Those students who also wish to participate in clinical practice in occupational therapy may opt to complete a master’s degree in occupational therapy. Such students are required to complete the requirements for that degree, as well as the occupational therapy undergraduate major courses if they are not registered occupational therapists or eligible for registration prior to study.
Completion of a minimum of 26 units in a topic area approved by the student’s faculty mentor is required. Examples of cognate areas include: research methodologies related to dissertation research, neuroscience, health disparities, gerontology and health promotion.
Each student will enroll in 2 units of OT 660 Research Practicum per semester for four consecutive semesters, for a total of 8 units. Students are required to begin enrolling in OT 660 in their first semester of doctoral study. In this practicum the student will develop research skills by working as part of a research team under the direction of a faculty member.
Passing the screening is prerequisite to continuation in the doctoral program. Directions for obtaining and filing the Report on PhD Screening Procedures are found in the The Graduate School section of this catalogue.
Doctoral students must submit a dissertation according to the policies and procedures described in The Graduate School section of this catalogue. Registration in OT 794a Doctoral Dissertation, OT 794b Doctoral Dissertation, OT 794c Doctoral Dissertation, OT 794d Doctoral Dissertation, OT 794z Doctoral Dissertation for a minimum of 4 units (2 units in each of two consecutive semesters) is required.
Summary of All Course Requirements
Required core courses are OT 640, OT 641, OT 648, OT 649, OT 660, OT 661 for a total of 26 units.
Required cognate courses for a minimum total of 26 units.
Dissertation requires 2 units per semester for at least two semesters for a minimum total of 4 units.
Additional 4 units can include 4 further units of dissertation, OT 660 or cognate courses.
Total: 60 units
Foreign Language or Research Skills
The PhD in Occupational Science does not require the demonstration of competence in a foreign language. However, each student is expected to achieve expertise, as defined by the student’s qualifying exam committee, in research methods through participation in course work and the research practicum.
Qualifying Exam Committee
The qualifying exam committee is composed of five faculty members. Three members of the committee must be regular faculty from the USC Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. One member must be from outside the division. Complete regulations for establishing a qualifying exam committee are found in The Graduate School section of this catalogue.
The qualifying examination is comprehensive in nature and requires the student to demonstrate a grasp of content from the core courses and the cognate area. The examination is both written and oral and is set and administered by the student’s qualifying exam committee. Refer to The Graduate School section of the catalogue for additional information about the qualifying exam.
The dissertation committee is composed of at least three faculty members. The chair of the committee and at least one additional member of the committee must be regular faculty from the USC Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. One member must be from outside the division. Complete regulations for establishing a dissertation committee are found in The Graduate School section of this catalogue.
Doctoral students must submit a dissertation based on students’ original research according to the policies and procedures of The Graduate School section of this catalogue. Upon approval of the preliminary copy of the dissertation by all members of the dissertation committee, the candidate must pass an oral defense of the dissertation. Upon successful completion of the oral defense and revisions, the manuscript is approved and the committee recommends the candidate to the Graduate School for the PhD.
To prepare students for anticipated roles as faculty members, a teaching component is incorporated into the program. Students work with their faculty advisor for their research immersion (OT 660) experience to identify an appropriate course or courses, arrange mentoring experience, and ensure that the timing of the teaching experience complements research lab participation and dissertation plans. If students are not assigned a full course, they are required to present a minimum of four lectures or seminars.
Further information about the baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral programs can be obtained by writing or calling the USC Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, 1540 Alcazar Street (CHP 133), Los Angeles, CA 90089-9003; (323) 442-2850, toll free (866) 385-4250, or by sending email to email@example.com. Information regarding the USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy is available at chan.usc.edu.