Masters Degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics: Program Information

The development of artificial limbs and orthopedic braces is the focus of master's degree programs in prosthetics and orthotics. These programs typically take two years to complete and can prepare students for professional certification.

Essential Information

Master's degree students in prosthetics and orthotics need a solid undergraduate background in math and science. The program requires extensive practical experience, ranging from a practicum of four hours a week to a two-year internship completed at the end of the program. Graduates may become certified as orthotists and prosthetists.

  • Program Levels in Prosthetics and Orthotics: Master's degree
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree, prerequisite classes in math, lab sciences, human growth/development and psychology
  • Program Length: Two years for most programs
  • Other Requirements: Thesis or research paper
  • Practical Experience: Internship or practicum required

Master's Degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics

In addition to classroom courses, students typically complete a scholarly paper or master's thesis and an internship or practicum. Coursework may include such topics as:

  • Biomechanics lab
  • Healthcare management
  • Kinesiology
  • Orthotics for the spine
  • Pathology in orthopedics
  • Transfemoral and transtibial prosthetics

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected faster-than-average job growth of 36% for orthotists and prosthetists from 2012 through 2022. According to the BLS, these professionals earned an annual median salary of $64,040 in 2014, with those working in outpatient care centers earning the top wages.

Certification and Continuing Education

The most comprehensive certification for a graduate with a master's degree in prosthetics and orthotics is the Orthotist and Prosthetist Certification from the American Board for Certification (ABC) in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics. This optional certification allows prosthetics professionals to manage the care of patients, including assessment, planning, fitting and follow-up. To maintain the certification, every five years there is a Mandatory Continuing Education (MCE) plan. Courses must be approved by ABC, and may be found through ABC or the AOPA.

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