College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions

Transitional MSPO

The transitional Master of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics (tMSPO) was developed in response to current demands by practicing prosthetists and orthotists and dually certified professionals. Through a distance-education format, prosthetists and orthotists prepare for dual certification while earning the master's degree. Dually certified individuals pursue a modified curriculum leading to the master's degree alone. In each case, the graduate curriculum is tailored to meet the academic and professional needs as students pursue the highest level of clinical education available in the field.

Quick Facts
  • 30 credits minimum
  • Distance learning format
  • Application deadlines: July 1 and October 1
  • Option to add a business certificate from the Barney School
  • Request information
  • Questions? Contact the Program Director

About the Program

matt parente with student

The tMSPO program is open to American Board of Certification (ABC)-certified clinicians in good standing with an affiliation at an ABC-certified clinic. The facility must have had a patient population in the discipline being completed at the University of Hartford. Candidates must also identify an ABC-certified clinician in that field to act as clinical mentor. (Applicants who are already ABC-certified CPOs may complete their tMSPO degree without a clinical mentor.)

Program highlights:

  • First and only distance education MSPO in the United States
  • Highest level of clinical prosthetic and orthotic education available
  • Superior academic and clinical collaboration
  • Access to top-quality faculty/clinicians
  • Collaborative faculty-student research
  • Opportunity to earn a Stackable Certificate in Business in cooperation with the Barney School of Business

Program Benefits

Student with prosthetic cast

Program design: Move forward in your career through the convenience of our largely online tMSPO program without having to relocate or disrupt your life. Our program gives access to expert faculty and the most current, practical, evidence-based curriculum delivered in a combination of online modules, DVD recordings, and videos. At the end of each clinical course, students come to the University of Hartford for a 1-2 day practical exam.

Academic excellence: Our expert faculty and clinicians are committed to excellence in the field of prosthetics and orthotics. They enjoy teaching and mentoring tomorrow’s professionals and preparing them to meet the intellectual, social, cultural, and economic challenges that lie ahead in the rapidly changing healthcare system.

Collaborative research: Our tMSPO students participate in a faculty-led research project that will expose them to the principles of experimental design, data analysis, data collection, and ethical standards in human subject research. They will collect data in their local setting and collaborate directly with a project mentor. Research experience will contribute to evidence-based knowledge that has the potential to influence future research and impact current clinical practice.

Program flexibility: Since the academic preparation of our applicants varies, academic portfolios are evaluated during the admission process and an individualized program is designed. A minimum of 30 credits at the University of Hartford is required to earn the master's degree. This self-paced program can be completed in 1 to 3 years.

Stackable Certificate in Business

We now offer an option for tMSPO students to complete a Stackable Certificate in Business in cooperation with the Barney School of Business at the University of Hartford. Certificates are available in:

  • Management Foundations
  • Business Applications
Or one of eight additional specializations:
    • Business Analytics
    • Management
    • Finance
    • Marketing
    • Healthcare Management
    • Project Management
    • International Business
    • Supply Chain Management

The stackable certificates (5-9 courses) provide P&O professionals with a strong foundation in business, and set the stage for completing the MBA if desired. The certificates can be completed fully online. You will receive training in selected skill sets with high relevance to the P&O profession, and immediate relevance to your business/clinical practice.

The MBA can be completed with an additional 3-7 courses depending on the completed stackable certificate(s). These stackable certificate courses also count toward the credits to complete the MBA program.

For more information, contact the University of Hartford’s tMSPO Program at 860.768.4599.


prosthetics student in lab

The tMSPO curriculum builds upon the foundation of coursework previously completed at a CAAHEP accredited program. A focus is placed on foundational science coursework including biomechanics and clinical neuroscience. In addition, the tMSPO program provides a series of scientific inquiry courses designed to engage the students in evidence-based practice. Elective courses in pediatrics, business, education, and scientific inquiry are available within the construct of the tMSPO program. Candidates may be eligible to transfer up to 6 graduate credits into the University upon approval of the Graduate Review Committee.

Upon completion of the tMSPO program, graduates will be eligible to complete an ABC-approved residency in their new discipline. The residency is not a University requirement, but is an independent phase of the graduate’s professional certification process.

The tMSPO program is a minimum of 30 credits. A sample of courses is listed below. 

For more information, and to see a complete list of degree requirements, visit the Course Catalog.

  • Lower-Limb Orthotics 1
  • Lower-Limb Orthotics 2
  • Spinal Orthotics
  • Upper-Limb Orthotics
  • Neuroscience
  • Advanced Pediatric Examination and Intervention or Teaching Assistantship
  • Scientific Inquiry 2 and 3
  • Transtibial Prosthetics
  • Transfemoral Prosthetics
  • Upper-Limb Prosthetics
  • Neuroscience
  • Advanced Pediatric Examination and Intervention or Teaching Assistantship
  • Scientific Inquiry 2 and 3
  • Neuroscience
  • Advanced Pediatric Examination and Intervention or Teaching Assistantship
  • Scientific Inquiry 2 and 3
(to total 30 credits)


Post-Bachelor’s Admission Into the tMSPO Program

The Graduate Admission Office works with the tMSPO graduate admission committee to attract and retain qualified applicants for the tMSPO program. Decisions related to admission to the program are consistent with program and institutional missions.

  • The admissions review committee considers only complete applications.
  • The application deadlines are July 1 and October 1, rolling until filled. The program starts in September or January.
  • The admission committee will review complete applications and acceptances will be awarded on a competitive basis.

An overall GPA of 3.0 is preferred. Applicants 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. The following items are required:

  • Completed online application
  • Nonrefundable application fee of $50
  • Copy of current ABC certification
  • Copy of mentor’s ABC certification if applicable
  • Agreement with sponsoring facility if applicable
  • Transcripts from CAAHEP-accredited certificate program or Bachelor's degree program
  • Official transcripts for all collegiate-level coursework
  • Two letters of recommendation

Program Costs

See the Tuition and Fees page for program costs.

Program Contacts

Duffy Felmlee
Program Director

Heather Johnson
Program Specialist

Graduate Admission Office


The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The program is one of the few accredited programs in the United States. Currently, the University offers the only transitional master’s program in the United States.

Meet Your Success Counselor

Shannon Saleeba
Assistant Director of Graduate Success
Division of Graduate and Professional Studies
View Full Profile

Start your UHart journey today. Take the next step.