Occupational Therapy OT

How Much Is Occupational Therapy School?



As the U.S. population continues to age, the demand for practitioners in health professions like occupational therapy will grow, too.¹ The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that between 2020 and 2030, an average of 10,100 occupational therapist jobs will open each year (due largely to retirements), with total change in employment projected at 23,000.² With such abundant opportunities, there’s never been a better time to enter the field of occupational therapy. But one of the first questions you might ask about how to become an occupational therapist is the cost of obtaining an occupational therapy degree. 

Painting occupational therapy school with a broad brush is challenging, as there is a range of costs associated with health science education. Depending on the state, the university, and the occupational therapy program, tuition and associated costs vary. 

The salary of your future occupational therapy job is important to factor in as well. Salaries can vary depending on your degree level, and it’s interesting to note the differences between an occupational therapy vs physical therapy salary. If you’re looking to pursue a career in occupational therapy, it’s important to consider your earning potential to balance the costs of education. 

With that said, occupational therapy school can cost between $65,000 and $200,000 for undergraduate programs and between $20,500 and $35,200 for Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (PPOTD) programs.

Tuition for Occupational Therapy Education at the USAHS for Health Sciences

Where we can speak more confidently on tuition expenses is the cost of programs at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS).

So, how much is occupational therapy school at USAHS? Expenses depend on which campus you attend, and they fluctuate further depending on whether you follow the Residential path or the more adaptable Flex path to become an occupational therapist. We’ll look at the estimated cost of all USAHS options.

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)

For those passionate about helping people achieve optimal functioning, the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) degree is an obvious choice—most occupational therapists enter the workforce with a master’s degree. The master’s degree is the fastest way to practice as an occupational therapist; you will learn how to develop treatment plans and make equipment recommendations in the classroom, clinic, and home.

An occupational therapy student can complete USAHS’ Master of Occupational Therapy program in as little as two years. The time it takes depends on whether you choose the Residential format (six trimesters; two years) or the Flex format (nine trimesters; three years).*

Total cost estimates for the MOT program—including tuition, school fees, books, and associated school expenses—are as follows:

  • San Marcos, California campus – $102,165 for Residential MOT students; $91,856 for Flex MOT students. 
  • St. Augustine, Florida campus – $94,357 for Residential MOT students, $89,654 for Flex MOT students. 
  • Miami, Florida campus – $94,357 for Residential MOT students, $89,654 for Flex MOT students. 
  • Austin, Texas campus – $94,357 for Residential MOT students, $89,654 for Flex MOT students. 
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

If the MOT program doesn’t quite quench your thirst for knowledge, you can further your learning—and earn your doctoral degree—by successfully completing the two additional trimesters of the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program. In class, you’ll explore the arts of leadership, policymaking, and advocacy in the public health sector. You will also complete a capstone project, conducting original research on a topic of your interest within OT. 

A 117-credit-hour program, the OTD is designed to be completed in two years and eight months (eight trimesters).* With that said, here are the estimated costs associated with the USAHS OTD program:

  • Estimated tuition, fees, and books for Residential OTD students equate to $116,093 and are the same on all USAHS campuses.
  • A 3.7-year, 11-trimester Flex OTD option is also available on the Dallas, Texas campus; the estimated cost of attendance is $112,449.
Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (PPOTD)

USAHS’ Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (PPOTD) program is different from its entry-level programs: It’s designed for current practitioners or ready-to-practice occupational therapists who are looking to advance their studies and credentials in the occupational therapy field.

Overall, the program you pursue (and therefore the tuition amount you’ll pay) depends on the degree you currently hold:

  • Bachelor’s Level StudentsIf you enter the PPOTD with a bachelor’s degree, the program will be 60 credit hours and will take two to five years to complete.* Tuition and fees are estimated at $38,029.
  • Master’s Level StudentsWith a master’s degree, students can complete the program in 1 to 3.3 years.* USAHS MOT graduates can apply six of their credits to the PPOTD program, making it a 29-credit-hour program estimated at $24,243. All other master’s degree holders will need to complete a 35-credit-hour program costing $28,500.

Additional Costs

However, answering the question “how much does it cost to become an occupational therapist?” with tuition amounts only gives you half marks. To determine the true cost of attendance, it’s vital to include expenses beyond books and courses in your calculations.

Other typical costs for university students include:

  • Room and board – Rent and food costs depend significantly on where you live, but don’t forget to add them into your budget. Room and board estimates for the duration of the MOT program are $51,246.00 for the Austin campus, $58,020.00 for the Miami campus, $40,974.00 for the St. Augustine campus, $61,800.00 for the San Marcos campus.
  • Transportation – Whether you drive or take the bus, there are costs associated with making your way to campus each day. Estimated transportation costs for the MOT program for all campuses are around $6,366.
  • Additional personal expensesFrom entertainment to unforeseen situations, other fees will crop up. Health insurance also falls into this category. According to our estimates, you should budget around $7,182.00 for these costs.
  • Repeating academic coursesHopefully, you won’t have to repeat a course. But if you do, you’ll have to pay for the credit hours again.
How to Cut Costs

How much is occupational therapy school going to cost altogether? It depends on your lifestyle. There are dozens of ways to keep costs down, including:

  • Cooking your own food
  • Living with roommates
  • Furnishing your living space with secondhand items
  • Using the library
  • Taking public transit
  • Studying diligently (to avoid retaking courses)

Beyond all of these budgeting tips, the best way to cut down on the cost of occupational therapy school is to apply for:

  • Grants or financial aid – These can be merit- or need-based.
  • Scholarships – These can be granted by an organization or the university.
  • Part-time or full-time work – This can include working as a nursing assistant, rehabilitation aide, graduate assistant, or other related role.  

OT Scholarships Opportunities at USAHS

In line with our goal of developing practice-ready practitioners from the rehabilitative health professions, USAHS will provide over $450,000 in scholarship opportunities for OT program students starting in Summer 2022. Even if you’ve already started an OT degree program application to a USAHS Fall 2022 cohort, you can apply for scholarships or federal student aid. To apply, you’ll be asked for a video submission.

*Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. 

Regardless of how you fund your occupational therapy journey, you’re sure to learn a wealth of new skills and connect with a diverse, passionate student body. For more information on our programs or any other questions such as “where do occupational therapists work”, feel free to get in touch.



  1. Vespa, J. (2019, October 8). The Graying of America: More Older Adults Than Kids by 2035. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 17, 2022, from https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2018/03/graying-america.html
  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021, September 8). Occupational Therapists : Occupational Outlook Handbook. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved February 17, 2022, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/occupational-therapists.htm
  3. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021, September 8). Occupational Therapists : Occupational Outlook Handbook. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved February 17, 2022, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/occupational-therapists.htm
  4. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021, September 8). Occupational Therapists : Occupational Outlook Handbook. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved February 17, 2022, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/occupational-therapists.htm

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