Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy (323) 442-2850
Fax (323) 442-1540
The Independent Health Professions at the USC School of Dentistry is comprised of the Divisions of Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy and Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. Together they share the common goals of excellence and innovation in research, education, and clinical practice.
The Division of Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy is ranked as the premier division of physical therapy in the United States. Physical therapists are the authoritative practitioners in the diagnosis and treatment of movement dysfunction, and have become the practitioners of choice for treatment of pain and dysfunction resulting from musculoskeletal disorders. USC’s Division was the second program in the nation to graduate physical therapists with a doctoral degree as the first professional degree, and it has been a leader in the development of the physical therapy profession since its founding over 60 years ago. The Division has three missions: to educate physical therapists and research scientists, to conduct research that will expand our knowledge of the biological bases of human movement (biokinesiology), and to advance the clinical practice of physical therapy. Each of these components is an essential part of the Division’s structure; the three areas of activity are interdependent and support one another. In the past decade, the research mission of the Division has expanded dramatically is an integral part of the research effort on the health sciences campus.
TheDivision of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy is ranked the #1 academic program in the nation by US News & World Report for eight of the 10 past years, and has been a consistent leader in the education beginning with the establishment of the first graduate programs in occupational therapy. It is also widely recognized for its cutting-edge scholarship, research programs, and innovations in applied practice settings. Occupational therapists, as key health professionals, focus on the goal of helping people experience healthier and more satisfying lives by enhancing their ability to accomplish everyday activities and enact healthy lifestyles. Although traditionally occupational therapists have worked with people after catastrophic illness and disability, more recently they have moved into the prevention arena, in which they help people redesign their lives in order to maximize health, productivity, and quality of life.