Educational Programs for OTAs Seeking OT Degrees
Accredited weekend programs and programs for OTAs seeking occupational therapy (OT) degrees, sorted by State.
Barry University, Miami Shores, FL, offers a full-time, weekend program leading to a master’s degree in occupational therapy. The program is tailored for working adults, offering a blended curriculum of weekend classes and distance education. Classes are typically scheduled two weekends per month. Most students complete the program in 2½ years. Applicants may have a baccalaureate degree in any field, but those with a bachelor’s degree in a health field are given noted consideration in the admissions process. Applications are due by April 1st with the new cohort starting in late August each year.
Contact: http://www.barry.edu/occupational-therapy/; (305) 899-3213
Keiser University-Fort Lauderdale
Keiser University-Fort Lauderdale, FL, offers a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) bridge program that is designed to educate health care providers with COTA credentials to build upon their existing professional experience. A Bachelor of Science in Occupational Health (BSOH) will be awarded after completion of 120 undergraduate semester credit hours. Candidates are required to have a minimum of one (1) year of recent, professional experience working as a licensed occupational therapy assistant and an active unrestricted Professional OTA license.
Keiser University’s Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy will include instructional delivery methods that are both campus-based and hybrid. The program integrates didactic, face-to-face, and clinical experiences to prepare students to achieve success on the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®) exam, and to function as a generalist occupational therapist within the profession. Each MSOT eight-week course is taught in an on-line format with two weekends (Fridays from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm and Saturdays from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm) of obligatory face-to-face meetings conducted at Fort Lauderdale campus. These face-to-face meetings are offered after week two and week six of each MSOT course.
Note that an Associate of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant degree is expected to contain 84 semester credit hours. Candidates who enter with an Associate of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant degree with less than 84 semester credit hours will be required to complete elective courses to bring the total to 84 semester credit hours. A Bachelor of Science in Occupational Health will be awarded after completion of 120 undergraduate semester credit hours.
Middle Georgia State University Middle Georgia State University (MGA), Cochran, GA offers a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) bridge program for Occupational Therapy Assistants with at least one year, or 1500 hours of work experience. A bachelor’s degree is not required; however, applicants must have earned a minimum of 84 semester credit hours (including 12 credit hours of prerequisite courses) in order to apply. The program admits one cohort each fall semester and includes 4 consecutive semesters of didactic content, followed by two 12-week Level II fieldwork experiences, for a total of two years. The program is delivered in an accelerated, full-time format of distance education combined with required on-campus attendance for approximately one weekend per month. For further information and details regarding all admission criteria, visit the MGA MSOT Program web page at: https://www.mga.edu/health-natural-sciences/rehabilitation-science/master-occuptional-therapy-program/index.php.
*Note: This OTM program is currently in the process of seeking accreditation and has been granted Candidacy Status by ACOTE. A final accreditation decision is scheduled to be made by ACOTE in March 2024 after an initial accreditation visit is conducted.
University of Louisiana at Monroe
The University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM), Monroe, LA, offers a full-time program advancing the OTA to MOT entry level by providing a hybrid learning experience using online/on-campus coursework at ULM. Designed for the working COTA, students can complete the program in 2½ years. Applicants may have a baccalaureate degree in any field, as long as all prerequisite coursework has been completed. Applications are due by March 1st with the new cohort starting in August each year.
Contact: http://www.ulm.edu/ot/mot.html; (318) 342-1610
American International College
American International College, Springfield, MA, offers a full-time, combined BS and entry-level master of science in occupational therapy program (MSOT). OTAs wishing to continue their education will find AIC’s 3+2 model just what they need. An individualized transfer credit analysis will be conducted to determine a student’s entry-point and time to completion.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (413) 205-3320 for program information.
Bay Path University-East Longmeadow Campus
Bay Path University-East Longmeadow Campus, East Longmeadow, MA, offers an accelerated path for licensed occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) to earn a Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) degree while continuing to work in the field. The program is offered in a blended format, pairing online coursework with on-site participation, approximately every other weekend at our campus in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts. The bridge program provides heightened focus on evaluation, as well as, intervention.
Contact: For more information visit www.baypath.edu/academics/graduate-programs/occupational-therapy-bridge-m/ or contact graduate admissions at email@example.com or call (413) 565-1332.
Salem State University
Salem State University, Salem, MA, offers a flexible part-time evening program for OT assistants to earn a combined BS/MS degree in occupational therapy. Students will earn a bachelor of science degree in occupational health studies and an entry-level master of science degree in occupational therapy. The OT program was established in 1999.
Dominican College, Orangeburg, NY, offers a non-traditional full-time weekend entry-level masters occupational therapy program. Classes meet approximately every third weekend for 6 on-campus class sessions each trimester. Certified occupational therapy assistants (COTAs) possessing only an associates degree are eligible to apply to earn a BS/MS in occupational therapy after completion of a limited number of general education courses and the prerequisites that all applicants must complete. COTAs with an associates degree are not required to have an earned baccalaureate degree or higher to qualify to apply to the program. COTAs who do possess a minimum of a baccalaureate degree qualify to apply to the program the same way as all applicants possessing a minimum of a baccalaureate degree. For further information, visit the OT website at: https://www.dc.edu/ot/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or one of the telephone numbers below.
Contact: (845) 848-6001 or (845) 848-6041
Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, NY, offers a BS in health sciences (semester based) and an MS weekend program (trimester based). The BS in health sciences includes all prerequisites for the OT program and can be taken on a flexible part-time schedule. The MS program meets every other weekend, 8 weekends per trimester, for 2 years and 3 months. While obtaining the BS in health science supports students in completing Mercy specific prerequisite courses, it does not automatically guarantee students a spot in the MS program. BS/Health Science students must still apply and be accepted into the Mercy OT graduate program in order to complete their MS in occupational therapy.
Contact: http://www.mercy.edu/occupationaltherapyms or 914-674-7815
The Sage Colleges
The Sage Colleges, Troy, NY, offers a baccalaureate degree completion program that leads to an MS in occupational therapy after 3 years of coursework plus 2 additional semesters of fieldwork.
Utica University, Utica, NY, offers both a day and weekend schedule of courses leading to a master’s degree in occupational therapy. Weekend courses are tailored for working adults, offering a blended curriculum of weekend classes and distance education. The weekend format is particularly attractive to OTAs.
Transfer entry: Highly qualified students with an associate’s degree or at least 60 college credits complete all remaining prerequisites in 1-2 years and are then guaranteed entry into the graduate OT program (5 semesters). This transfer option is offered in both the day and weekend format.
Graduate entry: Students with a bachelor’s degree can complete either the day or weekend program in 5 semesters. Note carefully the prerequisite requirements for graduate entry.
Both the OT day and weekend programs are highly competitive. Applications must be submitted by July 15th for fall entry.
Contact: John Rowe, Director of Graduate Admissions; email@example.com
Cabarrus College of Health Sciences
Cabarrus College of Health Sciences, Concord, NC, offers a distance education program designed for experienced OTAs to progress to entry-level master’s degree OTs. The academic curriculum includes both online courses and hybrid courses that meet on campus every third weekend, and has two tracks:
- The Master of Occupational Therapy track for OTAs with a prior bachelor’s degree is two years of full-time enrollment (including fieldwork).
- The Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Health Studies/Master of Occupational Therapy track for OTAs with an associate’s degree as their highest level is three years with full-time enrollment (including fieldwork).
Muskingum University, New Concord, OH, is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) to offer an OTA to MOT bridge program. The two-year program offers didactic coursework online and laboratory content in 18 face-to-face, weekend experiences on campus. The program is open only to credentialed OTAs who aspire to complete education to become OTRs. A minimum of 90 semester credit hours, prior experience and completion of prerequisite courses are required. Applications are due February 15 for a cohort that begins in the fall.
Contact: Call (740) 826-8466 for program information.
University of Findlay
The University of Findlay, Findlay, OH, offers a full-time weekend program leading to a master’s degree in occupational therapy. The program is tailored for working adults. The curriculum is delivered in every other weekend mostly on-site sessions on Fridays and Saturdays and begins in June of each year. Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree in any field as long as all pre-requisite coursework has been completed. Those with a bachelor’s degree in a health field are given special consideration in the admission process. For OTAs needing an online pathway to a bachelor’s degree, UF offers 100% online degree completion program.
Contact: (419) 434-4732; firstname.lastname@example.org
New England Institute of Technology
New England Institute of Technology, East Greenwich, RI offers a bridge program for certified occupational therapy assistants, with or without a bachelor’s degree, to earn a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT). The program is designed for professionals to move to the next level of responsibility as registered occupational therapists and can be completed in as little as 10 academic quarters (2 1/2 years), including Level II fieldwork. Students attend classes on campus on 5 weekends of a 10-week academic quarter. The remaining MSOT coursework is completed online. Overnight accommodations are available upon request. NEIT is near a large airport located 10 miles from campus.
Contact: Mike Caruso in Admissions at email@example.com or (800) 736-7744 for application information or visit http://www.neit.edu/Programs/Masters-Degree/Occupational-Therapy for program information.
Belmont University, Nashville TN, offers a weekend program leading to a master of science degree. The curriculum is delivered via a combination of distance technology and on-site sessions. On-site classes meet year-round approximately every third weekend. Computer use is required for distance coursework. Students can complete all program requirements including fieldwork in 22 months.
Contact: Dr. Lorry Liotta-Kleinfeld, 615-460-6798;
University of Texas at Tyler
The University of Texas at Tyler’s Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program is an entry-level program for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTAs) who would like to “bridge” to become a registered Occupational Therapist (OTR). Students are required to have a bachelor’s degree in order to enter the program. Instruction is a blend of online and on-campus classes, with students visiting campus 6-7 weekends per semester. Most students will complete the program in two and one half years, while working as COTAs.
Shenandoah University’s division of occupational therapy offers a bridge program for certified occupational therapy assistants, with or without a bachelor’s degree, to earn a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT). There are 2 programs designed for COTA’s to advance to the next level in their career as registered occupational therapists.
Students enter into the hybrid MSOT entry-level weekday program (Leesburg) or the MSOT weekend program (Winchester).
- Associates Degree in Occupational Therapy
- Successful passing of NBCOT exam
- Either completion of a Bachelor’s degree or successful completion of 90 credits of coursework (can include all COTA courses)
- Completion of all program prerequisites
- Application in OTCAS
Shenandoah’s 75-credit Master of Science in Occupational Therapy is delivered in a flexible, hybrid format, with over 50% of the content delivered online. Students attend classes on campus one day per week or 1-2 weekends per month as well as completing fieldwork experiences on non-campus days and during normal working hours. Additionally, students are expected to engage in hands-on experiences in their home communities as directed by faculty. Upon completion, students are eligible to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®) exam. Graduates of this program enter the field as skilled and compassionate occupational therapists, serving a diverse range of patient populations in a variety of health care and community-based settings.
Eileen Scanlon, OTD, MBA, OTR/L,CHT – Shenandoah University MSOT Weekend Program Director
Concordia University, Mequon, WI, offers a weekend program for OTAs that enables them to complete a bachelor of science degree in Rehabilitative Science (BSRS) and proceed to a master of occupational therapy degree (MOT). The teaching format is a combination of online and on site weekend classes (a total of 29 weekends required). Students can complete both degrees in 12 semesters: fall, spring, and summer (including Level II fieldwork). This program is designed for employed OTAs who have been working in the field for at least one year prior to application.
Graduate Admissions: firstname.lastname@example.org; (262) 243-4300