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Our mission is, first, to produce outstanding occupational therapists and occupational scientists, and second, to develop and expand knowledge about occupation and translate that knowledge to various therapeutic arenas. We accomplish this mission through enactment of our core values:

  • the fundamental worth of occupation and its exploration
  • critical engagement with ideas and the world
  • embracing diversity and community

These values perpetuate an evolution of creative and committed pedagogy focused on occupation.

This mission is also consistent with the UNC School of Medicine’s focus on excellence in the education of health care professionals. Through an innovative curriculum, as well as research and its translation to applied settings, graduates from our program are prepared to lead and assist citizens of North Carolina and beyond.

Our philosophy emphasizes the complex and holistic nature of human experience as a fundamental way to understand occupation. Occupation is the way in which people and their environments interact. Meaning, values, and emotional experience are also part of occupation and come from the ways in which the activity creates new relationships or sustains existing ones. In addition, occupations may become “patterned;” that is, become habits, routines, or rituals that are part of everyday life. These patterns of occupation are often linked to personal, cultural, social, and other contextual aspects of one’s life.