OnlinePhDDegrees OccuTherapy

Occupational Therapy is a central facet of healthcare and medicine. It allows individuals with mental and physical disabilities or those who have undergone serious trauma to function healthfully in everyday society.

According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, “Occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities.”

Most of us take for granted the ease of our usual and mundane everyday tasks. But for some, doing these activities are a real challenge. An Occupational Therapist understands the trials that each patient faces and is dedicated to the betterment of each life and improving the patient’s life skills. 

Occupational Therapists often focus on daily activities, such as helping those who are attending school, going to work, or participating in leisure and play activities. They also help with personal hygiene skills needed to maintain good health, such as teeth brushing, bathing, and getting appropriately dressed, as well as exercise to promote physical strength, and much more!

If you have a heart for helping others in need, becoming an Occupational Therapist is a great choice!


Table of Contents

METHODOLOGY

Our list of the Best Online Schools for Doctoral Degrees in Occupational Therapy (OTD) Programs gives students information helpful to becoming professionals at the top of the occupational therapy field. Each school has its own unique qualities. We have listed them in random order, so you can choose one that will fit your specific needs and career aspirations. In compiling this list, we attempted to present them in an easy-to-use format based on the following components:

  • 100% Flexible Online or Hybrid format, enabling working students to complete coursework according to their busy schedules and other personal obligations,
  • Prepares students for leadership roles within the field of Occupational Therapy,
  • Ease of Credit Transfer,
  • Provides opportunities for career advancements and coursework tailored to fit your needs,
  • Affordable classes – Financial Aid options,
  • Coursework in advanced Occupational Therapy practice, applied research practice, policy change, plus many other topics designed to help students promote positive outcomes through Occupational Therapy,
  • Offers Student Support Services, Innovative Technology, Easy-to-use Learning Management Systems, as well as, exceptional faculty experienced in OT,
  • May require experiential learning, laboratory and clinical experience to complete program,
  • Prepares students for the National Certification Examination for Occupational Therapist, in addition to, state required examination for licensure.

For an in-depth look, see our Methodology page.

PhD degree holders

Best Online Schools for Doctoral Degrees in Occupational Therapy (OTD)

UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS

occupational therapy

Program Standouts:

The University of Kansas Medical Center offers one of the top online Doctor of Occupational Therapy degrees. The degree is designed for students who have either a bachelor’s or a master’s in the discipline. The coursework focuses on specialization and professional leadership in practice.

Campus Location: Lawrence, KS

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400
  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

Admission Requirements:

  • Applicants must submit a completed online application
  • Official transcripts from all accredited colleges and universities attended
  • Proof of current OT licensure
  • Statement of career goals
  • Current resume or CV representing relevant experience and leadership contributions
  • Three references
  • TOEFL scores are required from students who use English as a second language

Program Options:

  • Occupation-Based Practice
  • Quantitative Evidence
  • Professional Development

Degree Outcomes:
Graduates leave KUMC with in-depth knowledge in four key areas: evidence-based practice, professional leadership, specialty practice, and teaching.

The innovative curriculum is designed to create a foundation of both advanced knowledge and specialized knowledge that prepares graduates for leadership in their chosen areas of concentration.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS’ ONLINE POST-PROFESSIONAL OTD DEGREE PROGRAM

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THOMAS JEFFERSON UNIVERSITY

occupational therapy

Program Standouts:

Located at the Jefferson College of Rehabilitation Sciences, Jefferson University offers one of the top online doctorates in occupational therapy. This post-professional online doctorate is fully online and gives students greater flexibility than some of the other post-professional doctorates because of its willingness to accept not only those holding a master’s degree but also those holding only a bachelor’s degree.

This outstanding degree program is also fast and can be completed in as few as twenty-four months. 

Campus Location: Philadelphia, PA

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education – 3624 Market St #2w, Philadelphia, PA 19104
  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

Admission Requirements:

  • U.S. candidates must have maintained a minimum 3.0 GPA in occupational therapy degree/s; if minimum GPA is not met, GRE or MAT scores required; Professional licensure
  • International candidates must have a degree in the field minimum 3.0 GPA; if GPA is below minimum, GRE or MAT scores required; NBCOT Certification or valid and active license from country; work history documented of at least three years; at least thirty-six credits of continuing education in the field
  • Completed online application
  • Official transcripts
  • Resume/CV
  • Professional license/certification
  • If GPA is below 3.0, GRE or MAT scores
  • Professional summary statement 
  • Two letters of recommendation

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Advanced Level Evidence-Based Practice
  • Visionary Practice Development and Evaluation
  • Seminar in Advanced Practice

Degree Outcomes:

This degree program provides outstanding, personalized, advanced training in the field of occupational therapy. Experienced practitioners will be prepared to assume leadership roles in occupational therapy.

LEARN MORE ABOUT JEFFERSON UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE POST-PROFESSIONAL DOCTOR OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY DEGREE

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NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY

occupational therapy

Program Standouts:

Nova Southeastern University, according to its website is one of the first universities to offer entry-level to the doctor of occupational therapy online degrees. Heavily emphasizing clinical experience, this top online doctorate requires more on-site requirements than some of the other post-professional and entry-level degree programs.

Nova Southeastern also offers a post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy track to currently licensed practitioners with field experience.

Campus Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges – 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097
  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

Admission Requirements:

  • Must hold an undergraduate or graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA for each of the last two years of study
  • Prerequisite GPA of 3.0
  • Have at 2.0 grade in each prerequisite courses
  • GRE scores
  • 40 hours minimum of volunteer service in an occupational therapy setting
  • Personal essay
  • Three letters of recommendation

Sample Course Options:

  • Anatomy
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Evidence in Occupational Therapy Practice
  • Wellness in Occupational Therapy

Degree Outcomes:

This degree program is rooted in the notion of “occupation”. This means that the practitioner must perfect their method and understanding of occupational therapy through actually doing the work of therapists.

Through the imparting of theory and a large investment in clinical practice, graduates from this online doctorate become occupational therapists through doing occupational therapy.

LEARN MORE ABOUT NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE DOCTOR OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY DEGREE

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ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY

occupational therapy

Program Standouts:

A leading institution for the training and education of occupational therapists, St. Catherine University offers an outstanding online Doctor of Occupational Therapy. This top online doctoral degree program will be of particular interest to practitioners who do not necessarily hold a master’s degree in occupational therapy but would still like to pursue advanced training and education.

This program is longer (100 credits) than some of the other post-professional degrees. Openness to a wider field of potential applicants, coupled with the outstanding reputation and rigor this online doctorate offers, makes St. Catherine’s an excellent choice for those who want to work at the top of the occupational therapy field. The program must be completed within five years, but can be completed fast in just over three years.

Campus Location: St. Paul, MN

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission – 230 S LaSalle St Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604
  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed application
  • Personal statement/essay
  • Resume/CV
  • Letters of recommendation

Programmatic Pillars:

  • Accessibility: Culturally responsive and customized
  • Collaborative: Works with clients and within sound healthcare systems
  • Effective: Evidence based upon client needs and cost-effective
  • Leaders: Forward thinking and looking to improve policies, environments, and systems

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates from St. Catherine’s online Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree program are prepared to assume educational and leadership positions in the field. Their expertise will include clinical practice, research, critical thinking, and social justice issues.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE OTD DEGREE PROGRAM

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BARRY UNIVERSITY

occupational therapy

Program Standouts:

Barry University’s top online post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy is a fast degree that is designed to give current practitioners of occupational therapy the needed theory and clinical experience to rise to the top of their field.

By fast we mean that this degree requires only thirty-six credits. Making the degree potentially even faster, a “life-experience” portfolio can be developed by applicants that demonstrate competence and can function as transfer credits.

This program has a greater residency requirement than some of the other programs on this list, which may not work for all applicants.

Campus Location: Miami Shores, FL

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges – 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097
  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

Admission Requirements:

  • Current and active certification 
  • Master’s degree from a recognized accredited institution
  • Satisfactory GRE scores
  • Personal statement
  • Minimum of six months of clinical experience post-graduation and/or certification

Sample Courses:

  • Theories in OT
  • Leadership and Advocacy
  • Advanced Clinical Research

Degree Outcomes:

This online doctorate is designed to provide its graduates with knowledge and skill in the field of occupational therapy beyond that of the master’s degree level. This will help current and aspiring occupational therapists move themselves into advanced leadership and educational positions.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BARRY UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE DOCTOR OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY DEGREE

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BOSTON UNIVERSITY

occupational therapy

Program Standouts:

Housed in the Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences at Boston University, this Online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy program is designed to provide the highest level of quality education. The program focuses on the design and evolution of programs, advocacy, practice, ethical considerations, and a strong mentorship model.

Campus Location: Boston, MA

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400
  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

Admission Requirements:

  • Applicants must submit a completed online application
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Two professional references
  • Three completed essay questions
  • GRE scores
  • Documentation of NBCOT certification and state licensure
  • TOEFL scores are required from students who use English as a second language

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Educational Theory and Practice
  • Evaluating Clinical Theory and Research
  • Health Care Management

Degree Outcomes:

Upon leaving Boston University, graduates are prepared to critically evaluate theory and evidence in their area of practice; identify shortcomings in current methods and programs; design innovative responses to fill unmet needs, and advocate for positive systematic and policy change.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BOSTON UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE POST-PROFESSIONAL OTD DEGREE PROGRAM

BRENAU UNIVERSITY

occupational therapy

Program Standouts:

Academic and clinical excellence converge with affordable tuition and accessibility in Brenau University’s outstanding 100% online Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree program. Offering a number of degree pathways, this top online doctorate prepares current practitioners to become advanced occupational therapy practitioners and leaders.

A wide variety of courses makes this diverse online doctorate potentially appealing across the occupational therapy profession. Students in this program are required to attend one two-to-three day weekend on campus each semester.

Campus Location: Gainesville, GA

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges – 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097
  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed application
  • Official college/university transcripts
  • 3.0 GPA from all college transcripts
  • Currently practicing and licensed occupational therapist
  • Master’s degree or 30 credits of graduate coursework in occupational therapy

Program Options:

  • Professional Reasoning
  • Occupational Therapy Services for Children and Youth
  • Aging in Place Across the Lifespan
  • Advanced Anatomy of the Upper Limb

Degree Outcomes:

This online Doctor of Occupational Therapy is designed to instill in its students excellence in practice, inquiry, and advocacy. Graduates are prepared to work in diverse settings including management, advanced practice, and higher education.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BRENAU UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE DOCTOR OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY DEGREE

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BAY PATH UNIVERSITY

occupational therapy

Program Standouts:

As with most of the online doctorates on this list, Bay Path University’s online Doctor of Occupational Therapy is a post-professional doctoral degree. Bay Path’s prestigious online doctoral degree program has several attractive aspects that set it apart from other programs.

The degree is fully online and offers both master’s to doctorate and bachelor’s to doctorate tracks. This online doctor of occupational therapy also offers a great deal of variety with specializations in administration, general practice, autism spectrum disorders, education, mental health, and productive aging.

Campus Location: Longmeadow, MA

Accreditation:

  • New England Commission of Higher Education – 3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100, Burlington, MA 01803
  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s to post-professional OTD: completion of bachelor’s degree in OT; current OT license; 10 years full time practice experience
  • Master’s to post-professional OTD: completion of both bachelor’s and master’s degree; current OT license; 1 year of full-time practice experience
  • Completed application
  • Transcripts 
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA 
  • Writing sample
  • Personal goals essay
  • Resume/CV
  • Copy of NBCOT certificate or license

Program Options:

  • Bachelor’s to post-professional doctorate degree (54 credits)
  • Master’s to post-professional doctorate degree (36 credits)

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates from Bay Path University’s online post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree have demonstrated advanced critical thinking and reasoning skills in the field of occupational therapy.

They appreciate the value of the ideals and goals of their chosen profession and can engage critically in new research and techniques. Graduates have also mastered a specialty track during the course of the degree program.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BAY PATH UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE POST-PROFESSIONAL DOCTOR OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY DEGREE

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NEW YORK UNIVERSITY

occupational therapy

Program Standouts:

New York University’s top-ranked online post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy is designed to allow the greatest flexibility and personal tailoring of coursework possible. As one of the best online degrees in the field, this online doctorate prepares its graduates for the rapidly changing world of occupational therapy.

This top degree program situates its students right at the intersection of cutting-edge science and sound therapeutic practice through specialized elective courses and clinical internships.

Through its fully online mode of delivery, New York University’s prestigious online Doctor of Occupation Therapy degree makes achieving your occupational therapy educational goals attainable while balancing professional and personal demands.     

Campus Location: New York, NY

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education – 3624 Market St #2w, Philadelphia, PA 19104
  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

Admission Requirements:

  • Must hold an entry-level degree and master’s degree in occupational therapy
  • Must submit a personal statement of purpose
  • Current Resume/CV
  • Transcripts from each post-secondary school attended
  • Three letters of recommendation from colleagues
  • GRE scores
  • 3.0 GPA minimum
  • Five years of working experience as an occupational therapists after graduation
  • Completed application

Program Core Courses:

  • Theoretical Foundations for Intervention
  • Developing a Guideline for Intervention
  • Ethics and Analytic Reasoning

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates from this online doctoral degree program will have specialized knowledge of their chosen area of occupation therapy combined with clinical experience. 

LEARN MORE ABOUT NEW YORK UNIVERSITY-STEINHARDT’S ONLINE POST-PROFESSIONAL DOCTOR OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY DEGREE

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MARY BALDWIN UNIVERSITY

occupational therapy

Program Standouts:

Mary Baldwin University’s thirty-credit online post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy is fast. This top online doctorate can be completed in as few as eighteen months.

Its asynchronous online education model allows working professionals to juggle professional and educational commitments all the while pursuing an outstanding online doctorate. Courses are delivered in 8-week segments. One campus visit is required, and this degree has both the bachelor’s to OTD and master’s to OTD degree tracks.

Campus Location: Staunton, VA

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges – 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097
  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

Admission Requirements:

  • Licensed and practicing occupational therapist
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA from most recent degree
  • Professional statement (500 words or less)
  • Either bachelor’s or master’s degree, depending on the degree track
  • Completed application
  • Official transcripts
  • Current licensure
  • Resume/CV

Sample Coursework:

  • Theory & Practice of Student Learning and Engagement
  • Innovation and Change in Higher Education
  • Adult Learners in the 21st Century
  • Organizational and Systems Leadership

Degree Outcomes:

Mary Baldwin graduates have advanced knowledge in the field of occupational therapy combined with skills in the practical application of their knowledge. Graduates possess improved reasoning and teaching skills that they can apply throughout their occupational activities.

LEARN MORE ABOUT MARY BALDWIN UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE POST-PROFESSIONAL DOCTOR OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY DEGREE

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LOMA LINDA UNIVERSITY

occupational therapy

Program Standouts:

Loma Linda University is highly respected in the field of health sciences. Its outstanding online Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree program places professionals within an online community that fosters learning and professional growth. Opportunities abound in this top online doctorate for creative learning experiences, critical reflections, and discussions.

This Doctor of Occupational Therapy program embraces people-centered interventions that include both traditional and emerging practice settings. The program is designed to be completed in about two years.

Campus Location: Loma Linda, CA

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400
  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

Admission Requirements:

  • Applicants must submit a completed online application
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal goals essay
  • Current resume or CV representing relevant work experience

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Critical Analysis of Scientific Literature
  • Occupational Science and Health Promotion
  • Health, Society, and Participation

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates of Loma Linda University have a huge advantage over other professionals in the field given their in-depth knowledge and experience gained from their studies and clinical practice.

Graduates from Loma Linda’s online doctoral degree program will have learned advocacy and justice management, innovative practices, and how to foster professional growth. Alumni now work in a vast range of different organizations, and agencies as Occupational Therapists.

LEARN MORE ABOUT LOMA LINDA UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE DOCTORATE (OTD) DEGREE PROGRAM

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QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY

occupational therapy

Program Standouts:

Quinnipiac University has designed their online Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate upon the basis of the American Occupational Therapy Association’s “Vision 2025″. This top online doctorate was prepared by scholar-practitioners to create other scholar-practitioners who are equipped to lead the profession. The coursework is intended for those who have an educational and professional background in occupational therapy.

Campus Location: Hamden, CT

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400
  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

Admission Requirements:

  • Applicants must submit a completed online application
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Proof of initial certification by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
  • Current resume representing at least 3 years of relevant experience
  • Proof of licensure to practice
  • Two professional references
  • Proof of current membership to the American Occupational Therapy Association
  • Personal essay, and a background check
  • TOEFL scores are required from students who use English as a second language.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Application of Theory and Exploration of Occupation
  • Innovations and Emerging Issues in Children and Youth
  • Leadership in Program Development/Business

Degree Outcomes:
This curriculum focuses on leadership roles, fundamental theory, ethics, policy, advocacy, and critical inquiry. Graduates have delved deeply into such areas as community-based services, environmental adaptations, the adult health care continuum, and program development.

LEARN MORE ABOUT QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE DOCTORAL DEGREE IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PROGRAM

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UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS-MEDICAL BRANCH GALVESTON

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston - PhysicalTherapist.com

Program Standouts:

This online Doctor of Occupational Therapy is designed to help occupational therapy practitioners create, advance, and spread knowledge relating to societal health.

This outstanding online doctorate offers a bachelor to a doctorate as well as a master to doctorate option. Both degrees are geared towards management, private practice, and university teaching positions.

Campus Location: Galveston, TX

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges – 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097
  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed application
  • Official transcript from all undergraduate and/or graduate institutions
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Bachelor or master of occupational therapy
  • Current CV
  • Confirmation of certification NBCOT
  • Current licensure
  • Three or more years of post-graduation occupational therapy experience
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement of goals

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Basic Research Methodology
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Program Development
  • Healthcare Policy and Ethics

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates will be able to work together with various teams and healthcare systems. They will be skilled in taking leadership, management, and academics roles in development, treatment, and policy review. Graduates will demonstrate the ability to assess needs and engage in rehabilitation planning.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MEDICAL BRANCH ONLINE DOCTOR OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY DEGREE

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TEXAS WOMAN’S UNIVERSITY

occupational therapy

Program Standouts:

Texas Woman’s University is a respected school that offers several top online degree programs, including this Doctor of Occupational Therapy. This degree is designed to build experience while remaining active in the profession through learning activities integrated into clinical practice.

Campus Location: Denton, TX

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400
  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

Admission Requirements:

  • Applicants must submit a completed online application
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • GPA of 3.2 or higher in master level work
  • GRE scores I
  • Interview with a faculty member.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Appraising Occupational Therapy Evidence
  • Clinical Neuroscience for Occupational Therapy
  • Professional Paper in Occupational Therapy

Degree Outcomes:

The curriculum consists of challenging coursework and professional development in an area of specialization, which gives graduates highly sharpened skills in their particular area of interest, as well as highly enhanced knowledge of current research and practice techniques in the field.

LEARN MORE ABOUT TEXAS WOMAN’S UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY DOCTORAL DEGREE PROGRAM

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INDIANA UNIVERSITY

occupational therapy

Program Standouts:

Another outstanding online Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree program is offered by Indiana University. Comprising 30 credits, this post-professional doctorate is designed with professionals in mind.

The emphasis in this top online doctorate is placed upon the application of knowledge to real-life situations. The program is 100% online and includes a capstone project.

Campus Location: Bloomington, IN

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission – 230 S LaSalle St Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604
  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

Admission Requirements:

  • Official transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate institution from which a degree was earned
  • Completed application
  • GRE scores
  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Some additionals materials may be required

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Teaching in Occupational and Rehabilitation Sciences
  • Evidence-Based Practice in Occupational Therapy
  • Leadership & Administration in Occupational Therapy

Degree Outcomes:

This top online doctoral degree program is designed to enhance knowledge and skill in the field of occupational therapy. Graduates will have experience in translational research, changes in occupational science, teaching, leadership, and administration.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE INDIANA UNIVERSITY’S DOCTORATE IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY DEGREE PROGRAM

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UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON

occupational therapy

Program Standouts:

This online school’s post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy program is designed as a clinical doctorate that prepares students for advanced-level practice, leadership, and the application of research in occupational therapy.

Students in this program acquire the knowledge and skills needed to improve health and education systems. Requiring only 34 credits and having very reasonable tuition, combined with high-quality instruction and program flexibility, this is a top choice for an online doctorate in occupational therapy.

Campus Location: Madison, WI

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400
  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

Admission Requirements:

  • Applicants must submit a completed online application
  • Official transcripts from all accredited colleges and universities attended
  • Master of Occupational Therapy
  • Proof of current licensure.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Communicating OT to Inter-professional Audiences
  • Advanced Practice in Inter-professional Contexts
  • Human Occupation and Health

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates from this program gain an understanding of sophisticated leadership and practice skills and can successfully engage in interprofessional education and practice. Once they have completed their coursework, graduate professionals can translate and apply their research to achieve their goals.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON’S ONLINE OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY (OTD) DEGREE PROGRAM

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UNIVERSITY OF UTAH

occupational therapy

Program Standouts:

The focus of the University of Utah’s online Doctorate of Occupational Therapy is to provide clinicians with a stronger, more up-to-date theoretical base. Students advance their leadership skills and are provided with knowledge in evidence-based research and practice. This online doctorate requires 36 credit hours.

Campus Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
    230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
    Chicago, Illinois, 60614-1413
    www.hlcommission.org, (800) 621-7400
  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

Admission Requirements:

  • Applicants must submit a completed online application
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Current résumé or CV representing relevant experience
  • Statement of purpose
  • Copy of initial certification from the NBCOT
  • Copy of current occupational therapy license, and three letters of recommendation
  • TOEFL scores are required from students who use English as a second language

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Contemporary Theories and Models in OT Practice
  • Evidence-Bused Practice and Research
  • Culture and Occupation

Degree Outcomes:

Having graduated from a nationally recognized occupational therapy doctoral program, professional alumni have the support of a vast network of world-renowned instructors, colleagues, and advisers. Armed with the experience and knowledge gained within this program, graduates are poised to go on to achieve their career goals.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF UTAH’S ONLINE POST-PROFESSIONAL DOCTORATE IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY DEGREE PROGRAM

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ROCKY MOUNTAIN UNIVERSITY OF HEALTH PROFESSIONS

occupational therapy

Program Standouts:

If you want to earn your post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy in a fast online degree program, Rocky Mountain University provides an outstanding online doctorate. This affordable online doctoral degree program can be completed in only 16 months. Seven specialization tracks are available in this degree program.

While not exclusively online, this online doctorate in Occupational Therapy is fast, affordable, and flexible. For these reasons, it is worthy to include in a list of the top online Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree programs. 

Campus Location: Provo, UT

Accreditation: 

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities – 8060 165th Ave NE #100, Redmond, WA 98052
  • Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in occupational therapy
  • Current U.S. license
  • Minimum (preferred) of one year of clinical experience
  • Completed online application
  • Resume/CV
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate institution from which a degree was earned

Specialization Tracks:

  • Advanced Practice
  • Leadership
  • Aging
  • Education
  • Hand Therapy
  • Pediatrics
  • Assistive Technology

Degree Outcomes:

Graduates from Rocky Mountain University’s online Doctor of Occupational Therapy are prepared to work in private practice, educational and leadership positions, as well as government and academic settings.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ROCKY MOUNTAIN UNIVERSITY OF HEALTH PROFESSION’S ONLINE DOCTOR OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY DEGREE

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are my job prospects with a Doctor of Occupational Therapy Degree?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of occupational therapy as a whole is expected to grow 17% over the next ten years. This is much faster than the predicted average rate of growth over the same period across all occupations. The general prospects are very good. When one considers that the bulk of OTD graduates is already occupational therapy practitioners, one’s employment prospects are almost certain.

An OTD will greatly increase a person’s chances of advancing in their current position. Holding the highest degree in the field will also allow practitioners to move into or take on other employment opportunities and responsibilities.

These include responsibilities that are managerial, consultative, educational, research-oriented, along with other possibilities not commonly open to occupational therapists, lacking the credentials of an OTD.

What is the work environment in which Occupational Therapists work?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupational therapy practitioners work in a number of settings. Common to each of these work environments is the treatment of “injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities.”

Occupational Therapy practitioners “help… patients develop, recover, improve, as well as maintain the skills needed for daily living and working.” The highest percentage (29%) of occupational therapists work in hospitals.

The next largest proportion (25%) of occupational therapists are employed in various offices of specialized occupational therapy care. These include, among others, physical therapy, occupational and speech therapy, and audiology. Smaller numbers of occupational therapists are scattered throughout educational institutions (providing both education and care), in-home healthcare, and nursing facilities.

How much does an Occupational Therapist earn per year?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the wages of an Occupational Therapist, as of May 2020, at $86,280 per year. The highest 10% earned upwards of $122,670 annually. Employment through a nursing care facility earned top dollar at $92,260 per year, followed by home health care workers. 

Entry-Level and Post-Professional doctoral degree programs: What are the differences?

The main difference is that an entry-level OTD program is designed for students seeking to become occupational therapy practitioners, while a post-professional OTD is designed for those already practicing as occupational therapists. 

The entry-level program is the gateway to practicing, while the post-professional program is designed to provide experienced occupational therapists with further education.

Why is fully online entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree programs not available?

Occupational therapy is, in the very literal sense of the term, a hands-on career. Because of the level of real-life practice necessary to become an occupational therapy practitioner, aspiring occupational therapists must be in physical proximity to both patients and instructors.

Online instruction has yet to arrive, and perhaps never will, at the place where it can provide all that is needed to become an occupational therapist. Post-professional OTDs are more commonly available online, with less of an on-campus component, because such doctoral programs accept only current practitioners.

What job options are available with an OTD degree?

The obvious employment entails working as an Occupational Therapist (in a wide variety of applications) with your degree; however, if you have a desire to teach others, becoming a professor who is focused on assisting others in this field is a great option.

In addition, earning your OTD degree will help you qualify for a job promotion in management, or you may desire to open your own clinic focusing on occupational therapy.

Additional career options include: 

  • Health Improvement Practitioner
  • Teaching Assistant
  • Social Worker
  • Healthcare Case Manager
  • Ergonomist
  • Special Needs Teacher
  • Art Therapist
  • And, much more! 

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