Occupational therapy is a profession that focuses on an individual's ability to engage in everyday activities that support meaningful participation in life. The term occupation refers broadly to all of the ordinary and familiar things that people do every day as they pursue fulfilling and healthy lives, including looking after themselves, tending to their economic needs, contributing to their families and communities, finding outlets for creative expression, and developing meaningful social relationships. Occupational therapists work with individuals of all ages who experience difficulty or who are at risk for problems related to engagement in these everyday activities due to injury, illness, cognitive impairment, psychosocial dysfunction, mental illness, developmental or learning disability, or other disorder or condition.
Occupational therapists have the knowledge and skills necessary to assess the many factors that influence an individual's ability to engage in occupations and to design interventions to address problems undermining that ability. Therapeutic interventions are directed at supporting an individual's uniqueness and capacity for change, establishing, restoring or maintaining skills, modifying activities and the environments in which they take place, preventing problems that could interfere with occupational performance, and promoting overall health and well being. Occupational therapy professionals work closely with clients, families, groups, organizations, systems, and other professionals in an effort to achieve the desired outcome of engagement in life-enhancing occupations.
About the Occupational Therapy Program
The Occupational Therapy Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison began offering a Bachelor's degree in Occupational Therapy in 1943. In its 59-year history, the Program has continually been accredited by the accrediting body of the American Occupational Therapy Association and has grown in response to the educational, leadership, and research needs of the profession. In 1985, a post-professional Master's degree in Therapeutic Sciencen (MS-TS) was added and in 1996 a Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology, Therapeutic Science Track (PH.D.-Kinesiology) was started. In 2005, in response to a mandate from the profession, the undergraduate program in occupational therapy was replaced by an entry-level Master's degree in Occupational Therapy program (MS-OT).
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of the premier research institutions in the country. This is reflected in the quality of the faculty who teach in the Occupational Therapy Program. Faculty members are recognized nationally and internationally as leading researchers in their field and conduct ongoing funded research programs. Student access to faculty members allows students to learn about and engage in exemplary research and scholarship.
The University of Wisconsin campus is situated in the heart of Madison, Wisconsin, a great place to live and learn. The City of Madison has consistently ranked in the top 10 desirable places to live, work and play. It's natural beauty, urban sophistication, recreational opportunities, and active cultural life provide a wide array of offerings to supplement a rich campus life