Occupational Science Sc.D.

Degree: Doctor of Occupational Science (Sc.D.)
Program Director: Mary Beth Merryman
410-704-3499
bmerryman@towson.edu

The applied doctoral degree in Occupational Science prepares graduates to teach, influence policy and engage in applied research. Occupational science is the scientific study of human occupation related to the purposeful and meaningful activities that comprise everyday life experiences. The study of occupation involves the investigation of the relationship among the occupations, health and life participation of individuals of all ages within the context of their families, communities and society. The main emphasis of this interdisciplinary doctoral program is to advance education, research and service that promote occupational engagement, participation and well-being of persons, organizations and populations by applying knowledge gained through the study of occupational science. Within the curriculum students address the science of human occupation and occupation in practice.

The doctoral degree requires the completion of at least 90 units beyond a bachelor’s degree.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

  • A master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university** with an overall GPA of 3.25 in graduate course work. Students are eligible to request conditional admission with an overall GPA of 3.00.
  • For applicants who are an Occupational Therapy (OT) provider, a degree or certificate in occupational therapy from a professional occupational therapy program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education or by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists. A select number of students from other relevant disciplines who do not hold professional certification also may apply for admission to the program and may be accepted on a limited basis. These students must take OSC 891 during the first semester enrolled.
  • Proof of completion of prerequisite course work
  • Licensure to practice occupational therapy for applicants who are occupational therapists
  • Interview by the doctoral admissions committee
  • TOEFL scores of at least 100, IELTS 7.0 overall with a 7.0 in each section for international students

Send the following admission materials to:

Graduate Admissions
Towson University
8000 York Road
Towson, MD 21252:

  • Towson University Graduate Application
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Submit a purpose statement (1,000 words or no less than 750 words) that describes the following: 1. understanding of occupational science and in particular your interest in the TU OS doctoral program; 2. your specific research interests; 3. how these research interests fit with occupational science tenets and with specific TU OTOS graduate faculty expertise; and 4. your professional goals related to this degree.
  • Undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts
  • Copy of licensure to practice, if applicable

Non-immigrant international students: See additional admission information in Graduate Admissions.

**See Exceptions to Policy in Graduate Admissions.

PREREQUISITE COURSES

OCTH 610DATA ANALYSIS IN OCCUPATION-BASED RESEARCH AND EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE (or equivalent graduate statistics course)3
OCTH 613ADVANCED RESEARCH METHODS IN OCCUPATION BASED PRACTICE (or equivalent)3

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

  1. The doctoral degree will require the completion of 90 units beyond a bachelor’s degree; students who hold a master’s degree in a discipline other than occupational therapy will be allowed to transfer a maximum of 30 units from their master’s degree; students who hold a master’s degree in occupational therapy may transfer a maximum of 36 units from their master’s degree. Students who hold a clinical doctoral degree in occupational therapy may transfer a maximum of 45 units from a combination of their master’s degree and their clinical doctorate.
  2. A program of study focusing on a particular aspect of occupation will be developed by the student in consultation with his or her adviser. This program of study is to include all planned electives. A minimum of two electives must be at the 700 level. One elective must be an additional education course, and one must be an additional quantitative statistics, mixed methods or qualitative course.
  3. Evidence of prior research experience is required. Applicants who do not have appropriate experience may be expected to take master’s-level research course work before beginning the doctoral program research sequence.
  4. Students must register for at least one academic term of full-time dissertation research (9 units).
  5. The program, including course work and dissertation, must be completed within 10 years.
  6. The doctoral degree will require the passing of a comprehensive assessment after completing OCTH 611OCTH 613 and OSC 742OSC 744 and OSC 746. Students must pass the comprehensive assessment prior to enrolling in OSC 895. After successful completion, students will be “advanced to candidacy.”
  7. The doctoral degree will require successful defense of a dissertation proposal.
  8. The doctoral degree will require successful defense of a dissertation (minimum of 12 units), involving applied research in occupational science.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

For the most recent course and degree requirements, visit the Department of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science website at www.towson.edu/ot.

Required Courses (28-36 Units)
IDHP 741ETHICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES IN CLINCIAL PRACTICE3
OCTH 603ISSUES IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY (or equivalent or professional issues and advocacy course)3
OCTH 604ACADEMIC AND CLINICAL EDUCATION (or academic assessment and teaching course)3
OCTH 611ADVANCED THEORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF OCCUPATION3
OSC 742ORIGINS AND EVOLUTION OF OCCUPATIONAL SCIENCE3
OSC 744PARTICIPATION AND QUALITY OF LIFE OF PEOPLE IN THEIR CONTEXT3
OSC 746PARTICIPATION AND QUALITY OF LIFE IN COMMUNITIES AND POPULATIONS3
OSC 890QUALITATIVE RESEARCH: OCCUPATION AND LIFE NARRATIVE3
OSC 895APPLIED PROJECT; EVERYDAY LIFE AND DIMENSIONS OF OCCUPATION3
OSC 997OSC DISSERTATION1-9
Electives (15 Units)
OCTH 612OT HEALTH PROMOTION INITIATIVES IN THE COMMUNITY3
OCTH 628CONTEMPORARY OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PRACTICE3
OCTH 678ASSESSMENT THROUGHOUT THE LIFESPAN3
OSC 891INDEPENDENT STUDY IN OCCUPATIONAL SCIENCE3
OSC 892DIRECTED READINGS IN OCCUPATIONAL SCIENCE3
Total Units43-51

 NOTE: Students may earn a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Family-Professional Collaboration or in Autism Studies using elective units. See the Family-Professional Collaboration heading in the College of Liberal Arts section or the Autism Studies heading in the College of Health Profession section for more information.

1. Examine and produce knowledge related to the application of occupations to support the participation of people in their daily lives.
2. Analyze, generate, and disseminate knowledge related to the form, purpose, and meaning of occupation as it applies to the daily life of people.
3. Demonstrate proficiency in use of electronic databases to secure varied and appropriate literature for scholarly work.

Courses

OSC 742 ORIGINS AND EVOLUTION OF OCCUPATIONAL SCIENCE (3)

Examination of the historical perspective of occupational science and occupational engagement. Prerequisite: OCTH 611. Consent of department.

OSC 744 PARTICIPATION AND QUALITY OF LIFE OF PEOPLE IN THEIR CONTEXT (3)

Examination of theories and research for analyzing the occupations and quality of life of people within their socio-cultural context. Prerequisite: consent of department.

OSC 746 PARTICIPATION AND QUALITY OF LIFE IN COMMUNITIES AND POPULATIONS (3)

Examination of participation and quality of life of communities and populations from an occupational science perspective. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.

OSC 770 SPECIAL TOPICS IN OCCUPATIONAL SCIENCE (1-6)

Explore topics of special interest in occupational science theory and research. Prerequisite: Consent of Post-Professional Program Director.

OSC 775 SPECIAL TOPICS IN OCCUPATIONAL SCIENCE (1-6)

Explore topics of special interest in occupational science theory and research. Prerequisites: Consent of Post-Professional Program Director.

OSC 776 SPECIAL TOPICS IN OCCUPATIONAL SCIENCE (1-6)

Explore topics of special interest in occupational science theory and research. Prerequisites: Consent of Post-Professional Program Director.

OSC 777 SPECIAL TOPICS IN OCCUPATIONAL SCIENCE (1-6)

Explore topics of special interest in occupational science theory and research. Prerequisites: Consent of Post-Professional Program Director.

OSC 778 SPECIAL TOPICS IN OCCUPATIONAL SCIENCE (1-6)

Explore topics of special interest in occupational science theory and research. Prerequisites: Consent of Post-Professional Program Director.

OSC 779 SPECIAL TOPICS IN OCCUPATIONAL SCIENCE (1-6)

Explore topics of special interest in occupational science theory and research. Prerequisites: Consent of Post-Professional Program Director.

OSC 890 QUALITATIVE RESEARCH: OCCUPATION AND LIFE NARRATIVE (3)

Qualitative methods used in the study of occupation and other related social sciences. Prerequisites: OCTH 611, OCTH 613, or consent of instructor.

OSC 891 INDEPENDENT STUDY IN OCCUPATIONAL SCIENCE (1-6)

In depth investigation and development of scholarly product. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units. Prerequisite: consent of post professional program director.

OSC 892 DIRECTED READINGS IN OCCUPATIONAL SCIENCE (3)

Readings in selected topic in occupational science. May be repeated for additional credit for a maximum of 6 units. Prerequisites: At least one 700 level OSC course and consent of post professional director.

OSC 895 APPLIED PROJECT; EVERYDAY LIFE AND DIMENSIONS OF OCCUPATION (3)

Design and implementation of an applied research project in occupation that has the potential to be developed into a dissertation topic. Prerequisites: OSC 742, 744, 746, 890, and other 700 or above quantitative statistics course. Majors only, permit required.

OSC 997 OSC DISSERTATION (1-9)

Design, implementation and documentation of focused study of applied occupation in community systems. Will be repeated for a maximum of 12 total credits. Permit required. Prerequisite: OSC Applied Project.

OSC 999 DISSERTATION CONTINUUM (1)

Continuing work toward the completion of the dissertation. Permit required. S/U Grading.