Accredited Online OTA Program

As part of our commitment to academic excellence and student success, we work hard to maintain prominent accreditations at the university and program levels. As a student in this accredited online OTA program, you can rest assured your education meets professional standards. You will graduate with the most current knowledge and skills, preparing you to take the NBCOT® Exam to become a certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA).

St K. OTA student in purple shirt standing outside

St. Catherine University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), an independent corporation that was founded in 1895 as one of six institutional accreditors in the United States. This institutional accreditation means our University has been closely evaluated for and certified as meeting very specific standards of higher learning. To learn more about the HLC and its accreditation process, please call 800.621.7440 or visit

Program Accreditation

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) located at 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 510E, Bethesda, MD 20814. ACOTE’s telephone number, c/o AOTA, is (301) 652-AOTA, and its web address is

Special note: Our online OTA program is listed as a “distance education track” under Minnesota on the AOTA website due to its combined online and in-person curriculum.

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Student Licensure

Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination for the role of Occupational Therapy Assistant, administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).

After completing this exam, the graduate will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, all states require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination to attain state licensure.

States have similar but different requirements and procedures for obtaining a license. For specific state licensure requirements, consult the state occupational therapy regulatory agency (see AOTA’s website for contact information).

To obtain a license, you will need to:

  1. Complete your fieldwork requirements
  2. Graduate from an accredited OTA educational program such as the St. Kate’s Online OTA program
  3. Apply for and pass the NBCOT ® Certification Exam
  4. Apply for a license and pay a fee for each state/jurisdiction in which you wish to practice or hold a license

State Authorization

St. Catherine University must comply with any state regulations before educational activity can occur within that state. The regulations for any given state and St. Kate’s ability to comply with them determine whether St. Kate’s may offer you enrollment in a course or program. Regulated educational activities include offering 100% online courses and programs and online and/or campus-based courses, including internships, externships, field experiences, student teaching, and clinical placements.

class instructor speaking to students

St. Kate’s participates in the National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA). Minnesota became a SARA state in January 2015, and St. Catherine University became a SARA Institution in March 2015, allowing students from NC-SARA-approved states to enroll in the OTA Online program.

Check St. Kate’s status in your state.