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Full-time Diploma 7100diplt

Overview

Note: This program runs every two years. The September 2020 intake is currently open for applications.

BCIT’s Prosthetics and Orthotics Diploma is one of two programs of its kind offered in Canada. Innovative, analytical, and patient-centered, this field is a unique blend of science, technology, and clinical care.

Prosthetists and orthotists transform physical disabilities into new mobility opportunities for their patients. Using specialized medical assessment techniques and leading edge technology, prosthetists and orthotists create treatment plans for the unique needs of each patient. Our program gives students the skills to help patients gain and regain mobility and quality of life.

About the program

  • Two-year, full-time post-graduate diploma program followed by a paid, two-year clinical residency program
  • Lectures and labs at BCIT's prosthetics and orthotics clinic
  • Small, 12-student classes provides individual support and fosters engagement
  • Two clinical practicum experiences, which you can do internationally or in your community

Our program offers the hands-on learning for which BCIT is renown. Visit Program Details to learn more about our Prosthetics and Orthotics program.

Who it's for

This program is for post-undergraduate degree students who:

  • Have completed a four-year undergraduate degree
  • Have strong hand skills and dexterity
  • Enjoy building trusting relationships with patients and healthcare colleagues
  • Are residents of Western Canada

Our comprehensive selection process ensures this program is a good fit for you. See Program Entry to find out more.

What grads can do

Our grads can work anywhere in the world. See Graduating and Jobs to learn more about career options.

Watch the Canadian Prosthetics and Orthotics Awareness video.

Program Entry

Application processing

Applications accepted November 1st* to March 1st.*

We recommend that you apply early. All supporting documents must be submitted by the application deadline.

*or next business day

Applicant Residency: This program is currently restricted to residents of Western Canada, including the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Residents of other areas of Canada and international students are not being considered at this time.

View programs that accept international students

Entrance requirements

Competitive Entry: Three-step process

Preference will be given to applicants with:

  • Requirements completed within the last five years

  • Related experience*

  • The following post-secondary academic level courses*:
    • Human Anatomy and Physiology – 6.0 credits

    • Chemistry – Grade 12 level chemistry or most half-course equivalent post-secondary chemistry courses

    • Physics – 3.0 credits (lab component not required).
      Biomechanics is NOT accepted

    • Statistics – 3.0 credits. Content should include statistical methods, probability theory, discrete and continuous random variables, estimation, hypothesis testing, regression, analysis of variance, goodness of fit, confidence intervals, elementary non-parametric methods, exploratory data analysis and hypothesis testing, simple linear regression and contingency tables variances

    • Psychology – 3.0 credits of post-secondary psychology

  • Additional post-secondary academic courses*

*Applicants with preferred entrance requirements are to submit transcripts and supporting documentation with their online application.

The curriculum of study for the post-graduate Prosthetics and Orthotics program is based upon a strong undergraduate education that provides a solid foundation of knowledge, methods and attitudes. Admission is offered on a competitive basis, as the annual enrolment and class size is limited to 14 seats from the four Western Canadian Provinces.

Step 1: Meet the following entrance requirements

Read more about how to meet BCIT’s entrance requirements

Applicants currently enrolled in the last term of their degree/diploma must be on track to complete by May. To apply submit both of the following documents from your post-secondary institution:

  • Transcript of completed courses
  • Confirmation of enrolment letter verifying your current course enrolment and registration in the final term of your degree/diploma

Applicants who have completed post-secondary studies outside of Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand will require a comprehensive evaluation of their credentials by the International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES). Credential evaluation reports from other Canadian services may be considered. These reports must include course-by-course evaluations and GPA calculations.

If you are not certain whether the prerequisite course you have taken will meet our requirements, please email a detailed course outline (more detailed than a course description) to lschubert4@bcit.ca

Step 2: Requirements for selected applicants

  • Aptitude evaluation
  • Multiple Mini Interview Process (MMI)

The purpose of the testing and interview is to ascertain the applicant's verbal communication skills, maturity level and personal suitability to the program and profession. Annually approximately 80 people apply to enter the P&O program and approximately half will be offered an opportunity to interview.

Step 3: Conditionally selected applicants

If you have been conditionally accepted to BCIT you will be notified and the following information will be required in order to be accepted into the program:

Once these and any other outstanding conditions have been met, you will receive notification of your full acceptance.

Apply to program

Note: This program runs every two years. The September 2020 intake is currently open for applications.
Applicant Residency: This program is currently restricted to residents of Western Canada, including the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Residents of other areas of Canada and international students are not being considered at this time.

View programs that accept international students

BCIT accepts only complete applications. In order to apply:

  • Include proof of meeting all entrance requirements prior to submission
  • Convert all transcripts and supporting documents to PDF files
  • Have a credit card ready to pay the application fee
Apply Online

You can check the status of your application online at any time using the Student Information System.

Scheduled intakes

September of even numbered years.

The next intake of this program is September 2020.

myCommunication

Within two business days of submitting your completed application, BCIT will send a message to your personal and myBCIT e-mail addresses. All correspondence regarding your application will be posted to your online myCommunication account at my.bcit.ca. We'll send you an e-mail when a new message is posted. It's important to watch for these e-mails or regularly check your account online.

You can expect to receive communication concerning the status of your application within four weeks.

Costs & Supplies

Tuition fees

Please see the Fees, Payments and Refunds section of the website for information on full-time tuition fees.

Books and supplies

Level 1 & 2: $1,750; Level 3: $265; Level 4: $190
(general estimated cost, subject to change)

Expenses
Students are responsible for costs of travel to and from agencies where practicum or clinical seminars are held, and should be prepared to purchase certain clinical and technical instruments.

Financial assistance

Financial assistance may be available for this program. For more information, please contact Student Financial Aid and Awards.

Courses

Program matrix

Level 1 (15 weeks) Credits
  BHSC 1120 Applied Anatomy and Physiology 1 6.0
  CENV 1284 Materials Science 3.0
  NURS 1183 Patient Care (PROR) 2.0
  PROR 1100 Prosthetics and Orthotics 1 18.0
  PROR 1120 Biomechanics 1 4.0
 
Level 2 (20 weeks) Credits
  BHSC 1242 Applied Social Sciences (PROR) 3.5
  BHSC 2220 Applied Anatomy and Physiology 2 3.5
  PROR 2200 Prosthetics and Orthotics 2 18.0
  PROR 2220 Biomechanics 2 3.5
  PROR 2230 Practicum 5.5
 
Level 3 (15 weeks) Credits
  BHSC 3310 Applied Pathophysiology 1 3.0
  BMET 1482 Applied Electrical Fundamentals 2.0
  COMM 1184 Workplace Communications 3.0
  MATH 3842 Statistics and Research Methodology for Prosthetics and Orthotics 4.0
  PROR 3300 Prosthetics and Orthotics 3 20.0
  PROR 3320 Biomechanics 3 2.0
 
Level 4 (20 weeks) Credits
  BHSC 4410 Applied Pathophysiology 2 2.0
  COMM 2284 Scientific Writing for Prosthetics and Orthotics 3.0
  PROR 1402 Professional Practice 1.0
  PROR 4330 Practicum 5.5
  PROR 4400 Prosthetics and Orthotics 4 12.0
  PROR 4430 Case Studies and Treatment Planning 6.0
  PROR 4500 Capstone Research Project 4.5
 
Total Credits: 135.0

Transfer credit

Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.

Program Details

The Program

The two-year course of studies combines lectures, labs and practical experience in an onsite clinical facility and at local health agencies. The curriculum equips graduates to recognize patient problems, assess individual needs, design treatment plans, construct prostheses and orthoses, select appropriate materials and deal with the emotional difficulties of patients.

Four Western Canadian provinces BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba jointly fund the Prosthetics and Orthotics program. BCIT accepts applications every second year on a pro-rated basis from each of the four provinces.

During their time at BCIT students participate in many exciting clinical settings, such as:

3D motion analysis gait lab rounds at BC Shriners Hospital
Prosthetic rehabilitation rotations at GF Strong and Holy Family Rehabilitation Hospitals
Scoliosis Clinical Rotations at BC Childrens Hospital
Access to several local prosthetic and orthotic clinics
Access to nationwide and international clinical practicum sites.

Program length

Two years, full-time, with intake in September of even numbered years.

Graduating & Jobs

Our graduates are ready

Our grads get work, and most are offered positions before they even finish the program. After a two-year paid residency, students are ready to write the national certification exam and start working immediately.

Career opportunities

Our grads join a closely knit community of health professionals dedicated to maximizing the potential of their patients. Certified prosthetic or orthotic clinicians’ salaries start at approximately $52,000 per year. Careers offer flexibility and options to work in one of many paths, including:

  • Working with a team in a hospital or private clinic
  • Running your own private practice
  • Specializing in specific areas of physical rehabilitation
  • Innovating technology and products through research and development

Learn more about the work we do. Visit our Lib Guides site for the latest in field research.

Keep learning

Complete a master's degree. We've partnered with McMaster University to offer Master of Science in Rehabilitation Medicine. Qualified students can take our diploma program while concurrently completing online MSc courses through McMaster.

Graduate employment outcomes

The BCIT student outcomes reports present summary findings from the annual survey of former students administered by BC Stats one to two years after graduation. These reports combine the last three years of available results for the 2016-2018 BCIT Outcomes Surveys of 2015-2017 graduates and for Degree 2014-2016 graduates. The reports are organized into three-page summaries containing information on graduates' labour market experiences and opinions regarding their education. More detailed information can be accessed at the BC Student Outcomes website.

To view these results, you may need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in your Web browser.

Professional associations

After 3450 hours of work experience under the guidance of a certified orthotist or prosthetist, graduates may write the National Certification examination of the Canadian Board of Certification for Prosthetists and Orthotists.

Frequently Asked Questions

Application Process FAQs

Eligibility FAQs

Preferred Courses FAQs

Candidate Selection FAQs

About the Program FAQs

About the Profession FAQs

What is meant by “related experience”?

Related experience can include working with any type of patients in a rehab setting, but should include at least some related experience to either people who use prosthetic or orthotic devices, or direct experience at a prosthetic or orthotic clinic.

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I will be moving provinces. Which province should I indicate on my application?

Please list the province you will be living in for the 6 months prior to the application deadline.

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Can I upgrade courses from my undergraduate degree or the preferred courses?

Yes, if you would like to take courses to increase your GPA, we will consider the more recent course instead.

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I do not live in BC, AB, SK, or MB. Can I still apply?

Unfortunately, we only accept applications from residents of BC, AB, SK, or MB. Proof of residency for 6 months prior to the application deadline may be requested.

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I won’t complete my undergraduate degree until after the application deadline. Can I still apply?

Applications are considered as long as your undergraduate degree will be completed by April 30th. If selected, you would be offered conditional acceptance pending the completion and submission of your degree. If your undergraduate degree is not completed by April 30th, your application will not be considered.

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Some of my preferred courses are more than 5 years old. Can I still apply?

Yes you can still apply. However, we prefer that the preferred course have been taken relatively recently to ensure success in our program.

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I completed my degree more than 5 years ago. Can I still apply?

Yes you can still apply. However, this will be factored this into candidate selection, as it is important that our students will be successful in our program.

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I completed my undergraduate degree outside of Canada. Can I still apply?

As long as your degree is determined to be equivalent, then you will be eligible. To determine equivalency, you will need to speak to a BCIT advisor.

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I have an undergraduate degree in an unrelated field. Can I still apply?

The majority of our applicants have an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology or Engineering. However, our applicants come from a variety of backgrounds and with many types of undergraduate degrees and are often just as successful as students and professionals. You are welcome to apply regardless of your undergraduate degree. However, to ensure your application is competitive, please ensure you have completed the preferred courses listed on the program page.

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Do you accept applications from people who have not completed all of the preferred courses?

While we encourage all applicants to apply, it is very rare that we take an applicant who has not completed all of the preferred courses.

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I’m not sure if the courses I’ve taken are appropriate for the preferred courses. How can I find out?

Please contact the Program Head.

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How many candidates apply to the program each intake?

Approximately 80 people apply from all 4 provinces. Approximately 40 will be contacted to attend the Multiple Mini Interviews. From that, we select 12 students for our program.

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Does it make a difference when I send in my application?

As long as applications are send in prior to the deadline, all applicants will be considered equally.

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Do you have a minimum GPA? What marks do you consider?

We do not have a minimum cut-off for GPA, however most of our successful applicants have a 3.25 GPA (85%) or higher average. We look at both the last year of studies (or last 30 credits) as well as your marks in the preferred courses (Anatomy and Physiology, Physics, Statistics, Psychology, Chemistry).

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What can I do to make sure I have a competitive application?

We look for applicants who are confident about wanting to enter the profession. This means that they have spent the time shadowing, volunteering or working at a prosthetics or orthotics clinic to learn about the role and the profession. This is important to ensuring it is a good fit for you as a candidate, and for us to know that you would be a good fit for our program. Other valuable skills and experience would be related to paid or volunteer positions previously held by the applicant, or could also be related to experience working with tools and working creatively with your hands.

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I would like to learn more about the Prosthetics and Orthotics Program. Can I set up a meeting with someone?

Please contact the Program Head.

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How much is tuition for the program?

Please see Fees and Financial Aid.

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What is the overall process and timeline to become a Canadian Certified Prosthetist or Orthotist?

To become a certified prosthetist or orthotist in Canada, you must complete the following steps in order: 

  • Undergraduate Degree: Complete an undergraduate degree and the required / preferred courses for entry into a prosthetics and orthotics program.
  • Prosthetics and Orthotics Program: Complete the 2-year clinical methods of prosthetics and orthotics program from an accredited school. There are currently only 2 accredited schools in Canada, BCIT and George Brown College in Toronto, Ontario.
  • Residency: Following the formal education, you must independently find a clinic and complete a 2-year (3450 hour) paid residency in prosthetics OR orthotics.
  • Certification Exams: Once reaching the required number of hours, you are eligible to sit the certification exams.

*** Both the residency and certification exam are overseen by Orthotics Prosthetics Canada (OPC). Please visit https://opcanada.ca/ for more information on the residency or exams.

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I’d like to find a clinic to shadow or volunteer at. Where should I look?

You can look up clinics near you by searching for “prosthetics clinic” or “orthotics clinic” online. You can also go the Orthotics Prosthetics Canada website and look under “Find a Professional”

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I’d like to learn more about the profession. Where can I look?

Orthotics Prosthetics Canada (OPC) is the national organization for prosthetics and orthotics. Their website contains a significant amount of information about the profession, the role of a prosthetist and orthotist and the pathway to become certified.

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What is an average salary of a prosthetist or orthotist in Canada?

Salaries vary greatly between provinces and private vs public practices. In general, residents can earn $50,000 - $55,000 annually, while certified prosthetist and orthotists can earn $60,000 - $110,000 annually depending on location, years of experience and responsibilities. Many Prosthetists and orthotists will also become business owners, which can add to additional income.

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What should I know about residency?

After graduating from an accredited prosthetics and orthotics program, students must independently find a site to complete their residency. The residency program is overseen by Orthotics Prosthetics Canada (OPC). Residents focus on one discipline for 2 years (3450 hours), and can choose to eventually complete a second residency in their second discipline if they choose to do so. Once finishing their hours, residents can write the OPC certification exam.

While all graduates find residency sites, students should be prepared to be flexible, as a position in the geographical location, in the discipline of choice and in the clinical environment they desire may not be available.

For more information about the residency program, please visit: https://opcanada.ca/english/residents-interns/residents-interns.html.

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Faculty, Advisors & Staff

Loren Schubert, CP(c), M.Sc.
Program Head
Tel: 604-432-8981
Email: lschubert4@bcit.ca

Desmond Cook, RTPO(C)
Lab Manager
Tel: 604-456-8161
Email: desmond_cook@bcit.ca

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The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Information Access and Privacy.

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