If you’re interested in learning more about the most affordable online occupational therapy programs then you are in the right place! 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 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
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 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
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).
Student Faculty Ratio: 13 to 1
Graduate Tuition: $37,514
9. University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences
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 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.
San Marcos, California
Hybrid Master of Occupational Therapy
Student Faculty Ratio: not reported
Graduate Tuition: $17,229
8. Belmont University
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 include 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).
Student Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1
Graduate Tuition: $22,680
7. Thomas Jefferson University
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.
Student Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
Graduate Tuition: $21,420
6. Shenandoah University
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.
Student Faculty Ratio: 11 to 1
Graduate Tuition: $21,400
5. Barry University
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).
Student Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
Graduate Tuition: $17,820
4. Mount Mary University
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).
Hybrid Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
Student Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
Graduate Tuition: $14,952
3. Trinity Washington University
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. The MOT program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).
Washington, District of Columbia
Student-Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
Graduate Tuition: $14,310
2. New England Institute of Technology
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)
East Greenwich, Rhode Island
Student Faculty Ratio: 13 to 1
Graduate Tuition: $13,320
1. Concordia University – Wisconsin
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).
Online Master of Occupational Therapy
Student Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
Graduate Tuition: $11,052
What is a fast Master’s in Occupational Therapy?
If you want to become an occupational therapist, then at a minimum, you will need a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy.
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 are the 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.
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 I graduate with my Master’s in OT, will I automatically be licensed to practice?
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.
Will I be required to complete an internship or fieldwork?
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.
Is an MOT/MSOT degree a terminal degree?
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.
Should I 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 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.
What is a career like with a master’s in occupational therapy?
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.