2022 Best Online Doctorate Degrees in Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapists treat patients who are injured, ill, or have a disability by helping them develop or recover daily life skills. Occupational therapy is a growing field with a projected increase in demand of 17% over the next decade. There are many online degree programs available, which allow working professionals to advance their careers in this rewarding field. Students hoping to become licensed occupational therapists will need a doctorate in the field.
2022 Best Online Doctorate Degrees in Occupational Therapy
|Rank||School||Salary Score||Median Starting Salary|
|# 1||University of Nevada at Las Vegas||$81,563|
|# 2||Thomas Jefferson University||66||$73,779|
|# 3||The George Washington University||65||$73,328|
|# 4||University of Alabama at Birmingham||65||$73,211|
|# 5||Temple University||65||$73,192|
|# 6||Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center||64||$72,884|
|# 8||St. Catherine University||60||$71,366|
|# 9||Nova Southeastern University||58||$70,551|
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2022 Online Colleges Offering Doctoral Degrees
#1 University of Nevada at Las Vegas
The University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV) is a large, public institution that offers an online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy. This program requires 36 credit hours, two capstone courses, and a research project. UNLV prepares working occupational therapists to teach, advance their clinical practice, and assume leadership roles, so graduates of this program go on to be full-time professors for master’s level classes, fieldwork coordinators, healthcare administrators, and researchers. This program can be completed in two years with a full-time schedule.
At UNLV, students use Canvas to access their coursework, which is fully online. UNLV’s online students can access all university resources.
#2 Thomas Jefferson University
The Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) is a medium-sized, private institution. TJU offers an online Post-Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy requiring 33 credits if the student has a master’s degree or 46 credits if they have a bachelor’s degree, and it can be completed in two to three years with a full-time schedule. Some core courses in this program include Visionary Practice Development & Evaluation and Leadership: Moving Beyond Traditional Roles. TJU’s program requires a Clinical Fellowship and a capstone project. Graduates go on to become head researchers and leaders in clinical, education, and health care communities.
At TJU, students use Canvas to access their coursework, which is entirely online and asynchronous.
#3 The George Washington University
George Washington University (GWU) is a medium-sized, private institution. It offers an online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy aimed at preparing working occupational therapists to become clinician scholars. GWU teaches basic research, client-oriented research, and population-based research through its 36 credit hour program. Including the capstone project, this degree can be completed in 2.5 years with a full-time schedule. This program offers three concentrations: (1) Teaching & Learning, (2) Clinical Research, and (3) Advanced Practice. Graduates go on to become teachers, researchers, administrators, and specialists.
At GWU, students use Blackboard to access their coursework — which is fully online and asynchronous.
#4 University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is a medium-sized, public university. It offers an online Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy that prepares graduates to work in rehabilitation facilities, community programs, and educational settings. The program requires 40 credit hours and a capstone project. As a whole, students can complete the program in 2.5 years with a full-time schedule. The degree program allows students to choose one of three specialization tracks: (1) Low Vision Rehabilitation, (2) Healthcare Quality & Safety, and (3) General.
At UAB, students use Canvas to access their coursework, which is entirely online.
#5 Temple University
Temple University (TU) is a large, public institution offering an online Doctor of Occupational Therapy, which requires 21 credit hours. Students can complete the online degree in one year with a full-time schedule. This program is a great fit for those moving directly from a master’s program into a doctoral program. TU prepares graduates to be innovative leaders who deliver diverse and inclusive therapy. Some classes for this degree include Occupation-based Theories & Participation and Outcome Measures & Program Evaluation, and there's also a final capstone project.
At TU, students use Canvas to access their coursework, which is synchronous and 100% online.
#6 Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) is a small, public institution that offers an online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy. The degree requires 27 credits if the student has a master’s degree or 33 credits if they have a bachelor’s degree. Overall, it can be completed in two to three years with a full-time schedule. Along with a capstone project, core courses include Evidence-Based Practice, Principles of Management & Leadership in Health Care, and Curriculum Design & Teaching in Health Professions. Graduates enter fields ranging from insurance and policy to academics and management.
At TTUHSC, students use Canvas to access their coursework, which is entirely online.
Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) is a large, public institution. It offers an online Doctor of Occupational Therapy that consists of 30 credit hours and can be completed in one year with a full-time schedule. This program prepares licensed occupational therapists to advance their career, rise to leadership positions, or begin teaching after graduation. IUPUI’s program offers classes, such as Teaching in Occupational & Rehabilitation Services and Introduction to Dissemination & Implementation Sciences, and it requires an advanced practice capstone project. Graduates are eligible and expected to take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy.
At IUPUI, students use Canvas to access their coursework, which is 100% online.
#8 St. Catherine University
St. Catherine University (St. Kate’s) is a large, private institution. St. Kate’s offers an online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy requiring 35 credit hours and a doctoral project. The program can be completed in two years with a full-time schedule and students learn to lead and influence change in health, education, and community settings. Core classes include Social Determinants of Health, Organizations & Systems, and Academic & Clinical Education. Graduates of the program work as faculty, supervisors in school settings, and interdisciplinary/interprofessional advisors.
At St. Kate’s, students use Brightspace to access their coursework, which is fully online and asynchronous. However, two in-person visits to campus are required at the beginning and end of the program.
#9 Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a medium-sized, private institution. NSU offers an online Doctor of Occupational Therapy, requiring 39 credit hours and a capstone project. This program focuses on using evidence-based practices to help occupational therapists advance their careers and better assist their clients. Some core courses for this degree include Theory Development for Models of Practice, Advanced Policy Issues, and Community Program Development. NSU’s online program can be completed in two years with a full-time schedule, and graduates go on to direct and lead innovative programs, establish private practices, and work with policymakers.
At NSU, students use Canvas to access their coursework, which is hybrid. Most coursework is online, but students are required to visit campus once a semester for an in-person seminar that lasts 3-4 days.