Academic Catalog 2024-2025

Health Science, Master of Science

Orthotics and Prosthetics Option (64-66 units)

Orthotics and prosthetics (O&P) is a specialized healthcare profession, that 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 active and independent lives by utilizing the most up-to-date technology, evidence-based medicine, and enhanced fabrication skills while collaborating with healthcare team members to create unique treatment plans that address each user’s specific needs for mobility and integration. 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, orthotists and prosthetists are 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, cultural needs, and societal needs.
  • Formulation of the treatment plan – Create a comprehensive orthotic/prosthetic treatment plan to meet the specific needs and goals of each 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.

Program: The Masters of Science in O&P program is a cohort-based, 20-month program.  Our program boasts a remarkable forty-year history of cultivating competent and highly skilled practitioners, who swiftly receive recognition for their advanced clinical abilities upon graduation. One of CSUDH's primary strengths lies in its emphasis on real-world, hands-on clinical experiences, coupled with face-to-face instruction and close mentorship with clinical faculty. With an 8 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio, we ensure an optimal learning environment for our students, complemented by 500 hours of external preceptor work to further enhance their competencies.

Our graduates' success rate is exceptional, consistently surpassing the national salary average, with a high number of residencies offered immediately after completion of the program. We firmly believe that preparing our graduates to be productive during their residency outweighs the notion of paying to gain experience. Instead, we prioritize equipping our students with the skills and expertise necessary to excel in their professional careers, setting them on a path of success from the outset. Consequently, our students are well compensated for the clinical knowledge they possess, and they can promptly begin their national board exams following graduation.

Academic Advisement

Interested students should contact the Orthotics and Prosthetics department at (562) 735-3300  or the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at (310) 243-2698 or visit  for program specific details, application, and additional information.

Pre-Admission Disclosure for Academic Programs Leading to Licensure or Credentialing

Admission into programs leading to licensure and credentialing does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or credential. Licensure and credentialing requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the CSU and requirements can change at any time. For example, licensure or credentialing requirements can include evidence of the right to work in the United States (e.g., social security number or taxpayer identification number) or successfully passing a criminal background check. Students are responsible for determining whether they can meet licensure or credentialing requirements. The CSU will not refund tuition, fees, or any associated costs, to students who determine after admission that they cannot meet licensure or credentialing requirements. Information concerning licensure and credentialing requirements is available from the American Board of Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics .

Admission Requirements

The Prerequisites and Admission Requirements conform to CSUDH standards, and the Standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Educational Programs in Orthotics and Prosthetics, published by the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE):

To be eligible for consideration, an applicant must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. A bachelor's degree, from an accredited college or university, preferably in an allied health, engineering, or health-related major.
  2. A GPA of 2.75 or above in the last 60 semesters or 90 quarter units of upper-division coursework from any accredited college or university may apply.
  3. A minimum of 40 hours of volunteer work is recommended prior to admission. Experience in an O&P facility using hand tools, light-duty power equipment, and knowledge of materials used in Orthotics and Prosthetics is an important selection criterion. The virtual experience will continue to be accepted for the current admissions cycle including online support group meetings, virtual conference attendance, or other online workshops, HOWEVER, a preference will be given for in-person volunteer hours.
  4. Successful completion of all orthotic and prosthetic prerequisite courses with a grade of "B" or better. The prerequisites are listed in the requirements in the CSUDH M.S. in Orthotics and Prosthetics Prerequisites and Admission web page.
  5. International students, please refer to the criteria for English Language Proficiency set by the CSUDH Office of International Education.

Admission Procedures

Refer to the CSUDH MSOP Application web page for the application links and current instructions.

Program applications are due by February 1, for a Fall Semester program start.

Applicants who prefer to only apply to the MSOP Program at CSUDH can utilize our no-cost Program Application and submit it directly to the O&P admissions committee.

Applicants who would like to utilize a central application system can submit an application directly to the National Commission for Orthotics and Prosthetics Common Application System:

Required material for either Direct or OPCAS application:

  1. Official transcripts
  2. List prerequisite course completion with grades.
  3. List relevant experiences.
  4. Complete the Personal Statement. 
  5. Complete the Reflection on your experience in an O&P facility.
  6. Submit the 40-Hour O&P Observation Experience form.

Upon successful review of the completed application candidates will be invited to be interviewed by the admissions panel consisting of orthotics and prosthetics faculty with an admissions decision following soon after.

Upon admittance to the program applicants must submit a complete graduate admission application to the California State University system at

Please note: Application deadlines are subject to change without notice. Check with the O&P Program for the deadlines of the current

Program Requirements

Students must complete the program with an average GPA of at least 3.0. 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 of the University Catalog).

All graduate students are required to satisfy the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) established policies of the University as described in the Graduate Studies section of the University Catalog. Upon completion of the second semester after admission, or 15 units of approved coursework, the student must complete the Graduation Advisement and Advancement to Candidacy Form.

Advancement to Candidacy

Advancement to candidacy recognizes that the student has demonstrated the ability to sustain a level of scholarly competency commensurate with successful completion of degree requirements. Upon advancement to candidacy, the student is cleared for the final stages of the graduate program which, in addition to any remaining course work, will include the thesis or project.

The following are the requirements for Advancement to Candidacy:

  • A minimum of 15 resident units.
  • Classified standing.
  • Successful completion of GWAR requirement.
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all courses taken as a graduate student.
  • No grade lower than a "C" in the degree program
  • Completion of the Graduation Advisement and Advancement to Candidacy Form in consultation with the graduate coordinator; and
  • Apply for graduation and pay graduation fees.

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.

Location and Registration

The CSUDH Orthotic and Prosthetic program is housed off-site at the CSUDH O&P Education Center in Los Alamitos, CA. All courses within the MSOP program are currently offered at the O&P Center which is 13 miles south of the main CSUDH campus.

Prerequisites and Course Requirements

The Prerequisites and Course Requirements conform to the Standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Educational Programs in Orthotics and Prosthetics, published by the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE):

The prerequisite course must be College-level courses with a minimum of a ‘C’ grade:

  • Biology/Life Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Human Anatomy &Physiology
  • Psychology
  • Statistics

The GRE is recommended but not required. 

In addition, the following courses are recommended but not required:

  • Ethics
  • Developmental or Abnormal Psychology