Online OTD Programs

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If you envision yourself in a leadership role within occupational therapy, the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program may be the best program for you. Online OTD programs and designed to teach students about leadership, advocacy, and policymaking. They will also engage in a capstone project, in which you will choose your area of OT interest and investigate it deeply. Generally, occupational therapists help individuals who are recovering from an illness or an injury to return to activities that are important to them. Individuals with a doctorate in occupational therapy work directly with patients and have additional opportunities to take on leadership roles in health care practices and policy organizations or join the faculty of occupational therapy education programs. Full-time occupational therapy doctorate programs would generally take three years to complete. Upon completing the Occupational Therapy Doctoral (OTD degree) program, students will be eligible to take the certification exam administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT), which leads to national certification and eligibility for state licensure.

Best Online Occupational Therapy
Doctorate Programs

We at FBD (Find Best Degrees) have vetted several occupational therapy doctorate courses and have come up with a list of top graduate schools for occupational therapy. Our vetting process involves a host of criteria including graduation rate, tuition fee, student placements, etc. Below is the list of our top picks: *

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

Find Online Occupational Therapy
Doctorate Programs Near Me

If you are looking at the best OT Doctorate programs near you, you are in luck, below is a list of OT programs near your location:

What to expect from the Online
OTD Programs?

Types of Online OTD

Areas of Specialization for
Online OTD Programs

Why should I do Online Occupational
therapy Doctorate?

How to get into the Online
OTD Program?

Below would be the Doctor of Occupational Therapy prerequisites:

Bachelor’s Degree

The first step to becoming an occupational therapist is to attend a four-year bachelor’s degree program at a college or university. Earning a bachelor’s degree qualifies you to apply to master’s degree programs for occupational therapy. Good degree options for prospective pediatric occupational therapists include psychology, education or special education, biology, kinesiology, exercise physiology, or pre-occupational therapy.


As one completes a bachelor’s degree program, students should look for internships that allow them to work with occupational therapy professionals, speech pathologists, educators, or rehabilitation clinics. They can also look for pediatric internship opportunities that allow them to interact with patients and observe how medical professionals engage with them and support them in their health goals.


As one of the occupational therapies master’s degree requirements, some universities might require a certain GRE score and a GPA of above 3 to take up a master’s in OT.

Earn A Master’s Degree

Upon the completion of a bachelor’s degree program, students need to apply to a two-year master’s degree program for occupational therapy. During a master’s degree program, you take courses relating to human sciences, occupational therapy practices, patient care information, etc. Students also complete professional experience by working with licensed occupational therapists in a real workplace setting.

Letters of recommendation

Two letters of reference—one for academic reference from prior education experience, and a second from a reference who can attest to the quality of the applicant’s professional work as an occupational therapist.

Personal statement

Write a personal statement, which is typically in the form of an essay. You may be required to submit multiple essays to fully express the intent and purpose of your application. Below are some common topics that should be mentioned in a statement.

  • Your main academic and personal interests
  • Experiences in school or work that have helped to prepare you for this course of study
  • Why you wish to pursue a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy
  • Why do you wish to study at the chosen OTD program
  • Your career plans and goals after you earn your OTD


Upload a copy of your most recent resume or curriculum vitae as part of your application.

NBCOT Examination

After completing a master’s degree or doctorate, students need to take and pass the NBOCT exam for occupational therapists offered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. After you pass the exam, you earn a certificate to work as an occupational therapist.

State Licensure

To practice as an occupational therapist in your state, you also need to apply for and obtain state licensure. You can usually find information and apply through your state’s department of health website.

How long is an Online Occupational
Therapy Doctorate Program?

Accreditation for Online Doctorate
in Occupational Therapy

Accelerated Online
OTD Programs

Masters Vs Doctorate in
Occupational Therapy

How to Pay for Online
OTD Programs?

Free Courses for Online Occupational
Therapy Doctorate

Online Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy

If you’re an occupational therapy practitioner who would like to assume a leadership role and help shape the future of your field, you may be ready for advanced study beyond the master’s level. The Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (PP-OTD) program at Sargent College is designed to provide the highest level of quality education with a focus on flexibility and a strong mentorship model. Students in the PP-OTD program are paired in a one-on-one relationship with our faculty, who provide each student with personal guidance throughout the program.

If you have Boston University vouchers, you can use up to 6 credits of vouchers towards courses in the PP-OTD program. Check if your employer offers tuition assistance.

Occupational therapy in the age of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

AOTA is hosting a series of FREE webinars to equip occupational therapy practitioners, educators, and students to navigate through the evolving coronavirus pandemic. This series is free for AOTA members and non-members.

View webinars here:

Therapeutic Use of Virtual Reality in OT

Think virtual reality is just about gaming? Think again! Immersive virtual reality (IVR) provides an engaging, motivating, and task-oriented experience that can produce immediate and longer-term improvements in motor and cognitive activity performance. This webinar will discuss IVR use in OT with potential solutions to address barriers and capitalize on facilitators to implement in practice. Link here.

Relationships, Resilience, Relevance: Returning to the Basics of our Profession

As a profession, occupational therapy is navigating choppy waters in health care and education arenas, academic environments, and service delivery and payment systems. While the direction of a changing tide is not always predictable or desired, the response to change is ours to own—collectively. Link here.

The Opioid Crisis and the Role of OT

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids were involved in 67.8% of all drug overdose deaths in the US in 2017. This webinar will discuss the symptoms of opioid addiction in populations across the lifespan, and effective treatment interventions, including non-pharmacological approaches that can be used by OT practitioners for pain management. Link here.

FAQs about Online
OTD Programs

Do you need a doctorate program in occupational therapy to practice OT?

How long does an OT Ph.D. take?

What does an entry-level doctorate mean?

Is a doctorate in occupational therapy worth it?

Why Pursue an Online Doctorate Program in Occupational Therapy?

What are the typical OTD Program Specializations

Occupational Therapy Doctorate vs. Master’s in Occupational Therapy 

Career Opportunities and Salaries after Online
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Certifications and Licensing for Online
Occupational Therapy Doctorate

Additional Resources for
Online OTD Programs


The average tuition (based on degree type for in-state students), average graduation rates, and rankings are based on data from various sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and are variable over time. All rankings and statistics are subject to change. The rankings are solely the opinion of Find Best Degrees (FBD) and are based on our proprietary methodology. They do not represent the views of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor do they represent any official government census or survey. Furthermore, any views or opinions expressed on this page are of FBD’s researchers and teams. Unless otherwise specified, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the individuals, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page’s content is provided solely for informational purposes, with data drawn from various sources, including IPEDS. FBD and its employees make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information found on this page or by following any link. FBD will not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this material nor any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the information on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, readers should exercise caution because some or all of the provided information may have changed over time, potentially resulting in inaccuracies. For more information, please read our Terms of Service. Trademarks and logos are the property of their registered owners. | Page last updated: Dec 2023.