PhD, OTR/L, RMSKS, FAOTA
- Olga Solomon PhD
- Barbara Thompson PhD
- Submit a personal statement in response to the following prompt: Please describe your present research interests and experiences and why you think our PhD program is a good fit for you in advancing your research agenda. For this purpose upload a double spaced essay that does not exceed 1,000 words. Your essay should be uploaded in the supporting documents section.
- English Proficiency: If your bachelor’s degree was earned in a non-English speaking country and you are not a US citizen or permanent resident, scores are needed from an official TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System). Students from some English-speaking countries may also need to submit scores. We require that the student have verification of the following scores within two years of intended enrollment:
- An Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) score of 100 with no less than 20 on each sub-score; or
- An IELTS of 7 with no less than 6 on each band score. Students whose native language is English and/or students with a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. college or university are exempted from this examination.
*If you have any questions about your specific situation, please feel free to contact us.
The Chan Division’s Admissions Committee will review your application once all your application materials have been received.
- The application deadline is December 1st for a fall semester start and to be considered for maximum financial support.
Applications received after these dates are also welcome and will be processed on a space available basis.
You may apply online anytime at least four weeks before the Division’s application deadline to allow adequate time for processing. Be sure to complete the supplemental portion that relates to occupational therapy. You also should arrange to have transcripts and test scores sent to USC in time to meet this deadline.
Materials to be submitted by applicants
- Have an official GRE general test score report sent to both the USC Office of Admissions (code #4852) and to the department (code #0618).
- Send official transcripts from all colleges you have attended to the USC Office of Admission, as directed in the online application process, to the following address:
University of Southern California*Note: Transcripts are not required for currently enrolled USC students, however StARS reports should be sent to the Division at the above address. If you received our brochure in the mail, the address listed is different than the one provided above. Either address will deliver your application materials to the correct building at USC.
Office of Admission and Financial Aid
3601 South Flower Street, Room 112
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0911
- Request at least three academic letters of recommendation, utilizing the process provided in the online application. Letters may also be sent directly to the Division at the following address:
USC Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
1540 Alcazar Street, CHP 133
Los Angeles, CA 90089-9003
- If you are required to submit TOEFL scores (please see above for details), have your scores sent to the USC Office of Admissions (code #4852).