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Prosthetics Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Those who work in prosthetics are responsible for creating and fitting artificial limbs and orthopedic devices for patients who suffer from physical deformities and disorders. Prosthetic schools and universities teach students to use various types of high-tech equipment and tools to make these specialized prostheses.

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How to Select a Prosthetics School

Degrees in prosthetics are offered along with orthotics at the associate, bachelor and graduate levels. Orthotics deals with the design, development and manufacturing of prostheses, which are mechanical devices that provide support and improve the overall function of various parts of the body. The curriculum in a prosthetics program includes courses in anatomy, prosthetic materials, upper extremity prosthetics, lower extremity prosthetics, biomechanics, computer design, kinesiology and exercise science.

While associate and bachelor's degree programs prepare graduates to become prosthetic technicians, students can also complete a master's degree program and become a prosthetists. Students may want to look into schools and universities that offer both undergraduate and graduate programs, which may provide additional resources and opportunities in this field. Prosthetic technicians make and repair artificial limbs and braces, while prosthetists design, create and work with patients suffering from various types of disabilities.

Prosthetists sometimes specialize in adult care, pediatric care or within a particular condition, such as amputation, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy or spina bifida. Students looking to focus in an area should make sure a prospective program places special emphasis in that field. Also, students who want to specialize should make sure any clinical training takes place in a specialized setting, as opposed to a general practice setting.

Career opportunities in prosthetics are available in a number of different locations, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing facilities, clinics, home health environments and private practices. Students should consider attending a school located near one of these facilities, where they may be able to take advantage of work, volunteer or internship opportunities.

Because students are working with prosthetics, it may also be a good idea to attend a school located near a veteran's hospital that has a prosthetics ward. Working in such an environment can provide good training prior to entering the workforce.

Largest Schools by Student Enrollment

College/University Student Population Institution Type
University of Washington-Seattle Campus39,6754-year, Public
St Petersburg College26,6594-year, primarily associate's, Public
Eastern Michigan University22,0324-year, Public
Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus19,4134-year, Public
Northwestern University19,2914-year, Private
Grossment College16,0822-year, Public
Oklahoma City Community College12,5082-year, Public
West Valley College11,7622-year, Public
Spokane Falls Community College9,8232-year, Public
Century Community and Technical College9,3952-year, Public
Baker College of Flint5,8204-year, primarily associate's, Private
Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology-Okmulgee3,5584-year, primarily associate's, Public
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas2,4614-year, Public
Francis Tuttle Technology Center1,7932-year, Public
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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics