Best 17 Masters in Occupational Therapy Programs in 2021

March 9, 2021 | Staff Writers

Masters in Occupational Therapy
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Wondering whether you should go for the masters in educational therapy? First of all, you need to know that the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) accredits educational programs granting a Masters of Educational Therapy (MSOT).

MSOT is among the top healthcare jobs with a 27 percent job growth rate estimate and a median salary of $80,150, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

What Does a Masters in Occupational Therapy Degree Involve?

Occupational therapy aims to positively influence individuals’ health and well-being in meaningful, purposeful activities in a career or their daily lives. Occupational therapists work in partnership with individuals, families, and caregivers whose lives have been disrupted owing to various circumstances. These include injury or illness, social or emotional deficits, the aging process, and cognitive or developmental handicaps.

Careers with a Master’s in Occupational Therapy

JobsMedian Salary (May 2019) *Job Growth (2018-2028) *
Occupational Therapist$84,95018%
Clinic Director$76,000** (2020)18% (Medical and Health Services Managers)
Health Specialties College Instructor (Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary)$97,32023%
Rehabilitation Manager (Medical and Health Services Managers)$100,98018%
Pediatric Occupational Therapist$62,000** (2020)18%

Sources: * the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale

Best 17 Masters in Occupational Therapy

1.Augusta University (AU)

  • Tuition: $ 5,806 in-state; $14,220 out-of-state
  • Graduation rate: 98 percent

The Department of Occupational Therapy at Augusta University advances a Masters of Health Science in Occupational Therapy. With AU’s master’s degree, future candidates will become exemplary, innovative occupational therapists. They’ll also meet individuals’ and communities’ needs in a dignified and compassionate way. 

2.Colorado State University (CSU)

  • Tuition: $ 15,130 in-state; $ 30,858
  • Graduation rate: 92 percent

Colorado State University’s Masters in Occupational Therapy aims to train prospective leaders to help people solve challenges they experience in their daily lives. Professionals will be taught by nationally and internationally recognized faculty. Moreover, the master’s program offers many research opportunities under the guidance of committed lecturers. They’ll also apply what they have learned in many situations, including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, behavioral health centers, and more.

3.Towson University (TU)

  • Tuition: $ 585 per credit
  • Graduation rate: 73 percent

The Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy at Towson University admits future students in the fall term only. It’s an entry-level Master’s program that prepares students to take up jobs in research, practice, administration, or education. TU’s graduates will provide high-quality services for clients and promote occupational therapy practice. Furthermore, upon graduation, individuals can be occupational therapists, registered (OTR) as most states require licensure to practice. The total number of graduates from the program during the three-year period (academic year) of 2018-2020 was 144 students with an overall graduation rate of 95%: 92% graduation rate (2020), 92% graduation rate (2019), and 100% graduation rate (2018).

4.Louisiana State University New Orleans School of Allied Health Professions (LSU)

  • Tuition: $4,667
  • Graduation rate:68 percent

Louisiana State University School of Allied Health grants a Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy. It’s for students who want an entry-level clinical master’s degree to build knowledge on the baccalaureate degree and relevant work course. Also, graduates will focus on occupational performance courses, life span, human anatomy, neuroanatomy, etc. To fulfill the master’s requirements, candidates must complete 90-credit hours inclusive of fieldwork and research.

5.Grand Valley State University (GVSU)

  • Tuition: $ 723
  • Graduation rate:66 percent

Grand Valley State University grants an 82-credit graduate degree program in Occupational Therapy, M.S. The college delivers each course-15-weeks long-as a hybrid format, including face to face classes. Working professionals wanting to learn while they work can opt for the hybrid, three-year master’s program. Since the college prides itself on 100 percent job placement, students can expect to secure jobs in different organizations. Furthermore, they can pass the exam set by the NBCOT board exam because the school claims that it has had an overall 100 percent pass rate over the three years.

6.San Jose State University (SJSU)

  • Tuition: $ 3,137 (1-6 credits)
  • Graduation Rate:65 percent

The Department of Occupational Therapy at San Jose State University grants a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree program. Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field can also enroll in the master’s. They can also qualify to apply for national certification and state licensure as long as they’ve got a clean felony record. Candidates have to attend campus classes to fulfill the master’s requirements, including conducting fieldwork and practicum off-campus. The degree also enables candidates to practice as occupational therapists after graduation. 

7.Lewis University (LU)

  • Tuition:$ 810 per credit
  • Graduation rate: 64 percent

Lewis University offers an M.S. in Occupational Therapy to equip graduates with advanced skills to help individuals achieve optimal independence in everyday life activities at home, work, school, and the community. They’ll learn how to help persons with difficulties owing to developmental or acquired conditions and disabilities, mental health concerns, social disadvantages, etc. Additionally, students will learn to communicate effectively and work with professionals providing care for individuals and populations. LU’s graduates need 76-credit hours to complete their masters since it’s a continuous, full-time program, taking seven consecutive semesters in 28 months.

8.Mercy University (MU)

  • Tuition: $ 1,020
  • Graduation rate: 61 percent

Mercy University offers a 61-credit Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, which prepares graduates for rewarding occupational therapy employment. Students will acquire relevant skills to help individuals attain professional and personal growth and also develop self-sufficiency skills. Delivered as a full-time weekday program, it incorporates lectures, discussions, small groups, hands-on experience, problem-based learning, etc. Additionally, students can expect to be taught by experienced occupational therapy practitioners, providing first-rate instruction. Only students with a bachelor’s degree and the relevant course can enroll in the master’s program. But professionals without an undergraduate degree can apply for a B.S. in Health Sciences.

9.University of Indianapolis (UIndy)

  • Tuition: $ 942 per credit
  • Graduation rate: 90 percent

The University of Indianapolis’ Master of Occupational Therapy aims at equipping prospective students with occupational therapy skills to assist patients with their everyday activities. Its degree program is for professionals holding a bachelor’s degree and who want to learn while they work. Students can attend classes on campus two days a week and also complete the coursework online. After completing the degree plan, graduates can follow a career as a generalist occupational therapist, with the prospect of further education in a doctoral degree. Furthermore, they’ll become caring and competent occupational therapy practitioners in local, national, and global settings.

10.Texas University Health Sciences Center (TU)

  • Tuition: $261 per credit
  • Graduation rate:60 percent

The School of Health Professions at Texas University Health Sciences Center grants a Master’s of Occupational Therapy, ACOTE-accredited. It provides a solid foundation in clinical reasoning, skills, and knowledge, leading to highly-qualified occupational therapists. Upon graduation, students can improve individuals’ and communities’ health—furthermore, it’s taught by dedicated educators with a wealth of experience in clinical research. Candidates will also have plenty of opportunities to assess clients in the community, design community improvement projects, etc. Through the Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA), they’ll improve their leadership skills.

11.Walsh University (WU)

  • Tuition:$10,175 per semester
  • Graduation rate:59 percent

Walsh University’s Master of Occupational Therapy Program enables future professionals to build and restore clients’ abilities to carry out daily tasks. They’ll also learn to establish a personalized therapy plan that includes an individual’s responsibilities and immediate environment. WU offers its degree project on campus, but its hybrid program that’ll allow online and part-time classes is pending approval by ACOTE.

12.Radford University (RU)

  • Tuition: $376 in-state; $ 587 out-of-state
  • Graduation rate: 59 percent

Radford University’s College of Graduate Studies and Research advances M.S. in Occupational Therapy that seeks to educate future occupational therapy practitioners. Its goal is to develop responsible, ethical, creative, and courageous practitioners who can make a notable difference in people’s lives. Additionally, graduates can expect to participate in international opportunities, such as traveling abroad with occupational therapy faculty and other students. At RU, students can apply their occupational knowledge in community-based practice, for example, primary care clinics and correctional facilities.

13.Salem State University (SSU)

  • Tuition: $ 8, 751 in-state; $ 10, 377 out-of-state
  • Graduation rate: 58 percent

Salem State University’s Master of Science in Occupational Therapy is suitable for graduates with a baccalaureate degree in another study area and desire to become qualified occupational therapists. With this master’s degree, students can provide occupation-focused, client-based, and evidence-based services. SU delivers the graduate-level program as a part-time evening cohort model, allowing working professionals to attend classes. Furthermore, candidates can sit for ACOTE exams.

14.Kean University (KU)

  • Tuition:$7,876 in-state
  • Graduation rate: 49 percent

Nathan Weiss Graduate College at Kean University offers a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, which is open to students who hold a bachelor’s degree in another field. Admission to a graduate-level degree is highly competitive as the college accepts about 30 students per enrolment. Each graduate must complete five courses and at least six months of supervised fieldwork. At KU, candidates can put their occupational knowledge into practice at its campus clinic. As of 2020, they have a 96% retention rate and are accredited by ACOTE ( Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education).

15.Eastern Washington University (EWU)

  • Tuition:$7,720
  • Graduation rate: 44 percent

Eastern Washington University grants an M.S in Occupational Therapy as an entry-level degree program. It’s taught by nationally recognized faculty in occupational therapy, and so students can expect to get on-demand skills. EU’s mission is to enable students to provide unique and compassionate occupational therapy services in varied situations. It is grounded in general practice skills, leadership, creative and critical thinking processes; it develops creative and innovative entry-level occupational therapists.

16.Barry University (BU)

  • Tuition: $ 990 per credit
  • Graduation rate: 36 percent

The Occupational Therapy Program at  Barry University emphasizes an innovative curriculum, leading to a Master of Science degree. Adults with families can attend occupational therapy classes on two weekends each month in the fall, spring, and summer. They can do some courses on campus or online as the college integrates face to face and distance education. Because of this, candidates must have computer access and a webcam. BU’s faculty work as occupational therapists while teaching on weekends. As a result, graduates will benefit from valuable industry experience and skills.


We examined more than 50 colleges on reputable websites offering a master’s degree in occupational therapy OT). Having considered the schools’ curricular and graduation rate, we ended up with 17 best colleges with a robust and rigorous master’s in OT.

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