Occupational Science (Ph.D.)

Occupational science is the scientific study of human occupation related to the purposeful and meaningful activities that comprise everyday life experiences.

Students studying in a group

Why Earn a Doctoral Degree in Occupational Science?

This program may be completed 100% online and is designed for occupational therapists with a master’s degree or select non-occupational therapists with a master’s degree in a social science-related field. Applicants must have demonstrated success in post-graduate education, research, and/or employment experiences that specifically align with faculty research in occupational science.

TU's occupational science doctoral program prepares you to engage in the creation of knowledge regarding the complexity of humans as they participate in their daily lives. The program focuses on the depth and breadth of participation across contexts and in relation to well-being of individuals, communities, and society.

This doctoral program is designed for the working professional and offers:

  • part-time or full-time course offerings
  • ability to take classes in a traditional, onsite or online format
  • a community of scholars engaged in occupation-based research across the lifespan

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Schedule a conversation with a current TU student from the Occupational Science Ph.D. program.

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Degree Requirements

View degree requirements and course descriptions in the Graduate Catalog.

Online Options

This program may be completed 100% online or in a hybrid format. 

Admission Requirements

View admission requirements and deadlines to apply to the program.

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An Evolving Discipline

Broaden Your Community

The Society of the Study of Occupation: USA is a research society that strives to build a body of knowledge in occupational science to benefit humanity. Join this national community of scholars to exchange ideas and support the global discipline of occupational science.

A Developing Discipline

The field of occupational science was founded in the late 1980s to provide the profession of occupational therapy with its own scientific and research base for informing clinical practices. Today, Towson’s program is among a small number of academic programs in occupational science worldwide.

Contact Information

Program Director

Beth Merryman, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Linthicum Hall
Room 235
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.