In this ranking of the quickest online Master’s degrees in Occupational Therapy, we will examine sample degrees like:
- Online Master of Occupational Therapy
- Online Master of Science of Occupational Therapy
- Hybrid Master of Occupational Therapy
- Hybrid Master of Science of Occupational Therapy
If you’re interested in getting the fastest Master’s in Occupational Therapy online degree, then check out our ranking below. This degree could be right for you if you already hold a Bachelor’s degree in a related field and want to pursue licensing as an occupational therapist. Factors to consider when pondering this degree: (1) Most Master’s degrees in OT are not quick; you will most likely spend 2.5-3 years working on this degree and (2) most MOT or MSOT degrees are delivered 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 your coursework will be completed online, but the programs will have on-campus components to them as well. Use that information to guide your search. Good luck!
In order to rank the easiest online Master’s in Occupational Therapy, we scored the schools based on 3 criteria: their Student/Faculty ratio, the school’s graduate/in-state graduate tuition, and the duration of the program. We used the school’s website for information, as well as the National Center for Education Statistics. If any information didn’t fit within the parameters of the scoring, zero points were awarded for that category. If schools end up with a tie in points awarded, weight is given to the school with the lowest tuition.
*Note that we’ve adjusted the length of program for this ranking as compared to our other rankings. Most OT programs are longer than other Master’s degree programs, so we changed the methodology accordingly.
- 13:1 or less- 3 points
- 14:1 to 20:1- 2 points
- 21:1 and above- 1 point
Average Graduate Tuition Rate:
- Less than $8,000- 5 points
- $8,000 to $18,000- 3 points
- Greater than $18,000- 1 point
Minimum Time to Completion:
- 18 months or less- 5 points
- 18-24 months- 3 points
- 24-30 months- 1 point
Now, let’s get to the quickest online Master’s in Occupational Therapy programs!
#10 University of Indianapolis
Student Faculty Ratio: 13 to 1
Graduate Tuition: $37,514
The fast online Master’s in Occupational Therapy offering at the University of Indianapolis is a hybrid program. Students will go to campus 2 days a week, and then take the rest of the program online. This fast MOT online degree begins each January. This 76-credit degree program can be completed in 3.5 years, but you should be able to work at the same time. A Doctor of Occupational Therapy program is also available. UI’s MOT program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).
#9 University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences
San Marcos, California
Hybrid Master of Occupational Therapy
Student Faculty Ratio: not reported
Graduate Tuition: $17,229
Through the College of Rehabilitative, students can earn their easy online Master’s in Occupational Therapy at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. While the program can be completed on site, there is also a Flex option available for students considering a hybrid or blended program. Students will take classes on campus on the weekends and complement the 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. For students interested in continuing towards a doctorate degree, the combined MOT/Post-Professional OTD would be a fantastic option.
#8 Belmont University
Student Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1
Graduate Tuition: $22,680
If you’re looking for an accelerated Master’s in Occupational Therapy, check out Belmont University’s hybrid MSOT program. Students will only be required to attend classes every third weekend, with the rest of the program delivered through online coursework. The quick online MSOT program can be completed in 6 consecutive semesters. Courses includes Physiology & Clinical Pathophysiology, Neuroscience in OT, Kinesiology in OT, and Developmental Influences on Living. Students will be placed in 3 Level 1 fieldwork experiences and 2 Level 2 ones. The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree program at Belmont University is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).
#7 Thomas Jefferson University
Student Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
Graduate Tuition: $21,420
If you already have a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, you need to check out Thomas Jefferson University’s fast Master’s in Occupational Therapy online. Firstly, this program will be presented in a blended format, so it will be important for you to 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 will be completed in an online format. The quick Master’s in OT online can be completed in just 2.5 years. Students in this program will have tremendous collaborative opportunities, including community or inter-professional partnerships and fieldwork.
#6 Shenandoah University
Student Faculty Ratio: 11 to 1
Graduate Tuition: $21,400
At Shenandoah University, students can earn their fast MSOT online through their hybrid delivery option. Over half of the coursework can be completed online. Classes will be offered 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. The MSOT program is accredited by the AOTA.
#5 Barry University
Student Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
Graduate Tuition: $17,820
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. Barry University’s Occupational Therapy Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).
#4 Mount Mary University
Hybrid Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
Student Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
Graduate Tuition: $14,952
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. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).
#3 Trinity Washington University
Washington, District of Columbia
Student Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
Graduate Tuition: $14,310
Trinity Washingtons University offers an affordable online Master’s in Occupational Therapy. The program will be delivered in three parts: weekend classes, online classes, and a 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/Behavorial Foundations and Intervention. The MOT program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).
#2 New England Institute of Technology
East Greenwich, Rhode Island
Student Faculty Ratio: 13 to 1
Graduate Tuition: $13,320
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 designed 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 will be required. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
#1 Concordia University – Wisconsin
Online Master of Occupational Therapy
Student Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
Graduate Tuition: $11,052
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. The degree can be completed in just 2.5 years. Graduates of the program will be prepared 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. The MOT program at CU-Wisconsin is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education ( ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).
What is a fast Master’s in Occupational Therapy online?
If you want to become an occupational therapist, then at a minimum, you will need a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy.
What is occupational therapy?
As the accrediting agency AOTE so eloquently shares: “Occupational therapy practitioners ask, “What matters to you?’ not, ‘What’s the matter with you?'”
The job of an occupational therapist is to help people gain the mobility they need to perform everyday tasks related to life, work, or play.
Various Master’s degrees available for the quickest Master’s in Occupational Therapy online:
If you already have your Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy or related field, then you might be ready to take the next step in your journey to becoming an OT. Here are a few degrees you could pursue:
Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT)
Transitional Master of Occupational Therapy
Length of programs for the easiest Master’s in Occupational Therapy online:
Master’s level degrees in occupational therapy usually take 2.5 years. The first 1.5 years will be dedicated to classroom instruction, and the last year will focus on clinical experience.
Coursework for the fastest Master’s in Occupational Therapy online:
The curriculum plan for graduate OT students will be divided into two sections: the theoretical coursework and the clinical experience. The first year and a half to two years will be devoted to courses in a classroom or lab setting (some of this material could be presented online). In your Master’s level OT classes, you can expect to take courses in research methods, anatomy, kinesiology, interventions, OT theory, and more. The last 6 months of the program (or so) will require clinical fieldwork to gain real-world experience.
Online vs On-Campus MOT and MSOT degrees:
Getting a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy online is more difficult than you might think, hence why most of the programs we reported above are blended programs. Because of the hands-on nature of this field, fully-online programs are rare. Most programs that do offer online components provide courses that can easily be completed in an online fashion while utilizing night and/or weekend courses on-campus for the classes that need hands-on attention.
Prerequisites for quick online MOT or MSOT degrees:
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.
Admission details for fast MOT online degrees:
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 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.
Accreditation for Occupational Therapy Programs:
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.
FAQs for Easy Online Master’s in Occupational Therapy:
Q: When I graduate with my Master’s in OT, will I automatically be licensed to practice?
A: No, you will not! You will need to pass the NBCOT certification exam first.
In order to become a licensed OT, you will need to do the following:
- Graduate from an AOTA-accredited OT program
- Apply for the NBCOT certification exam
- Pass the exam
- Apply for the license in the state in which you wish to work
*Note that all states might have different licensing requirements. Check with your state to see exactly what you need.
Q: Will I write a thesis in my fast online Master’s in Occupational Therapy program?
A: This answer could depend on the degree type you pursue, as well as your school’s requirements. Generally speaking though, the MOT degree leans more towards practice-oriented curriculum, while those desiring to write a thesis (maybe those interested in research) should consider pursuing a MSOT degree.
Q: Will I be required to complete an internship or fieldwork?
A: Yes, absolutely. No matter what easy Masters in Occupational Therapy online program you choose, you will have to participate in a hands-on fieldwork experience. Typically, you will engage in 2 12-week fieldwork experiences.
Q: What is online learning like?
A: This will vary depending on the program in which you are enrolled.
Q: Is an MOT/MSOT degree a terminal degree?
A: The term “terminal degree” refers to the highest level degree in a given field. So no, an MOT or MSOT degree is not a terminal degree because a doctoral-level degree is offered.
Q: Should I pursue a doctorate degree in Occupational Therapy?
A: 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 research? If so, you might want to continue with your OTD online degree. If you don’t, and 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.
Q: If I do get my OTD degree, can I get it online?
A: Yes, you can! Unlike Master’s degree OT programs that rely heavily on lab and fieldwork, OTD degrees are generally developed for practicing OTs. Therefore, you can find many more fast online OTD degrees than Master’s level ones.
Q: Can I get a 1-year online Master’s in Occupational Therapy?
A: Unfortunately, no, you will not be able to get a 1-year Master’s in Occupational Therapy online. MOT/MSOT programs are about 2.5 years in length due to its extensive labs and fieldwork experiences.
Career Information for graduates of quick Master’s in Occupational Therapy online degrees:
The fastest Master’s in Occupational Therapy online degree will lead to a career as an occupational therapist. 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.
When looking for careers that will be sustainable over time, it’s wise to think not just about your passion. Yes, that’s #1, but you also want to look at the job outlook, meaning what do the trends say about how fast the profession will grow? You don’t want to enter a dying field, but one that is thriving and promises to foster growth for you over time.
The good news about occupational therapists? You’re in a growing field. In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that OT’s job growth will grow faster than average. Between now and the year 2028, the field is expected to increase by 18%.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that OT’s make almost $85,000 per year (median annual wage / May 2019).
Professional organizations are definitely something to check out for ongoing support, peer support, network building, and current research discovery.
Here are a few to check out: