Occupational Therapy

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Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Occupational Therapy at Western Michigan University is to develop and prepare occupational therapists to deliver high standards of health care to a diverse population in a changing healthcare environment through education, research, and leadership, Consistent with the University’s mission of a learner centered research institution, the Department is committed to educating exemplary occupational therapy professionals, promoting innovation and discovery, and building and sustaining mutually enriching local and global partnerships.

The Department of Occupational Therapy was the first non-teacher education program at Western Michigan University and is consistently ranked among the top 50 such programs in the nation by US News and World Reports.

Occupational therapy offers a professional entry undergraduate program for students/transfer students, offered at WMU's main campus in Kalamazoo and a professional entry graduate program for students who already hold a bachelor's degree, offered at WMU's Kalamazoo campus and the WMU Graduate Center in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich.

As part of the College of Health and Human Services, the Department of Occupational Therapy is an inclusive community of learners that embraces, respects and advocates for human diversity. The college has a sustained commitment to eliminating disparities in health care and other human services by using dynamic methods to infuse this perspective into curricula, clinical practice and research.

View a video about the Department of Occupational Therapy.

News and announcements

Photo of Diane Dirette.OT professor receives Scholarship Excellence Award
Department of Occupational Therapy Professor Diane Dirette is recognized nationally and internationally for her scholarship in the area of brain injury and rehabilitation, as well as for her highly regarded work as editor in chief for the "Open Journal of Occupational Therapy."

Photo of Tracy YoungGrand Rapids OT part-time instructor awarded for excellence in teaching
Tracy Young, part-time instructor for the occupational therapy program at the WMU Grand Rapids regional location, has been selected for the inaugural Professional Instructor Teaching Excellence Award in the College of Health and Human Services.

Study: Identifying an Underlying Physiological Process Associated with Food Selectivity in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Dr. Michelle Suarez, Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy seeks participants. Please see the form below for details.
Phase two consent form 

U.S. News and World Report best jobs logo.Occupational therapy on U.S. News & World Report's list of best career choices
U.S. News & World Report compiled a list of the 25 best jobs—and occupational therapy was ranked No. 10.

View the news archive

Employment opportunities