The USC Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy is once again home to the top occupational therapy educational program in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools rankings released today. The occupational therapy graduate programs ranking, last updated in 2016, is a reflection of USC Chan’s reputation among academic leaders nationwide.

“There are so many people — faculty, staff, students, alumni, partners and collaborators — who work day in and day out to make USC Chan the extraordinary place that it is,” said Associate Dean and Chair Grace Baranek, PhD. “This national recognition reinforces our collective talents and leadership in the field of occupational therapy.”

Baranek, who is also the Mrs. T.H. Chan Professor of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, came to USC in early 2017 to succeed Professor Emeritus Florence Clark, PhD, as the division’s administrative leader. The division is administratively housed at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC.

The ranking is determined by a survey that was conducted in late 2019 of top educators and administrative faculty at the nation’s 198 accredited occupational therapy master’s and doctorate degree programs (currently, occupational therapy students can enter the profession at either degree level). Survey respondents rated the academic quality of programs on a scale from 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding). Along with USC, respondents also gave Boston University top marks.

U.S. News began ranking occupational therapy graduate schools in 1998. With the release of the 2020 rankings, USC has now held U.S. News’ top spot for 15 of the past 23 years.

— Mike McNulty