Creating Tomorrow's Practice

Since 1943, the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Illinois at Chicago has been integrating research, education and clinical practice in service to one vision: Creating Tomorrow’s Practice.

We’re shaping the profession through our engagement in our Scholarship of Practice model which emphasizes a strong, reciprocal relationship between practice, evidence and community stakeholders; our commitment to excellent education for the leaders and practitioners of tomorrow; our service in leading the profession; our connection with disability studies and partnering with people with disabilities in our scholarship and research; our engagement in international initiatives; and our community partnerships through which we enhance the lives of people with disabilities and chronic health conditions.

We enact our mission in the context of an urban research university that embraces diversity, social justice and community engagement. Our faculty, students and alumni are innovative professionals who transform the health and quality of life of individuals from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds and global communities.

Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion

We are strongly committed to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and social and racial justice. Our holistic admissions process, curriculum focus, disability studies perspective and committed faculty create opportunities for learning that prepare our students to work with diverse populations with cultural humility and sensitivity.

Content Section

Occupational Therapy Degrees

Occupational therapy enables people of all ages to participate in daily living. With strong knowledge of a person’s psychological, physical, emotional, and social makeup, in addition to contextual influences, occupational therapists use a holistic perspective to evaluate how a condition (or risk for one) affects a client’s body and mind and collaborate with the client toward meaningful outcomes. Occupational therapy intervention uses everyday life activities (occupations) to promote health, well-being, and clients’ ability to participate in the important activities in their life. Occupational therapists are skilled health care professionals who use research and scientific evidence to ensure the effectiveness of their interventions.
Name Type Description Apply
Entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctorate On Campus Entry-level OTD degree program for students who have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in another subject and want to become occupational therapists Apply
Post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy On Campus or Online Post-professional OTD degree program for registered occupational therapists that want to become advanced practitioners, educators, leaders or managers Apply

Joint degree programs

We partner with the Department of Disability and Human Development and the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition to offer two interdisciplinary PhD programs.

What makes us great

  • Stack of MOHO books in different languages

    Home to the MOHO Clearinghouse

    The internationally acclaimed Model of Human Occupation (MOHO) is the most widely-cited and utilized occupation-focused practice model in the world

  • Susan Magasi

    Susan Magasi

    Head of the UIC Department of Occupational Therapy and recipient of numerous awards

  • cotad logo

    UIC OT Department COTAD Chapter

    OT students created a Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity (COTAD) chapter within the UIC Department of Occupational Therapy

  • Community Partnerships

    Community Partnerships

    We partner with many community organizations in Chicago that support our teaching, research, scholarship and service missions

  • Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar

    Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar

    Selected as a 2022-23 University Scholar. This program was created to honor and reward outstanding faculty members at the University of Illinois System.

OT Cathleen Jensen in with client cooking

Our collaboration with UI Health

Our clinicians at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System (UI Health) are critical contributors to our success. By sharing their expertise in classroom and lab settings, their participation in our educational programs creates a robust learning community for our students—one that involves close collaboration among faculty, practitioners and community partners.

Find out more about UI Health