30 Best Online Occupational Therapy Doctorate Programs [2024 OTD Guide]

By Dr. Brianna Anderson
Updated on December 26, 2023
Ready to start your journey?
Explore the top online occupational therapy doctorate programs. Find the best program to pursue your career in occupational therapy and make a positive impact.

If you want to empower patients to overcome daily challenges, you might consider pursuing an occupational therapy doctorate.

Best Online Occupational Therapy Doctorate Programs

Occupational therapists help people with disabilities, illnesses, and injuries improve their ability to perform daily activities. They may work as generalists or specialize in an occupational niche, like aquatic therapeutics or rehabilitation for patients with brain injuries.

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Graduates who earn a Doctor of Occupational Therapy can pursue licensure and become occupational therapists in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare environments.

Online Occupational Therapy Doctorate Programs

Man taking Online Occupational Therapy Doctorate Programs

Occupational therapy is a healthcare field that uses everyday occupations—or tasks—to improve patients’ emotional, mental, and physical well-being.

On-campus and online occupational therapy majors learn to help people develop or regain the ability to engage in meaningful activities. They may work with children, older people, patients with disabilities, or people recovering from illnesses and injuries.

All patients face unique challenges, so occupational therapists typically create custom treatment plans. For instance, a child with autism may attend therapy to learn how to navigate social situations at school. By contrast, an occupational therapist could help a senior recovering from a stroke relearn how to eat with a fork and get dressed.

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Creativity is an essential skill for occupational therapists because they often need to invent fun but practical activities tailored to each patient’s abilities and goals. Having excellent communication skills and empathy for people dealing with difficult obstacles is also helpful.

OT doctoral programs enable students to gain the advanced expertise and skills needed to effectively treat patients with diverse needs. Classes generally cover a wide range of topics, such as:

  • Adult physical rehabilitation
  • Applied behavioral analysis
  • Assistive technologies
  • Health advocacy
  • Issues in occupational therapy
  • Kinesiology
  • Learning and behavior change
  • Needs assessment and program development
  • Neuroscience for rehabilitation
  • Qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Professional service management

In addition to coursework, OT doctoral students can gain practical experience by participating in clinical learning experiences and fieldwork. These activities enable students to directly treat patients under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist.

Many people who graduate from OT doctoral programs pursue careers as occupational therapists. These specialists commonly work in assisted living communities, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, and other facilities. Corporations offer additional career paths for graduates with occupational therapy degrees.

For example, assistive technology consultants help businesses develop accessibility tools for people with disabilities, like hearing implants and crosswalk aids. Similarly, ergonomic consultants advise furniture companies about the best methods for designing supportive chairs. Other graduates use their healthcare knowledge to secure positions as medical or health services administrators and managers.

Occupational Therapy Careers and Salaries

Occupational Therapy Careers and Salaries

Occupational therapy schools help prepare students for careers in healthcare and other industries. Most graduates become occupational therapists and provide direct treatment for patients. These professionals often seek employment at healthcare facilities that serve populations closely aligned with their personal interests.

For example, occupational therapists who enjoy working with children may get hired at pediatric hospitals and schools. Similarly, people who want to aid seniors can look for jobs at nursing homes.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the median salaries of potential careers associated with occupational therapy studies.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Medical and Health Services Managers $104,830
Occupational Therapists — Home Health Care Services $101,504
Health and Safety Engineers (Including Human Factors Engineers) $100,660
Postsecondary Health Specialties Teachers $100,300
Occupational Therapists — Skilled Nursing Facilities $99,550
Occupational Therapists — Hospitals $96,860
Occupational Therapists — Offices of Other Health Practitioners $90,750
Occupational Therapists — K-12 Schools $79,660
Recreational Therapists $51,330
Rehabilitation Counselors $39,990

Graduates who prefer to set their own schedules may launch a private occupational therapy clinic or practice. Or they might work as independent contractors and provide care at two or more healthcare facilities or schools.

Additionally, tech companies can hire occupational therapy specialists to help develop accessible products and services. For instance, experts with OT doctorates may provide feedback on the user interface for mobile applications or assess the usability of prosthetic limbs.

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The aging population, the rising prevalence of chronic disease, and other factors have contributed to a growing need for healthcare professionals. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the number of jobs for occupational therapists will likely grow by 14% over the next ten years.

Occupational Therapy Doctorate Curriculum & Courses

students pursuing Occupational Therapy Doctorate in group study

All Doctor of Occupational Therapy programs have unique curricula, but they often teach similar skills and topics. Here are some examples of courses you may encounter during your studies:

  • Assistive Technology: You can study recent developments in assistive technology, learn about relevant legislation, and explore how tools can serve the needs of various user populations.
  • Evidence-Based Inquiry: This course covers qualitative and quantitative research methods and teaches you how to develop effective research questions.
  • Foundations of Occupation: You’ll explore key occupational performance theories and investigate the history and philosophy of occupational theory.
  • Global Health: This class analyzes how occupational therapists can support community health, reduce health disparities, and practice anti-racist care.
  • Kinesiology of Occupation: This course covers concepts related to human movement in an occupational therapy context, such as biomechanics, joint structure, and motor control.
  • Learning and Behavior Change: You’ll learn how to use cognitive learning principles and evidence-based research to help patients make meaningful and lasting behavioral changes.
  • Needs Assessment and Program Development: You’ll learn how to develop techniques to assess health problems in individuals and communities and plan relevant therapeutic interventions.
  • Pathological Conditions: You’ll examine pathological conditions that occupational therapists often encounter and learn strategies to treat them.
  • Professional Reasoning: This class teaches you how to use critical thinking and scientific literature to make ethical decisions when treating patients.
  • Professional Service Management: This course helps you develop essential business skills like financial management, grant writing, marketing, and negotiation.

Additionally, some programs allow you to specialize in an area like gerontology, environmental modification, or seating and mobility.

How to Choose an Online Doctorate in Occupational Therapy Program

Friends checking on Online Doctorate in Occupational Therapy Program

Occupational therapy graduate programs require an investment of time and effort, so choosing a school that meets your needs is beneficial. Here are a few factors to consider as you research OT doctoral programs:

  • Financial aid. Cost is a significant consideration for many people who want to earn a graduate degree. Some online programs offer financial aid, like grants and scholarships, for eligible students. These opportunities can help reduce tuition expenses.
  • Curriculum. Coursework can vary drastically between Doctor of Occupational Therapy programs. For instance, some colleges may prioritize clinical experience and include a series of fieldwork classes. Other programs offer concentrations that allow students to enrich their understanding of a specific area of occupational therapy, like driving and communication or pediatrics. Selecting a program that offers courses related to your professional goals can help set you up for future success.
  • OTR pass rates. Occupational therapists are required to pass the Occupational Registered Therapist exam to get licensed to treat patients. A program with a high pass rate will likely prepare you for this assessment more effectively.
  • Faculty-to-student ratio. Some graduate schools have low faculty-to-student ratios. These programs typically have smaller class sizes, and faculty can provide more individual mentorship to students.
  • Support services. Some colleges offer free or low-cost resources for online students, like legal aid, tax assistance, and tutoring. These services can help you overcome personal challenges and excel academically.

Comparing these criteria for each program of interest could help you identify the best program for you.

Admissions Requirements

Woman preparing for Occupational Therapy Doctorate requirements

Colleges and universities typically have more rigorous admissions criteria for doctoral students than undergraduates. Each program has unique requirements, but here are a few standards you may be required to meet:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, like exercise science or pre-medical studies
  • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0, on average
  • Statement of intent
  • Prerequisite courses like human anatomy and statistics

A few Doctor of Occupational Therapy programs require students to take the GRE general exam, but many schools no longer ask for standardized test scores.

Online OTD Programs Accreditation

University offering Online Occupational Therapy Doctorate Programs

It’s beneficial to check occupational therapy schools’ accreditation statuses before applying. Higher education institutes can earn regional accreditation to prove that they meet stringent educational benchmarks established by an external regional accrediting association.

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It’s necessary to earn a degree from an accredited school to sit for the OTR exam and get licensed. Additionally, the federal government only gives student loans and other types of financial aid to learners at accredited colleges.

ACOTE Accreditation

The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) evaluates and accredits occupational therapy programs in the United States.

The council requires schools to submit two applications, pass a pre-accreditation review, and host an on-site evaluation to obtain accreditation. These steps ensure that OT programs teach essential professional skills and meet the educational and industry standards.

American graduate students are required to complete an ACOTE accredited occupational therapy program to take the OTR exam and become licensed.

Occupational Therapy Licensure and Certifications

Licensed Occupational Therapist in a session with patient

The requirements to become a licensed occupational therapist vary by state, but all practitioners must earn the Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR) national certification.

The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) issues this credential to people who pass the 170-question OTR exam. In addition, occupational therapists are required to complete continuing education courses to maintain their licenses. The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) offers board certifications for professionals who want to expand their occupational therapy knowledge.

Practitioners can earn advanced certifications in gerontology, pediatrics, and physical rehabilitation. These credentials may help occupational therapists qualify for more senior positions.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Occupational Therapy Doctorate Financial Aid

Students often consider the cost of tuition and fees when researching occupational therapy doctoral programs online.

Some schools have high sticker prices, but colleges often offer grants and scholarships that have the potential to significantly reduce expenses of qualifying students. It’s beneficial to consult the financial aid offices of programs of interest to explore your options.

The Department of Education offers student loans and work-study programs for eligible students. You can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you qualify.

What Degree Do You Need to Be an Occupational Therapist?

Occupational Therapist in a session with elderly patient

Currently, there are two educational entry points for aspiring occupational therapists. Students can choose to earn either a masters or doctorate in occupational therapy from an ACOTE accredited program. The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) permits students with either degree to take the national exam and gain state licensure.

The American Occupational Therapy Association has considered mandating that all master’s programs transition to the doctoral level, but the organization has not yet required this change. So, students can continue to choose either degree based on their professional goals.

What Is an Occupational Therapy Doctorate Degree?

Occupational Therapist doing arm stretch exercises with a patient

A Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree is an opportunity to develop expertise in the performance of occupational tasks.

Students learn how to teach patients with disabilities, injuries, and other health disorders to complete daily activities that enrich their well-being. For example, occupational therapists can help stroke patients gain more independence by relearning tasks like brushing their teeth.

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OT doctoral programs also enable students to develop into healthcare advocates and leaders. Students can study topics like health disparities, human rights issues, and public health. Finally, doctoral students hone their research skills by completing capstone projects or dissertations.

Should I Get an Occupational Therapy Doctorate?

Occupational Therapist guiding a patient on her posture

Only you can determine if a doctorate in occupational therapy is right for you, but here are a few clues that you may find this degree valuable:

  • You like coming up with new ways to accomplish tasks.
  • You enjoy interacting closely with people.
  • You want to make a difference in patients’ lives.
  • You’re fascinated by the inner workings of the human body.
  • You want to work in healthcare, but you don’t want to perform surgeries.
  • You’re empathetic and compassionate.

If some of these traits sound familiar, you may be a fit for an occupational therapy doctorate.

What Can You Do with a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapists working in a Home Health Care

Graduates from OT doctoral programs qualify for a broad range of positions. Many people who earn this degree take the national OTR exam and become licensed occupational therapists. OTs can find jobs in a variety of healthcare and educational settings, like elementary schools, hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities.

Others use their occupational therapy knowledge to pursue consulting or product development careers. For instance, ergonomics consultants can assess a company’s office setup and recommend furniture that provides proper back and seat support. Some graduates even secure academic positions as occupational therapy professors or researchers.

How Much Money Can You Make with a Doctorate in OT?

Occupational Therapist guiding a patient

Several careers associated with occupational therapy could offer lucrative salaries and benefits. Salaries can vary greatly, though, depending on your employer, industry, and level of experience.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that occupational therapists earn a median annual wage of $93,180. Occupational therapists who work in home health care services may receive the highest paychecks, with an annual median of $101,504.

Additionally, medical and health services managers have a median salary of $104,830, and the median salary for postsecondary health specialties teachers is $100,300.

Can I Get a Doctorate Degree in Occupational Therapy Online?

Woman getting Doctorate Degree in Occupational Therapy Online

Yes, many accredited colleges and universities offer occupational therapy doctoral programs online. You can complete coursework remotely in asynchronous or synchronous formats, depending on the school. Additionally, some programs have virtual capstone presentations and other opportunities for students to showcase their skills.

An online doctorate in occupational therapy provides maximum flexibility. Schools typically allow online students to complete classes on their own time and at their own pace. As a result, online studies often make it more manageable to earn a graduate degree while maintaining caregiving or work responsibilities.

Is an Occupational Therapist a Doctor?

Two Occupational Therapists in a session with patient

Occupational therapists are considered doctors if they complete a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD). They haven’t earned a Doctor of Medicine (MD), though, so they’re not the same as medical doctors.

OTDs have more limitations than MDs. They can’t diagnose a health disorder, so patients need to go to a medical doctor first to detect conditions. And, unlike MDs, occupational therapists don’t perform surgeries or write medication prescriptions.

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MDs also typically complete lengthy residencies and fellowships. By contrast, OTDs can start practicing immediately after they graduate and earn their state license.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy Online?

Man taking Doctorate in Occupational Therapy Online

There are several types of OTD degrees with varying timelines. An entry-level occupational therapy degree is for people who haven’t yet gained experience working in occupational therapy. Full-time students generally take 3 years of coursework, participate in fieldwork, and complete a capstone project.

Students who have already started working as occupational therapists can choose to enroll in a post-professional OTD. This program typically takes 2 or 3 years to complete and prepares students for healthcare leadership roles. Finally, some OTD programs focus on academic research and include a dissertation. These programs take 3 to 5 years to finish. Part-time enrollment could lengthen your studies.

What’s the Difference Between a Masters vs. Doctorate Degree in Occupational Therapy?

You can get certified and start practicing with a masters or doctorate in occupational therapy, but there are a few differences to keep in mind.

Masters in Occupational Therapy Doctorate in Occupational Therapy
  • Takes 2 to 2.5 years of full-time study
  • Covers foundational approaches and clinical practices for occupational therapy
  • Helps students launch their careers quickly
  • Takes 2 to 5 years of full-time study
  • Covers more advanced knowledge about a broader range of topics
  • Can prepare students for academic and leadership roles

Entry-level doctorate and masters degree holders usually earn similar salaries in occupational therapy.

What’s the Difference Between an OTD vs. PhD Degree?

You’ll earn the title of doctor with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Occupational Therapy or a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD), but these degrees are distinct from each other in several ways.

PhD in Occupational Therapy Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD)
  • Focuses on academic research and teaching
  • Qualifies students to pursue careers at colleges, universities, and research companies
  • Typically includes a dissertation
  • Emphasizes clinical practice and skills
  • Prepares students to become entry-level occupational therapists
  • May include a capstone project or optional dissertation

Students who want to become licensed occupational therapists typically pursue OTDs.

What’s the Difference Between a Doctor of Occupational Therapy vs. Physical Therapy?

A Doctor of Occupational Therapy and a Doctor of Physical Therapy have similar but distinct roles.

Doctor of Occupational Therapy Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • Helps patients develop or recover the ability to perform everyday activities
  • Must pass the National Board of Certification of Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam to get licensed
  • Can specialize in areas like low vision and pediatrics
  • Helps patients regain physical movement and reduce pain
  • Must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) to get licensed
  • Can focus on areas like cardiovascular and pulmonary health and neurology

Your personal and professional interests can help you choose the appropriate degree path.

Is an OTD Degree Worth It?

Occupational Therapist in a session with a child patient

Yes, an OTD degree is worth it for many students. This degree can help prepare you for a rewarding career in healthcare or tech.

You can make a difference in patients’ lives by connecting them with assistive technologies and helping them learn how to complete routine activities. Many occupational therapists find it rewarding to see patients improve over multiple sessions.

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Plus, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 14% job growth for occupational therapists over the next ten years, which is much faster than average.

Universities Offering Online Doctorate in Occupational Therapy Degree Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Bay Path University

Bay Path University campus

Bay Path University offers an occupational therapy doctorate degree program online. Specialized tracks include Advanced General Practice, Education, Mental Health, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Productive Aging, and Administration.

The program aims to teach evidence-based practice, occupational science, community practice, bioethics, leadership and advocacy, and professional writing. The program typically takes 4 to 8 semesters to finish.

Bay Path University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Boston University

Boston University campus

Boston University offers a post-professional occupational therapy doctorate program online. Potential coursework includes Educational Theory and Practice, Health Promotion and Wellness, Social Policy and Disability, and more. The program requires the completion of 33 credits and may be completed in about 18 months.

Boston University is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education.

Chatham University

Chatham University campus

Chatham University offers a post-professional Doctorate of Occupational Therapy program online. The program is designed to prepare for leadership roles in academia, healthcare, and advocacy as well as for a transition to teaching. A capstone project and formal presentation are a required part of the program. The program may be completed in 16 months.

Chatham University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Columbia University

Columbia University campus

Columbia University offers an online program for a post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy. The program aims to teach evidence-based practice and the application of research methodology. The program commonly culminates with a capstone presentation. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until 60 days before the semester begins. The program typically takes 2 years to complete.

Columbia University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Concordia University – Wisconsin

Concordia University Wisconsin campus

Concordia University–Wisconsin offers a Doctor of Occupational Therapy program online. Potential courses include Functional Anatomy, Practice Management, and Clinical Reasoning.

The program commonly features community-based experiences, clinical education, and a Christ-centered curriculum. The completion of 97 credits is required. Eligibility to take the certification exam from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy is offered.

Concordia University Wisconsin is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Creighton University

Creighton University campus

Creighton University’s post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy program is offered online. The program is designed to help prepare for advanced practice as an occupational therapist, as well as for careers in research, leadership, and academics. The program aims to provide knowledge and skills in the areas of leadership, research, academics, and professional and advanced practice.

Creighton University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University campus

Eastern Kentucky University offers an online master’s to OTD program for licensed occupational therapists. Courses are typically taught over accelerated 8 week terms, and no campus visits are usually required. Access to free virtual tutoring and career services is offered as a part of the program.

Eastern Kentucky University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Gannon University

Gannon University campus

Gannon University offers a post-professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate program online. A visit to campus to present a capstone project to instructors and classmates is required. The program requires the completion of 34 credit hours and may be completed in 2 years of part-time study. New admissions are usually offered for every summer term.

Gannon University is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

George Washington University

George Washington University campus

George Washington University offers an online program for a post-professional OTD. The flexible, asynchronous program is designed for registered occupational therapists. The program is commonly completed in 2.5 years and campus visits are not usually required. Coursework typically teaches topics such as teaching and learning, clinical research, and advanced practice.

GW is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis

Indiana University - Purdue University - Indianapolis campus

Indiana University offers a Doctor of Occupational Therapy program online. The 1 year program is designed to help practicing occupational therapists increase clinical and research knowledge. An advanced practice capstone project on a topic of choice under the guidance of a faculty member is completed as part of the program.

Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Loma Linda University

Loma Linda University campus

Loma Linda University offers an online program for a post-professional OTD. The program is designed to help prepare to work in private practice, hospitals, and similar settings. Loma Linda teaches a Christian faith-based curriculum. A research project in an area of interest is also completed as part of the program. The program can usually be finished in 9 quarters, or a little over 2 years.

Loma Linda University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.

Mary Baldwin University

Mary Baldwin University campus

Mary Baldwin University offers a post-professional occupational therapy doctorate online, usually teaching in an asynchronous format. The program is designed to help prepare for entering leadership roles in healthcare or to transition into an academic career. Courses aim to teach an understanding of research and the translation of knowledge to practice.

Mary Baldwin University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Marymount University

Marymount University campus

Marymount University offers a post-professional occupational therapy doctorate program online. Potential courses include Leading and Managing Change in Healthcare, Evidence-Based Practice, and Advanced Occupational Therapy Theory, Concepts, and Application. Courses tend to be 15 weeks long each. The program requires the completion of 30 credit hours.

Marymount University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Misericordia University

Misericordia University campus

Misericordia University offers an online program for a post-professional OTD. The program may be customized through electives to concentrate in pediatrics, adult and geriatric, teaching and transitioning to academia, mental health, and trauma and interoception. Previous graduates of the entry-level program have had a 97 percent pass rate on the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy licensing exam.

Misericordia University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

New York University

New York University campus

New York University offers both a full-time and part-time online program for a Doctor of Occupational Therapy for practicing occupational therapists. The program requires 27 to 36 credits, and new admissions are offered every fall. Courses tend to meet in the late afternoons and evenings to accommodate working professionals.

New York University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University campus

Nova Southeastern University offers a flexible online program for a Doctor of Occupational Therapy designed to meet the needs of working professionals. The program aims to teach how to conduct research and then to apply findings to professional practice. Typically, 2 courses are taken each semester, and attendance on campus is required once a year.

Nova Southeastern University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Quinnipiac University

Quinnipiac University campus

Quinnipiac University offers a post-professional occupational therapy doctorate program online. A residency during the first summer of the program is required for 1 week. The program requires the completion of 32 credits of coursework and can often be completed within 2 years of part-time study. The curriculum may be customized to unique interests.

Quinnipiac University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Rocky Mountain University

Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions campus

Rocky Mountain University offers an entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy program as a limited-residency hybrid program. Courses are typically 16 weeks each, and the full program may be completed in 3 years. A capstone project and participation in fieldwork experiences are also required.

Rocky Mountain University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Salus University

Salus University campus

Salus University offers a post-professional doctorate in occupational therapy program primarily online but with 2 on-campus courses that last 5 days each. Specialty tracks include Remedial Vision Rehabilitation and Health and Wellness. Opportunities to participate in community-based learning experiences and hands-on activities are usually offered. The competition of 30 credits is required.

Salus University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Shawnee State University

Shawnee State University campus

Shawnee State University offers a post-professional occupational therapy doctorate program online. The program is designed to help develop both leadership skills and clinical expertise. Classes at Shawnee State are designed to be interactive, but also convenient for adult learners. A student-centered capstone project is completed around interests and areas of expertise.

Shawnee State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

St. Catherine University

St Catherine University campus

St. Catherine University offers an online program for a post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy. Potential courses include Social Determinants of Health, Essential Knowledge and Competencies for Leadership, and Educational Methods.

The program aims to provide a collaborative learning environment, helping to prepare for either advanced practice as clinicians or for academic careers. The program requires the completion of 35 credits.

St. Catherine University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Temple University

Temple University campus

Temple University offers a post-professional doctorate in occupational therapy program online. The program aims to teach how to demonstrate critical thinking skills in clinical practice and to act as an innovative leader by contributing to the research agenda in the field. The program can usually be completed in 1 year of full-time study.

Temple University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University campus

Texas Tech University offers a post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy program online. The format is designed so that the degree may be earned while not interrupting work commitments, and to immediately apply learning to professional practice. New terms typically begin in the summer, fall, or spring.

Texas Tech University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Thomas Jefferson University

Thomas Jefferson University campus

Thomas Jefferson University offers a post-professional occupational therapy doctorate program online. The format aims to provide flexibility without sacrificing academic rigor. Individualized mentorship is typically provided throughout the program. The curriculum tends to focus on evidence-based practice and real-world applications, so as to prepare for both clinical and academic roles upon graduation.

Thomas Jefferson University is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Touro University

Touro University Worldwide campus

Touro University offers an online post-professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate program online. Potential coursework includes Justice in Health and Healthcare, Program Development for Occupational Therapy, Research Seminar, and more. The program typically uses a cohort model, so as to offer a learning environment that is both supportive and flexible.

Touro University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Towson University

Towson University campus

Towson University offers an online program for a post-professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate. The part-time program aims to help prepare for leadership roles and advanced clinical practice while continuing work in a current position. The degree requires the completion of a total of 33 credits, and can potentially be completed in 6 semesters.

Towson University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

University of Alabama – Birmingham

University of Alabama Birmingham campus

The University of Alabama–Birmingham offers an online program for a post-professional OTD for already licensed professionals. Specializations include Professional Writing, Foundations in Treatment of Visual Impairment from Brain Injury, and Occupational Therapists as Educators. The program aims to teach fundamental theory, healthcare policy, research design, management, and higher education principles.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Kansas

University of Kansas campus

The University of Kansas offers a post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy program online. Potential coursework includes Quantitative Research for Applied Science, Multidisciplinary Theoretical Perspectives, and Occupation-Based Practice. Participation in practicums and the completion of a capstone project are required as part of the program. The program can often be finished within 3 years.

The University of Kansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of St. Augustine

University of St Augustine campus

The University of St. Augustine offers a post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy program online. Specializations include Teaching and Leadership and Executive Leadership, or other concentrations may be available according to interest. The program includes optional immersion sessions and a faculty-guided capstone project.

The University of St. Augustine is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Utica University

Utica University campus

Utica University offers a flexible post-professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy program online. Part-time or full-time enrollment is offered and the program may be started in either the fall or the spring term. The curriculum is often customizable to individual career goals, and culminates with a capstone project in which professional learning is demonstrated.

Utica University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Getting Your Occupational Therapy Doctorate Degree Online

student pursuing Occupational Therapy Doctorate Degree Online

As the demand for occupational therapists grows, many accredited colleges and universities have begun offering occupational therapy doctoral programs online. These convenient programs enable students to hone their medical knowledge and research skills from home.

An OTD degree can help prepare you for a lucrative career as an occupational therapist. Graduates frequently work for healthcare facilities like hospitals, but you could also consider launching your own private practice or working as an assistive technology consultant.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your educational and professional journey, you can start by researching accredited occupational therapy doctoral programs.

Ready to start your journey?
WRITTEN BY
Brianna has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Florida and an M.A. in English from the University of Kentucky. Her research interests include careers and professional development, digital pedagogy, and first-year writing.