Message From The Chair

Sherrilene Classen photo

Welcome to the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Florida!

The UF’s Department of Occupational Therapy is nationally renowned for its excellent programs in occupational therapy education and research. The Department has outstanding academic and training programs that include an entry-level Masters in Occupational Therapy (MOT), an entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD), and a PhD in Rehabilitation Science. The department has active research programs in the area of driving rehabilitation and community mobility, and learning disabilities. The department is a co-leader in the NIH-funded K12 Rehabilitation Research Career Development consortium and houses the Institute for Mobility, Activity, and Participation and the Florida Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation. Our accomplishments, outlined below are varied. Specifically the Department of Occupational Therapy:

  • graduate program is ranked third among public AAU universities by US News and World Report
  • is overall ranked among the top 17 occupational therapy departments in the country
  • has a rich history, with seminal leaders (Dr. Alice Jantzen, Dr. Lela Llorens, Dr. Kay Walker, and Dr. William Mann) as our past chairs
  • has a demonstrated international and national reputation for research excellence
  • has faculty members who are inducted into the American Occupational Therapy Foundation’s Academy of Research
  • has faculty members who are on the Roster of Fellows of the American Occupational Therapy Association
  • is home to the Editor-in-Chief of our profession’s distinguished research journal: OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health
  • presents rigorous pedagogical programs, informed by best evidence and best practices, from the undergraduate to doctoral level
  • attracts the best and the brightest students (more than 300 applicants for 45 spots in 2017)
  • boasts with Alumni in local and national occupational therapy leadership positions
  • provides lifelong learning opportunities via its on-line education program
  • showcases the annual Sandra Edwards Colloquium

Building on the past successes we continue to utilize thought leadership to bring about transformational change. Currently we are:

  • strengthening and enlarging the department through strategic faculty hires
  • increasing the department’s research and scientific portfolio
  • expanding our current academic programs, with a particular emphasis on a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD) and through our new on-line education programs

As you visit our site, we invite you to observe our:

  • bold vision and mission
  • research collaborations with local, national and international stakeholders
  • creative pursuit in meeting the occupational demands and challenges of the 21st century, which include but are not limited to: demographic shifts in North America and beyond; the effect of globalization on academic, professional and scientific programs; the challenges and prospects of a changing health care system; the emergent opportunities embedded in smart technologies
  • strategical actions to secure funding despite fiscally restrained environments
  • state of the art infrastructure, support, equipment, and services

The best predictor of future success is past performance.  As such, I am inviting you to join our department and its endeavors to establish ourselves as a preeminent academic unit, to be recognized for its rigor, authenticity, and success.


Sherrilene Classen, PhD, MPH, OTR/L, FAOTA, FGSA
Professor and Chair: Department of Occupational Therapy