Best Value: Most Affordable OT Master’s Degrees with 100% Exam Pass Rates

By nature, people drawn to careers in occupational therapy tend to be extremely astute observers. By the time this natural tendency combines with the formal training they get in a master’s program, no detail is too small to escape their notice – the strange bluish discoloration of the fingernails on a nearby diner in a restaurant could indicate COPD… a passing pedestrian with an odd gait could be suffering from arthritis or a foot injury.

So as a future OT shopping around for a master’s degree to prepare you for professional practice, we know you’ll be picking apart the details for a precise understanding of exactly what you’ll be getting for the money.

With the right set of skills and training, this evidence-based area of practice can be as lucrative as it is fun and personally rewarding. But it takes a substantial investment in the right kind of education to get there.

As you might imagine, in a field that offers all this, finding a master’s degree program that doesn’t break the bank is getting more and more difficult. Don’t expect to find a cheap program no matter how hard you look, but you can find a program that gives you a lot for the money.

To find a real value like this, you’re going to need some help, and we’ve got it for you here– a list of accredited occupational therapy master’s degree programs with the very best student outcomes, at the very best prices.

Accreditation is the First, and Most Basic Check in Our Value Assessment

AOTA, the American Occupational Therapy Association, has been around in one form or another since 1917, so you’re talking about a group of professional practitioners and advocates who definitely know what they are doing. As far back as 1923, while many other national medical standards bodies were still toddling around the room stumbling into furniture, AOTA had already established a firm set of educational standards for the training of occupational therapists.

Those standards, updated and enhanced, still exist today in the form of ACOTE (AOTA’s Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education) accreditation.

The latest revisions, effective as of 2013, offer a formidable set of qualifications for schools trying to join the ranks of the officially accredited.

And it’s all assessed through a mountain of paperwork submitted by the school and assessed by ACOTE, followed up by on-site examinations and periodic reviews for renewal. And the examiners are as detail-oriented as other OTs… nothing escapes their notice.

The Final Test of Quality is How Well Students Do on The NBCOT Exam

The final test for how well that accredited program prepares you for professional practice is your performance on the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) certification exam. And since passing the exam with a minimum total scaled score of 450 is a necessary precursor to getting a license to practice in every state, this is something that needs to rate pretty high on your list of things to care about when choosing a program.

But you’re not interested in getting into the OT profession so you can meet minimum standards. With your career, your life and your professional integrity on the forefront of your mind, you’re looking to achieve something you can be proud of, not merely satisfy requirements; you’re striving for excellence.

That means that when it comes to selecting an accredited OT master’s degree, you need to be looking for a program that has a proven track record for excellent student outcomes, and the best measure for this is how well previous graduating classes have performed on the NBCOT certification exam.

We only picked programs for our list that can boast a 100 percent pass rate on the NBCOT exam. So you know that not only do they pass the accreditation standard, but that they also are giving students the right tools to get licensed quickly.

100% Pass Rate + Tuition Lower Than the State Average = Great Value

OTs make good money, so you may be wondering why you should pick a low-cost school.

Unless you are starting out wealthy, an OT master’s degree is probably going to involve taking out some loans. Having some student loan payments hanging over the first few years of your career may be inevitable, but they don’t need to be so hard to manage that you’re stressed. You’re going to need every ounce of your mental energy during your first few years in practice, and you don’t want any of it going to worrying about student loans.

This list is all about getting the most for your money, so we chose only the lowest cost option from the pool of programs with a 100% pass rate on the NBCOT exam. Every one of our selections offers a tuition rate below the overall state average for ACOTE-accredited programs in that state.

We pick two schools, where available, one public and one private, and all the tuition comparisons are like-to-like… the cost and benefit aspects are different for each type, so we don’t make spurious comparisons. And if there was only one accredited OT master’s in a state, we went ahead and included it. We feel all this comes together as the best way to present you with everything you need to see the full picture of what your options are.

And we really went down into the weeds to make sure you’re getting an accurate picture of the costs. The per-credit tuition rates posted by some schools don’t capture administrative fees or other costs that are still coming out of your pocket. So we totaled it all up to ensure that both our state average and the individual school rates are as accurate as possible, and true to what you’ll actually be spending.

And because we know you care about more than just the cost, we give you the low-down on other factors that contribute to the value the program offers, along with all the important aspects you need to consider when making your decision.

*NBCOT-OTR pass rate data retrieved from the NBCOT School Performance database in November 2018 and reflects pass rate data for 2017. Some changes to individual school pass rates may have occurred since this list was published.

State by State Guide to the Best Value Occupational Therapy Master’s Programs

What you’re left with is a list of the very best OT master’s programs offered at the very best prices in every single state. You can be sure any program you choose from this list has a proven track record for exceptional student outcomes and a tuition rate that’s below the state average.

Alabama

ALABAMA STATE UNIVERSITY (PU)
College of Health Sciences
Montgomery
Website

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: GRE or MAT
  • Tuition Per Credit: $192 (in-state); $454 (out-of-state)

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $17,453 (in-state); $41,318 (out-of-state)

($23,491 less than the average in-state tuition for public MSOT programs in Alabama)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate for three years running
  • Study in a state-of-the-art facility
  • Develop professionally and make connections at the CARE Center
  • Three-year graduation rate of 94 percent
  • Highly distinguished faculty
  • At least 40 volunteer/observation hours in at least two facilities required for admission
  • 91 credits total

Prerequisites:

  • Intro to psychology
  • Developmental/lifespan psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Behavioral science course
  • English, writing, or literature
  • College algebra or above
  • Statistics
  • General biology with lab
  • Biology science elective with lab
  • Human anatomy with lab
  • Human physiology with lab
  • Physics with lab

What’s better than a 100 percent pass rate on the NBCOT exam? A three-year-running pass rate of 100 percent for all first-time test takers at a program that’s more than $20k less than the average for accredited MSOT programs at state schools in Alabama. Those are the kind of numbers you’ll find with the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program at the Alabama State University College of Health Sciences.

You’ll study in the 80,000-square-foot John L. Buskey Health Sciences Center, an advanced facility complete with smart classrooms, an interdisciplinary clinic, student resource centers, and clinical skills-research laboratories.

The school is home to the Center to Advance Rehabilitative Health and Education (CARE), an active clinic and research center that brings academic and community leaders in this field together to come up with innovative OT solutions. The professional connections you’ll make through the Center are nearly as valuable as the training and experience you take away from your time here.

We think the most important underlying factor for the high success rate among ASU graduates is the world-class faculty who teach here.

Arizona

A.T. STILL UNIVERSITY (PR)
College of Graduate Health Studies, Occupational Therapy Department
Mesa
Website

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: none
  • Tuition Per Credit: $1,033

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $80,600

($7,281 less than the average tuition for private MSOT programs in Arizona)

  • 100 percent pass rate on the NBCOT exam for the past three years
  • Small class sizes taught by highly qualified faculty
  • 73 percent of faculty are doctorally prepared
  • 97 percent graduation rate over the past four years
  • More than 250 clinical partnerships
  • Option to earn a certificate in public health
  • Graduate full-time in 27 months
  • 20 contact/observation hours in the occupational therapy field required for admission, with more than one setting recommended
  • 78 credits

Prerequisites:

  • Human anatomy
  • Human physiology
  • A biology, chemistry, or physics course
  • Statistics
  • Lifespan human development
  • General psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Sociology or cultural anthropology
  • Two English courses in composition, grammar, or literature
  • Two humanities courses
  • Medical terminology

From the first day at the A.T. Still University College of Graduate Health Studies, you’ll be immersed in an environment that balances the science of OT with whole-person, mind-body-spirit healthcare. We appreciate this program’s fresh, innovate approach to therapy. Clearly they’re doing something right. For the past four years, 97 percent of students have successfully graduated, and for the past three years 100 percent of those students have gone on to pass their NBCOT exams.

We also like the fact that you have the option to pad your résumé and add a valuable credential with the Certificate in Public Health option. When it comes time to complete your field work segment, you’ll appreciate the school’s partnerships with over 250 clinical sites throughout the U.S., found in both rural and urban settings.

The secret to success behind A.T. Still’s MSOT program is its faculty. Nearly three-quarters of them have their doctoral degree, and 100 percent of them are committed to seeing you succeed in your dream career.

California

STANBRIDGE UNIVERSITY (PR)
MSOT Program
Irvine
Website

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: GRE
  • Tuition Per Credit: $814

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $107,315

($741 less than the average tuition for private MSOT programs in California)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate for 2016 and 2017
  • Adaptive surfing camp and opportunities to participate in the WAVES program for disabled vets
  • Opportunity for MusicGlove Therapy work with children
  • State-of-the-art labs including the Driving Simulation Lab
  • Small class sizes taught by distinguished faculty
  • Enroll at different start times and graduate in 26-28 months
  • At least 30 hours of volunteer experience in an OT or healthcare-related setting are required for admission, and at least 16 of those must be in the direct observation of an OTR/L
  • 5 credits

Prerequisites:

  • Human anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Anthropology or sociology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Statistics
  • Lifespan or developmental psychology

Did you ever think you could earn credit toward an advanced degree by surfing or scuba diving? You can at Stanbridge University. Its Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program offers all this, and has a track record for outstanding student outcomes. Offered at the Irvine campus, the school is home to Orange County’s only Driving Simulation Lab. Its adaptive surfing camp lets you catch waves while earning credit and becoming familiar with surf boards made especially for people with physical and motor disabilities. Participate in the WAVES program and you can be a dive buddy for a disabled vet as they qualify for their scuba-certification.

As a student here, you’ll also learn in a simulation lab that includes over a thousand 3D-high-fidelity holographic models of different anatomical and biological structures. You’ll also have the opportunity to experience a sensory immersion lab along with eight real-world home simulation labs.

In the Stanbridge OT program, you’ll study alongside some of California’s most dedicated OT students. One Stanbridge MSOT student was just recognized with a President’s Volunteer Service Gold Award, while another student who recently completed the program received a CAPPS Memorial Scholarship. And yet another student’s recent graduate thesis explored human behavior in deep-space exploration.

You might think this program sounds too good to be true; that it somehow puts these kinds of fun learning experiences ahead of the fundamentals you need to be successful in your career… but you don’t need to look any further than the impressive NBCOT exam pass rates in recent years to see that this program is serious about preparing professional OTs.

Colorado

COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY (PU)
College of Health and Human Sciences, Department of Occupational Therapy
Fort Collins
Website

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

Master of Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: GRE
  • Tuition Per Credit: $599 (in-state); $1,210 (out-of-state)

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $42,640 (in-state); $87,120 (out-of-state)

(This is currently the only MSOT program in Colorado)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate for five years running
  • 97 percent graduation rate over the past three years
  • 280 unique fieldwork placement opportunities
  • Ranked among the top-10 programs nationally by US News and World Report
  • Opportunities to travel abroad
  • Home to nine centers and labs including the Assistive Technology Resource Center (ATRC), the Brainwaves Research Laboratory, the Center for Community Partnerships (CCP), and the Center for Occupational Therapy Education (COTE)
  • Small class sizes with 15-25 students in labs and lectures
  • Three research centers
  • Graduate in two years in a fall-spring-summer sequence of six semesters
  • Award-winning and highly distinguished faculty
  • 72 credits

Prerequisites:

  • Brain and behavior
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Lifespan development
  • Statistics
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Intro to occupational therapy
  • Medical terminology

You’ll have all kinds of amazing experiences as an OT graduate student at the Colorado State University College of Health and Human Sciences. One student recently completed her fieldwork at a hippotherapy center, learning about the role horse therapy can play in occupational therapy. And if horses aren’t your thing, you can always go to Japan. Every year OT students travel to the Yamagata Prefectural University of Health Sciences as part of a partnership with the CSU Occupational Science Department, a relationship that goes back more than a decade.

While every student starts out in the MOT program, after the first semester you can choose to enroll in the MSOT track. The MSOT is a good fit if you want to complete a thesis and eventually go on to doctoral studies, while the MOT is perfect if you’re looking to go into the professional practice after graduating.

We’re really impressed with the perfect pass rates on the NBCOT exam among the graduates of this program – 100 percent for five years in a row and counting. Combine this with a graduation rate of 97 percent for three-years-and-counting and you can see why this program stands out from the rest.

What underlies the perfect exam pass rate and a near-perfect graduation rate? The question isn’t what but who. The faculty at the CSU Department of Occupational Therapy are outstanding. No one was surprised by the recent announcement that two of the department’s faculty were just recognized at the 2018 AOTA conference, and officially added to the AOTA Roster of Fellows. It’s no wonder that in 2018 the department received 625 applications to fill 50 student openings.

Florida

FLORIDA GULF COAST UNIVERSITY (PU)
Elaine Nicpon Marieb College of Health and Human Services, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences
Fort Myers
Website

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: GRE
  • Tuition Per Credit: $291 (in-state); $1,174 (out-of-state)

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $18,598 (in-state); $75,119 (out-of-state)

($11,589 less than the average in-state tuition for public MSOT programs in Florida)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate for the past four years
  • Very high graduation rates, with 100 percent for the most recent graduating class
  • State-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms with a low student-to-faculty ratio
  • 86 percent of faculty have a doctorate degree
  • Fun learning opportunities and a wide range of choices for fieldwork
  • Graduation possible after four semesters and 24 weeks of fieldwork
  • 10 hours of OT volunteering or shadowing in at least two different environments is required for admission
  • 64 credits

Prerequisite courses (three of these can be completed in the summer session after you’re admitted):

  • Human anatomy
  • Human physiology
  • Abnormal psychology or psychopathology
  • Lifespan human development
  • Health professions or behavior research
  • Muskuloskeletal anatomy
  • Neuroanatomy or neurophysiology
  • Introductory physics or physical science
  • General psychology
  • Statistics
  • Sociology or anthropology with a multicultural theme

Sailing, golf, or yoga? You could earn credit for any of these in the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program at the FGCU Department of Rehabilitation Sciences. In fact, PGA Golf Management and OT students just did a golf workshop to promote physical wellness and recent OT students took a trip to Sugden Regional Park in Naples to experience what adaptive sailing and yoga are like.

One of the most unique aspects of this program are the opportunities for collaborative projects between the Elaine Nicpon Marieb College of Health and Human Services and other programs at FGCU. OT and physical therapy students just sponsored a joint lab session and presentation about autism.

FGCU wants you to study alongside the best and brightest in the field. That’s why it has established its Occupational Therapy Advisory Council Endowed Scholarship, a merit-based opportunity. Add to that a tuition that’s over $10,000 less than the average for accredited MSOT programs at public universities in Florida, and you could be looking at one of the most affordable OT master’s programs out there.

Its state-of-the-art combined classroom-laboratories offer the best of both worlds. Desks and a lectern border one end of what looks like a stage set scene with a kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom where you can immediately translate theory into hands-on experience. You’ll also encounter the pediatric laboratory, and driving and work simulations that are all about helping you develop practical, real-world OT skills.

The faculty at the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences really put the shine on the apple. They are highly qualified, with 86 percent holding doctorate degrees. Recent distinctions include recognition at the Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) 2018 Leadership and Involvement Awards Ceremony and at the Aquila Awards for Outstanding Student Scholarship Support. No wonder that going on five years now, 100 percent of graduates leave with the preparation they need to pass the NBCOT exam.

ADVENTHEALTH UNIVERSITY (PR)
Master of Occupational Therapy Program
Orlando
Website

Master of Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: GRE
  • Tuition Per Credit: $869

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $73,850

($749 less than the average tuition for private MSOT programs in Florida)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate over the past two years
  • 90 percent graduation rate over the past three years
  • High caliber faculty
  • Multiple labs with multiple simulations
  • Option to graduate in 27 months
  • Last six months of the program comprised of full-time internships
  • 85 credits

Prerequisites:

  • Anatomy and physiology I and II
  • General psychology
  • Developmental psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Sociology or anthropology
  • Statistics
  • Medical terminology
  • Biology, physics, or chemistry

The first thing that stood out to us about the Master of Occupational Therapy program at AdventHealth University is the faculty. These top-notch professionals are behind some impressive statistics coming out of the program, including a three-year average graduation rate of 90 percent and a 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate for the past two years. They have decades of experience, have won numerous awards, and one even serves as an ACOTE surveyor– and every single one of them want to see you succeed. The program offers some unique focus areas, including OT in the penal system, school-based educationally relevant therapy, and vision therapy.

AdventHealth is proud of its Occupation Lab overlooking Lake Estelle, and for good reason. It features mock ups of common environments you’ll find yourself in every day of your career, including a kitchen, bedroom, laundry room, and bathroom. The school is also home to an OT Performance Lab where you’ll hone your hands-on kinesiology and biomechanical treatment skills, and an OT Skills Lab where you can practice wheelchair management, orthotics, sensory integration, and physical agent modalities. As a student here, you’ll find the labs open to you outside class hours so you can practice at your own convenience. It’s no wonder space for this program is limited!

Idaho

IDAHO STATE UNIVERSITY (PU)
Kasiska Division of Health Sciences, College of Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences, Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy
Pocatello
Website

Master of Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: GRE or MAT
  • Tuition Per Credit: $374 (in-state); $984 (out-of-state)

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $33,298 (in-state); $87,618 (out-of-state)

(This is currently the only MSOT program in Idaho)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate for five years and counting
  • 87 percent graduation rate over the past three years
  • 100 percent of students find a job upon graduation
  • Small class sizes
  • 75 percent of faculty have their doctorate degree
  • Specifically-designated Academic Fieldwork Coordinator ensures you get the best, most relevant placements
  • Graduate in eight consecutive academic semesters
  • At least 40 hours of paid or volunteer experience at a minimum of two sites is required for admission
  • 89 credits

Prerequisites:

  • Human anatomy
  • Human physiology
  • General chemistry
  • Statistics
  • Human development
  • Sociology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Cultural anthropology
  • English composition
  • Speech
  • Communication
  • Medical terminology
  • Five liberal arts courses

The fieldwork opportunities are amazing in the Master of Occupational Therapy program at the Idaho State University College of Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences. Of the four fieldwork experiences that are part of the program, one of them takes place out-of-state, giving you a unique opportunity to practice OT in an environment you would not otherwise have access to in Idaho. Practice settings for your fieldwork range from urban to rural, from acute-care facilities to long-term-care facilities. The patient population groups you’ll work with are just as diverse, ranging from geriatric to pediatric, from clients with psychosocial issues to those needing physical rehabilitation.

The Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy makes a special effort to ensure your success. You and your fellow students have the opportunity to earn a $1,500 merit-based scholarship and the average MOT class size is just 14 students. Three-quarters of your professors here will hold doctoral degrees, and bring to the classroom a range of experiences, hailing from backgrounds that have allowed them to develop expertise in areas like mental health, substance abuse, music, living environment assessment, patient education, and instructional design. Some of the best indicators of just how dedicated the faculty members are to the success of their students is seen in the impressive statistics coming out of the program: 100 percent graduation rate, 100 percent pass rate on the NBCOT exam, and a 100 percent job placement rate in the most recent year.

Illinois

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT CHICAGO (PU)
College of Applied Health Sciences, Department of Occupational Therapy
Chicago
Website

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: GRE
  • Tuition Per Credit: $568 (in-state); $1,061 (out-of-state)

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $40,920 (in-state); $76,422 (out-of-state)

($3,213 less than the average in-state tuition for public MSOT programs in Illinois)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate over the past five years
  • 97 percent graduation rate for the past three years
  • Ranked best public OT master’s program in the nation by US News and World Report
  • Faculty maintain partnerships with 48 community organizations
  • 70 percent of students in the MSOT program receive scholarships or travel awards for professional conferences
  • Faculty have produced 307 publications in the past five years
  • Graduate from this full-time program in as little as 23 months, or take as many as five years
  • 50 hours of OT volunteer or work experience in at least two settings is highly recommended before applying
  • 72 credits

Prerequisites:

  • Introduction to anthropology, social psychology, or sociology
  • Child psychology, child development, or human/lifespan development
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Statistics
  • Human anatomy
  • Human physiology
  • Medical terminology

One of the most special aspects of the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Applied Health Sciences is its community partnerships. Pre-established relationships with 48 community organizations means you can find an ideal placement, including the option to go out-of-state for your fieldwork. Examples in the greater Chicago area include Urban Autism Solutions; the Marjorie Kovler Center, which specializes in working with refugees of political torture; Gigi’s Playhouse, working to support adults and children with Down syndrome; and the Esperanza School, which serves the area’s Spanish-speaking population with moderate to severe developmental disabilities.

It wouldn’t be fair to praise the Department of Occupational Therapy’s five-year 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate and its three-year 97 percent graduation rate without mentioning its outstanding faculty. Collectively producing some 60 professional publications each year, you’ll find a faculty whose number-one goal is to guide you to success. Their diverse range of interests and expertise include supporting the adolescent transition to adulthood, the development of occupation-based self-management interventions, and issues concerning social justice, to name just a few. It should come as no surprise that for the most recent admissions deadline there were 550 applicants vying for the 46 student spots available here each year.

Indiana

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN INDIANA (PU)
College of Nursing and Health Professions
Evansville
Website

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: none
  • Tuition Per Credit: $485 (in-state); $854 (out-of-state)

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $36,375 (in-state); $64,074 (out-of-state)

($2,499 less than the average in-state tuition for public MSOT programs in Indiana)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate over the past five years
  • 95 percent graduation rate over the past three years
  • 100 percent of the faculty have their doctoral degree
  • Option to gain fieldwork experience at the community health centers created by the College of Nursing and Health Professions
  • The College of Nursing and Health Professions recently received a $1.2 million grant
  • Graduate as a full-time student in as little as two years including summers
  • 75 credits

Prerequisites:

  • Anatomy and physiology I and II
  • Introduction to psychology
  • Lifespan developmental psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Medical terminology
  • Pharmacology and therapeutics
  • Kinesiology
  • Biostatistics

You won’t find a group of OT instructors more qualified than those heading up the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program at the University of Southern Indiana. The vast majority hold doctorate degrees, which is something you won’t find in most other programs.

You can complete your fieldwork experience at any number of organizations that have a partnership with the College of Nursing and Health Professions. The college has taken special care to develop its own community health centers with a $1.2 million grant from the US Department of Health and Human services. These programs are included in options like the Glenwood Leadership Academy which focuses on acute health problems, the Cedar Hall Community School, and Lodge Community School. All three community health centers provide primary health care services to students and their families, school staff, and the broader Evansville community.

We recognize the world-class faculty here as being largely responsible for the impressive student outcomes this program is known for, including a 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate and a 95 percent graduation rate.

UNIVERSITY OF INDIANAPOLIS (PR)
College of Health Sciences, School of Occupational Therapy
Indianapolis
Website

Master of Occupational Therapy

(Hybrid)

  • Entrance exam requirement: none
  • Tuition Per Credit: $894

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $67,944

(This is currently the only private MOT program in Indiana)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate for the past five years and counting
  • 97 percent three-year graduation rate
  • Choose from fieldwork experiences with over 300 partners located in more than 25 states
  • Research groups of four-to-five students
  • 86 percent of faculty have a doctoral degree
  • Curriculum designed to allow you to keep working while you’re in school
  • Four-year, part-time program divided into a three-and-a-half year academic segment and a half-year fieldwork segment
  • Specifically designated scholarships available
  • 76 credits

Prerequisites:

  • Biology or zoology
  • Human anatomy with lab
  • Human physiology with lab
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Statistics
  • General psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Lifespan psychology
  • Sociology or anthropology
  • English composition
  • Literature
  • Speech
  • Medical terminology

In addition to being a great value, we like the fact that the Master in Occupational Therapy at the University of Indianapolis College of Health Sciences caters to working students from diverse backgrounds. You’ll complete classes on campus two days per week and finish additional coursework online. This is a perfect fit if you need to maintain your work schedule while earning your master’s in OT.

Take advantage of scholarships like those offered by UI’s Metropolitan Indianapolis Central Indiana Area Health Education Center – as an MOT student in the School of Occupational Therapy you could be eligible for a $7,500 annual scholarship if you meet the criteria.

The faculty at the School of Occupational Therapy are some of the best around, and 86 percent of them hold a doctoral degree. You’ll participate in small group mentoring sessions with faculty who have contributed original research in diverse areas like performing arts medicine, neurological recovery, biomechanics, pediatric rehabilitation, and a whole lot more.

Iowa

ALLEN COLLEGE (PR)
School of Health Sciences
Waterloo
Website

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: none
  • Tuition Per Credit: $837

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $66,960

(This is currently the only MSOT program in Iowa)

  • 100 percent graduation rate last year
  • New cohort starts every fall
  • Two, five-hour job shadow session at an OT clinic required for admission
  • Four classes in the program focus on research
  • Graduate from this full-time program in seven semesters
  • 80 credits

Prerequisites:

  • English composition
  • Six credits of humanities courses
  • Human growth and development
  • Intro to psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Sociology or anthropology
  • Anatomy and physiology I and II with labs
  • Science course with lab
  • College algebra or statistics
  • Medical terminology
  • Research methods

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program at the Allen College School of Health Sciences is one of only a few in the Great Plains to make our best-value list. You can be sure this program will leave you well prepared for professional practice without breaking the bank.

A new program begins every fall and is comprised of seven consecutive semesters, including summers. Your final two semesters – summer and fall – are dedicated solely to fieldwork experience. But even before that, you’ll participate in guided fieldwork that runs concurrent with your classes. The School of Health Sciences takes special care to integrate your fieldwork education and outreach experiences.

Your professors have decades of combined experience and expertise in OT and beyond. Hailing from many different parts of the country, they foster an ideal learning environment that’s as supportive as it is effective. Last year the MSOT program had 100 percent of its students graduate, and every one of them went on to pass the NBCOT exam.

Louisiana

LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY NEW ORLEANS (PU)
School of Allied Health Professions, Department of Occupational Therapy
New Orleans
Website

Master of Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: GRE
  • Tuition Per Credit: $311 (in-state); $681 (out-of-state)

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $28,034 (in-state); $61,259 (out-of-state)

($689 less than the average in-state tuition for public MSOT programs in Louisiana)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate for the past three years
  • Option to arrange fieldwork at a location of your choosing
  • 67 percent of faculty have a doctoral degree
  • Graduate in as little as 27 months full-time, including six months of full-time fieldwork
  • You need at least 40 hours of OT observation hours to be admitted
  • 90 credits

Prerequisites:

  • Abnormal psychology
  • Anatomy with lab
  • Chemistry
  • Human development across the lifespan
  • Human physiology, and a lab segment is highly recommended
  • Sociology
  • Statistics

The Master of Occupational Therapy program at the Louisiana State University New Orleans School of Allied Health Professions is a great value, but that’s not the only thing that makes it special. The Department of Occupational Therapy sums up its philosophy by saying, “we support our students’ development to become life-long learners and agents of change for improvement in quality of life.” That really says it all.

Your program culminates with two 12-week full-time fieldwork experiences, with at least one of those taking place outside of the New Orleans area. If you have an idea of a location where you’d like to do your fieldwork, it’s possible to make this a reality.

You’re bound to find some overlap in research interests with professors here. Research taking place at LSUHSC has included contributions in important areas like stroke rehab, assistive technology, electrical stimulation, and sitting balance assessments. Two-thirds of the faculty here have their doctoral degree, and this level of expertise is reflected in the outcomes of students learning the art and science of OT under their guidance. All students who have completed the program in the past three years have passed the NBCOT exam on their first attempt.

Maine

HUSSON UNIVERSITY (PR)
College of Health and Education, School of Occupational Therapy
Bangor
Website

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: none
  • Tuition Per Credit: $661

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $64,778

($4,181 less than the average tuition for private MSOT programs in Maine)

  • 83 percent graduation rate
  • Facilities include the Occupational Therapy Lab and the Dahl Anatomy Lab
  • Option to complete a dual degree program that confers a BS in Healthcare Administration in addition to the MSOT
  • Full and part-time options available, with graduation possible in as little as three years, or as many as five
  • 98 credits

Prerequisites:

  • General psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Statistics
  • Introduction to research
  • Sociology or cultural anthropology
  • Anatomy and physiology (two courses that include a lab)
  • Human growth and development

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program at the Husson University College of Health and Education is the only program located between Maine and Massachusetts that made our list. It offers a great value in addition to providing a fun, effective and supportive learning environment.

The Occupational Therapy Lab here allows you to take what you’ve learned in the classroom and practice it in a controlled setting designed to mimic a real home so you can practice the skills involved in retraining patients to perform the activities of daily living in a real world environment.

We can’t talk about the outstanding NBCOT pass rate, professionally-prepared graduates, or the nurturing learning environment Husson is known for without mentioning the faculty at the School of Occupational Therapy. They bring many decades of combined experience in the OT field and share a range of interests that include psychiatric OT, orthopedics, neuro-rehabilitation, acute care OT, and mental health. Most importantly, they are all committed to seeing you succeed.

Maryland

TOWSON UNIVERSITY (PU)
College of Health Professions, Department of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science
Towson
Website

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: none
  • Tuition Per Credit: $418 (in-state); $865 (out-of-state)

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $34,276 (in-state); $70,930 (out-of-state)

(This is currently the only MSOT program in Maryland)

  • Majority of your full-time faculty members have a doctoral degree
  • MSOT program ranked 25th-best in the nation by US News and World Report
  • Faculty and students serve in leadership roles with the American Occupational Therapy Association and the Maryland Occupational Therapy Association
  • 35 years of experience preparing students for the OT field
  • You must complete 60 hours of OT observation at three different locations to be admitted
  • 82 credits

Prerequisites:

  • English composition
  • Intro to psychology
  • Intro to sociology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Human growth and development
  • Statistics
  • Medical terminology
  • Human anatomy and physiology I and II
  • Physics

Consistently ranked among the very best in the nation, the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program at the Towson University College of Health Professions distinguishes itself in a number of ways, starting with a 35-year history educating professional OTs.

The Department of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science hosts the Institute for Well Being. You’ll come to know this center as a vital part of your education, where you can gain experience in the field helping everyone from children to the elderly, all while learning under the thoughtful guidance of experienced OTs. When it comes to your fieldwork, Towson University is ideally situated to give you access to the best opportunities around at places like John Hopkins Hospital and Sheppard Enoch Pratt Hospital. You may even get to travel to other parts of the country and experience new places as you complete your full-time Level II fieldwork.

You can’t talk about the amazing student experience at Towson University without a nod to the faculty at the Department of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science, the majority of whom have doctoral degrees. They deserve a large part of the credit for the 100 percent pass rate on the NBCOT exam seen among graduates in recent years. The faculty here brings years of experience in diverse focus areas that include OT practice with children and youth, adult physical dysfunction, autism, women’s leadership, and family quality of life. One professor here is a faculty member at the Peabody Conservatory who gave up a career in medicine to become a classical guitarist, but made the transition back to healthcare to become an OT specializing in the treatment of musicians with musculoskeletal disorders.

Massachusetts

WORCESTER STATE UNIVERSITY (PU)
School of Education, Health, and Natural Sciences, Occupational Therapy Department
Worcester
Website

Master of Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: GRE
  • Tuition Per Credit: $322 (in-state)

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $29,624 (in-state)

($7,964 less than the average in-state tuition for public MSOT programs in Massachusetts)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate for the past five years
  • 98 percent graduation rate over the past five years
  • Full-time students can graduate in three years
  • Partnerships with more than 250 organizations for fieldwork opportunities
  • This program involves two full-time 12-week fieldwork segments as well as a thesis research paper
  • 92 credits

Prerequisites:

  • Introduction to psychology
  • Developmental psychology
  • Human anatomy and physiology I and II with labs
  • Statistics
  • Neuroscience with lab

The Master of Occupational Therapy program at the Worcester State University School of Education, Health, and Natural Sciences offers the perfect balance of didactic theory and real-world experience.

In the classroom you’ll get to research topics you’re passionate about. Recent topics students here have explored include fatigue from daily activities among people with MS, outdoor physical activity as it relates to life satisfaction, and the use of sensory strategies in elementary school classrooms.

Once you’re ready to move out of the classroom and into the field you can rely on the more than 250 organizations that partner with the Occupational Therapy Department. This gives you the opportunity to put your skills to work in settings that include school systems, acute care providers, rehabilitation hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and community-based organizations.

Graduates of the Worcester State OT program have had quite the winning streak for the past five years, with extremely high graduation rates combined with 100 percent pass rates on the NBCOT exam.

Michigan

SAGINAW VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY (PU)
College of Health and Human Services, Occupational Therapy Department
University Center
Website

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: none
  • Tuition Per Credit: $593 (in-state); $1,129 (out-of-state)

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $40,924 (in-state); $77,870 (out-of-state)

($12,582 less than the average in-state tuition for public MSOT programs in Michigan)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate for the past three years
  • 95 percent graduation rate over the past three years
  • Graduate in as little as eight semesters
  • Majority of program faculty hold doctoral degrees
  • Opportunities to study abroad
  • Option to select cognates within OT
  • 30 hours of OT work or volunteer experience required for admission
  • 69 credits

Prerequisites:

  • Statistics
  • Principles of experimental biology
  • Chemistry or physics course, with lab
  • Health care ethics
  • General psychology
  • Intro to sociology
  • Communication, argumentation, or public speaking
  • Anatomy and physiology I and II
  • Information management and medical terminology
  • Motor learning and development
  • Kinesiology and functional anatomy with lab
  • Exercise physiology with lab
  • Foundations in occupational therapy
  • Therapeutic occupation
  • Developmental structure: neurologic conditioning, orthopedic conditioning, across the lifespan, and psychosocial conditioning
  • Applications in human development
  • Neuropsychology

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program at the Saginaw Valley State University College of Health and Human Services offers a truly exceptional value. In fact, SVSU beats the average tuition rate among accredited programs at public schools in the state by over $10,000, while still producing exceptional student outcomes.

The College of Health and Human Services believes that a global perspective enhances your own self-awareness, and the quality of patient care you provide. That’s why it offers students the opportunity to study abroad in places that include England, Costa Rica, Vietnam, Australia, India, and a number of African nations, including Zambia.

As a student here, you have the option to select among several different cognates, or areas of specialization, within OT. Among them are hand therapy, research, school-based practice, orthopedics, and assistive technology.

As an indicator of how exceptional the program is, 64 percent of faculty here are actually former students who loved their experience enough to want to establish lasting careers at the SVSU Occupational Therapy Department.

Minnesota

COLLEGE OF SAINT SCHOLASTICA (PR)
School of Health Sciences, Occupational Therapy Department
Duluth
Website

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: GRE
  • Tuition Per Credit: $849

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $67,071

($4,734 less than the average tuition for private MSOT programs in Minnesota)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate for three years and counting
  • 97-100 percent employment rate within one year of graduation
  • 99 percent three-year average graduation rate
  • The OT Department maintains a list of OT job postings and career services
  • State-of-the-art labs and classrooms next to comfy student lounges and premium housing
  • You have seven years to complete this program from the time you start, with graduation possible in as little as two-and-a-half years
  • Ranked among the best OT programs in the nation by US News and World Report
  • Most faculty have their doctoral degree
  • The OT Department just implemented a new curriculum model that emphasizes experiential learning
  • Shaped by Benedictine values
  • Admission requires at least 40 hours of observation with an occupational therapist
  • 79 credits

Prerequisites:

  • General psychology
  • Lifespan development psychology
  • Anatomy and physiology I and II
  • Intro to sociology or anthropology
  • Medical terminology
  • Statistics
  • Intro to occupational therapy is strongly recommended and viewed favorably

There’s only one OT program in all of Minnesota that can boast a 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate for three years running: the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program at the College of Saint Scholastica School of Health Sciences.

The Occupational Therapy Department has just implemented a new curriculum model that focuses on experiential learning paired with an emphasis on research. You’ll gain valuable experience working with patients in the on-campus, student-run Community Clinic, a facility that offers care to members of the community with little-to-no insurance.

The faculty members here have decades of combined experience, and most hold doctoral degrees. The dedicated professors and instructors here deserve much of the credit for the fact that graduates coming out of this program have consistently aced the NBCOT exam with a 100 percent first time pass rate for the past three years. That figure is all the more impressive when you consider the nearly perfect graduation rate over the past three-years and the 100 percent employment rate among graduates over the same period. All this from a program with a tuition rate that is several thousand dollars less than the state average for OT programs at private universities.

Missouri

MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY (PU)
Department of Occupational Therapy
Springfield
Website

Master of Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: GRE
  • Tuition Per Credit: $285 (in-state); $539 (out-of-state) 

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $21,660 (in-state); $40,964 (out-of-state)

($14,203 less than the average in-state tuition for public OT master’s programs in Missouri)

  • Each student assigned a personal OT faculty member adviser
  • Study in the brand-new state-of-the-art O’Reilly Clinical Health Sciences Center, completed in 2015
  • 80 percent of the professors in the OT program have doctoral degrees
  • Graduate in as little as 27 months, with new cohorts starting every fall semester
  • Award-winning highly distinguished faculty
  • 20 hours of OT observation is required for admission, preferably in two different locations
  • 76 credits

Prerequisites:

  • English
  • College algebra or higher
  • Statistics
  • Algebra-based physics with lab
  • Introductory chemistry with lab
  • Introductory psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Human development over the lifespan (may be met with a related psychology course)
  • General biology or biomedical sciences with lab
  • Human anatomy with lab
  • Human physiology with lab
  • Introductory sociology or cultural anthropology
  • Medical terminology
  • US government or US history

The Master of Occupational Therapy program at the Missouri State University Department of Occupational Therapy stands out from the crowd for several reasons, not least of all is its dedication to student success. As a student here, you’ll be assigned an academic adviser from the OT faculty who you’ll work with from the moment you’re enrolled till the time you graduate.

The brand-new O’Reilly Clinical Health Sciences Center provides the most advanced setting possible for your OT education. It hosts collaborative student spaces, laboratories, simulation centers with high-fidelity mannequins, and even a rehabilitation courtyard.

A complete analysis of the Department of Occupational Therapy wouldn’t be complete without giving due praise to its faculty. Holding credentials from organizations like the American Occupational Therapy Association, the Neonatal Oral-Motor Assessment Scale, and the National Association for Neonatal Nurses, the faculty here bring expertise from diverse backgrounds to the instruction they provide and have contributed research in equally diverse areas including biomechanics, hand rehabilitation, neonatal OT practice, premature and medically fragile infant feeding, and low vision rehabilitation. The world class faculty here work one-on-one with students, serving as advisers and mentors to ensure the success of the future OTs who pass through the halls of the MSU Department of Occupational Therapy.

ROCKHURST UNIVERSITY (PR)
College of Health and Human Services
Kansas City
Website

Master of Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: none
  • Tuition Per Credit: $862

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $64,685

($5,801 less than the average tuition for private MSOT programs in Missouri)

  • 100 percent employment rate within six months of graduation
  • 92 percent three-year graduation rate
  • 88 percent of faculty members have doctorate degrees
  • Dual degree options allow you to combine your MOT with an MBA or MA in Management
  • Opportunity to participate in international service trips abroad to Ecuador or Saint Lucia
  • Low student-to-faculty ratio
  • Opportunity to participate in a variety of service learning projects
  • Graduate after five semesters plus six months of fieldwork
  • To be eligible to apply to this program you need 16 hours total of OT observation experience in at least two different settings
  • 75 credits

Prerequisites:

  • English composition I and II
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Statistics
  • Ethics
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Developmental psychology
  • Introductory anthropology or sociology
  • Introductory physics with lab
  • Human anatomy with lab
  • Human physiology with lab
  • General biology with lab

There’s a long list of reasons why the Master of Occupational Therapy program at the Rockhurst University College of Health and Human Services stands out as one of the best options available, not least of which are the opportunities and options that students here can take advantage of. One of the clearest examples of this is the range of choices you have for your field experience.

Options for service learning include collaborative projects with local schools, the Truman Medical Center’s Behavioral Health Department, and other local organizations like the American Stroke Foundation, the Parkinson’s Foundation of the Heartland, and the Northland Therapeutic Riding Center.

The program culminates in an individual or group research project that gives you an opportunity to develop advanced knowledge in an area of interest of your choosing. Recent research topics have included aquatics for stroke survivors, an analysis of school-based OT evaluation processes, and occupational therapy for female prisoners.

Nearly all faculty members hold doctorates, and all work to foster an environment that promotes student success. The statistics speak for themselves: 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate, 100 percent employment rate, and a 92 percent average graduation rate over the past three years.

New Jersey

KEAN UNIVERSITY (PU)
Nathan Weiss Graduate College, Department of Occupational Therapy
Union
Website

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: none
  • Tuition Per Credit: $534 (in-state); $689 (out-of-state)

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $38,992 (in-state); $50,294 (out-of-state)

($5,330 less than the average in-state tuition for public MSOT programs in New Jersey)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate for five years and counting
  • Faculty shares more than 200 years of combined OT experience
  • New state-of-the-art, on-site clinic
  • Full-time students graduate in as little as two-and-a-half years: four semesters, one summer session, and 24 weeks of fieldwork
  • Some part-time options are available
  • Community partnerships and service learning programs are developed by students and supervised by faculty
  • New cohort of 30 students begins every September
  • 40 hours total of OT observation in at least two different settings is required for admission
  • 73 credits

Prerequisites:

  • General psychology
  • Intro to sociology or cultural anthropology
  • Anatomy and physiology I and II, with labs
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Lifespan development psychology
  • Psychological statistics
  • Introduction to OT (must be taken at Kean University)

The MSOT program at the Kean University Nathan Weiss Graduate College has a reputation for remarkable student outcomes. With a 100 percent pass rate on the NBCOT exam for five years in a row, this program has accomplished something few others have been able to achieve.

Kean University also hosts its own freestanding clinic, an attribute that’s shared by only a handful of schools in the nation. The Department of Occupational Therapy here hosts the Kean Care Clinic, a state-of-the-art facility that opened in 2015 to serve the needs of the community in Union. For students it offers convenient access to an active clinic where you’ll begin to practice your skills, serving as a jumping off point for unique fieldwork placements at other locations – one Kean OT student was just featured on the cover of Hippotherapy magazine, and another group of students recently joined the New York Giants to put on a fundraiser for the Intensive Therapeutics program. Few programs offer so much, and virtually none offer this kind of first rate student experience at a price that’s well below the state average.

New Mexico

UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO (PU)
Health Sciences Center, School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics
Albuquerque
Website

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: GRE
  • Tuition Per Credit: $418 (in-state); $1,078 (out-of-state)

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $35,097 (in-state); $90549 (out-of-state)

(This is currently the only MSOT program in New Mexico)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate for the past three years
  • 100 percent graduation rate for the past four years
  • 90 percent of the faculty have doctorates
  • Graduation possible after four semesters plus one summer of academic study, and two semesters (24 weeks) of fieldwork
  • To be considered for this program you must be a New Mexico resident for at least one year, have close ties to a state resident, or reside in a WICHE state (Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, Montana, or Wyoming)
  • To have the best chance of being admitted to the program, 65 hours of work or volunteer experience with an OT is strongly recommended
  • 84 credits

Prerequisites:

  • Developmental psychology
  • Abnormal behavior
  • Introduction to statistics
  • Human anatomy and physiology I and II, plus labs
  • Technical and professional writing

You can leave Albuquerque and drive for hundreds of miles in any direction and still not find an MSOT program of the same caliber as the one offered by the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center School of Medicine. It’s a good feeling to know you don’t need to go any further than your home state to find a program that gives you everything you could ever ask for in an OT program at a price you can afford.

Take advantage of the opportunities you’ll have to study abroad and you’ll experience first hand how OT is changing lives in other cultures – from occupational justice initiatives in Guatemala, to the melding of OT with traditional medicine in Mexico, to community health programs in Nicaragua. But you certainly don’t have to go any further than Albuquerque to see OT advocacy in action. As a student here you’ll get a chance to visit the state legislature to see how healthcare policies are made, volunteer in the local community at places like Camp Rising Sun for individuals with ASD or the Albuquerque Opportunity Center, a shelter for homeless men.

With a 100 percent graduation rate over the past four years, and 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate over the last three, it’s clear that the faculty at the University of New Mexico Department of Pediatrics is doing something right.

New York

DOMINICAN COLLEGE (PR)
Occupational Therapy Program
Blauvelt
Website

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: none
  • Tuition Per Credit: $919

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $63,411

($20,922 less than the average tuition for private MSOT programs in New York)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate this year; three-year average pass rate of 97 percent
  • 100 percent employment rate
  • 96 percent three-year program retention rate
  • Low student to faculty ratio with fewer than 25 students per class
  • Ideally located near the New York City metro area
  • Modeled on the fall-spring-summer trimester system, with full-time students able to graduate in nine trimesters, including two trimesters of full-time fieldwork
  • Classes held every third weekend to accommodate the busy schedules of working students
  • To be admitted you need a total of 40 hours of observation experience with occupational therapists from three different settings
  • 69 credits

Prerequisites:

  • Dynamics of oral communication
  • Anatomy and physiology I and II
  • Intro to statistics
  • General psychology or equivalent
  • Developmental/lifespan psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Intro to sociology
  • Neuroscience
  • Physics
  • Intro to OT practice, or Overview of OT Practice plus Kinesiology in OT Practice – these must completed at Dominican College

You just aren’t going to find a better value than Dominican College anywhere in New York. As an MSOT student here you’ll be working alongside highly motivated classmates, under the guidance of world-class instructors. Fully half of the professors in this program are themselves alumni of Dominican College. Not only will you be learning from the best, as a Dominican OT student you’ll have a unique level of access to some of the most diverse OT clinics and other practice settings found anywhere in the world.

Modeled on the trimester system, this full-time program is designed for high-achievers who want to get the most for their money. All this with the convenience and flexibility that comes with a schedule that only requires you to attend classes every third weekend, an arrangement that allows many students to maintain busy work and family lives while earning a degree.

The program is as effective as it is convenient and affordable, with statistics that tell a story of exceptional student outcomes: the 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate and 100 percent graduate employment rate speak for themselves.

North Carolina

WINSTON-SALEM STATE UNIVERSITY (PU)
School of Health Sciences, Department of Occupational Therapy
Winston-Salem
Website

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: GRE
  • Tuition Per Credit: $181 (in-state); $473 (out-of-state)

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $13,430 (in-state); $34,967 (out-of-state)

($9,629 less than the average in-state tuition for public MSOT programs in North Carolina)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate over the past five years
  • 93 percent three-year graduation rate
  • Ranked the number-one historically black university in North Carolina by the Wall Street Journal
  • State-of-the-art facilities
  • Ranked the number-one school in North Carolina for graduating black students in the health professions by Diverse Issues in Higher Education
  • Practice under supervision at the local Community Care Clinic
  • Virtual Hospital simulation
  • Early Assurance Program guarantees MSOT program admission to WSSU undergrads meeting certain conditions
  • Graduate in two-and-a-half years full-time, including 24 weeks of full-time fieldwork
  • Admission requires completion of at least 40 hours of OT observational experience
  • 74 credits

Prerequisites:

  • Human anatomy and physiology I and II with labs
  • Lifespan human growth and development, or developmental psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Statistics
  • Sociology or anthropology
  • Medical terminology

Opportunities abound for students of the MSOT program at the Winston-Salem State University School of Health Sciences. The Department of Occupational Therapy provides you with all the options you need to tailor your education for success, from state-of-the-art facilities and cadaver labs to fieldwork opportunities across the United States.

As a student you’ll have access to all the libraries and research materials in the entire UNC system, across all 16 campus locations. You’ll learn and practice your skills using the WSSU Virtual Hospital, a simulated acute care setting designed specifically for building clinical skills. Once you’ve developed confidence here you’ll move on to the real-world, practicing under the guidance of instructors at the local Community Care Clinic. Free and open to individuals in the community with chronic diseases, every year each OT student provides more than 150 hours of services. Eventually you’ll enter the full-time field work stage of the program, working at local clinics, facilities throughout the state, or even at locations elsewhere in the country where you’ll get exposure to diverse practice settings and patient populations.

The faculty at the Department of Occupational Therapy are outstanding. They mentor students in exciting research topics and provide opportunities to participate in groundbreaking studies. Recent students explored the impact of health literacy on orthopedic patients and the link between driving habits and quality of life among older adults. The faculty here are world-class, and largely responsible for impressive student outcome numbers that include a 100 percent four-year NBCOT exam pass rate and 93 percent three-year graduation rate.

Ohio

SHAWNEE STATE UNIVERSITY (PU)
College of Professional Studies, Department of Rehabilitation and Sport Professions
Portsmouth
Website

Master of Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: GRE for GPAs below 3.2
  • Tuition Per Credit: $362 (in-state); $855 (out-of-state)

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $27,905 (in-state); $65,861 (out-of-state)

($12,053 less than the average in-state tuition for public MSOT programs in Ohio)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate for five years and counting
  • 100 percent graduation rate for three years and counting
  • Majority of faculty members have doctorates
  • Graduate in just six semesters, including two semesters of full-time fieldwork
  • Admission requires at least 40 hours of volunteer experience in an OT setting
  • 77 credits

Prerequisites:

  • Developmental psychology or human development across the lifespan
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Adult developmental aging
  • Sociology or cultural anthropology
  • Human anatomy with cadaver lab
  • Human physiology with lab
  • Neuroanatomy with lab
  • Two courses of physical science beyond the introductory level
  • Medical terminology
  • Statistics

The Master of Occupational Therapy program at the Shawnee State University College of Professional Studies outshines the others in the region for many reasons, starting with its commitment to students. The Department of Rehabilitation and Sport Professions wants to see you succeed in its MOT program, and not let finances get in the way. That’s why it offers graduate assistantships to qualified students that pay $8,000 per year on top of a tuition/fee waiver. And consider that this program gets better results and costs $12k less than the other public MOT program in the state.

Classes take place full-time over a fall-spring-fall-spring-summer-fall schedule, with the last two semesters devoted entirely to your fieldwork.

The outstanding faculty at the Department of Rehabilitation and Sport Professions’s MOT program have achieved two incredible feats that have a very important implication for you-the-student. 100 percent of students graduated over the past three years, and 100 percent of graduates passed by NBCOT exam over the past five years. For you that means if you’re admitted to this program you’re highly likely to earn the credentials you need to go into your dream field.

Pennsylvania

TEMPLE UNIVERSITY (PU)
College of Public Health, Department of Rehabilitative Sciences
Philadelphia
Website

Master of Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: GRE or MAT
  • Tuition Per Credit: $954 (in-state); $1,314 (out-of-state)

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $76,320 (in-state); $105,120 (out-of-state)

(This is currently the only public stand-alone MSOT program in Pennsylvania)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate for the past three years
  • Oldest occupational therapy program in Pennsylvania with over 50 years of experience
  • 92 percent of faculty have their doctoral degree
  • 98 percent three-year graduation rate
  • Diverse range of faculty interests and research areas
  • Must complete 40 hours of OT-related observation at two or more settings to be admitted
  • 80 credits

Prerequisites:

  • Abnormal psychology
  • Anatomy and physiology I and II
  • Developmental psychology
  • Introduction to psychology
  • Introduction to sociology or cultural anthropology
  • Statistics

The Master of Occupational Therapy at the Temple University College of Public Health is the only stand-alone public MOT program in the entire state. It’s nearly $6,000 less than the average private MOT program in the state, and in some cases significantly less than its private counterparts. In fact, Temple University’s MOT program has achieved a higher pass rate on the NBCOT exam than the most expensive private school in the state for three years running.

Temple University’s Department of Rehabilitative Sciences is at the forefront of developing innovative strategies to improve the lives of those with long-term psychological and physical disabilities. Right now your professors are conducting research into topics like arts accessibility, robotic rehabilitation interventions, cultural diversity among families with autistic children, and community participation for those on the autism spectrum.

The Department of Rehabilitative Sciences is a national leader in public policy and the advancement of OT as a profession. Campus is ideally located within a maximum 90 minute commute of all your fieldwork experiences, a convenience you’ll appreciate knowing that many OT programs require students to travel to sites throughout the country at their own expense. Classes are taught by an award-winning faculty with dozens of publications to their names. Fully 92 percent of them have achieved the highest level of education possible in their field, and they want to pass the torch on to you.

SALUS UNIVERSITY (PR)
College of Education and Rehabilitation, Department of Occupational Therapy
Elkins Park
Website

Master of Science Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: GRE or MAT
  • Tuition Per Credit: $1,057

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $67,620

($14,224 less than the average tuition for private MSOT programs in Pennsylvania)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate for four years and counting
  • 97 percent four-year graduation rate
  • Outstanding award-winning faculty
  • Graduate full-time in 23 months, starting in August and ending in June
  • Before applying to this program you need to complete 50 hours of observation experience with an OT, with at least eight hours each in a pediatric and adult setting
  • 64 credits

Prerequisites:

  • Anatomy and physiology I and II with labs
  • Statistics
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Developmental or lifespan psychology
  • Sociology or cultural anthropology

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at the Salus University College of Education and Rehabilitation is distinguished by its decades-long leadership in this field and outstanding faculty. In 1983 it was the first school in the country to offer four master’s-level credentials in Blindness and Low Vision Studies.

You’re in good hands with the faculty at the Department of Occupational Therapy. They have dozens of presentations, publications, certifications, and professional memberships to their names along with a variety interests in areas like pediatrics, sensory integration, environmental adaptations, gerontology, Parkinson’s Disease, and low vision rehabilitation to name a select few. The faculty are honored by distinctions that include the Master Clinician award from the Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association and the Shirley Davis Award for Excellence in Synchronous Learning.

Your faculty play an important role in achievements like this program’s 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate and its 97 percent graduation rate, which are both holding strong going on five years. And these results are better than more expensive private schools in the state, which also cost $14k more on average!

Tennessee

MILLIGAN COLLEGE (PR)
School of Sciences and Allied Health
Elizabethton
Website

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: GRE
  • Tuition Per Credit: $780

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $61,620

($10,215 less than the average in-state tuition for public MSOT programs in Tennessee)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate over the past four years
  • 97 percent three-year average graduation rate
  • 86 percent of the faculty have a doctoral degree
  • Undergrads at Milligan College can qualify for early acceptance into this program in their junior year
  • Award-winning, well-connected, widely-published faculty
  • Graduate from this full-time program in two-and-a-half years, including fieldwork
  • At least 40 hours of OT observation are required for admission
  • 79 credits

Prerequisites:

  • Math course
  • Anatomy and physiology I and II
  • Intro to psychology
  • Intro to sociology or anthropology
  • Human development or human psychology
  • English or writing
  • Public speaking
  • Medical terminology

The MSOT program at the Milligan College School of Sciences and Allied Health achieves great results, offers exciting fieldwork opportunities, and attracts top-notch faculty. During your fieldwork segment you’ll be placed at two different organizations, each for three months. Fieldwork involves working with patients with physical dysfunctions, before going on to a second segment where you’ll work with a patient population of your choice. You also have the option of going for a third fieldwork placement lasting between six and 12 weeks.

Your instructors here are at the top of their profession, with the vast majority holding doctorate degrees. They are the ones moving and shaping the OT field. The OT Program Director also serves as the Associate Editor for the Journal of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences, in addition to reviewing several other academic journals. Other notable distinctions among faculty include authoring books on preschool-related OT issues and chairing the Parent Child Interaction Therapy International Training Committee.

Your professors know how to run an OT program as evidenced by some impressive statistics coming out of the program, including a 100 percent pass rate on the NBCOT exam for four years funning, and a 97 percent graduation rate over the past three years. And perhaps the most amazing part of the program is that it’s able to offer all this at a tuition rate that’s $10,000 less than the state average for MSOT programs at public schools.

Texas

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS RIO GRANDE VALLEY (PU)
College of Health Professions, Department of Occupational Therapy
Edinburg
Website

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: GRE
  • Tuition Per Credit: $266 (in-state); $675 (out-of-state)

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $18,862 (in-state); $47,912 (out-of-state)

($3,858 less than the average in-state tuition for public MSOT programs in Texas)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate over the last three years
  • 97 percent three-year graduation rate
  • Three-quarters of the faculty have a doctoral degree
  • Small class sizes between 22-24 students every year
  • Graduation possible in two-and-a-half years
  • You must have some OT-relevant volunteer or work experience to be admitted
  • 71 credits

Prerequisites:

  • Anatomy and physiology I and II plus labs
  • Statistics
  • Psychology of lifespan
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Anthropology or sociology
  • Biomechanics
  • Physics plus lab
  • Technical writing
  • Medical terminology

You’ll find a great value, supportive learning environment with enviable results, and inspiring professors in the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley College of Health Professions.

By the time you near completion of your fieldwork you’ll likely have several job offers. The Department of Occupational Therapy reports that most students have between one and three offers lined up by the time their fieldwork ends, with employers from around the state and the nation actively recruiting UTRGV graduates.

This program is home to distinguished faculty like Dr. Shirley Wells, the Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy. The American Occupational Therapy Association just named her as one of the 100 most influential people in occupational therapy. She literally wrote the book on cultural diversity and inclusivity in the OT field, an issue has been involved in for the past 37 years. The world-class faculty here deserve credit for the impressive student outcome statistics coming out of the program, including the 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate for the past three years and the 97 percent graduation rate.

ABILENE CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY (PR)
College of Education and Human Services, Department of Occupational Therapy
Abilene
Website

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: none
  • Tuition Per Credit: $960

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $66,240

($8,121 less than the average tuition for private MSOT programs in Texas)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate for two years and counting
  • 98 percent two-year graduation rate
  • Graduate as a full-time student in 24 months
  • Christian faculty are experts in the field
  • Minimum of 40 OT observation hours are required for admission
  • 69 credits

Prerequisites:

  • Anatomy and physiology I and II
  • Statistics
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Medical terminology
  • Life span development

From the world-class faculty to the Christian philosophical approach to patient care to unique opportunities for gaining field experience, the MSOT program at the Abilene Christian University College of Education and Human Services stands above the rest. It’s no surprise then that this is such a competitive program to get into. Last year 200 student applications were received to fill just 45 open slots. This year could prove to be even more competitive. That’s because Abilene’s reputation for uncompromising quality has gotten around thanks to a track record of exceptional student outcomes as evidenced by the 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate and 98 percent graduate rate.

The Department of Occupational Therapy’s Maker Lab has gotten a lot of attention, and for good reason. Here you’ll have a chance to design 3D orthotic models on a computer and use a variety of creative means to turn your design into a real, functional orthotic. Usually you’ll find maker labs at advanced research institutes for science and technology in Silicon Valley, but ACU brings these kinds of opportunities to you right here in Abilene.

Virginia

JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY (PU)
Department of Health Professions
Harrisonburg
Website

Master of Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: GRE
  • Tuition Per Credit: $485 (in-state); $1,247 (out-of-state) 

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $38,315 (in-state); $98,480 (out-of-state)

($10,154 less than the average in-state tuition for public MSOT programs in Virginia)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate over the last three years
  • JMU Handshake program provides a database of open OT positions
  • State-of-the-art campus experiences that will advance your professional education
  • Many opportunities for community involvement
  • Graduate in eight terms, including three summers
  • Admission requires at least 40 hours of OT observation experience
  • 79 credits

Prerequisites:

  • Human physiology with lab
  • Human anatomy with lab
  • Cultural anthropology
  • Rehabilitative biomechanics, college physics, or kinesiology
  • Statistics or health science research statistics
  • Life span human development
  • Introduction to abnormal psychology
  • Research methods
  • Medical terminology
  • Three additional credits in the social sciences

The Master of Occupational Therapy program at the James Madison University Department of Health Professions has earned a reputation for offering an exceptional value while providing an OT education with uncompromising quality. Graduates have secured positions across the nation and received very high employer evaluations.

From day one you’ll experience just how much of a focus JMU puts on student engagement and participation, from OT Month to community service projects to the Legislative Day trip to the state capital. During the most recent Legislative Day event, students advocated for a bill related to continuing education for licensed OTs, and one that would recognize OTs as Qualified Mental Health Professionals.

As a graduate student attending classes in Madison Hall, you’ll have access to travel grants and networking opportunities with the Graduate Student Association, and participate in clinical training at JMU’s OT Clinical Education Services facility. The Health and Behavioral Studies Building houses state-of-the-art classrooms, the OT Lab, and the Home Environment experience, giving OT students a premier environment in which to learn and practice. It’s no surprise that last year the Department of Health Professions received 150 applications to fill 20-25 student slots.

Washington

EASTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY (PU)
College of Health Science and Public Health, Occupational Therapy Department
Spokane
Website

Master of Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: GRE
  • Tuition Per Credit: $531 (in-state); $717 (out-of-state)

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $43,018 (in-state); $58,074 (out-of-state)

($3,970 less than the average in-state tuition for public MSOT programs in Washington)

  • 96 percent three-year average graduation rate
  • Majority of faculty have doctorates
  • Students report a high degree of satisfaction with this program
  • Graduate after five semesters of academic work plus six months of fieldwork
  • Applicants are required to have 40 total hours of experience with persons with disabilities, 10 of which must be shadowing an OT in at least two different settings
  • 81 credits

Prerequisites:

  • General biology with lab
  • Human anatomy with lab
  • Human physiology with lab
  • Intermediate English composition/technical writing
  • Introduction to occupational therapy
  • Medical terminology
  • Introduction to sociology or anthropology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • General psychology or intro to psychology
  • Human development through the life span or developmental psychology
  • Statistics

The Master of Occupational Therapy program at the Eastern Washington University College of Health Science and Public Health caught our eye for several reasons, not least of which are the highly qualified faculty members and outstanding student outcomes.

Most of the faculty in the Occupational Therapy Department have doctorates, and together they bring with them to the classrooms and training labs dozens of years of experience in areas like orthopedics, mental health, and neurology, to name just a few.

As an EWU OT student, you’ll have access to exciting and highly relevant fieldwork opportunities at a range of organizations. In the most recent fall and spring terms this included student placements at 40 different area facilities, including Eastern State Hospital, various public school districts, several local hospitals, Frontier Behavioral Health facilities, and Pioneer Human Services facilities.

Your six-month period of internship experiences will have you working at locations throughout the Pacific Northwest. This is an exciting time for you to put your classroom experience into practice in the real world. Students describe their experience in this program as a time of personal transformation; an opportunity to start something that’s bigger than oneself. Imagine a program that offers all this at an affordable price, while giving you the confidence that comes with earning your degree through a school with a track record for exceptional student outcomes as is clear in the 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate and the 96 percent three-year average graduation rate.

Wisconsin

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON (PU)
Department of Kinesiology
Madison
Website

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

(On-campus)

  • Entrance exam requirement: GRE
  • Tuition Per Credit: $591 (in-state); $1,038 (out-of-state)

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $36,049 (in-state); $63,341 (out-of-state)

($2,856 less than the average in-state tuition for public MSOT programs in Wisconsin)

  • 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate for five years running
  • 99 percent average four-year graduation rate
  • 100 percent of graduate program faculty have doctorates
  • Annual OT research symposiums attract professionals from across the nation
  • Ranked 14th-best graduate OT program in the nation by US News and World Report
  • More dedicated laboratories for advanced study than most OT programs in the nation
  • Premier research institution with more than $8 million in federal OT research funding in the past five years
  • Low student-faculty ratio
  • Variety of exciting fieldwork locations
  • UWM has over 75 proud years of experience in occupational therapy
  • To be admitted you need to observe an occupational therapist in at least two different settings, serving at least two different patient populations
  • 61 credits

Prerequisites:

  • Lifespan development
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Statistics
  • Human physiology with lab
  • Human anatomy with lab

The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Kinesiology is one of the most successful in the nation. It’s proud of its outstanding faculty, students, research, and learning facilities – and for very good reason.

In the past five years the faculty in the Department of Kinesiology have secured more than $8 million in federal OT research grants, evidence of why it’s considered a premier research institution. This includes a recent grant to study the relationship between the brainstem, sensorymotor function and core symptoms in children on the autism spectrum.

Going hand-in-hand with outstanding research opportunities and big dollar grants is this program’s laboratory facilities. These fully-equipped labs include the Motor Behavior Laboratory, the Exercise Psychology Laboratory, the Exercise Physiology Laboratory, the Neuromuscular Coordination Laboratory, and more. Six different faculty members are associated with the labs and lead focused research in seven important subject areas ranging from autism to Parkinson’s disease. When it comes time for the fieldwork segment of your program you have many exciting options. The school maintains partnerships with more than 26 fieldwork placement sites.

A full analysis of this MSOT program would not be complete without a mention of the award-winning faculty here, 100 percent of whom hold doctoral degrees. It’s their commitment to student success that results in the impressive statistics coming out of the program, including a 99 percent four-year average graduation rate and a 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate for the past five years. It’s no surprise that last year the program received applications from 313 students to fill only 26 openings.

MOUNT MARY UNIVERSITY (PR)
School of Natural and Health Sciences, Occupational Therapy Department
Milwaukee
Website

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

(Hybrid)

  • Entrance exam requirement: none
  • Tuition Per Credit: $790

Estimated Total Cost of Tuition: $52,140

($26,880 less than the average tuition for private MSOT programs in Wisconsin)

  • 96 percent three-year average graduation rate
  • Largest OT program in the entire state
  • 77 percent of the faculty have doctorates
  • Graduate in 28 months as a full-time student
  • You need 10 hours of OT-related observation experience to apply to this program
  • 66 credits

Prerequisites:

  • College composition II
  • Human anatomy
  • Human physiology
  • Introductory psychology
  • Developmental psychology
  • OT orientation
  • Medical terminology
  • Cultural anthropology or introduction to sociology

The MSOT program at the Mount Mary University School of Natural and Health Sciences is home to a professional faculty that is second-to-none. The Chairperson of the Occupational Therapy Department is a good example of the type of instructors you’ll work with here. With three publications to her name and an equal number of professional organization memberships, she is directly responsible for securing two grants to fund a newly designed hospital simulation lab within the OT Department.

Developments like this ensure your 21 months spent studying at Mount Mary University are as enriching as possible, ensuring you’re feeling confident as you head into your fieldwork placements in the last six months of the program. To ensure you get the most out of your hands-on learning experiences, this program includes an online learning module you can complete concurrent with your fieldwork. During your final month of study, you’ll tie everything together with a culminating project.

Over three-quarters of the professors here hold doctorates. It’s clear these dedicated faculty members are largely responsible for creating the positive and productive learning environment that has contributed to the 96 percent three-year average graduation rate and the 100 percent NBCOT exam pass rate this year. While those factors alone are worth bragging about, it’s also worth mentioning that this program achieves those kinds of results with a tuition rate that’s nearly $27,000 less than the state average for MSOT programs at private universities.

All schools shown here have been contacted and informed of their inclusion on this list. Schools that do not wish to be featured are immediately removed. School names are the registered trademarks of their original owners. The use of any trade name or trademark does not imply any association with the school.

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