What Are Orthotics and Prosthetics Programs?
Orthotic and prosthetics education programs train students in conceptualizing, creating, fitting and measuring artificial limbs and body braces. The industry standard for employment as an orthotist is certification from the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, which requires orthotics and prosthetics masters and a yearlong residency, but there are also undergraduate programs available to aspiring technicians. What colleges offer prosthetics? Below you will find information on some of these institutions.
10 Orthotics and Prosthetics Schools
Schools that offer prosthetics and orthotics include:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2020-2021)*|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||Atlanta, GA||4-year, public||Master's||$14,064 in-state, $29,140 out-of-state|
|Northwestern University||Evanston, IL||4-year, private not-for-profit||Master's||$56,067|
|University of Washington||Seattle, WA||4-year, public||Master's||$16,278 in-state, $29,178 out-of-state|
|University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center||Dallas, TX||4-year, public||Master's||$6,456 in-state, $16,416 out-of-state|
|Loma Linda University||Loma Linda, CA||4-year, private not-for-profit||Master's||$32,400|
|University of Hartford||West Hartford, CT||4-year, private not-for-profit||Master's||$14,292|
|Alabama State University||Montgomery, AL||4-year, public||Master's||$7,416 in-state, $14,832 out-of-state|
|University of Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh, PA||4-year, public||Master's||$23,530 in-state, $39,898 out-of-state|
|Concordia University-Saint Paul||Saint Paul, MN||4-year, private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's||$23,400 undergrad, $8,550 graduate|
|Eastern Michigan University||Ypsilanti, MI||4-year, public||Master's||$14,868 in-state, $26,442 out-of-state|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
To narrow down their options for which school to attend, prospective orthotics/prosthetics students might want to keep the following in mind:
- Schools with on-site orthotic and prosthetic facilities can give students the opportunity to gain a greater amount of hands-on experience.
- Students should look into program scheduling options. For instance, it may be possible to enroll in 2+2 or 3+1 bachelor's degree programs, which divide the general education requirements and the clinical learning experiences at on- or off-site facilities.
- While most schools combine prosthetics and orthotics, students can enroll in programs that favor one over the other, or specifically in prosthetic colleges or orthotist schools.
- Programs offering the study of both disciplines are widely available, though students may be required to enroll in two separate post-graduate residency programs for certification.
Graduates of orthotics and prosthetics programs will have good prospects. Over the decade of 2019-2029, the job market is expected to grow by 17%, which is much faster than average. The median annual salary for orthotists and prosthetists in 2020 was $70,190.
Associate Degree in Orthotics and Prosthetics
Associate degree programs in orthotics and prosthetics can qualify students for certification as orthotics technicians and entry-level employment and can be completed in two years. General education courses can transfer to bachelor's degree programs and internship opportunities may be available.
Bachelor of Prosthetics and Orthotics Degree Programs
Bachelor's degree programs in orthotics and prosthetics can be completed in four years and qualify students for residency programs as well as certification and employment. Upper and lower extremity prosthetics are studies, as well as upper and lower extremity orthotic braces.
Certificate in Orthotics or Prosthetics
Certificate programs in orthotics and prosthetics are generally offered as post-baccalaureate programs, focus only on prosthetics or orthotics, and may be completed in 1-2 years or less. Clinical experiences are typically required at this level. Coursework commonly includes the development of prosthetics for upper extremities, lower extremities and the spine, or orthotics for below the knee, above the knee or upper limbs.
Masters in Prosthetics and Orthotics
Most orthotists and prosthetists hold a master's degree. Master's programs allow students to study a range of topics in orthotics and prosthetics, including:
- practical applications
- theoretical concepts
- orthotic and prosthetic development
- other advanced scientific topics
Whether students are looking for an undergraduate or graduate-level degree in orthotics and prosthetics, there are programs available at postsecondary institutions that include relevant scientific coursework and practical training opportunities. Different program formatting options may be available, depending on the school.
Doctorate in Prosthetics and Orthotics
Typically, a master's degree is the highest level of education required for orthotists and prosthetists. However, many schools offer doctorate degrees in related fields such as Rehabilitations Sciences.