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Summer Institute

The Summer Institute is hosted by the USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy. The Summer Institute is intended for undergraduate students who wish to gain a better understanding of the fields of occupational therapy (OT) and physical therapy (PT). Participants will learn through an engaging and reflective learning experience.

Throughout the six-week program, participants will begin to identify their personal values and goals to design their own educational and professional path. The Summer Institute will also outline the admissions process for applying to the USC OT and PT graduate degree programs. All participants are required to meet the application requirements when applying to either the OT or PT graduate degree programs.


The Summer Institute applicants must:

  • Be a rising sophomore, junior or senior.
  • Be a member of one of the following racial/ethnic groups: African-American or Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Hispanic/Latinx.
  • Have an interest in the field of OT and/or PT.
  • Be available to attend the full six-week program.


The Summer Institute is a six-week program located at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Each week of the Summer Institute will cover a different aspect of how OT and/or PT align with participants’ values and goals. After learning about the distinct values of OT and PT, participants will spend the following weeks curating a future lifestyle plan within the professions that aligns with their values, mapping their academic and professional goals, fostering mentorship within OT and/or PT, and recognizing how to impact health disparities throughout the pursuit of their goals.

The Summer Institute is an online program. The structure of each week will include both synchronous and asynchronous content. Synchronous activities will be hosted over Zoom, a platform supported by almost any recent desktop or laptop computer, phone or tablet, and which doesn’t require any download/installation of software.

Synchronous activities will take place two days a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays). Each Tuesday and Thursday will include a presentation or panel corresponding to the week’s content in addition to discussion time for participants. Outside of synchronous sessions, participants will complete asynchronous work to reflect on applying the content to their own values and goals, in preparation for synchronous discussion.

Program Dates: June 19 – July 28, 2023

Note: Unfortunately, the Summer Institute will not run in 2023, please check back in the fall to find out about summer programming for 2024.

Due to unavailability of critical personnel, USC is unable to host the USC OT/PT Summer Institute in Summer 2023. We hope to resume the program in Summer 2024. In the meantime, we would love to connect with you in other ways.

You can find the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy’s Diversity and Anti-Racism information and resources here. We also invite you to learn more about how the Division welcomes our students into the academic community through multiple layers of support available through our student mentoring program. The highly ranked USC Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program is offered in a residential and hybrid format. To learn more, please visit our DPT Admissions website. We encourage you to contact Hoon Kang our admissions administrator, and schedule a visit to meet with faculty, current DPT students, and tour our facilities. Soon can also be reached by phone at (323) 442-2890 or email at

We hope to see you at the USC OT/PT Summer Institute in Summer 2024. Fight On!



Six-Week Overview
Week 1: Learning the distinct values of OT and PT
Week 2: Defining the life you want in healthcare
Week 3: Setting and attaining academic goals
Week 4: Receiving ongoing mentorship
Week 5: Working to reduce health disparities
Week 6: Planning for your future

Application Process

The deadline to complete and submit the Summer Institute application is in March. Applicants will be notified in April. Please apply using the online application.


The Summer Institute is a free program.


Kimberly Kho MBA
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Director of Marketing and Student Recruitment

Terry Richardson II DPT
USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy
Instructor of Clinical Physical Therapy, and Faculty Advisor for USC’s Physical Therapy Multicultural Leadership Alliance