Department of Occupational Therapy

Programs/Degrees Awarded:


  • BS in Behavior and Health
  • Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

Post-Professional Occupational Therapy

  • PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences
  • Combined Doctor of Occupational Therapy and PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences (OTD/PhD)
  • Online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (PP-OTD)

Occupational therapy is a health care profession that promotes the lifelong health and well-being of individuals and populations through engagement in the activities that are personally meaningful within the environments in which they live and function. These include self-care, work, other productive activities, and play or leisure activities. Occupational therapists work with individuals and groups to increase daily function, enhance and support health and development, and prevent disability.

Occupational therapists evaluate children with developmental disabilities and work with their families to create daily routines and activities that help them grow socially, cognitively, and physically. They also help individuals with movement limitations learn to carry out important daily tasks at home, on the job, and in the community; work with groups of clients experiencing psychiatric disability to help them identify effective strategies for managing daily activities in the community; and suggest changes in the layout, routines, and equipment of home, school, or workplace to support full participation for persons with disabilities.

Occupational therapists thrive as clinicians, educators, consultants, researchers, administrators, and private practitioners. They may work in community health programs, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools and early childhood programs, nursing homes, home care, private practice, college and university faculties, military services, and government agencies.

Occupational therapy programs are offered at the entry-level professional and post-professional levels. Our new Bachelor of Science degree, Behavior and Health, is designed for students interested in a range of careers such as health care, social work, education, and community and human service organizations, as well as advanced study in related professional fields.

Boston University’s graduate Occupational Therapy program—ranked #1 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in their most recent (2016) graduate health rankings—prepares students for entry into the profession. The online post-professional doctoral (PP-OTD) program prepares certified occupational therapists for leadership in practice and teaching. The programs in occupational therapy enjoy excellent teaching and research space at BU Sargent College. The majority of instruction takes place in small discussion and lab sessions, with an emphasis on collaborative learning and reflective analysis of theory and practice.