• OT student with client
  • Students and client
  • OT student with client
  • Students and client
  • OT student with client

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 U.S. News and World Report.

We offer a professional entry undergraduate program in OT at our main campus in Kalamazoo. We also offer a professional entry graduate program which is offered at our main campus and at our regional location in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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.

Accreditation information

logoThe occupational therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s telephone number is (301) 652-AOTA.

Click to review NBCOT certification exam results of WMU OT grads.

Click for more accreditation information.

WMU OT Graduation Rates 2014-16

Total number
of graduates
2016 96 96 100%
2015 96 96 100%
2014 96 95 98.9%

News and announcements

WMU OT faculty, alumni revise essential OT text

Book cover, second editionDevelopmental and Functional Hand Grasps is a popular text for occupational therapists and OT students, published in 2002 by Sandra Edwards, WMU OT professor emerita, along with WMU OT alumni, Donna Gallen and Jenna McCoy-Powlen. Dr. Michelle Suarez joined the authors in working on the book's second edition, which is set for a March release. Read more.

WMU grad programs ranked among nation's best by U.S. News

The latest annual U.S. News & World Report ranking of the top graduate programs in the nation shows Western Michigan University with eight programs ranked among the top 100 in their disciplines, four in the top 50 and two programs assessed as the best of their kind in Michigan. In the latest round of rankings released March 14, WMU's occupational therapy program based in Kalamazoo was ranked at No. 32 nationally, making it the state's highest ranking program in that discipline. The OT program in Grand Rapids was ranked No. 58. Read more on wmich.edu.

OT student to attend summer institute
Chanel Raddatz, a second year OT student studying in Grand Rapids was selected to attend the 2017 AOTF/AOTA Summer Institute for Future Scientists in Occupational Therapy, held at Boston University in June. There is a highly competitive application process, as only 20 students are selected for the cohort. These 20 participants will also attend the sixth annual 2-day Occupational Therapy Summit of Scholars at Boston University.

WMU well-represented in AOTA's 100 Influential People list
The American Occupational Therapy Association has released a list of 100 Influential People who have greatly influenced the 100 years of the profession. While the profession of occupational therapy celebrates its centennial in 2017, WMU's own OT program is celebrating its 95th year.

OT instructor receives EUP Community Engagement Award
Holly Grieves, occupational therapy instructor at WMU-Grand Rapids, has received the Extended University Programs Community Engagement Award for 2015-16. The $1000 award is presented annually at spring convocation.

OT students learn about ergonomic furniture design at the Herman Miller Design Yard
As part of graduate seminar class, second year occupational therapy students from Grand Rapids and instructor, Dr. Amy Wagenfeld, spent an October afternoon at the Herman Miller Design Yard.

Dr. Elizabeth Skidmore honored at the 2016 OUTSTANDING ALUMNI homecoming event
Elizabeth Skidmore is an occupational therapist, and associate professor and chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Pittsburgh. She also holds appointments in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and the Clinical Science Translational Institute, and serves as a Scientist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Rehabilitation Institute. Dr. Skidmore has received several awards for excellence in teaching and research. Most notably, she was the first rehabilitation therapist to receive the 2016 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. Government on early career scientists. Dr. Skidmore was honored at the 2016 homecoming event as a distinguished alumna.

WMU Students Move into Clark Retirement Community
WMU's Department of Occupational Therapy and the Clark Retirement Home in Cascade Township have partnered on an innovate and highly promising project that aims to build intergenerational relationships while studying the impact of isolation on aging. OT students will live with the residents of Clark for 19 months, providing an opportunity for each group to develop an enriched understanding of the other's generation. Occupational therapy faculty members Nancy Hock and Dr. Maureen Mickus are co-investigators on the project, working with Nancy Ayres, the director of resident living at Clark.