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Since fall 2006, the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy has offered a PhD in Occupational Science. We accept qualified applications from individuals who have completed a graduate level degree in occupational therapy (e.g., MS OT, OTD), relevant social and behavioral sciences, or related fields. The PhD is designed for individuals who wish to pursue academic careers that include research, and the program is in-person.

Group of PhD students pose in a classroom
First and second year students in a seminar class with their professors.

Graduates will be prepared to generate new knowledge in occupational science and translate their understanding of the complexity of occupational engagement to support participation in life situations.

The PhD program in Occupational Science benefits from a highly collegial and interdisciplinary environment. Students may participate in faculty research programs and have opportunities to be involved in teaching in our MS OT program.

The doctoral course of study includes content in four domains:

  1. Occupational Science
  2. Research design and methodology
  3. Academic career development
  4. Cognate areas that support the study of occupation of interest to students

We anticipate a four to five year course of study that allows doctoral students to build a deeper understanding in an area of interest in occupational science, learn how to study occupation and complete a doctoral dissertation.

View our current PhD Handbook.


Nancy Bagatell, PhD, OTR/L