The division offers a minor in the discipline of occupational science. It is one of a select few programs in the world that offers undergraduates the opportunity to explore importance of occupation, or meaningful activity, as well as the fields of occupational science and occupational therapy.
Occupational Scientists and Occupational Therapists seek to understand and appreciate the motivations that make us human. Humans are innately driven to fill their time with interesting, meaningful activities, which scholars call “occupations.” Occupational Therapists and Occupational Scientists believe that humans need to be occupied because occupations have a profound impact on physical and mental health, one’s sense of well-being and the experience of a satisfying quality of life. Occupational Science seeks to understand the precise nature and function of occupations and the critical effect of daily activity on human beings. Scientists working in the field may examine questions such as the relationship between childhood occupations and adult competency and achievement, what constitutes a healthy balance of work, rest and leisure and what factors contribute to a good fit between a particular individual and their occupations.
The minor in occupational science requires a total of 20 units: a required gateway course (OT 250 ) for 4 units plus 16 units selected from the elective courses. It is open to all majors at USC. An occupational therapy major cannot count any 300-level OT course toward the BS degree.