10 Most Affordable Online Occupational Therapy Programs

Various schools offer affordable online occupational therapy programs with flexible programs to help you advance your career. If you want to learn more about the most affordable online occupational therapy programs, you are in the right place! This degree could be suitable if you already hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field and want to pursue licensing as an occupational therapist.

There are many factors to consider with this degree. First, most master’s degrees in OT are not quick. So you will most likely spend 2.5 to 3 years working on this degree. But, an online student can receive the same financial aid as traditional students. Additionally, most MOT or MSOT degrees are in a blended or hybrid format. Because of the hands-on nature of this field, it’s hard to find fully online programs. Keep that in mind as you do your research and as you read this ranking. A lot of the coursework is online, but the programs have on-campus components to them as well. Use that information to guide your search. Good luck!

Featured Schools

Methodology for Ranking Online Occupational Therapy Programs

To develop this ranking for online Occupational Therapy programs, our analytics team created a list of schools with accelerated online master’s degrees in Occupational Therapy. Data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics, IPEDS, College Navigator, and each school’s website. Then, they gathered information regarding tuition, accreditation, support services, and degree completion times.

Finally, our analytics team applied a ranking methodology and scored the schools based on specific criteria. We used the school’s in-state graduate tuition, the duration of the program, school accreditation, and the presence of an online student support network or services. If any information didn’t fit the scoring parameters, zero points were awarded for that category. In the case of a tie, the school with the lower tuition pulled the higher rank.

Time to Completion

  • 19-24 Months: 1 point
  • 13-18 Months: 2 points
  • 10-12 Months: 3 points

Graduate Tuition

  • =/< $25,000: 1 point
  • =/< $20,000: 2 points
  • =/< $15,000: 3 points
  • =/< $10,000: 4 points


  • Institutional: 1 point
  • Program: 1 points
  • Online Support: 1 point

For this ranking, Fast Online Masters spent 53 hours of research and looked at 42 colleges and universities to compile the Most Affordable Online Occupational Therapy Programs ranking. More information on data accuracy and how we develop our rankings is on the Fast Online Masters Methodology page.

Our editors first reviewed the online Occupational Therapy master’s programs in May 2019. This ranking was last updated in November 2023.

10. University of Indianapolis

  • Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Degree: Hybrid MOT
  • Time to Completion: 3.5 years
  • Credits: 76
  • Graduate Tuition: total cost $75,392
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
  • More: Program Website

The online master’s in Occupational Therapy at the University of Indianapolis is a hybrid program. Students go to campus 2 days a week, and then take the rest of the program online. This fast MOT online degree begins each January. Students can complete this 76 credit degree program in 3.5 years, but you should be able to work at the same time. A Doctor of Occupational Therapy program is also available.

9. University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences

  • Location: Dallas, Texas campus
  • Degree: Hybrid immersive Master of Occupational Therapy
  • Time to Completion: 2 years
  • Credits: 93
  • Graduate Tuition: total cost $89,257
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
  • More: Program Website

Through the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, students can earn an online Master’s in Occupational Therapy. They can either complete the program on-site or take the Hybrid Immersive program at the Dallas campus.

But there is also a Flex option for students considering a blended program. Students will take classes on campus on the weekends and complement face-to-face instruction with online coursework. However, this option will make the program last a little longer. Students enrolled in the Flex program can complete their quick online MSOT in 3 years. Additionally, for students interested in continuing towards a doctorate degree, the combined MOT/Post-Professional OTD would be a fantastic option.

8. Belmont University

  • Location: Nashville, Tennessee
  • Degree: Hybrid Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
  • Time to Completion: 3 years
  • Credits: 76
  • Graduate Tuition: total cost $101,413
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
  • More: Program Website

If you’re looking for an accelerated master’s in Occupational Therapy, check out the hybrid MSOT program at Belmont University. Students only attend classes every third weekend, with the rest of the program delivered through online coursework. So students can complete the quick online MSOT program in 6 consecutive semesters. Courses include Physiology & Clinical Pathophysiology, Neuroscience in OT, Kinesiology in OT, and also Developmental Influences on Living. Additionally, students complete three Level 1 fieldwork experiences and two Level 2 ones.

7. Thomas Jefferson University

  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Degree: Hybrid MSOT
  • Time to Completion: 3 years
  • Credits: 74
  • Graduate Tuition: total cost $92,264
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
  • More: Program Website

If you already have a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, then check out Thomas Jefferson University’s fast Master’s in Occupational Therapy online. This program is in a blended format, so it is ideal for students who live in or near the Philadelphia area. Students will go to campus every other weekend for intensives at least 8 times a semester. All additional coursework is in an online format. The quick master’s in OT online takes just 2.5 years. And students in this program will have tremendous collaborative opportunities, including community or inter-professional partnerships and also fieldwork.

6. Shenandoah University

  • Location: Winchester, Virginia
  • Degree: Hybrid MSOT
  • Time to Completion: 3 years
  • Credits: 75
  • Graduate Tuition: total cost $80,019
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
  • More: Program Website

At Shenandoah University, students can earn their fast MSOT online through their hybrid delivery option. Over half of the coursework is online. However, classes are on-campus one day a week. Fieldwork will be completed on ‘off’ course days. Students will benefit from engaged faculty, practical learning experiences, and a flexible hybrid program.

The 75-credit degree program features classes like Therapeutic Occupation, Community Application with Individuals, Management and Systems in Occupational Therapy Settings, and Occupational Therapy in Mental Health Practice. Two 12-week fieldwork experiences are required.

5. Barry University

  • Location: Miami, Florida
  • Degree: Hybrid Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
  • Time to Completion: 3 years
  • Credits: 75
  • Graduate Tuition: total cost $78,000
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
  • More: Program Website

Students enrolled in Barry University’s fast online Masters’ in Occupational Therapy will complete both on-campus and online components. Students will go to campus 2 weekends a month for instruction and then complete coursework online. Classes include Conditions in Later Life, Legal and Ethical Issues in Occupational Therapy, Conditions in Childhood 2, and Activities of Daily Living: Strategies for Special Needs. A 12-week fieldwork experience will be required after year one and year two. The program can be completed in 2.5 years.

4. Mount Mary University

  • Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Degree: Hybrid Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
  • Time to Completion: 3 years
  • Credits: 67
  • Graduate Tuition: total cost $63,775
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
  • More: Program Website

The quickest online Master’s in Occupational Therapy degree offering at Mount Mary University is a hybrid MSOT. The program is broken down into 3 parts:

  • 21 months of courses on campus in Milwaukee
  • 6 months of fieldwork
  • 1 month culminating project and practice experience

While the first (almost) two years will be fully on-campus, the 6-month fieldwork experience will also include an online learning component. So, this degree might be the best fit for students living in or wanting to live in Wisconsin. An Occupational Therapy Doctorate degree is also available.

3. Trinity Washington University

  • Location: Washington, District of Columbia
  • Degree: Hybrid MOT
  • Time to Completion: 3 years
  • Credits: 75
  • Graduate Tuition: total cost $64,000
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
  • More: Program Website

Trinity Washington University offers an affordable online Master’s in Occupational Therapy. The program will be delivered in three parts: weekend classes, online classes, and community placement. Students can expect 5 semesters of full-time coursework, then two 12-week fieldwork placements. Courses include Occupational Development Across the Lifespan, Functional Anatomy and Kinesiology, Pediatric Interventions, and Psychological/Behavioral Foundations and Intervention.

2. New England Institute of Technology

  • Location: East Greenwich, Rhode Island
  • Degree: Hybrid MSOT
  • Time to Completion: 3 years
  • Credits: 75
  • Graduate Tuition: $825 per credit
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
  • More: Program Website

At New England Institute of Technology, students can earn their cheap online Master’s in Occupational Therapy in just 10 terms. The hybrid program allows students to alternate between weekend courses and online work. The program is for people who need to juggle work, school, and family life. Classes include Service Management for Adult Rehabilitation, Theoretical and Clinical Reasoning in OT, and Practice Issues for the Occupational Therapist Seminar. Two full-time 12 week fieldwork experiences are also required.

1. Concordia University Wisconsin

  • Location: Mequon, Wisconsin
  • Degree: Hybrid MSOT
  • Time to Completion: 3 years
  • Credits: 87
  • Graduate Tuition: total cost $80,230
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE)
  • More: Program Website

For those out there who want to merge their faith in Christ with their quick Master’s in Occupational Therapy online, Concordia University in Wisconsin might be the answer. Note that this is a blended program. Courses include Psychosocial Practice, Rehabilitation Science, and Special Topics in OT, as well as two fieldwork experiences.

MSOT students can complete this degree in just 2.5 years. Graduates of the program qualify to sit for the National Certification Exam for the Occupational Therapist. Students who do not already have a Bachelor’s degree can consider the school’s accelerated 4.5 year combined BSRS/MOT degree.

What are Common Master’s Degrees in Occupational Therapy?

Below are the most common types of online master’s degrees in Occupational Therapy. Most programs have accreditation from the the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).

  • Online Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
  • Online Master of Science of Occupational Therapy (MSOT)
  • Hybrid Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
  • Hybrid Master of Science of Occupational Therapy (MSOT)

What is a Fast Master’s in Occupational Therapy?

A Fast Master’s in Occupational Therapy (FMOT) is a specialized program that allows students to attain their MS degree in Occupational Therapy (OT) in a shorter period of time than traditional graduate degree programs. These programs typically consist of a mixture of online courses, clinical experience, and on-campus intensive intensive sessions, allowing mature students to work more efficiently and quickly complete their degree program.

In order to start applying for Master’s programs in Occupational Therapy, you will first need a Bachelor’s degree. While you can theoretically major in any undergraduate discipline, it would be wise to obtain a major in an area related to the subjects covered in OT graduate programs. For example, undergraduate majors in fields like biology, kinesiology, health sciences, exercise science, liberal arts, or psychology would be beneficial.

What is the Difference Between an Occupational Therapist and a Physical Therapist?

The main difference between an occupational therapist and a physical therapist is the type of treatment they offer. Both health professions are good jobs that pay well. However, occupational therapists focus on helping people with injuries, illnesses, or disabilities (cancer, spinal cord injuries, autism, cerebral palsy) regain the ability to perform day-to-day activities. This includes activities such as dressing, eating, and toileting. They also assess and provide treatments that are focused on developing people’s ability to perform activities of daily life, or skills that are essential to independent living.

Physical therapists, on the other hand, focus on helping people restore strength, range of motion, and balance. They focus more on the physical aspects of recovery, such as strengthening muscles, ligaments, and joints. Physical therapy also uses physical modalities such as massage, heat, and ultrasound to help reduce pain, stiffness, and swelling. Physical therapists also design exercises and programs that are aimed at helping patients improve posture and coordination, while also increasing their physical strength and endurance.

What are the Admission Requirements for a Fast OT Online Degree?

Admission to graduate occupational therapy programs is pretty competitive. While entry to each program will vary, here are a few requirements you might encounter:

  • a bachelor’s degree and completion of all prerequisite classes, like human anatomy.
  • a high undergraduate GPA: you will at least need a 3.0 undergraduate GPA (with some programs requiring even higher GPAs like 3.3+).
  • volunteer hours as an occupational therapy aid: some graduate OT programs require upwards of 150+ volunteer hours in order to be admitted, so it will be important to pursue volunteer opportunities during your undergraduate degrees.
  • an adequate score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE): many schools will require a standardized test score for admission.
  • letters of recommendation: because admission to graduate OT programs is competitive, having an endorsement from a reputable science teacher or clinical supervisor would be extremely beneficial.

In order to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy certification exam, it is required for students to graduate from an occupational therapy program that is accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association. For a full list of master’s degree programs that are AOTA-accredited, click here.

When You Graduate with a Master’s in OT, are You Automatically Licensed to Practice?

No, you will not! To work as a licensed occupational therapist in any state, you need a license. So after you online complete one of the occupational therapy programs, you will need to pass the NBCOT certification exam. For more information about the certification exam for Occupational Therapist, Registered, visit the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. In order to become a licensed OT, you will need to do the following:

  1. Graduate from an AOTA-accredited OT program
  2. Apply for the NBCOT certification exam
  3. Pass the certification examination from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)
  4. Apply for the license in the state in which you wish to work
  5. After successful completion of the exam, the applicant will be an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR)

*Note that all states might have different licensing requirements. Check with your state to see exactly what you need.

Do You Need to Complete an Internship or OT Fieldwork?

Yes, absolutely. To graduate and be eligible for national certification and state licensure students must complete fieldwork experiences. No matter what easy Masters in Occupational Therapy online program you choose, you will have to participate in a hands-on fieldwork experience. A typical OTD program includes two 12-week fieldwork experiences that provide real-world situations so students gain experience.

Is an MOT or MSOT Degree a Terminal Degree?

The term terminal degree refers to the highest level degree in a given field. So neither an MOT or MSOT degree is a terminal degree because a doctoral-level degree is offered. However, occupational therapy students can go on to earn another graduate degree that is a doctoral degree. And many program offer advanced standing for students who earned a master’s degree at that institution.

What Can You Do With a Master’s in Occupational Therapy?

With a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy, you can work as an Occupational Therapist in a variety of settings. Some of these include acute care hospitals, physical rehabilitation centers, long-term care centers, schools, and also private practice. Additionally, you may specialize in areas such as hand therapy, work conditioning, orthotics, or physical disabilities. These professionals assess, diagnose, and treat patients with physical, mental, emotional, or developmental impairments through the use of activities or exercises to help them improve their daily living performance.

Other options could be for you to continue your studies and get a doctoral-level degree (called an OTD), especially if you want to go into teaching or research.

What is the Career Outlook in Occupational Therapy?

When looking for careers that will be sustainable over time, it’s wise to think about your passion. But you also want to look at the job outlook, trends, and how fast the profession will grow. This ensures you enter a career path and field is thriving and promises to foster growth for you over time.

The good news is the career outlook for occupational therapists is very positive. In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that OT’s job growth will grow faster than average. Over the next decade the field is expected to increase by 12% (BLS). A growing elderly population and increases in chronic conditions such as diabetes and obesity are expected to continue to create demand for occupational therapy services.

Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides

An Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) is a health care professional who works with an occupational therapist. Together they help individuals participate in the things they want and need to do through therapeutic use of everyday activities. The aim is to help patients with disabilities, illnesses, or injuries gain independence, develop skills, and function in their day-to-day lives.

  • Annual Salary (BLS) $61,520
Occupational Therapists

An Occupational Therapist is a healthcare professionals who helps people develop, recover and maintain skills for daily living. They work with individuals of all ages who have physical, cognitive, developmental, intellectual, mental health, emotional, and also sensory disabilities. Using a wide variety of interventions they help to improve client, family, and also community well-being.

  • Annual Salary (BLS) $85,570
Physical Therapists

A Physical Therapist helps individuals of all ages improve their mobility, reduce pain, and prevent or limit physical disabilities caused by injury, disease, illness, or aging. They provide therapy to restore, maintain, and promote physical activity for individuals with acute and chronic medical conditions.

  • Annual Salary (BLS) $95,620

What are Occupational Therapist Specializations?

An occupational therapist specialization is a focused area of practice that each occupational therapist may choose, such as pediatrics, mental health, low vision, ergonomics, home health, or geriatrics. Specialists have advanced training that focuses on their chosen specialization. Below are some additional areas of OT specialization.

  1. Physical Disabilities
  2. Aging and Geriatrics
  3. Mental Health and Cognitive Disabilities
  4. Sensory Disabilities
  5. Developmental Disabilities
  6. Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation
  7. Hand Therapy
  8. Sports and Orthopedic Injuries
  9. Assistive Technology
  10. Neurological Rehabilitation
  11. Women’s Health
  12. Ergonomics and Assistive Technology
  13. Low Vision and Blind Rehabilitation
  14. Pediatric Rehabilitation
  15. Lymphedema
  16. Vocational Rehabilitation

How Much Can You Earn with a Master’s in OT?

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that OT’s make around $93,180 per year (BLS). And the salaries range from $63,320 for entry level positions to more than $123,870. Additionally, occupational therapists with specializations earn more than their counterparts. Below are the BLS states with the highest employment level of Occupational Therapists with salary.

StateEmploymentAnnual mean wage
New York8,660$95,280
BLS states with the most Occupational Therapists.

Should You Pursue a Doctorate Degree in Occupational Therapy?

This will depend on what you want to do after you graduate with your master’s in OT. Do you want to teach? Do you want to work in research? If so, you might want to continue with your OT online degree.

If a more hands-on career is important to you, you may not need to pursue an OTD degree. But, as all fields and requirements evolve and change, it’s important to always research what you need academically before you pursue a given field.

Occupational Therapy Professional Organizations

Professional organizations are definitely something to check out for ongoing support, peer support, network building, and current research discovery.

  • American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
  • National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)

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