Virginia Commonwealth University


Al Copolillo The VCU Department of Occupational Therapy welcomes you! Occupational therapy (OT) is a field that focuses on the individual in the context of what they do, and the environment in which they wish to do it. If you are interested in working with people to build or rebuild the fabric of their lives, OT is for you.

We have an outstanding and well established Entry-Level Masters program for individuals interested in a career working with people to regain, develop, and build skills that are important for independence and health in the performance of tasks related to all aspects of their lives. Class sizes are kept reasonable to offer students the most in terms of access to our faculty and to learning opportunities and material.

We also offer two post-professional programs, both using distance education format. Our Post-Professional Masters (PPM) program is designed as a step towards a PhD. It provides students with the advanced education and research foundation they will need in order to pursue their doctorate. Students will complete a research thesis with faculty guidance. Faculty research expertise spans the age spectrum, and includes such varied topics as sensory integration and processing, mother-infant interaction, low vision rehabilitation, brain injury, assistive technology for cognition, and issues related to Alzheimer's disease. In addition, interested students can pursue a certificate in aging, which we offer in conjunction with the Department of Gerontology.

Our new Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) is designed for the BS or MS trained clinician desiring additional education, but with career goals that focus on the development of leadership knowledge and skills. Rather than culminating in a research-based thesis, the OTD provides training in leadership. Completion of this degree requires development, implementation, and evaluation of a capstone leadership project.

If you are interested in pursuing your PhD, we work in conjunction with the School of Allied Health Professions to offer an interdisciplinary PhD in Health Related Sciences. This program requires students to take two years of interdisciplinary didactic work, after which they pursue a dissertation in their own professional area. Faculty research expertise, described above, is used to guide the development and implementation of a dissertation project.

All programs are of the highest caliber and have been well received by students. We are proud of our outstanding faculty and state of the art curricula. We encourage you to learn more about our programs and our faculty by browsing through our web site. There is a great deal to offer on these pages; there is a lot to see and learn. If you have questions or comments please feel free to contact us. And, of course, we encourage your application to any of our programs.

Al Copolillo, Ph.D., OTR/L
Associate Professor and Department Chair