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Message from Dr. Jaime Muñoz

Chairperson and Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy

In 1992, Duquesne University was the very first in the nation to offer students a five-year bachelor’s to master’s degree program in occupational therapy.  Since then, we have maintained the forward thinking creativity, academic excellence and scholarly productivity that have earned our program recognition from our professional peers and high national rankings from U.S. News and World Report1. 

Our program provides students with an excellent academic and clinical education and the mentorship and professional development opportunities that produce practice scholars2.  As practice-scholars, we expect our graduates to not only possess strong capacities for evidence-based occupational therapy interventions, but also the ability to design and carry out outcome studies to create evidence that helps them respond to questions arising from their practice. 

We have excellent teachers.  Each has earned a doctoral degree and each has a true passion to teach.  Collectively, our teaching philosophy emphasizes active and transformative learning experiences.  Our students learn in the classroom, but also in the clinic and in the community. Service learning and experiential learning in real-life contexts are standard teaching methods in our program and students know that they will be expected to immediately transform classroom learning into practice competencies.

Our five-year program awards students a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (BS/MS). The curriculum offers flexibility that enables students to complete any minor on campus including one in special education and another in business, both uniquely designed for our students.  We also have a five-year, integrated program with psychology that results in a BA in psychology and an MS in occupational therapy and a six-year dual degree program where a student can earn a BS in Athletic Training and an MS in occupational therapy.  Duquesne University offers many international study abroad opportunities and occupational therapy faculty have consistently designed and led study abroad opportunities focused on international health.

Employers understand that Duquesne University produces exceptional occupational therapists.  Our graduates have a 100% employment rate within months of graduation, and many have accepted job offers even before they have graduated.  I invite you to compare our program against the best. You will see that our curriculum is rigorous and our training methods are creative and comprehensive.  Duquesne University faculty is committed to preparing students who will make significant contributions to the achievement of the AOTA Centennial Vision leading to occupational therapy becoming a “powerful, widely recognized, science-driven, and evidence-based profession with a globally connected and diverse workforce meeting society’s occupational needs.”3


1. U.S. News and World Report.  Occupational Therapy Rankings.  Retrieved July 1, 2011 from http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-health-schools/occupational-therapy-rankings


2. Crist, P., Muñoz, J.P., Witchger Hansen, A.M., Benson, J, & Provident, I. (2005).  The practice-scholar program: An academic-practice partnership to promote the scholarship of “best practices.”  Occupational Therapy in Health Care, 19 (1/2), 71-93.


3. American Occupational Therapy Association. (2007). AOTA’s centennial vision and executive summary. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 61, 6, 614-615.