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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Bachelor’s to Doctorate (BS-OTD) in Occupational Therapy

Please note
USC Chan is in the process of transitioning from an entry-level master’s program to an entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program. The entry-level OTD program has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education® (ACOTE®) and is accepting applicants for the 2021 application cycle (program start in fall of 2022). The program must have a pre-accreditation review, an on-site evaluation, and be granted Accreditation Status before its graduates will be eligible to take the national certification examination for the registered occupational therapist, which is administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®). Updates will be provided on our website throughout the accreditation process as they become available. This change impacts current students, beginning with the graduating bachelor’s class of 2023. In order to remain in the OT program at USC you will need to apply to and complete the OTD program following completion of your bachelor’s degree.

The Major in Occupational Therapy: Fast Track to Professional Excellence

Through our Accelerated Bachelor’s to Doctorate degree program, you can earn a doctorate in occupational therapy with just two additional years instead of the traditional three years post-baccalaureate. Majoring in occupational therapy as an undergraduate student not only results in a substantial reduction to the overall cost of your education, but also prepares you sooner for the National Board Certification in Occupational Therapy® examination.

Most students find our undergraduate program to be highly satisfying because our courses focus on occupation, which we define as all the activities that form the fabric of our lives: personal activities, social activities, physical activities, spiritual activities and even paid employment. By knowing more about occupations, you will learn how they are central to what makes life worth living and to staying healthy, happy and productive.

Enable People to Live Their Lives to the Fullest

As an occupational therapy major, you will be joining a community of like-minded individuals interested in helping people live meaningful, healthy and productive lives. Undergraduates who major in occupational therapy at USC gain practical knowledge about the key elements of healthy living. We believe that knowing more about the way daily activities influence emotional, physical and spiritual health enables you to help others lead healthier, richer and more fulfilling lives.

You and your peers will study the ways in which everyday activities influence human health. A balanced diet is to nutrition as a balanced array of activities is to occupational therapy. You will study the history and possible future of human activities, gather information about people’s abilities to categorize, sequence, focus and accomplish goals, and learn how engagement in activities aids in recovery from, or prevention of, many illnesses. At USC Chan, we will help you develop a skill set to design devices, environments and homes to optimize living well. Most importantly, as an occupational therapist you will become instrumental in helping people overcome obstacles and reach goals that improve their quality of life, their independence and their state of health. You can combine your own interests in ways that help others build better lives and thrive, no matter what stands in their way.

Diversity, Access, and Equity

USC Chan recognizes that the composition of occupational therapists nationwide is not sufficiently representative of the diversity of the healthcare consumers whom the profession serves. Consequently, we strive to recruit superior applicants for all of our academic programs from diverse populations and to provide financial packages that will make it possible for promising students from underserved populations to attend USC Chan. Read more about diversity, access, and equity at USC Chan, and our Minority Mentorship Program.

A Day in the Life of an Accelerated Bachelor’s to Doctorate Degree Student

*Please note that the undergraduate in this video was filmed prior to the transition from Bachelor’s to Master’s degree program to Bachelor’s to Doctorate degree program.

Contact Us
Explore how a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy followed by a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy can support your personal and professional goals by contacting the USC Chan Admissions Team.