MedPro Blog

Top Occupational Therapy Programs in the U.S.

Interested in a career as an occupational therapist? Read below for information on the top OT programs in the country (courtesy of U.S. News and World Report).

First, a bit of background: In order to work as an OT, you’re going to need to go for a master’s or doctorate in occupational therapy just to begin work as an entry-level OT. Both master’s and doctorate programs are exceedingly time intensive. These are not programs you can take part time while keeping a full-time job. You’ll need to pretty much dedicate yourself full time to the programs, which usually are about two years (give or take) in length.

U.S. News ranks the programs on a scale of 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding). The magazine surveys deans and faculty and asks them to rank “the academic quality of programs in their field.” The magazine also surveys employers who hired new graduates from the programs.

Then, the “two most recent years’ ratings from professionals were averaged to compute those assessment scores. Statistical indicators used in these disciplines fall into two categories: inputs, or measures of the qualities that students and faculty bring to the educational experience, and outputs, measures of graduates’ achievements linked to their degrees.”

The 2012 top 10 OT programs (and their scores) are:


  • University of Southern California, Division of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy: 4.6
  • Boston University (Sargent), College of Health and Rehabilitation Sargent: 4.5
  • Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine: 4.5
  • University of Illinois – Chicago, College of Applied Health Sciences: 4.3
  • University of Kansas Medical Center, School of Health Professionals: 4
  • Colorado State University, Department of Occupational Therapy: 3.9
  • Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson College of Health Professions: 3.9
  • Tufts University – Boston School of Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapy Program: 3.9
  • University of Pittsburgh, School of Health and Rehabilitation Services: 3.9
  • New York University, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development: 3.8

If you’re an experienced (at least one year of professional work in the field) occupational therapist and have an itch to see the country, contact a recruiter at MedPro Healthcare Staffing. We have many travel OT assignments at health and medical facilities all over the U.S. We look forward to hearing from you!