Pre-Orthotist & Prosthetist Pathway

Learn about HPO’s information and resources for pre-O&P students.


What is O&P?

Orthotics and prosthetics (O&P) is the evaluation, fabrication, and custom fitting of orthopedic braces, known as "orthoses," and artificial limbs, known as "prostheses."


O&P Practitioners also:

  • Develop a plan that addresses the patient’s needs and goals, including pain reduction, comfort, stability and mobility, as well as aesthetics.
  • Select the appropriate design, materials and components for optimum strength, durability and function.
  • Discuss the treatment plan, including benefits, risks and time involved.
  • Prepare the patient for the device, with the use of splints or compression garments, as needed.
  • Take measurements, make impressions and develop templates as needed to accurately fit the device.
  • Fabricate/assemble the device and assess and properly align it for maximum function and comfort.
  • Explain how to use and maintain the device.
  • Provide ongoing care, including evaluation and modification of the device for optimal fit and function.


Where do they work?

Orthotists and prosthetists work in various industries, including manufacturing, health and personal care stores, doctors' offices, and hospitals.

  • Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing
  • Ambulatory healthcare services
  • Health and personal care stores
  • Hospitals; state, local, and private
  • Federal government, excluding postal service


Planning Resources

DIY Pre-O&P Student Planning Guide (Coming Soon)

Our Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Pre-O&P Planning Guide & Self Assessment document provides important resources for UT Austin students planning on applying to orthotics and prosthetics programs. 


How to get started...

  • Subscribe to the HPOinfo emails. 
  • Meet with a pre-health professions coach in the Health Professions Office to explore health professions and to discuss your goals and preparation, especially how to make the most out of your first two years. 
  • Take an average to heavy course load: 14–16 hours is considered a normal health professions course load. It is okay to take 12–13 hours your first semester at UT Austin. 
  • Get to know your professors. You will need faculty evaluations when you apply.
  • Declare a major by your second year on campus. 
  • Non-College of Natural Sciences students are highly encouraged to add the Pre-Health Professions Certificate. Learn more about the certificate here. 
  • Get involved in extracurricular activities (e.g., student organizations, volunteering and shadowing in medical settings; community service). 
  • Attend the Health Professions Fair each year, generally held in February or March, to visit with representatives from health professions programs. 
  •  Keep viable career alternatives open.


Acceptance Statistics 

  • (Coming Soon)

Longhorn Pre-O&P Acceptance Statistics

  • (Coming Soon)