University of Southern California
Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Redesigning Lives Globally
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Academics

B.S. to M.A.: Curriculum and Requirements

USC Occupational Therapy student with kids

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy

The Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy requires the completion of 44 units of professional 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.

General Education Requirements

As an undergraduate you must satisfy the university’s general education requirements, which are intended to complement your major and provide a broad educational experience.

Residency Requirements for Undergraduates

You must take a minimum of 64 units (half of the required 128 units for a bachelor’s degree) in residency at USC. This means you can transfer up to 64 units toward your degree. However, after you complete 64 units at USC, you may only transfer an additional 8 units, and these must be taken during the summer term only. Certain general education requirements cannot be completed at another institution. A major in occupational therapy provides 44 of the required 64 units in residency.

Classes

Classes generally meet 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.

Graduation

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 Division’s satellite ceremony immediately afterwards.

Certification

After you receive your Bachelor of Science degree, you must also acquire a master’s degree in occupational therapy to be eligible for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy® (NBCOT) examination. Because you have your Bachelor’s of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from USC, you can earn your master’s degree from USC in an additional 9 to 12 months, depending upon your choice of fieldwork options.

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 www.nbcot.org. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.



*The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education® can be contacted at: ACOTE, c/o Accreditation Department, American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.®, 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda MD 20814-3449, www.acoteonline.org, (301) 652-6611 x2914