MS in Health Science, O&P, Option

Orthotics and prosthetics is a specialized health care profession, which combines a unique blend of clinical and technical skills to care for patients who have neuromuscular and musculoskeletal disorders and/or patients who have a partial or total absence of a limb.

Orthotists and prosthetists provide treatment that allows these individuals to lead more active and independent lives by collaborating with other members of the healthcare team. This work requires substantial clinical and technical judgment.

The principles of biomechanics, pathomechanics, gait analysis, kinesiology, anatomy and physiology are crucial to the practitioner’s ability to provide comprehensive patient care and a positive clinical outcome. Patient assessment, treatment and education are part of the practitioner’s responsibility and require collaborative communication skills.

In addition to performing orthotic and prosthetic procedures, the orthotist and prosthetist is involved in clinical decision-making and patient education. The scope of practice for the orthotist and prosthetist includes, but is not limited to:

  • Patient Assessment – Perform a comprehensive assessment of the patient to obtain an understanding of the patient’s orthotic/prosthetic needs
  • Formulation of the treatment plan – Create a comprehensive orthotic/prosthetic treatment plan to meet the needs and goals of the patient
  • Implementation of the treatment plan – Perform the necessary procedures to deliver the appropriate orthotic/prosthetic services, which include fabrication of the devices required.
  • Follow-up treatment plan – Provide continuing patient care and periodic evaluation to assure/maintain/document optimal fit and function of the orthosis/prosthesis
  • Practice management – Develop, implement and/or monitor policies and procedures regarding human resource management, physical environment management, business/financial management and organizational management
  • Promotion of competency and enhancement of professional practice – Participate in personal and professional development through continuing education, training, research and organizational affiliations.


M.S. Program Requirements

Students must complete the program with a GPA of at least 3.0. All courses taken to fulfill the requirements for the master’s degree must be passed with a grade of “B-” or better. All other university requirements for the master’s degree in this University Catalog must be met (see the Graduate Degrees and Post-baccalaureate Studies section).

HEA 445: Material Science and Laboratory Skills (2 units) and HEA 455: Applied Anatomy (1 unit) must be passed prior to Fall semester of year 1 to continue in the program sequence; if not passed, the student will have one additional chance to retake the course with a passing grade, and restart the course sequence in Fall semester of the following year.

Capstone Activities

Degree students must complete a series of comprehensive exams/activities. The Capstone Activities involve creative application of theory and practice with real life clients who require orthotic or prosthetic intervention.

The comprehensive exams are given over a 4-week period. They involve patient interaction and treatment, laboratory practical, written simulation, oral defense, gait analysis and written exams. Failure to achieve a passing score, after the third attempt, will result in a dismissal from the program.

Incomplete Courses

Students will not be permitted to enroll in new courses if they have two or more incomplete courses on their record. All other university rules about incomplete courses also apply.


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