Welcome to the VCU Department of Occupational Therapy. Our profession is a field that focuses on individuals and populations in the context of what they do, and the environment in which they wish to do it. We invite applicants with a passion for working with people to build or rebuild the fabric of their lives. If you seek to learn in an environment that combines excellence in classroom, community, and scholarly research, the Department of OT at VCU is the right choice.

The Department currently has an outstanding and well established entry-level masters program and a new entry-level doctoral program. The entry-level masters is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). However, the masters program is now closed for admission. As we proceed to graduate all currently enrolled masters degree students, we will continue to work with the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) to move from our current candidacy status to full accreditation for the entry-level occupational therapy doctorate (OTD). Our programs are for individuals interested in a career working with people to regain, develop, and build skills that are important for performance of tasks related to all aspects of their lives.

In the coming academic year, we will reopen application to our post-professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate. This degree program will be designed for occupational therapy practitioners who seek to obtain expertise and leadership in the field. Specifically, it will be open to licensed, registered occupational therapists with masters degrees who meet all admission requirements. Class sizes will be kept reasonable to offer students good access to our faculty and establish optimal learning opportunities.

We are proud of the accomplishments and expertise of our faculty. Faculty research spans the age spectrum, and includes such varied topics as sensory integration and processing, praxis in preschool-aged children, 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.

The Department also has an occupational therapy track which allows students to obtain a PhD in Health Related Sciences through our College of Health Professions. This program requires students to take two years of interdisciplinary didactic work, after which they pursue a dissertation in their own professional area. OT faculty guide PhD candidates through the development and implementation of a dissertation within the faculty advisor’s area of research and practice.

Our programs are designed to ensure that the student will acquire in-depth knowledge and skill, develop a path to leadership, and advance the profession. I encourage you to learn more about our programs and our faculty by browsing our web site and attending information sessions for our entry-level programs. If you have questions or comments please feel free to contact us. We encourage your application to any of our programs.


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