Frequently Asked Questions about the Entry Level Masters program in Orthotics and Prosthetics

More student information on becoming an ortho-prosthetist is available from the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (

What do ortho-prosthetists do and where do they work?

  • O&P practitioners blend patient care with design and fabrication of devices. Certified orthotists and prosthetists also known as "practitioners," are similar in many ways to other healthcare providers: They see patients in an exam room, they must touch their patients, they work in partnership with other healthcare professionals, and they become familiar with all aspects of their patients' health. However, instead of using prescriptions or medical procedures to treat patients, they build and provide orthotic and prosthetic devices to address their patients' needs.
  • An orthotist designs, fabricates, and fits custom-made orthopedic braces, or "orthoses," and fits pre-fabricated devices, and provides related patient care.
  • A prosthetist designs, fabricates, and fits custom-made artificial limbs, or "prostheses," and provides related patient care.
  • O&P practitioners are integral members of the healthcare and rehabilitation team. Practitioners evaluate patients, formulate treatment plans, and provide follow-up care and continued patient management that ensures the overall welfare of their patients. Their unique expertise in patient assessment, design, and materials offers patients increased mobility and independence. Practitioners work in settings such as patient care facilities, hospitals, VA facilities, rehabilitation facilities, long-term care facilities, and in patients' homes.

Is the el-MSOP program accredited?

  • Yes, the el-MSOP was granted initial accreditation in the fall of 2013 and was successfully granted reaccreditation in the fall of 2016. The el-MSOP program is accredited by CAAHEP through the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE).

What are the GPA requirements?

  • A minimum of 3.0 GPA for both science and non-science coursework

Do I need to have a bachelors degree to apply to the el-MSOP program?

  • No, a bachelors degree is not required to apply. The entry level-MSOP program is unique in that both bachelor’s prepared and non-bachelors prepared students can apply to the program. The admission requirements are different for each type of student but all students that meet the prerequisites can apply.

Do I need to complete observations hours before applying to the program?

  • Yes, 80 hours of clinical observation is required at one to three clinics of your choice.

What do I wear to my clinical observations?

  • Professional dress is required. Clean and neat clothing
  • Ladies and Men: Dress Pants or slacks and dress shoes
  • Ladies: Modest professional top
  • Men: Button up shirt or nice polo shirt
  • No: T-shirts, hats of any kind, flip-flops or open-toed shoes, sweats or sweatshirts, jeans or denim, revealing clothing, ill fitting clothing, clothing that is worn, torn, wrinkled, or dirty.

Is the GRE required to apply?

  • No, this program does not require a GRE score.

What is the application term for the el-MSOP program?

  • October 1 through September 1.

When does the el-MSOP program start?

  • New cohorts begin coursework at the end of every September.

How long is the el-MSOP program?

  • The el-MSOP program is 10 quarters long.

When does the el-MSOP program finish?

  • The 10 quarter long el-MSOP program finishes in May and culminates with the commencement ceremonies the second week of June.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Loma Linda University
School of Allied Health Professions
Department of Orthotics and Prosthetic Education
Nichol Hall Room A1909
Loma Linda University
Loma Linda CA 92350

Department phone: 909-558-4632

When should I apply for financial aid?

  • You should apply at the same time you are applying for our program. Loma Linda University’s student financial aid office will help you obtain the necessary applications and guide you through the process of applying for aid. Apply for financial aid online at For any questions related to financial aid, please contact their office. Contact information: Office of Financial Aid, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92350. Phone: 909-558-4509.

Do I have to take religion classes at Loma Linda University?

  • Classes in religion are part of the core curriculum in each of the University's schools and programs. All students who choose to attend Loma Linda University make a commitment to conduct their lives in a manner that reflects their sense of responsibility for the honor and integrity of the University and themselves as members of its community.  Religion courses required for the MS curricula are listed in the program brochure.

Will I need to attend chapel as a student of Loma Linda University?

  • Weekly chapels represent a critical dimension of the educational experience at Loma Linda University. By devoting one hour each week to a chapel program, the University is emphasizing the value it places on spiritual development, corporate worship, and community. In addition, the chapel programs provide a variety of opportunities for the entire University community to benefit from teaching that integrates faith and learning and to confront current issues and the implementation of faith in secular life.

Do you give preference to Seventh-day Adventists?

  • Loma Linda University accepts students from all faiths. As an institution owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, first consideration is given to qualified applicants who are members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. However, each year we accept qualified applicants who are not members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. On the campus of Loma Linda University over 60 religions are represented by the student body.


I am an international student. What special information do I need?

What is the typical class size for the el-MSOP program?

  • A typical class size is anywhere from 20-26 students per cohort.

Can I work full-time or part-time while enrolled in the el-MSOP program?

  • The el-MSOP program is a comprehensive and intense professional programs. We do not recommend that you attempt to work full-time during these programs. It is possible to work weekends but on a flexible, part-time basis. Living expenses can be built into financial aid assistance as an option for meeting your living expenses.

Do I need a masters degree to practice in the United States?

  • Yes, a minimum of a masters degree is required to become a board eligible clinician in the United States. In 2012, the educational standards changed from individual certificate programs to dual masters programs as the minimum educational requirement.

What is the process to become a board certified practitioner?

  • After completion of the master's degree program, you must complete a residency in orthotics, prosthetics, or both. To learn more about residencies, visit the NCOPE website.
  • To become certified, candidates must pass certification exams in orthotics, prosthetics, or both from the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC), the Board of Certification/Accreditation, International (BOC), or both. To learn more about the requirements for certification, please visit the ABC website or the BOC website.

What is the job outlook for O&P practitioners?

  • National trends tell us that 24% of practitioners will be retiring in the next ten years. Couple the practitioner statistics with the rise of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity and this leaves a large void for qualified practitioners in the coming years. Additional career statistics can be found at OPCareers.