Doctor of Occupational Therapy, OTD program, online doctorateAn occupational therapist is a unique individual. The type of person that makes a great occupational therapist understands the value of the “small things” that someone who is well and able-bodied may take for granted. Some of the small things include waking up, showering, putting on clothes, and getting ready for work and doing so without high levels of anxiety or other barriers to success. Occupational therapists are patient, hardworking, and compassionate. These individuals put a high value on the small things and because of this make big changes.

OTD program, Occupational TherapyAn occupational therapist may see a group of clients for years working patiently through a disability, teaching patients new ways to adapt to their life reality, make a child’s transitions in the morning more smooth, or help an individual who uses a wheelchair find greater mobility. There are many people who require the help of an occupational therapist. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 25% growth over the course of 10 years. That being said, many individuals choose to specialize. As a healthcare professional you know that there is a tendency to spread yourself “too thin” and quickly. One way to combat fatigue in the workplace is to hone your caseload to match your passions.

Pursuing your passions is more than just a nice thing to do, it helps individuals find longevity in their career and the perseverance to keep going even when things get tough. Psychologists like Angela Duckworth call on traits like grit and indicate evidence that shows that following a passion in a career can lead to a lifetime of fulfillment.

Occupational Therapy Doctorate Online Degree ProgramThis is why after a few years on the job, many individuals look to head back to pursue a Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (PPOTD). This degree is an opportunity for individuals to pursue a curriculum that helps them to hone their research to match their passions and can lead to better-paying positions in the field.

PPOTDs and OTDs both include curricula on evidence-based practices in the field, research, methods of engaging the community, classes with specific specialization in mind (i.e., upper extremities, geriatrics, pediatrics, autism) and course material on leadership in a variety of settings.

We examined all online occupational therapy doctorates in the nation. To determine which programs to rank we considered the following methodology:

  • Academic Quality of Parent Institution (33.3%): a multivariate metric including student success and support metrics such as acceptance rate, student-to-faculty ratio, financial aid offerings, research rank of the university, and more.
  • Academic Quality of Program in Question (33.3%): range of electives, research rank of faculty, and overall support services for careers in health science.
  • Flexibility of Program (33.3%): a measure of a variety of offering types that enable those juggling work, life, and school to obtain the education they desire.
  1. MERIT: 299
    View Profile Average Cost: $51,828

    Online Post Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    New York University (NYU) is a private comprehensive university that was founded in 1831. NYU’s main campus is located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City, and the university enrolls over 50,000 students. US News ranks NYU as the 30th best school in the nation and this diverse nationally-ranked university is known for its innovation and academic excellence.

    Their academic offerings are vast including top programming in the fields of economics and business, arts and humanities, mathematics, psychology, neuroscience and much more. NYU also ranks for value- containing some of the best academic offering in the world at a low overall net cost for its students. Their academic offerings now extend to online programming including over 50 online degrees for undergraduate and graduate students alike.

    NYU offers an online post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD). This online degree is a great fit for professional occupational therapists looking to go deeper into their practice as an OT.

    The program requires 36 credit hours for completion and students use their electives to fully customize their OTD. 18 of the 36 credits are electives with foci in autism-specific intervention, early intervention in schools, family resiliency, anatomy and more.

    The core courses hone in on foundations for intervention, evidence-based practice, assessment, and of course ethics. The culminating experience is that of a professional portfolio. If you’re looking to transform your practice and hone your areas of interest in OT, then the online OTD from NYU is a great opportunity.

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  2. MERIT: 298
    View Profile Average Cost: $53,948

    Online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    Boston University (BU) is a private research institution located in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston area is home to many top-notch universities. Regardless, BU holds its own ranking among the top universities not only in the United States but also the world.

    Carnegie classifies BU as an R1 university with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News ranks BU among the top universities in the nation for academics, innovation, veterans, engineering, teaching and so much more.

    Over recent years, BU has created a strong online presence through its online campus. The university offers online degrees in the fields of business, computer information sciences, education, health, law, and theology. Higher education looks to the most innovative schools to keep up with the changing climate, which is why BU ranks for some of the best online occupational therapy degrees. Though traditionally not offered online, BU is known to create programming that matches the needs of the 21st century working professional.

    BU offers an online Post-Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD). This accelerated doctoral degree is 33 credit hours and takes about 18 months to complete. Candidates are a combination of NBCOT certified occupational therapists and international professionals with an equivalency.

    As a student, you will hone knowledge of OT with course material on educational theory, health promotion and wellness, social policy and disability, clinical theory and research, and more.

    All students must complete a doctoral project as well as a capstone. The capstone experience includes an in-person 2-day trip to the Boston University campus and a 45-minute oral presentation. Their doctoral project allows students to make original contributions to the field of occupational therapy.

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  3. MERIT: 295
    View Profile Average Cost: $11,148

    Online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    The University of Kansas (KU) is a public research university located in Lawrence, Kansas. There are 27,625 students enrolled, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1. Their research focuses heavily on bioengineering, the environment, humanities, wellness across the lifespan and more. According to U.S. News KU ranks as the 129th best school in the nation, 61st top public school, and 98th best value school.

    The University of Kansas online graduate education program for veterans ranks 10th in the nation and their graduate education and nursing programs rank 34th and 35th. The “research university with a global reach” makes connections through online learning opportunities, study abroad programming, incentives for active military and veterans as well as employment opportunities for students.

    Their largest academic schools focus on health, biological and biomedical sciences as well as education. Some of the online degree programs include an online doctoral degree in occupational therapy, online master’s degree in nursing practice, and an online bachelor’s degree in the Liberal Arts and Sciences.

    The KU Department of Occupational Therapy offers an online Post-professional OTD. This online degree is a good fit for individuals looking to specialize in their practice as an occupational therapist. According to their website, the four components of this program are: “evidence-based practice, professional leadership, specialty practice, and teaching.”

    The curriculum includes a teaching practicum an advanced practicum and a capstone. All students have the option to follow a special interest in addition to fulfilling the core course requirements. This is a great option for students who are looking to pursue their degree online at a flexible pace.

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  4. MERIT: 294.5
    View Profile Average Cost: $8,568

    Online Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is a public doctoral university that enrolls over 20,000 students. The student-to-faculty ratio is 19:1. Carnegie classifies UAB as an R1 institution having the highest research activity. According to U.S. News UAB ranks as the 157th best school in the nation, 80th top public school and in the top 50 for over 7 of their online programs including their online graduate education programs and online graduate computer information sciences programs among others.

    Some of their most robust programs are in the fields of health and biological and biomedical sciences. Their health programming includes departments of clinical and diagnostic sciences, nutrition sciences, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. Occupational therapists may pursue an MS in Occupational Therapy, Low Vision Rehabilitation Certificate, Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy, or a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science. With dozens of online opportunities for both undergraduate and graduates, UAB shines as a top option for non-traditional students.

    The Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD) is offered entirely online. This program is designed to deepen the practice for professional occupational therapists. Students who wish to enter must either have a master’s or bachelor’s in occupational therapy. OTAs with a minimum of one year of clinical experience may apply.

    This is a 40 credit hour program that offers maximum flexibility to the learner. Students may focus on a specific track of completely tailor their degree to match their interests with electives. All students will study core course material including foundations, advocacy and healthcare, management, and leadership. All candidates engage with original research and complete a final project.

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  5. MERIT: 293
    View Profile Average Cost: $10,555

    Online Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    University of Wisconsin Madison (UW- Madison) is a public research university ranked as an R1 university- with the highest level of research activity. UW Madison ranks among no only the top schools in the nation but in the world. Nearly all of their areas of focus rank among the top in the world. Their education school ranks second tied with Harvard and Stanford.

    Their rehabilitation program ranks number one and sociology 6th, clinical psychology 4th, speech-language pathology 3rd, veterinary medicine 5th, history 9th, and the list goes on and on. The university is also a top school for veterans and a great value. What tops it off is their alumni.

    Their alumni include Nobel prize winners, award-winning artists, pioneering engineers, astronauts, and famous naturalists like John Muir. The professors were and currently are just as impressive including legends such as Milton Friedman, George Little, Richard Davidson, and Jay S. Gallagher III. UW-Madison is fully accredited through the Higher Learning Commission.

    UW-Madison offers a part-time online OTD program. This occupational therapy program is a great fit for individuals currently working as occupational therapists who require a part-time and flexible opportunity to deepen their practice and their knowledge of this growing field.

    As the right candidate will already possess strong foundational understanding and practice of occupational therapy, this particular program focuses on delving deeper- monitoring client progress and the efficacy of practice, learning to manage a team of interdisciplinary professionals, gain a working knowledge of other professions that often work in tandem with occupational therapists.

    This program also helps you to plan out your dream career with a “career development plan.” This program is holistic and really helps transform individuals from professionals in the field to leaders in the field.

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  6. MERIT: 292.5
    View Profile Average Cost: $16,970

    Online Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    Temple University is a public 4-year research university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There are nearly 40,000 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is the accrediting body of Temple University to award comprehensive degree programs and professional certifications. U.S. News ranks Temple University as the 106th best university in the nation, 93rd best value school, the 30th best school for speech-language pathology, 51st best school for education and more.

    To help support student success, the university offers credit for life experiences as well as academic and career counseling. Currently, Temple University offers over 30 online degrees including their online master’s in music education, online master’s in behavioral health, and online master’s in social work among others.

    The College of Public Health at Temple University offers an online Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD). This is a great program for clinical professionals that are looking to step into a leadership role. This two-year degree is a total of 31 credit hours.

    The program is divided into two main components: core course material and electives. Electives give you an opportunity to tailor your degree to match your areas of interest. Some of the core courses include Current and Emerging Issues in Public Health and Health Professions, Occupation-Based Theories in Participation, Leadership in the Health Professions, a Field Study as well as a capstone.

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  7. MERIT: 291.5
    View Profile Average Cost: $9,222

    Online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy


    The University of Utah is a public research university located in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Northwest Commission on College and Universities accredits Utah to award bachelor’s to doctoral degrees. Currently, Utah enrolls over 32,000 students and maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 16:1.

    This nationally ranked university places 119th and three of their online programs rank among the top: online MBA programming, online graduate nursing, and online MBA programming for veterans. The academic offerings are wide-ranging and include programming in foreign language studies, health, engineering, and the performing arts.

    Utah offers additional academic support through tutoring, academic counseling and even credit for life experiences. In addition to traditional routes towards a degree, Utah provides great options to non-traditional students including over 14 online degrees in the fields of occupational therapy, economics, psychology, social work, and parks and recreation.

    The Department of Occupational and Recreational Therapies offers a professional doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD). This program is completely online and is a good match for individuals currently working in the field. To apply, you must already be certified by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy or the international equivalent.

    A student may enter this program with either a bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Though students entering with a bachelor’s much complete 24 additional prerequisite classes. Those with a Master’s in OT will complete the 36-credit hour curriculum, which includes core material in education, leadership, best practice as well as occupational justice and advocacy. The capstone requires both a written and oral defense.

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  8. MERIT: 290.5
    View Profile Average Cost: $47,960

    Online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    Quinnipiac University (QU) is a private doctoral university located in Hamden, Connecticut. There are 10,200 students enrolled, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1. The New England Commission of Higher Education accredits Quinnipiac to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. QU is a regionally accredited university that ranks 13th for universities in the North, as the 5th best college for veterans 12th best college for undergraduate teaching, 3rd most innovative school, 48th best value school and much more. Four of their online programs currently rank among the top.

    Though a smaller university by enrollment, this innovative school continues to facilitate big opportunities for both traditional and non-traditional students. When it comes to academics, QU offers programs in the fields of the Arts, education, engineering, health, biomedical sciences, business, and more. Some of their online offerings include a Master’s in Special Education, Bachelor’s in Health, and a doctoral degree in occupational therapy.

    QU offers an online Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD). There are two tracks available to complete this program- one specifically for students with a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy and the other for individuals with a master’s degree in OT and include: Innovations and Emerging Issues in Practice and Leadership.

    The program incorporates a lot of practical experience and particularly for individuals looking to pursue this program with a bachelor’s degree. The structure is asynchronous and flexible. Students are required to spend one week on- campus and attend one Symposium Day- all other components of this program may be completed remotely. This is a five-semester program that may be completed in 2 years.

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  9. MERIT: 289.5
    View Profile Average Cost: $40,651

    Online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    Thomas Jefferson University (Jefferson) is a private 4-year institution located in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. There are 4,028 enrolled students, and the student-to-faculty ratio is fifteen to one.

    The Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredits Jefferson to award comprehensive degree programming and professional certifications. According to U.S. News Thomas Jefferson University ranks as the 15th best school in the region, 30th best value school, and 5th most innovative school.

    Innovation is measured by a universities adaptability in academics, faculty, students, technology, and campus life. The university offers a number of services in an effort to support student success including remedial services, and academic as well as career counseling.

    The university provides academic opportunities for both traditional and non-traditional students and offers over 20 online degree programs at every level. Some of their online offerings include an online associate degree in healthcare management, an online bachelor’s in criminal justice, an online MBA, and an online doctorate in nursing practice.

    Thomas Jefferson University offers a Post-Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (PPOTD). To enter this program, all students must hold a BS in Occupational Therapy. Those without a Master’s degree are required to complete additional course material. For students who already carry as Master’s in OT, you will only need to complete 33 credit hours.

    This program ranked highly not only for its academic excellence but also for the high level of flexibility. Students pursuing this program may tailor their degree to match their areas of interest. Some of the focus areas include Children and Their Families in Context, Teaching in the Digital Age, Health and Community Participation, and Rehabilitation and Disability Studies.

    Some of the core courses include Advanced Level Evidence-Based Practice, Leadership, Visionary Practice Development and Evaluation, a Seminar in Clinical Research and three OTD seminars. All students complete a clinical fellowship and a capstone project.

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  10. MERIT: 289
    View Profile Average Cost: $30,900

    Online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    Nova Southeastern University is a private research university located in Fort Lauderdale Florida. There are 20,793 students enrolled, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1. Nova Southeastern is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate’s through doctorate degrees and professional certifications.

    U.S. News ranks Nova as the 191st best school in the nation, 52nd for best online graduate criminal justice programs, 93rd for best online graduate nursing programs, and 166th for best online graduate education programs. To help support academic success, Nova offers tutoring, academic counseling, and accepts credit for life experiences.

    The university’s most robust academic programs are in the fields of health and education. Though the university offers myriad of academic offerings including in the fields of business, performing arts, computer information sciences, psychology, and biology. Nova currently offers nearly 100 fully online degrees and professional certifications.

    Nova offers a Post-Professional Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD). This program is offered primarily online though it does require three on-campus visits each year. The entry-level program is offered in a hybrid blended model. The primarily online OTD is a great option for students who are also currently professional occupational therapists.

    This 39-credit hour program is divided into four main component parts: core course material, practicum, electives, and capstone experiences. The core courses include theory for modes of practices, policy, evidence-based practice, leadership, community development and more.

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  11. MERIT: 288
    View Profile Average Cost: $9,465

    Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) is a public research university located in Indianapolis, Indiana. There are 29,791 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1. All of their degrees are accredited through the Higher Learning Commission.

    IUPUI ranks as the 194th best university in the nation, and 45th most innovative school in the nation- tied with Tufts. Their online graduate nursing programs rank 23rd. When it comes to innovation, U.S. News examines the faculty, evolving curricula, and even the students when making their decisions.

    It is no surprise to note that IUPUI offers innovative support services and academic offerings to help support the success of a diverse student body including credit for life experiences, online degrees, and academic counseling. When it comes to online offerings, IUPUI currently offers over 35 fully online degrees and professional certifications in the fields of health, business, computer information sciences, and more.

    IUPUI offers a full-time online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy. We selected this program for the high quality of academics and accelerated format. The overwhelming majority of students are occupational therapists who have been working professionals in the field of OT and are looking to step into a leadership role as well as deepen their practice.

    Through three semesters, you will engage in leadership classes, deepen your knowledge of evidence-based practices, research, attend a practicum, and present a professional doctoral capstone project.

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  12. MERIT: 288
    View Profile Average Cost: $7,796

    Online Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    Texas Woman’s University (TWU) is a public professional university located in Denton Texas. There are over 15,000 students enrolled, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1 The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits TWU to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degrees as well as professional certifications.

    The university ranks among the top 300 in the nation according to U.S. News. Their academic offerings are wide-ranging and work well for the 21st-century learner- whether a traditional student is embarking on higher education right after high school or a non-traditional learner who is juggling work and parenting looking for an opportunity outside to study remotely.

    There are ten online degrees for students looking to pursue either a Master’s or Doctorate. Their most robust department is their department of health offering dozens of degrees from athletic training to marriage and family counseling to occupational therapy. Today, though a primarily women’s college all genders are welcome to apply.

    TWU offers a primarily online Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD). This program is a fantastic fit for individuals who are currently working professionals looking to become leaders in the field, and advocates for positive change. Students are required to make occasional visits to either their Houston or Dallas center twice each semester.

    The program is offered part-time, so candidates have an opportunity to continue working while pursuing this program. The program is divided into two main component parts-27 credit hours of core materials and six credit hours of electives. Part of the core elements includes professional development classes as well as applied research and evidenced-based practice. The majority of students complete programming in 5-6 semesters.

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  13. MERIT: 286.5
    View Profile Average Cost: $39,916

    Online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    Creighton University (Creighton) is a private doctoral university located in Omaha, Nebraska. There are 8,654 students enrolled, and the student-to-faculty ratio is just 11:1. The Higher Learning Commission accredits Creighton to award comprehensive degree programs as well as professional certifications.

    Creighton is regionally ranked, and according to U.S. News ranks as the number one school in the Midwest, 1st best college for veterans, 2nd most innovative school, 4th best value school and in the top 20 for 5 of their online degree offerings. What makes Creighton so special is their commitment to their students and the innovative approach to curriculum as well as a diverse academic experience. To support students along the way, Creighton offers academic counseling and credit for life experiences.

    Though a smaller school by enrollment, Creighton offers over 20 online degrees designed to meet the needs of the 21st-century student. Students may study occupational therapy, business administration, EMT, and medical anthropology online. Their most offerings are in the field of health.

    One of their most sought-after online degrees is their online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy. The program requires 47 credit hours of course material for completion which is offered asynchronously online 24 hours a day seven days a week. We like this program for the level of flexibility allowed and for the high quality of the academic offerings.

    Students with either a BS in OT or an MS in OT may apply to this program. This clinical program leaves no stone unturned and includes course material in occupational health and populations, health systems management, health care policy, occupation in community, research, electives and a capstone experience.

    The Doctoral Experiential Component adds an additional 16 credit hours for a total of 63. Students with a master’s degree may be able to waive up to 12 credit hours of this program.

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  14. MERIT: 286
    View Profile Average Cost: $39,554

    Online Entry-Level Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    St. Catherine University (St. Kate) is a private 4-year university located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a Roman Catholic women’s school founded in 1905. There are 4,724 students enrolled, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 10:1. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award associate’s to doctor’s degrees as well as professional certifications.

    U.S. News ranks St. Kate as the 13th best school in the region, 9th best college for veterans, 10th most innovative school, and 16th for best undergraduate teaching school. Their top programs are in health, education, and business with the largest number of degree offerings in the field of health. Though their academic offerings are more diverse and also include programming in the visual arts, theology, psychology, and in ethnic and gender studies.

    To promote student success, St. Kate accepts credit for life experiences and provides academic and career counseling. To top it all off, U.S. News considers the university to be a high-value school.

    The Henrietta Schmoll School of Health offers a 3-year entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy. This program initiates in the Spring of 2019 and is offered both online and in a hybrid format. Students will have five years to complete this program, and as this is an entry-level degree is available to more individuals.

    Once initiated we anticipate more information regarding this program so be sure to check their site often. The university also offers a Master in Arts in Occupational Therapy.

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  15. MERIT: 285.5
    View Profile Average Cost: $34,225

    Online Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    Bay Path University (Bay Path) is a private women’s college located in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. There are 3,298 students enrolled, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 13:1. Though a woman’s college, Bay Path enrolls students of all genders. The New England Commission of Higher Education accredits Bay Path to award comprehensive degree programs and professional certifications.

    According to U.S. News Bay Path ranks as the 105th best school in the region and 11th most innovative. Their online MBA and online Bachelor’s programs rank in the top 300. Their curriculum is perhaps one of the most innovative in the region and includes programming that empowers women to participate in engaging and demanding professions such as Cybersecurity Management, Applied Behavior Analysis, Business Management, and Occupational Therapy.

    Nearly half of all academic offerings are offered online. Bay Path is a great school for both traditional and nontraditional students alike.

    Bay Path offers an online, fully accredited Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD) which may be completed in 4-8 terms. This flexible program is designed with a professional in mind. A student may enter with either a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Students with a Master’s will need to fulfill 36 credit hours and those with a bachelor’s will need to fulfill 54 credit hours.

    The curriculum includes course material in bioethics, advocacy, community practice, occupational science and more. The capstone experience is based on the students’ specific areas of interest.

    If you are a professional looking to expand your knowledge of the field, remain competitive and step into a leadership role, this online doctorate in Occupational Therapy at Bay Path is a great option.

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  16. MERIT: 284.5
    View Profile Average Cost: $33,240

    Online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy & Online Entry-Level Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    Misericordia University is a Roman Catholic university located in Dallas, Pennsylvania. There are 2,708 students enrolled, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 12:1. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredits Misericordia to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degrees as well as professional certifications.

    This regionally ranked university is considered the 35th best university in the North according to U.S. News and also ranks 17th for Veterans, and 26th for value. In an effort to support the success of a diverse student body, the university is Military-friendly, offers online degrees, and accepts credits for life experiences. The small student body and the ratio of students to faculty make for a much more intimate setting for students who like to have a personalized educational experience.

    The online cohorts are small. Regardless of size, Misericordia offers a large number of online programs including an online bachelor’s degree in accounting, an online MBA, and an online doctorate in occupational therapy among several others. This is a great option for professionals looking to head back to school.

    Misericordia University is perhaps our most flexible pick of universities. Students may pursue an online OTD or an entry-level program that begins in Spring 2019. The Post-Professional Doctoral program is a good fit for individuals who are currently working professionals.

    This 2-year doctorate is divided into three main components: core courses, specialization courses, and a capstone project. The core courses include: Designing Implementing and Evaluating Quality Programs, Advanced Application of Theory, Providing Evidence For Best Practice, Advanced Research, and Occupational Science. This is a 33 credit hour program.

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  17. MERIT: 284.5
    View Profile Average Cost: $29,529

    Online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    Salus University is a 4-year private professional university located in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. Initially founded as a school for optometry, Salus has a deep history of health education.

    There are just 1,141 students enrolled, and all students are pursuing a Post Baccalaureate or above- this is a great place for professionals looking to help the world around them. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredits Salus to awards Master’s degrees and Doctor’s degrees.

    The primary academic focus is in the field of health and health education. There is one education program which focuses on teaching individuals with vision impairments including blindness. Generally, students study optometry, rehabilitation, audiology, and health sciences.

    Their College of Education and Rehabilitation offers a post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD). The program is primarily online, though two classes are hands-on. Students have the option to take one class or two classes each semester.

    The 2 class schedule may be completed in 16 months and the 2 class schedule may be completed in 27 months. Salus offers three specialty tracks: low vision rehabilitation, remedial vision rehabilitation, and health and wellness.

    In addition to flexibility, students will benefit from the world-class faculty who have years of experience in practice and in publication in the field of occupational therapy. To graduate students must also complete a capstone project.

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  18. MERIT: 284.5
    View Profile Average Cost: $15,895

    Online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USA) is a special-focus four-year university located in San Marcos, California. There are 2,992 students enrolled. Their main accrediting bodies are the Distance Education Accrediting Commission and the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

    USA has the largest physical therapy program in the US. Their degrees are suitable for entry-level individuals as well as for post-professional students. According to U.S. News USA ranks among the top in the nation for occupational therapy and physical therapy.

    USA offers an online Post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) for students with either a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree. Those who are entering with a bachelor’s degree are required to complete 60 credit hours and those entering with a master’s degree are required to complete 35 credits to earn their OTD.

    We like this program for its flexibility as students may follow the program online at a pace that works for their busy schedules. In fact, students may follow either an executive leadership specialization or a teaching and learning specialization. The program is divided into three main components including core material, electives, and a capstone experience.

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  19. MERIT: 284
    View Profile Average Cost: $29,050

    Online Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    Brenau University is a is a private 4-year university located in Gainesville, Georgia. There are 2,932 students enrolled, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 11:1. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits Brenau University to award associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees as well as professional doctoral degrees.

    U.S. News ranks Brenau as the 47th best university in the region, 31st best college for veterans and 42nd best value school among others. The university aims to provide innovative programming to both traditional and non-traditional students as well as support academic success with student support services like academic and career counseling, and credit for life experiences.

    Their most robust academic schools focus on business, the fine arts, education, and health. Brenau offers over 35 online degrees at every level.

    Brenau University offers a 36-credit hour Occupational Therapy Doctorate. The primary format is online. Though, students are required to spend some weekends on campus each semester. This blended format is a great opportunity for students to have the flexibility of completing the majority of course material online with the added bonus of hands-on experience.

    The degree is broken into three main components: 18 core hours, 12 elective hours, and 6 capstone hours. Electives are a great way to tailor your education to match your passions and include courses like Aging in Place Across the Lifespan, Cognitive/Psychosocial Aspects of Occupational Performance, Occupational Therapy for Children and Youth among others.

    If you are ready to advance your career and deepen your knowledge of occupational therapy, this is a great program.

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  20. MERIT: 283.5
    View Profile Average Cost: $32,136

    Fully Online Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    Gannon University is a private doctoral/professional university located in Erie, Pennsylvania. There are 4,149 students enrolled, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 13:1. Gannon is a Catholic institution founded in 1925. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredits Gannon to award comprehensive degree programs and professional certifications.

    According to U.S. News Gannon ranks as the 48th best school in the region, 28th best college for veterans, 9th best value school and has specialty programs in the fields of nursing-anesthesia, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and physician assistant. The university offers the full range of student support services that include remedial support, online courses, ROTC opportunities, and credit for life experiences.

    Their largest programs are in health and education. Gannon also offers academic programming in the fields of theology, business, psychology, biology, and more. There are 12 online degree programs available.

    Gannon University offers a fully online Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD). The program is designed to accommodate professionals that are working full-time. The structure is part-time and requires just 34 credits to complete. In general, the program takes 2 years to complete, though the schedule may change upon request.

    The program is divided into two main portions: course material and a capstone. Students will work on their capstone project throughout the two years. Among the courses, students will study community-based interventions, reasoning and evidence-based practice, and entrepreneurial management in OT. This makes the program a great option for individuals looking to form a solid practice in their community.

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  21. MERIT: 283
    View Profile Average Cost: $9,940

    Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    Towson University is a public 4-year institution located in Towson, Maryland. This suburban campus is located about 10 miles from Baltimore City. There are 22,705 students enrolled, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredits Towson to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degrees as well as professional certifications.

    According to U.S. News Towson ranks as the 50th best university in the region, 30th best college for veterans, 68th best value school, and 12th top public school. The university offers a wide range of academic offerings in the fields of ethnic studies, health, education, and the fine arts. Their student body remains active with on-campus clubs and Greek life. Towson is a great option for non-traditional students as well- currently offering 11 online degrees and professional certifications.

    Towson University offers an online Post-Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (PPOTD). This program is entirely online and accelerated. Students may finish this in as little as 6 semesters. Though accelerated, this program is part-time and may be completed while you continue to work.

    Some of the course material includes advanced intervention and assessment, in-depth educational experiences, as well as funding and mechanisms in health care. This degree is a great fit for individuals looking to move to a leadership role in the field.

    Score: 283/300 || View Profile

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  22. MERIT: 282.5
    View Profile Average Cost: $37,611

    Online Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    Chatham University is a private doctoral/professional university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There are just 2,269 students enrolled, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 10:1. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredits Chatham University to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degrees and professional certifications. This regionally ranked university is 62nd best in the North, and 82nd in terms of value according to U.S. News.

    Their online graduate nursing programs, online bachelor’s programs and online MBA programs all rank among the top 300. When it comes to academic offerings there are myriad choices including in the fine arts, architecture, agriculture, business, education, health, physical sciences and more. They currently offer 6 online degrees.

    Chatham University offers an online Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) that requires two residencies in Pittsburgh. The curriculum is 10 courses and 30 credit hours and may be completed part-time. The intended students will be working professionals.

    The courses include occupational science, evidence-based practice, advanced practice concepts and skills, occupational therapist as entrepreneur, education theory and technology, leadership and professionalism, methods of evaluation and a capstone experience among others.

    Students who hold a bachelor’s degree may bridge into this program upon completing 4 prerequisite classes. For most students, this program is completed in just 16 months.

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  23. MERIT: 282
    View Profile Average Cost: $29,450

    Online Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW) is a private Lutheran university located in Mequon, Wisconsin. There are 7,288 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 11:1. The Higher Learning Commission accredits CUW to award comprehensive degree programs and professional certifications. CUW ranks 70th as the best regional university in the Midwest and 62nd for best value according to U.S. News.

    Five of their online program rank among the top 300 including their online graduate nursing programs, online bachelor’s programs, online MBA programs and more. To support student success, CUW offers credit for life experiences and academic and career counseling. In total, CUW offers nearly 50 online degrees.

    CUW offers a primarily online Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OTD). This is a great program for practicing therapists looking to expand their knowledge and deeper their practice. The focus of this program is on evidence-based practice. This is a particularly good fit for individuals looking to work in special education.

    Students will learn about occupational science, advanced evidence-based practice and complete a capstone. There is a focus on conditions associated with upper extremities. Students interested in this area of rehabilitation should apply to this program. We like the flexibility and affordability of this online degree.

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  24. MERIT: 281.5
    View Profile Average Cost: $9,666

    Online Entry-Level Doctor of Occupational Therapy & Online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    Eastern Kentucky UniversityEastern Kentucky University (EKU) is a public 4-year university located in Richmond, Kentucky. There are 16,612 students enrolled, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits EKU to award comprehensive degree programs and professional certifications.

    According to U.S. News, EKU ranks 76th for top regional universities in the South, 28th for top public school and in the top 100 for 6 online programs including the best online graduate nursing program, online graduate education programs, and others.

    Their academic offerings are huge including programming in health, psychology, education, business and so much more. Their largest programs are in education, health, and homeland security. To aid in student success, the university offers remedial support and academic and career counseling. There are currently 50 online degrees available to undergraduate and graduate students.

    EKU offers two online programs for occupational therapists- a bachelor’s to doctorate of occupational therapy (OTD) and a master’s to OTD. The bachelor’s to OTD program is 61 hours and the master’s to OTD program is 40 hours Both offerings are entirely online and classes are accelerated- just 8 weeks in length. U.S News ranks EKU as one of the best graduate schools for occupational therapy.

    24 credit hours are devoted to core courses that include four leadership seminars applied leadership experience, research in OT, policy analysis in OT and a capstone. The additional hours are devoted to electives and personal research.

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  25. MERIT: 280
    View Profile Average Cost: $34,012

    Online Doctor of Occupational Therapy

    Loma Linda University (LLU) is a private special-focus health institution located in Loma Linda, California. There are 4,417 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 3:1. This university is affiliated with the Seventh Day Adventist church.

    LLU offers online opportunities as well as academic and career counseling. In addition to health, LLU offers programs in psychology, biology, family and consumer sciences, education, theology, philosophy, and public administration. LLU currently offers 20 online degrees.

    LLU offers an online Doctor of Occupational Therapy. This program requires 53 quarter units to complete and will take about 2 years. The program is divided into two main component parts: core coursework and a capstone. Students may also choose one elective and will be required to conduct independent research.

    Some of the core courses include Education in Occupational Therapy, Leadership in Occupational Therapy, Education for Health Professionals, Bioethics & Society, Health, Society and Participation and Spirit of Diverse Abilities I & II.

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Can you get a degree in occupational therapy online?

online phd, online doctorate, marriage and family therapy, marriage and family counselingWhen it comes to occupational therapy, things change with the times. That includes online offerings. Today you can find dozens of online occupational therapy degrees. The majority of programs are for master’s-seeking and doctoral-seeking candidates. Although, you may be able to complete an accelerated bachelor’s to master’s program.

Each university offers a slightly different format- some mimic the classroom experience with cohorts and synchronous classes. What we have noticed, however, is that more universities seem to favor a primarily online program that requires just 2-3 trips to the college campus. Several universities offer programs that are 100% online with no trip required.

Obviously, each method has its pros and cons, and a good step to take before applying is to ask whether or not you have the finances and time to leave town a few times a year. Participants often enjoy a hands-on approach to learning this subject and may find a blended approach better fits their learning styles.

That being said, the 100% online programs exist for a reason- they’re tailored to work with a working professional. Many of these programs are part-time, and asynchronous- a schedule that works well with an individual who is juggling more. We ranked the 25 best online Occupational Post-Professional ODT programs- some which are full-time, others blended, and many entirely online. Pick what works for you.

How many years does it take you to become an occupational therapist?

For a while, the entry-level degree for OT was a Bachelor’s of Science. That is no longer the case. To become an Occupational Therapist, an individual must have a Master’s degree. Additionally, students will need to become licensed, and some jobs require specific specializations.

how long does it take to earn a doctorate, how long to earn a degree, online OTD programAn accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy takes about five years to complete. You can expect to study a variety of topics including anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, psychology, neuroscience, child-specific classes, adult-specific classes, research, policy and ethics and more.

Many programs extend a year to include the internship. Your internship is one of the most critical steps to becoming an OT as you will learn from other professionals, form relationships, and maybe even establish or expand your specific areas of interest.

After your schooling, you’ll need to pass the Occupational Therapy Registered Exam (OTR). This exam is about $550 and includes clinical issues that resemble case studies as well as 170 multiple choice questions. Once passed, you will need to become licensed in the state you wish to practice.

Finally, head to the American Occupational Therapy Association and look through their job search. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), occupational therapy is growing at a rate of 25% over the next ten years- a rate much faster than the average for all other occupations. There is an increased likelihood that you may find a job rapidly upon gaining licensure in your state.

Overall, the process will take about six years. Individuals looking to pursue a doctoral program often do so after a few years of professional experience.

What colleges offer occupational therapy?

If you are looking to obtain a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) check out our ranking for the best online occupational therapy programs. If you are looking to study on campus in your area, check out the nearest university hospitals. Often the state schools will have an allied program in occupational therapy. These are great opportunities for individuals looking to gain hands-on experience and exposure while learning to become an occupational therapist. Some examples of schools which offer programs include:

  • University of Kansas Medical Center
  • Texas_Woman's_University_logoMedical University of South Carolina
  • Texas Woman’s University
  • Texas Tech University Health Sciences
  • Louisiana State University
  • Tufts University

This is just a sample list of schools. There are several other programs located across the United States. Pick a school that fits with your passions, finances, and time allowance.

For those looking for the best graduate programs in the country. The top 10 according to U.S. News are:

  • Boston University
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • 9-uic-logoUniversity of Southern California
  • University of Illinois- Chicago
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Colorado State University
  • Thomas Jefferson University
  • Tufts University-Boston School of Occupational Therapy
  • University of Kansas Medical Center
  • University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill

Is a Doctorate Required to Become an Occupational Therapist?

The baseline requirement to become an occupational therapist is a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy and state licensure.

While a doctorate is not required to become an occupational therapist, many professionals choose to pursue a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program after a few years in the profession. These candidates are often looking to advance into a leadership role in their field or after a few years of experience are looking to deepen their knowledge and hone their skills in a specific specialty area.

Evidence-based practice is yet another reason to pursue an OTD. Many insurance companies will need to see evidence that there is a correlation between the therapy and the improvement of the individual. In the absence of evidence-based programming, insurances companies do not hesitate to pull out. You do learn about evidence-based practice in a Master’s program, but the OTD is an opportunity to take this further and learn more about the application and importance of providing evidence along with your practice. For this reason, many individuals who are looking to start their own practice in the community may head back to pursue a doctor of occupational therapy.

How Much Do Occupational Therapists With a Doctorate Make?

Doctorate Salary, how much money can I makeAccording to PayScale, the average OTD makes about $90,000 per year. That being said, a doctoral program does not guarantee a particular salary. Rather, the advanced studies open doors to more specialized higher level professions. To quote the AOTA “Preliminary informal surveys of entry-level doctor doctoral graduates indicate that the doctoral degree does not guarantee advanced salaries. However, many entry-level doctoral graduates are able to pursue and fill unique positions due to their advanced education.”

The same can be true of all degree levels. What happens after you complete a bachelor’s degree is that doors begin to open to jobs that have a minimum requirement of a bachelor’s degree. The same may be said of a master’s degree and so forth. Though please note that the new entry-level degree requirement for occupational therapy is a master’s degree. Individuals looking to become an assistant or OTA may find employment with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

The same is true of an OTD. Typically students pursuing a doctor of occupational therapy have done so after a few years of experience. Arguably, the few years of experience (a range of about 2-5) are just as important as the degree.

The types of jobs that pay a salary of $90,000 require both the doctoral degree and time spent on the job. So, if you are looking to pursue an OTD, you may first wish to consider what job you hope to secure. Does this position’s requirements for years of experience match yours? This is likely a good time to pursue your OTD.