College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions

MS in Prosthetics and Orthotics

The University of Hartford’s College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions collaborates with Hanger Clinic to offer a Master of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics (MSPO). The professions of prosthetics and orthotics are specialized allied health professions that combine a unique blend of clinical and technical skills. Professionals in this field design, fabricate, and fit orthoses and prostheses for a broad range of clients from pediatric to geriatric.

Practitioners interact directly with clients and their families, advising and supporting the rehabilitation process. They work closely with other members of the rehabilitation team, including orthopedic surgeons, rehabilitation physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and nurses.

About the Program

MSPO student and professor with prosthetic leg

Admission into the Master of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics (MSPO) program is offered to those who hold a bachelor's degree, have completed the prerequisite courses, and otherwise qualify for admission.

This is a full-time, on-campus program that prepares students for entry into the fields of prosthetics and orthotics. We also offer an online graduate degree program for currently certified prosthetists and orthotists. See transitional MSPO for additional information.

Prosthetists design, fabricate, and fit devices known as prostheses (artificial limbs) for individuals who have partial or total absence of a limb.

Orthotists design and fit devices known as orthoses (orthopedic braces) to enhance function and provide care for patients who have disabling conditions of the limbs and spine.

New design innovations and advances in technology offer dramatic benefits to people who utilize prostheses or orthoses. For example, advanced prosthetic knees can be controlled by microprocessors that improve gait stability and walking pattern efficiency. Braces equipped with Bluetooth devices can electronically interface with nerves to enhance motor control. The exciting combination of material science, engineering, and healthcare makes the prosthetist/orthotist a uniquely qualified member of today's healthcare team. Just as the technology has advanced, so too, has the challenge of educating future orthotic and prosthetic clinicians.

Our faculty is made up of expert clinicians with advanced degrees who are committed to advancing the profession of prosthetics and orthotics and mentoring those who will become the new professionals of tomorrow. Our graduates are prepared to meet the intellectual, social, cultural, and economic challenges of our changing healthcare system.

For more information about the fields of prosthetics and orthotics, visit the American Academy of Orthotics and Prosthetics.

Program Requirements

The MSPO curriculum provides students with strong foundational coursework in biomechanics, neuroscience, and kinesiology. A sequence of scientific inquiry courses provides students with the opportunity to engage in evidence-based practice as key members of the health care community. The curriculum is presented in the context of a collaborative university environment that includes the health professions, especially physical therapy, engineering, and technology. Elective courses in pediatrics and education are available as a support for future professional concentrations.

Upon graduation from the academic program, each student will be eligible to complete a residency program in prosthetics and orthotics. These residency programs are located in hospitals, research centers, private patient care facilities, clinics, and rehabilitation facilities.

The MSPO is a 60 credit, two-year, full-time program. A sample of courses is listed below.  View the full curriculum here.

MSPO I

Gross Anatomy
Kinesiology
Lower-Limb Orthotics
Biomechanics
Material Methods in Prosthetics and Orthotics
Spinal Orthotics

MSPO II

Scientific Inquiry II
Upper-Limb Orthotics
Neuroscience
Upper-Limb Prosthetics
Integrated Internship
Advanced Pediatric Examination and Intervention

Prosthetics and Orthotics professor and alumnus dive into underwater research

scuba diver with prosthetic leg

Scuba diving can be challenging for amputees, but thanks to an innovative underwater study by alumnus Michael McCauley M’16 and Duffy Felmlee, assistant professor of prosthetics and orthotics, there is hope for improved function of prosthetic devices under water.

Admission

for placement only

Post-baccalaureate students may apply to the MSPO program. An overall GPA of 3.2 is preferred. Students must have earned at least a "C" or 2.0 grade in each of the prerequisite courses. While GRE test scores are not required, they may be submitted to strengthen the application. The Admission Committee will consider all application materials. Candidates will be accepted on a competitive basis.  The priority filing date for receipt of all application materials is December 1.

The MSPO program starts classes the first week of June. The admissions committee will conduct a fair and thorough process for all applicants. Applicants submitting their completed application prior to December 1 will receive preferred notification. The application window allows us the opportunity to provide our accepted students sufficient time to make preparations to attend.

All prerequisite courses must be satisfactorily completed prior to the start of the program. See a list of the MSPO prerequisite courses below.

MSPO Prerequisite Courses

Biology 1 (4 credits)
General Physics 1 & 2 with lab (8 credits)
Human Anatomy & Physiology with lab (8 credits)
Chemistry with lab (4 credits)
Introduction to Psychology (3 credits)
Human Growth and Development (3 credits)
Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)
Statistics (3 credits)
Trigonometry (3 credits)

If this list of prerequisite courses differs from the official University of Hartford Graduate Bulletin, the University Bulletin takes precedence.

Additional Information

Student Outcomes

Graduates since 2013: 116
Graduates seeking residency position: 113
Graduates securing residency position: 113
Non-residency seeking graduates (Certified Prosthetist Orthotists): 3

Program Learning Outcomes

Provide entry-level clinical services in a safe, legal, ethical, and professional manner while providing patient-centered care.

Upon successful completion of the program, the students/graduates will:

  • practice in a safe manner.
  • demonstrate professional behavior.
  • practice in a manner consistent with established legal and professional standards and ethical guidelines.
  • be prepared to enter financial management (purchasing, billing and reimbursement, time, space, equipment, marketing, public relationships) consistent with regulatory, legal, and facility guidelines.

Employ effective communication strategies with colleagues, clients, and the public.

Upon successful completion of the program, the students/graduates will:

  • adapt delivery of prosthetics and orthotics services with consideration for patients' differences, values, preferences, and needs.
  • employ effective communication strategies.
  • Communicate consistent with the knowledge level of the audience.

Engage in the process of evidence-based practice, scientific inquiry, and development of new knowledge.

Upon successful completion of the program, the students/graduates will:

  • create and defend a research plan.
  • apply current knowledge, clinical judgment, and the patient's values and perspective in patient management.
  • collect and analyze data from selected outcomes measures in a manner that supports accurate analysis of individual patient and group outcomes.
  • perform a patient examination using evidence-based tests and measures.
  • establish a plan of care that is evidence-based.

Embrace the role of collaboration as a member of the interdisciplinary team.

Upon successful completion of the program, the students/graduates will:

  • participate in internship opportunities in diverse settings.
  • have opportunities to participate in collaborative learning with other healthcare professionals.
  • have the ability to engage in identifying unique standards of practice within the healthcare community.
  • engage in community service.
  • connect to a core of clinical adjunct faculty who provide liaisons with local clinical sites.

Value cultural diversity within the profession and the community.

Upon successful completion of the program, the students/graduates will:

  • adapt delivery of prosthetics and orthotics services with consideration for patients' differences, values, preferences, and needs.
  • apply current knowledge, clinical judgment, and the patient’s values and perspective in patient management.
  • establish a plan of care that is safe, effective, patient centered and evidence based.
  • determine with each patient encounter the patient’s need for further examination or consultation

Demonstrate the ability to integrate knowledge of the fundamental science in human function into a comprehensive orthotic/prosthetic treatment plan.

Upon successful completion of the program, the students/graduates will:

  • identify areas of basic human function (physical, cognitive, social, physiological) and incorporate them into patient assessment.
  • apply foundational sciences throughout the assessment, formulation, implementation, and follow-up phases of treatment plan.

Assume a proactive role in partnership with communities in healthcare decisions, including increasing access to healthcare to those with unmet needs.

Upon successful completion of the program, the students/graduates will:

  • be familiar with local and national resources available to patients (e.g. support groups, free clinics, pro bono opportunities).
  • offer/provide appropriate prosthetics/orthotics perspective within the healthcare team's treatment plan.

Participate in outcome assessments, peer reviews, and self assessments.

Upon successful completion of the program, the students/graduates will:

  • identify the level of appropriate participation for each assessment.
  • hold a constructive role in critiquing, collaborating, or conducting various assessments.

The MSPO Program will

  • use outcomes data collected through post-graduation surveys of alumni, employer, and patients to enhance/update any programmatic aspects.
  • consider any recommendations to continue academic improvement.

Foster a commitment to lifelong learning and professional development.

Upon successful completion of the program, the students/graduates will:

  • embrace knowledge-based practice within the healthcare arena.
  • seek out continuing-education opportunities to expand professional knowledge.
  • change environment through fostering continuing-educational opportunities in clinical staff and/or peers.
  • foster professional development through leadership and participation in professional organizations.

Become critical thinkers who are academically and clinically prepared to meet professional standards and address patient expectations.

Upon successful completion of the program, the students/graduates will:

  • utilize and interpret evidence-based practice appropriate to individual patients during treatment.
  • demonstrate appropriate perspective to maximize functional attributes of the patient.
  • employ critical thinking when applying appropriate treatment outcomes.
  • Think critically when viewing profession as a whole.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Post-Baccalaureate Entry into the Master of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics Overall Program Expenses, Estimated as of March 2019

The University of Hartford’s MSPO program is a quality program offered at a competitive price. Fall and Spring semester charges and clinical fees are fixed. Summer tuition is charged per credit. The costs quoted are for the overall program length of 24 months, from a June start to a May graduation in the second year.

Application Fee $50
Summer I – 9 credits at $607 per credit* $5,463
The MSPO program includes three integrated clinical courses (MSPO 550, MSPO 551, and MSPO 651) and one summer internship (MSPO 552). The fee for each integrated clinical courses is $500 and the fee for the summer internship is $1,700.*
$3,200
MSPO laboratory fees for laboratory and core courses throughout the program ($150 for Summer and each Fall semester)*
$450
A registration fee of $30 and a technology fee of $210 for academic-year semesters and $25 for summer semesters are charged at each registration. An MSPO student will register five times.
$1,010
The annual parking fee is $75
$150
Graduation Fee $210
The department estimates the total cost of books at
$2,000
Total overall cost of the Masters of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics Program
$65,781

*Tuition rates and fees are subject to change

To discuss ways to finance your program of study, contact the Financial Aid Office:

860.768.4296
finaid@hartford.edu

Program Contact

Jennifer Lodovico-Gorack
Program Manager
Prosthetics and Orthotics Program
Dana 312
860.768.4599
lodovicog@hartford.edu


Graduate Admission Office
860.768.4371
800.945.0712
GradStudy@hartford.edu

Accreditation

The Prosthetics and Orthotics program offered by the Newington Certificate Program (NCP) in Orthotics and Prosthetics/Hanger Inc. joined with the University of Hartford to offer the MSPO Program in 2011. Our MSPO program is fully accredited as an orthotic and prosthetic education program by the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE). The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) also accredits the program. Additionally, the Master of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics has been approved by the State of Connecticut Department of Higher Education.

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