About the China Initiative
Our vision is to improve the standards for the educational preparation of, and the clinical care provided by, occupational therapists in China. We believe that occupational therapy will be recognized as an academic and professional field in China and will operate at the highest international level.
The USC Chan Division has partnered with Peking University Health Science Center (PKUHSC) to develop a new dual-degree graduate program in occupational therapy, which welcomed its first class in Sept. 2019. Students in the USC-PKUHSC dual-degree program take two years of courses at PKUHSC to earn a master’s degree in rehabilitation therapy, and will then attend USC’s one-year post-professional doctorate of occupational therapy (OTD) program in Los Angeles.
The partnership promises to continue the educational evolution of occupational therapy in China, training a new generation of practitioners to provide high-quality clinical services to the estimated 85 million Chinese living with, or at risk for, a disability.
Watch the USC Chan Division naming ceremony, which, following a $20 million gift from the Chan family, extended the international reach of the division through the USC Chan Occupational Therapy China Initiative, by establishing a partnership with a top Chinese university to develop a graduate degree program in occupational therapy in China.
Read more about the gift, and the Initiative, at USC News: Chan family gift creates first named, endowed occupational therapy program in nation.
The China Initiative partnership involves a collaboration between the USC Chan Division and Peking University Health Science Center (PKUHSC) on the creation of a dual-degree master’s to occupational therapy doctorate (OTD) program. The collaboration was launched in 2016 with the overarching goal of advancing occupational therapy and occupational science education, research, and practice to improve health outcomes in China in the present and in the future.
Below is a detailed breakdown of our collaborative efforts and timeline.
The inception of the China Initiative as part of a multimillion-dollar gift to establish a partnership with an elite Chinese university to expand occupational therapy research, education and practice.
The beginning of the international partnership between the Peking University Health Science Center (PKUHSC) and the University of Southern California (USC).
2 PKUHSC students admitted to USC Chan’s master’s program to continue into the occupational therapy doctorate (OTD) program, and to train to become inaugural instructors for the dual-degree program.
The China Initiative begins curriculum development of the first master’s program (occupational therapy track) at the Peking University Health Science Center (PKUHSC).
The first Peking University Health Science Center (PKUHSC) student admitted to the USC Chan doctor of philosophy (PhD) program in occupational science (OS).
The official launch of the master’s program (occupational therapy track) at the Peking University Health Science Center (PKUHSC).
The first cohort of USC-PKUHSC dual-degree students arrive in Los Angeles, California, and matriculate into the USC Chan occupational therapy doctorate (OTD) program.
15 Peking University Health Science Center (PKUHSC) master’s program graduates start the USC Chan occupational therapy doctorate (OTD) program.
- Cohort 1: 5 students start in 2021
第一届 | 5名学生2021年入学
- Cohort 2: 5 students start in 2022
第二届 | 5名学生2022年入学
- Cohort 3: 5 students start in 2023
第三届 | 5名学生2023年入学
The second Peking University Health Science Center (PKUHSC) student admitted to the USC Chan doctor of philosophy (PhD) program in occupational science (OS).
The USC-PKUHSC dual-degree program is the result of collaboration between the two universities, consisting of an entry-level master’s degree in rehabilitation therapy (occupational therapy track) at the Peking University Health Science Center (PKUHSC) and a Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Clinical Doctorate (OTD) degree at the University of Southern California (USC).
The dual-degree program trains leaders in the field who will use evidence-based practice and apply diverse innovations to respond to global trends of the profession and to meet the local occupational needs of individuals, communities, and populations. The program will provide students with the opportunity to engage in various leadership tracks to optimally support their future of advancing occupational therapy in China.
Where the China Initiative all began ⟩
September 7, 2023
In China, Teacher's Day is an official national holiday recognized on Sept. 10. To help celebrate, China Initiative residents Sanny Ning and Li Shan Wee, and faculty member Elena Meng, spoke with the dual-degree program's alumni who are now back in Beijing teaching the next generation of occupational therapists.
USC Chan Division China Initiative welcomes the third cohort of dual-degree students from PKUHSC, setting a positive tone for the academic year and building a strong community for international students.
USC-PKUHSC Cohort 2 dual-degree students attend the 2023 AOTA Inspire Conference in Kansas City, Missouri and share their transformative experiences.
USC Chan Entry-Level Master’s student Tina Peng discusses her externship at Peking University Health Science Center (PKUHSC) in Beijing, China, focused on building leadership skills and learning about local occupational therapy (OT) practice.
USC-PKUHSC Dual-Degree Graduates and Current Students Discuss Transition to OT Careers ⟩
February 10, 2023
China Initiative team leads an information session between graduates (cohort 1) and current students (cohort 2) of the USC-PKUHSC dual-degree program to support their transition from student to OT practitioner in China upon graduation.