Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy is a health care profession which provides services to people whose ability to function in daily life has been disrupted and to help the people to do the day-to-day activities that are important and meaningful to their health and well-being through engagement in the valued occupation. Causes may include birth defects, injuries, physical or mental illness. Purposeful activity, therapeutic exercise, special equipment, skills training and environmental modification are used to maximize the person’s ability to attain independence in everyday living.


History of Occupational Therapy in Bangladesh

In 1971, when the glorious war of liberation came to an end, there was a need to establish a centre for treatment and rehabilitation of wounded freedom fighters, as well as war-affected civilians. At that critical time in 1972 Professor R. J. Garst, an American Orthopedic Surgeon and specialist in the field of rehabilitation, arrived in Bangladesh to assist the Bangladesh Government to find a solution.  In response to these needs in 1973, Prof. Garst started the first School for Occupational Therapy at Rehabilitation Institute and Hospital for the Disable (RIHD) later renamed National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (NITOR).  In the first Batch of Occupational Therapy, three students completed their Bachelor degree in Occupational Therapy in 1976. Unfortunately the course was discontinued. Out of these three graduates, two left Bangladesh after one year, and only Mrs Josene Ara Begum served the country as an Occupational Therapist until her death in 2000.
In 1995, Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP), a non-government organization, restart Occupational Therapy Diploma course in Bangladesh.  Following this, the course was upgraded in 1999 to a B. Sc (Honors) degree course at Bangladesh Health Professions Institute (BHPI), the academic institute of CRP under the Medicine Faculty of the University of Dhaka. The first batch of B. Sc (Honors) in Occupational Therapy students completed their graduation in 2003. The Occupational Therapy course has since been continued and the course was accredited by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) in 2000. Till 2011, 113 Occupational Therapist completed their graduation and all of them are working in various reputed national and international organizations, hospitals at home and abroad.   

Name of the Current Course(s):

  • Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy. The course is affiliated to the University of Dhaka and its duration is five years (four years theory and one year compulsory internship). Total Seat capacity-30.
  • Diploma in Occupational Therapy. Affiliated to the State Medical Faculty of Bangladesh. Course duration is three years. Seat capacity-50.
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant Course- Course duration is 18 months (12 months theory and six months practical placement at CRP). Seat capacity is according to organizational needs.

Requirements for Admission:

  • For Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy course, average grade points 7.0  in SSC & HSC (individually not less than 3.0  grade points  either in S.S.C or H.S.C) are     required
  • For Diploma in Occupational Therapy. Grade points 2.5 are required in SSC with Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
  • For Occupational Therapy Assistant course, required grade points are 2.0 from science group.

About Application form:

Candidates can collect the application form from BHPI, CRP-Savar office or BHPI, CRP-Mirpur office after advertisement published in the national daily news papers. A fee of the application form is mentioned in the advertisement.

Subjects of Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy Course:


1st Year 2nd Year

3rd Year

4th Year

1. Anatomy (1+2) 1. Neuroscience
1. Ergonomics 1. Research (2+3)
2. Physiology (1+2) 2. OT in Psychiatry 2. Management 2. Management
3. Basic Human Development 3. OT in Pediatrics (1+2) 3. Teaching Methods 3. Report Writing
4. Pathology 4. OT in Physical Dysfunction 4. Research 4.Advance Rehabilitation
5. Psychology 5. OT in Neurology 5. Program Planning 5. Reflective Practice
6. Kinesiology 6. Adaptation & Design 6. Community Culture & Disability
6. O T Disability & Rehabilitation
7. OT Theory and Application 7. Therapeutic Skill 7. Professional Development 7. Teaching Skills

8. Therapeutic Skill 8. Clinical Placement-1 8. Clinical Placement-3
9. Health Issue 9. Clinical Placement-2 9. Clinical Placement-4
10. OT & Upper Limb
11. Surgical & Medical conditions
12. English


Facilities for Students:

  • Accommodation for female and male students
  • Cafeteria for food
  • Computer training facilities
  • English language course with reach language lab
  • Co-curricular activities
  • Foreign faculties
  • A library
  • Arrange clinical placements in different specialize hospitals and different relevant reputed organizations



For occupational therapy services, please see Department of Occupational Therapy.


For further information please contact:

Course Coordinator, Department of Occupational Therapy, BHPI

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