Occupational Therapy

The Department of Occupational Therapy (also known as the historic Boston School of Occupational Therapy – founded in 1918) is one of the country's top-ranked programs. Through our education, research, and practice, we promote participation in meaningful activity of individuals, communities and populations with diverse needs and experiences.

There are multiple options to pursue an OT education at Tufts, including entry-level and post-professional OTD programs, certificate programs, and a post-professional master's that can be completed either full-time or part-time to accommodate the schedule of working professionals. 

  • Degree Offerings
  • Faculty
  • Application Requirements
  • Contact the Department

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Contact us:

Office of Graduate Admissions
Bendetson Hall
Medford, MA 02155
(617) 627-3395
gradadmissions@tufts.edu

Entry-level Doctoral Program

Our Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Doctoral (ELOTD) program is for students entering with a degree in a field other than OT. Student will experience an exciting program combining a diverse curriculum, research, service learning, and fieldwork. We are excited to launch this new program in the summer of 2019.

Entry-level OTD applicants have the option of applying via OTCAS or can apply directly using Tufts' application

Entry-Level OTD Learning Objectives

In the tradition of Tufts University and the Boston School of Occupational Therapy we strive to Educate, Inspire, Innovate, and Empower:

EDUCATE: Students will understand that professional education and scholarship at the graduate level is a continual (life-long) process.

  • Students will become self-directed learners and take ownership of their own personal educational journey.
  • Students will understand that learning takes place both inside and outside of the classroom and continues as a critical piece of professional growth/professionalism.
  • Students will understand and reflect upon the importance of "occupation" at its deepest level.
  • Students will approach inter-professional and collaborative relationships with open-mindedness, creativity and flexibility of thinking, with clients, teams, and service delivery settings.

INSPIRE: Students will advocate as leaders and change agents within the occupational therapy profession.

  • Students will craft unique collaborative inter-professional relationships
  • Students will design and implement evidence-supported interventions to inform best practice
  • Students will capitalize on resources to create and implement technology solutions for client benefit
  • Students will reflect on their social emotional intelligence and develop competency to define their leadership style and areas for continued growth within an ethical lens/framework

INNOVATE: Students will provide innovative and meaningful services based on client centered human occupations across a life-span.

  • Students will value the holistic approach and mindset occupational therapists use when working with clients.
  • Student will develop an entrepreneurial mindset to create new programming for traditional and emerging practice areas.
  • Students will design and develop innovative programs in emerging practice areas with ingenuity and an entrepreneurial lens.

EMPOWER: Students will develop into leaders with passion for civic engagement who are able to address current and future occupational needs of individuals, populations, communities and health care systems.

  • Students will become emerging leaders with a passion for civic engagement; addressing occupational needs at the level of the individual, populations, communities and health care systems.
  • Students will advocate for self, the profession and for clients paving the way for innovative application and scholarship in current and future practice.
  • Students will create interventions informed by principles of client-centered care, the client's environment, and informed by evidence.

 

M.S. in Occupational Therapy: Post-professional Master's

The post-professional program (PPM) is designed for registered occupational therapists with a bachelor's degree in OT. This degree can be completed on a full- or part-time basis for working professionals with the option to start in either the fall or spring semester. 

Part-time students typically complete the program in 2 years (5 or 6 semesters), while attending courses during the evening, online and/or summer. 

Graduate students in the post-professional OT master's program may pursue several areas of interest such as childhood and adolescence, upper extremity rehabilitation, management, aging, education, mental health, and assistive technology. Students may also choose a self-directed concentration focused on their individual interests. Students will work with their advisor to tailor their program and select courses in occupational therapy and in other departments. 

International applicants interested in the post-professional master's program may apply as full-time students and start in the fall only. 

M.S. in Occupational Therapy:Post-professional Master's Learning Objectives
  • Be able to critically analyze and synthesize the best available evidence to inform general and self-directed areas of occupational therapy practice and/or research.
  • Demonstrate a broad understanding of professional and ethical issues, policies and trends that affect the occupational therapy profession and self-directed areas of practice and/or research.
  • Understand individual and program level mechanisms of change as related to client-centered outcomes in occupational therapy and self-directed areas of practice.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills in clinical and program outcomes research designs and methods, and participate in and report on the planning and dissemination research projects in written and oral formats.
  • Demonstrate effective professional and scientific communication in written and oral formats to members of the department and to external audiences.
  • Further develop clinical reasoning and professional identity to become emerging leaders and/or advanced practitioners in occupational therapy and self-directed areas of practice. (Non-thesis - practice option)
  • Demonstrate the ability to plan, conduct and disseminate independent faculty-mentored thesis research specific to an area of occupational therapy practice. (Thesis- research option)

 

Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate

For registered occupational therapists with a master's degree, we offer a post-professional doctoral degree program that can be completed on a full- or part-time basis. This program offers fall or spring start options.

Post-professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate Learning Objectives
  • Apply evidence‐based assessment of outcomes in the student’s leadership area
  • Demonstrate leadership knowledge in the student’s area of practice specialization
  • Demonstrate critical thinking to address advanced practice, policy, and professional issues related to an area of leadership
  • Demonstrate growth of leadership abilities in an area of advanced practice as demonstrated by written and orally presented work
  • Be able to communicate process and outcomes of teaching and learning within each course, within the department, and to external audiences
  • Demonstrate ability to complete a written leadership project that includes a synthesis of the best available evidence and sound and systematic procedures and methods to examine project aims, processes, and outcomes
  • Demonstrate ability implement an independent leadership project using sound and systematic procedures and methods of data collection and analysis
  • Demonstrate the ability to report on, interpret and disseminate leadership project results to internal and external audiences.

 

Certificate in Occupational Therapy

The Department of Occupational Therapy also offers certificate programs for students of all levels. The certificate programs can be completed on a full- or part-time basis, and offers fall or spring start options.

Concentrations include:

  • Advanced Professional Study
  • Hand and Upper Extremity Rehabilitation

Summary of Consumer Information for Certificate Students

School-Based Practice—Advanced Professional Certificate

A no-resdiency, online certificate designed for working school professionals.

 

Visit the Department of Occupational Therapy for more information, including ACOTE accreditation

Faculty

Gary Bedell
Associate Professor and Chair
Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA , New York University
Occupational Therapy, Activity Participation of Children and Youth with Disabilities; Measurement and Intervention Development
Janet Curran Brooks
Senior Lecturer, Entry Level Master’s Degree Program Coordinator
Ed.D., OTR/L , UMASS Lowell
Neurological dysfunction, upper extremity rehabilitation, and educational methodology
Jill Rocca
Admissions and Recruitment
OTR/L, OTD , Tufts University
Community-based practice
Jessica Harney
Lecturer
DPT, PT, OTR/L , MGH-Institute of Health Professions
Rehabilitation Management, Evaluation and Treatment of physical dysfunctions, Evaluation and Treatment of Orthopedic Dysfunctions in the Athlete, Concussion Management and Education, and Adaptive Sports as a Rehabilitation Tool
Susan Higgins
Susan Higgins
Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, Lecturer
B.S., M.A., OTD , Tufts University
Group and Psychosocial Practice, Cognitive Disabilities Model, Occupational Therapy Fieldwork, Animal-Assisted Therapy
Keren Ladin
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. , Harvard University
Health policy, ethics, medical decision-making, health disparities, social networks, aging, and transplantation
Paul Leavis
Lecturer
Ph.D. , Tufts University
Biochemistry of muscle contraction and its regulation
Elizabeth Marfeo
Elizabeth Marfeo
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., MPH, OTR/L , Boston University
Measurement development, work disability, and healthy aging
Jean Lyons Martens
Lecturer
M.S., OTR/L , Boston University
Kinesiology, Early Intervention
Teresa May-Benson
Teresa A. May-Benson
Lecturer
Sc.D., OTR/L, FAOTA , Boston University
Sensory Integration and Praxis, Evidence-based practice, Measurement development and Neuroanatomy
Margaret (Peggy) Morris
Lecturer
OTD, OTR/L, BCP , Tufts University
Pediatrics: Evaluation and Intervention with Children and Adolescents, School-based Occupational Therapy Services, and Educational Technology
Monica Pessina
Lecturer
Ph.D., OTR , Boston University
Design and analysis of outcome based studies in acute care medicine, quantitative analysis of hand function after injury
Stephen N. Sarikas
Lecturer
Ph.D. , Boston University School of Medicine
Anatomy and physiology, HIV/AIDS awareness
Sharan L. Schwartzberg
Professor, Coordinator Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) Program
Ed.D., OTR/L, FAOTA, CGP, FAGPA , Boston University
Group dynamics and leadership, interprofessional teams in pain service delivery, therapeutic models of group therapy and leader training
Sarah Everhart Skeels
Lecturer
M.P.H. , George Washington University School of Public Health
Adaptation to disability, community re-integration, peer mentoring and outcome assessment
Linda Tickle-Degnen
Professor
Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA , Harvard University
Social psychological aspects of facial expression in disability and intervention, culture and health care stigma, health quality of life, social participation, Parkinson’s disease and conditions across lifespan that affect nonverbal and verbal communication, and evidence-based practice
Scott A. Trudeau
Senior Lecturer
Ph.D., OTR/L , Tufts University
Aging, and issues of adaptation for elders with chronic illnesses
Elizabeth Ratcliff Whitney
Lecturer
Ph.D., MSPT , Boston University School of Medicine
Neuropathology in autism, and cerebral cortical organization

Application Deadline


Spring: October 15 (Domestic post-professional O.T.D. and post-professional M.S. only)
              December 1 (Pathways Part-time Track post-professional M.S. only)
Summer: October 15 (Entry-level O.T.D.)
Fall: January 15 (post-professional O.T.D. and post-professional M.S.)
        June 1 (Pathways Part-time Track post-professional M.S. only)

        

Entry-Level OTD

Entry-Level OTD:

> Application Fee
> Resume/CV

- Please include shadowing/volunteer hours

> Personal Statement

- Please give your reasons for deciding to do graduate work in the field you have chosen. We are particularly concerned that you cover these points (3 pages maximum):

What previous experiences and commitments have brought you to consider applying for graduate training?

What are your chief objectives in applying now?

How do you think this Tufts program will help you in the pursuit of your objectives and vocation?

> Writing Sample

- The Tufts University Department of Occupational Therapy values diversity in a variety of ways – life experiences, personal identity, meaningful activities, ways of thinking and communicating, and many other human and environmental factors. We strongly believe that the unique backgrounds of our student body helps to enrich the educational experience of our program and the field of Occupational Therapy. Please tell us about an aspect of your background and how you feel this would enrich our program and the field of Occupational Therapy. (2 pages max)

> Official GRE scores 

- GRE score are not required for current Tufts undergraduates.

> Official TOEFL or IELTS, if applicable

> Transcripts
> Three Letters of Recommendation

- Only 2 letters of reference are required for current Tufts University undergraduate and certificate students.

> Certificate of Hepatitis B Vaccination

- Please submit to the department directly

> Prerequisites 

- All Prerequisites must be passed with a grade of B- or better and taken at an accredited college. We do not accept online or hybrid credit for any of our prerequisite course work.

- One course in abnormal psychology or psychopathology

- One course in human/lifespan development (will accept a course in the area of child development or developmental psych)

- One general course in the area of psychology, sociology, anthropology

- One course in human cell based biology or human anatomy. At least one of your science prerequisites must contain a lab

- One course in human physiology. When anatomy and physiology are taken as a combined course, (A&P I and II) you must be take both courses to fulfill our physiology prerequisites.

- One course in introductory statistics.

Post-Professional Master's

Post-Professional Master's:

> Application Fee
> Resume/CV
> Personal Statement

- Please give your reasons for deciding to do graduate work in the field you have chosen. We are particularly concerned that you cover these points (3 pages maximum):

- What previous experiences and commitments have brought you to consider applying for graduate training?
What are your chief objectives in applying now?
How do you think this Tufts program will help you in the pursuit of your objectives and vocation?

> Writing Sample 

- The Tufts University Department of Occupational Therapy values diversity in a variety of ways – life experiences, personal identity, meaningful activities, ways of thinking and communicating, and many other human and environmental factors. We strongly believe that the unique backgrounds of our student body helps to enrich the educational experience of our program and the field of Occupational Therapy. Please tell us about an aspect of your background and how you feel this would enrich our program and the field of Occupational Therapy. (2 pages max)

> Official GRE scores 

- GRE scores are not required for current Tufts undergraduates.

> Official TOEFL or IELTS, if applicable
> Transcripts
> Three Letters of Recommendation
> Prerequisites 

- One course in introductory statistics. The prerequisite course must be passed with a grade of B- or better and taken at an accredited college

> Certificate of Hepatitis B Vaccination 

- Please submit to the department directly

Post-Professional OTD

Post-Professional OTD:


> Application Fee
> Resume/CV
> Personal Statement 

- Guidelines for Personal Statement (limit 4 pages double-spaced):

- What are your plans for graduate study as related to your future career as a leader in occupational therapy? Please address your specialty focus.

The Leadership Project is an important part of the OTD program (see description for 286 Leadership Project Planning). Please indicate your current ideas about your project.

In what ways do your academic background and recent professional experience point to your potential for success as a doctoral student and as a leader in occupational therapy? Please give specific examples of relevant coursework and/or experience.

- Is there any further information we should consider in assessing your candidacy?

> Official GRE scores 

- GRE scores are not required for current or former Tufts students.

> Official TOEFL or IELTS, if applicable
> Transcripts
> Three Letters of Recommendation 

- For Tufts Department of Occupational Therapy master's degree alumni and current students or in 2nd semester (post-professional program): Only two letters of reference appraising the candidate's potential for study in the OTD program are required.

> Prerequisites

- One course in Introductory Statistics and one course in graduate-level Research Methods. The prerequisite course must be passed with a grade of B- or better and taken at an accredited college.

> Certificate of Hepatitis B Vaccination 

- Please submit to the department directly

Note: NBCOT credentialing before entry in the OTD is strongly recommended. Those not credentialed in occupational therapy at entry will be given provisional acceptance into the OTD Program and NBCOT credentialing must be achieved by the end of the first semester of the program. It is expected that all applicants are licensed or eligible for licensing in the United States.

 

Certificate Program

Certificate Program

Application Deadline


Spring: September 15 (international applicants) and December 31 (domestic applicants)
Fall: June 1 (international applicants) and August 1 (domestic applicants)

Application Requirements


> Application Fee
> Resume/CV
> Personal Statement
> Official TOEFL or IELTS, if applicable
> Transcripts
> One Letter of Recommendation

 

For questions about this program, including scholarships and assistantships, please contact Jill RoccaOTD, OTR/L, Occupational Therapy Admissions and Recruitment.

Department of Occupational Therapy

574 Boston Ave.
Medford, MA 02155

Tel: 617.627.6259
Fax: 617.627.3722