Bachelor’s to Doctorate (BS-OTD) in Occupational Therapy
Curriculum and Requirements
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.
Requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy
The Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy requires the completion of 128 units of coursework.
Bachelor of Science Professional Coursework
Our undergraduate program courses focus on portions of the professional content required by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education® (ACOTE)*. Topics include medical sciences, occupational development and performance and the various areas of occupational therapy practice. Practice experiences, as well as hands-on opportunities in our laboratories, are integrated early into the program. Upon the program’s conclusion, you will have acquired the academic foundation to understand the fundamentals of professional practice as well as the powerful relation of everyday activities to health.
*The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education® can be contacted at:
c/o Accreditation Department
American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.®
6166 Executive Blvd, Suite 200
North Bethesda, Maryland 20852-4929
General Education Requirements
As an undergraduate student you must satisfy the university’s general education requirements, which are intended to complement your major and provide a broad educational experience.
Starting senior year, classes generally meet from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, on USC’s Health Sciences Campus (HSC). Tram service is available from USC’s University Park Campus (UPC), as well as from Los Angeles Union Station. Limited campus parking is available for a fee.
Most occupational therapy majors graduate in May of their senior year. In addition to USC’s main commencement ceremony, you and your family and friends will be invited to the Chan Division’s satellite ceremony immediately afterwards.
After you receive your Bachelor of Science degree, you must also acquire a graduate degree in occupational therapy to be eligible for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy® (NBCOT) examination. Because you have your Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from USC, you can earn your doctorate from USC in an additional two years.
Once you pass the NBCOT examination you earn the Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR) designation and are then eligible for licensure and practice. More information about the NBCOT examination may be found at nbcot.org. Please note: a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.
USC has been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), one of six regional accrediting organizations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, since 1949. View the student learning outcomes for our academic programs.