University of Southern California
Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Research Opportunities

Directed Research (OT 590)

As part of their elective emphases, students may elect to take 2 to 12 units of Directed Research (OT 590). These experiences have enabled graduate students in the M.A.-2 program to work with faculty on extramurally funded research programs in areas such as aging, cultural boundaries, spina bifida, autism, sensory integration, and neuroscience.

Student Worker Positions

Students may be hired part-time to work on Division research. Visit Active Research for current studies.

Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) Program

Research Expertise Track: Engage in research experience and develop skills for research and evidence-based practice, primarily in clinical settings. Develop a subset of skills to better understand the landscape of research programs, to undertake evidence-based studies in clinical settings and to collect outcome data as part of practice. In this track, students complete three semester residencies in ongoing interdisciplinary research programs and emphasize occupational science and research methodologies in their coursework.

Doctor of Philosophy in Occupational Science (Ph.D.)

The signature element of our Ph.D. program is the student’s immersion in the Division’s externally-funded research programs. Throughout their program, Ph.D. students spend a minimum of 20 hours per week (for which a stipend and course credit is awarded) participating as members of a research team. Becoming a career scientist requires conducting research alongside experienced mentors. In the immersion experience, students are involved in the following:  developing important research questions; applying for and managing extramural funding; data collection, analysis and interpretation; disseminating results in peer-reviewed journals, attending conferences and giving presentations; participating in research lab management; and many other activities that comprise the standard work of scientists.

U.S. News Ranks USC #1 Program in the Nation

USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
1540 Alcazar Street, CHP 133
Los Angeles, CA 90089-9003
Google Maps  Google Maps

Phone: (323) 442-2850 · Toll free: (866) 385-4250
Fax: (323) 442-1540
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Request program information  Request program information

The USC entry-level master's degree program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education® (ACOTE). ACOTE c/o Accreditation Department, American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.®, 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449, (301) 652-6611 x2914,

Professional program graduates are eligible to apply for certification by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc.®



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