Students in an orthotics master's program are trained in the assessment, evaluation and developmental procedures and techniques commonly used by orthotists and prosthetists. Programs also instruct students in the design of orthoses, which administer bodily support and protection and increase functionality following patient injury or illness. Accredited programs comply with the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE) standards and prepare students for the American Board of Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics examinations.
Applicants will need a bachelor's degree in orthotics and prosthetics or an NCOPE-accredited graduate certificate in orthotics or prosthetics, along with prior coursework in anatomy, physiology, chemistry, physics, and psychology.
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Master's Degree in Orthotics
In addition to research projects and hands-on experience, an orthotics master's degree curriculum includes coursework in:
- Physics-based kinesiology
- Spinal orthotics
- Rehabilitation biomechanics
- Applied physiology and engineering
- Upper limb orthotics
- Materials, equipment and fabrication
Popular Career Options
Those holding an M.S. in Orthotics and Prosthetics may find employment in hospitals or private practice. Positions open to someone with an orthotics master's degree include:
- Foot orthotist
- Lead orthotic technician
- Prosthetic and orthotic laboratory technician
Students pursuing advanced studies in orthotics may consider doctoral programs in physiology, prosthetics and orthotics or physical therapy. Doctoral programs in orthotics and related fields prepare students for advanced research or postsecondary teaching positions.
An orthotics master's degree program gives students the required experience with prosthetics or orthotics to prepare students for the American Board of Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics examinations so they can work as orthotists.