Research & Practice


Tufts University Department of Occupational Therapy has a strong foundation in research and scholarship that uses innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to increasing quality of life and participation across the lifespan. Our mission is to conduct rigorous research leading to real-world clinical and public health improvements for individuals, families, and communities. Tufts OT faculty have both research and clinical experience with populations across the lifespan. Faculty have a consistent record of extramural funding from organizations such as the National Institutes of Health; Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute; the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research; and various foundation sponsored grants. In addition to faculty funding, Tufts University supports student research through internal grant programs as well as mentorship for pursuing external funding opportunities.


The Tufts OT research labs are situated in the Collaborative Learning and Innovation Complex (CLIC). Located at 574 Boston Avenue, CLIC is a 95,000 square-foot structure that fosters and supports interdisciplinary research and an inventive culture. CLIC provides sophisticated, specialized classrooms and research labs, and versatile common spaces. These spaces allow students to engage in dynamic research and learning experiences in public collaborative zones, in the classroom, and in active labs with hands-on projects.


Practice classes in the following areas are scheduled throughout our programs' curricula:

  • Group Theory & Community Based Practice
  • Pediatrics (Children and Adolescents) 
  • Older adults
  • Adults with psychosocial disabilities
  • Adults with physical disabilities

In these courses students are expected to integrate foundational knowledge, theoretical knowledge and evidence with new skill development and clinical/professional reasoning through the use of highly interactive lecture and lab sessions. Both simulated and real clients are introduced throughout to prepare students for all levels of fieldwork and lifelong development as an occupational therapist.

Experiential Learning

Students will be involved in a variety of 'doing' experiences designed to enhance course related learning, professional development, and clinical/professional reasoning to meet the needs of various populations. Examples of experiential learning opportunities offered at Tufts include:

  • Service learning experiences in agencies serving children/adolescents and adults
  • Empower SCI wheelchair mobility training
  • Gateway to Gold Paralympic sports
  • Field trips to settings
  • Level I Experiences in areas such as program development, ergonomics, behavioral health, psychological/social factors influencing participation, occupational therapy practice
  • Level II fieldwork
  • Doctoral Capstone Experience