Top 15 Doctorate of Occupational Therapy Programs in 2021 - Best Value Schools

    Top 15 Doctorate of Occupational Therapy Programs in 2021

    Staff Writers by: Staff Writers

    For students who embark upon a career in occupational therapy, they get more than a challenging field of work, good compensation, and respect, but they also get the benefits of a career that is personally rewarding and that helps so many others. Beginning those careers, however, begins with finding the right school of instruction and the top doctorate of occupational therapy programs.

    Along with all-important considerations like those of tuition costs, we have compiled a list of the top doctorate of occupational therapy programs that also include factors such as graduation rates to help you find the right OT program and school. Good luck in your future career endeavors and all of your educational pursuits. 

    1. University of the Sciences (94 points)

    Kicking off our list of the top doctorate of occupational therapy programs is a lesser-known institution, the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. What this program lacks in recognition, however, it more than makes up for with an award-winning staff of teachers and instructors. While this program does come with considerable tuition costs, it also boasts of a nearly 80% graduation rate – and of being the top program on our list.

    Tuition: $25,000 per year                 

    Graduation Rate: 78% 

    2. University of South Dakota (92 points)

    When the famed American newspaper editor and author Horace Greeley’s “go west young man go west” phrase was coined, he could have been referring to the University of South Dakota for students seeking a doctorate of occupational therapy degree. This program, in Vermillion, South Dakota is west by northwest, and it also offers very attractive tuition fees. While the graduation rate isn’t great for the school overall, it is very impressive for students enrolled in the occupational therapy program. Along with this program and its costs, the University of South Dakota earns high marks on our list of the top doctorate of occupational therapy programs.

    Tuition: $12,807 per year                             

    Graduation Rate: 59%                     

    3. Huntington University (90 points)

    This program earns a place among our top occupational therapy programs due in part to its unique class structure and admission requirements. Students seeking their doctorate of occupational therapy at Huntington University in Fort Wayne, Indiana will have to contend with considerable tuition fees but strong graduation rate numbers bode well for students who can manage those costs.

    Tuition: $26,846 per year                        

    Graduation Rate: 70%                              

    3. Indiana Wesleyan University (90 points)

    Being the largest private university in the state of Indiana, Indiana Wesleyan University has much to offer students who are looking for the top doctorate of occupational therapy programs. From state-of-the-art facilities and equipment including more than $40 million invested in a new learning hall, IWU in Marion, Indiana finds itself among the top doctorate of occupational therapy programs on our list. Considerable tuition costs will typically require financial assistance, but a strong graduation rate helps to ensure those educational investments.

    Tuition: $27,296 per year        

    Graduation Rate: 71%            

    5. Kettering College (88 points)

    The doctorate of occupational therapy program at Kettering College in Kettering, Ohio, is designed to prepare students for successful careers in occupational therapy roles. Highly competitive tuition costs help to counterbalance a sub 50% graduation rate and make this program worth a look.

    Tuition: $13,392 per year                     

    Graduation Rate: 45%        

    5. Arkansas State University (88 points)

    Another program that finds a solid place among our list of the top doctorate of occupational therapy programs is Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Although the graduation rate struggles to get over fifty percent, that factor is offset somewhat by a manageable tuition rate, making this program worthy of a spot among the leading OT programs.

    Tuition: $15,860 per year           

    Graduation Rate: 53%                

    7. University of Indianapolis (86 points)

    The University of Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana, is a wonderful option for working graduate students looking for the top doctorate of occupational therapy programs. A sizeable tuition fee at this well-recognized University will typically require some type of financial assistance, but solid graduation numbers help this program to maintain a solid place on our list of the top OT programs.

    Tuition: $30,976 per year     

    Graduation Rate: 60%           

    7. Northern Arizona University (86 points)

    The West Coast and schools out west have long been recognized as leaders in the world of occupational therapy, and Northern Arizona University’s doctorate of occupational therapy program is no exception. This Phoenix, Arizona school has a respectable graduation rate of not quite 60% which helps to counterbalance tuition rates that will generally mean getting financial aid, but this OT program has proven to be a worthy investment for many students.

    Tuition: $26,516 per year          

    Graduation Rate: 57%              

    7. Duquesne University (86 points)

    In addition to offering graduate students the opportunity to pursue a doctorate of occupational therapy degree, Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania also affords new students a 6-year program for freshmen desiring to earn an OT doctorate. An excellent graduation rate helps to offset one of the larger tuition fees of the schools on our list and helps to keep this program worthy of a place among the top doctorate of occupational therapy programs.

    Tuition: $39,992 per year            

    Graduation Rate: 81%                 

    10. Belmont Univesity (85 points)

    The Belmont University doctorate of occupational therapy program affords students a hands-on program approach using practical clinical fieldwork opportunities. Large tuition fees at this Nashville, Tennessee institution will generally mean seeking financial aid of some type, but strong graduation rates provide great outlooks for students entering the program.

    Tuition: $35,650 per year                  

    Graduation Rate: 72%                          

    10. Creighton University (85 points)

    At the Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, in Omaha, Nebraska, students can pursue a doctorate in occupational therapy, and a great career in the field of occupational therapy. Tuition rates at this respected school will mean the need for financial aid for most students, but plus 80% graduation rate numbers are encouraging for new students.

    Tuition: $41,400 per year          

    Graduation Rate: 81%                

    10. St. Ambrose University (85 points)

    Another small school of less repute, St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, makes an appearance on our list as the first accredited doctorate of occupational therapy program in Iowa. Stiff tuition costs will mean some type of financial assistance need for most, while good graduation rates help to earn this founding program a place on our list of the top OT programs. 

    Tuition: $31,812 per year              

    Graduation Rate: 64%                      

    Graduation Rate: 97%

    10. University of Central Arkansas (85 points)

    As another one of our top doctorate of occupational therapy programs, the University of Central Arkansas makes the list in part due to competitive tuition rates that also help to offset less-than-ideal graduation numbers. This proven and reputable Conway, AR program is another that could deserve some further investigation for students seeking a post-graduate OT degree.

    Tuition: $15,998 per year               

    Graduation Rate: 43%                     

    14. Drake University (83 points)

    At Drake University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, students get the opportunity to experience clinical application and activities as part of the program’s curriculum. The established and well-recognized Des Moines, Iowa institution of higher learning does come with stout tuition costs but also boasts of an excellent graduation rate of over 80%.

    Tuition: $42,840 per year               

    Graduation Rate: 81%                        

    15. Washington University (82 points)

    Closing out our list of the top doctorate of occupational therapy programs is Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. In addition to a near-perfect graduation rate, this program has also been dubbed as the number one occupational therapy program in the country based on rankings by U.S. News and World Report. Higher tuition rates prevent this recognized program from ranking higher but not from making our list.

    Tuition: $55,292 per year             

    Graduation Rate: 95%   

    The Program Ranking System

    In order to even the playing field, we used a basic premise for ranking the top schools with occupational therapy programs. The schools were ranked on a 100 point scoring system using two evenly weighted categories, with each category accounting for half of the total score. The sum of the two categories was then assigned to the schools and the programs were ranked according to total point values.       

    Questions, Corrections, Concerns, and Comments     

    If you have any questions regarding the schools, programs, or have questions about educational interests, then contact us for help. We strive to provide the most updated and accurate information, but it is important to note that the data regarding these programs is constantly changing and the information we provide is always approximations.

    Please contact our team if you find any information that is incorrect or that has been updated so we can continue to provide useful, helpful, and accurate information for everyone. Thank you for your help and for supporting higher education.  

    Find the program that’s right for you

    Whether you’re trying to start your career or make a big change, we can help you find the perfect school to help you reach your goals.

    Degree Finder
    BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
    Scroll to Top