• OT student with client
  • OT student with 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 Reports.

We offer a professional entry undergraduate program in O.T. 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 2013-15

Total number
of graduates
2015 96 96 100%
2014 96 95 98.9%
2013 96 93 96.9%

News and announcements



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.



Information Session, Nov. 29
The Department of Occupational Therapy Advising will be holding an information session, Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 5:30 p.m. in Room 1057. Sarah Anderson will be reviewing the OT master's application and Dr. Ben Atchison, department chair, will also be present to address any questions regarding the program. If you have any questions prior to the session, please contact advising at (269) 387-2656. Click here for building directions

Dr. Elizabeth Skidmore to be 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 recently, 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 will be 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.

Unified Clinics newsletter for July 2016
Topics include the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation research grant awarded to OT professor; Language, Speech and Hearing Clinic accepting new patients; optometrist named president of state association; and trauma training series.

Professor emerita receives 2016 Outstanding Alumni award
Sandra Edwards, professor emeritus in occupational therapy, has been named the 2016 Outstanding Alumna by the School of Occupational Therapy at the University of Florida. The award is given annually to an outstanding alumni as decided by the faculty in the OT school.

OT student competes in annual Maddak Awards program
WMU occupational therapy student, Erin Webster-Flynn, competed in the 42nd annual Maddak Awards, where OT professionals and students to submit products they have invented or adapted to assist people with disabilities or recovering from illnesses and injuries.

Grant funds study of food selectivity in children
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation has awarded a grant of more than $56,000 for a study of treatment of children with food selectivity. Dr. Michelle Suarez, assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, will lead the project, which begins July 2016.

New OT grad cert in low vision rehabilitation to launch fall 2016
The WMU Department of Occupational Therapy will offer a new graduate certificate in low vision rehabilitation beginning this fall. The program will provide training on the unique needs of individuals with vision loss. Students will learn about the impact vision loss has on occupational performance as well as compensatory techniques to help a person adapt.