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Orthotic and Prosthetic Therapies


Orthotic and prosthetic therapies programs prepare people to design and apply special devices that can resolve the physical limitations of patients.

Orthotic and prosthetic therapies programs prepare people to design artificial limbs and braces. Students learn to counsel patients and evaluate their needs. In addition, they learn how to help patients use and care for the devices.

Programs in orthotic and prosthetic therapies include topics such as:


Very few community colleges offer associate degree programs in orthotic and prosthetic therapies. An associate degree usually takes two years of full-time study to complete.

Even fewer colleges and universities offer bachelor’s or graduate degrees in orthotic and prosthetic therapies. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study. A master’s degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor’s degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master’s degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Typical Course Work

Most orthotic and prosthetic therapy programs are divided into two phases. The first is the prerequisite phase. This means you take mostly science courses, including:

The second phase is professional. Students take courses in:

After undergraduate graduation, you then participate in a year of residency training, where you work under the supervision of certified orthotic and prosthetic therapists. You observe them as they work with patients. You also gain responsibility with experience. You counsel patients individually and fit them with their devices. You monitor their progress and make adjustments to the devices as needed.

Things to Know

Most people with degrees in orthotic and prosthetic therapies become certified. You must graduate from an approved program and take several written and practical exams.


King-Snohomish Area

University of Washington - Seattle

Spokane Area

Spokane Falls Community College