How to Apply
The NUPOC MPO program is accepting applications for the 2025 cohort that will matriculate in summer 2023. NUPOC uses a rolling admissions process; we consider applications until all seats are filled with qualified applicants. Each year, up to 48 students are accepted.
Please submit your application as soon as possible to be considered for an early acceptance decision. Indicate in your application any required coursework that you will be completing prior to the start of the MPO program.
See the Student Resources page for more information on the program's timeline.
For more information, please email the NUPOC MPO admissions assistant or call 312-503-5700.
Qualified applicants to the MPO program must have completed a four-year baccalaureate degree (BS, BA) prior to beginning the MPO program. NUPOC must receive official proof of completion of baccalaureate degree and all prerequisite coursework no later than June 15 for each incoming cohort.
We accept coursework completed at any accredited junior or community college. We also accept online coursework completed at an accredited institution. We give preference to applicants who have completed the majority of their prerequisites at a four-year college or university.
Scores on the GRE are not considered by the admissions team.
Please note that we are unable to accept transfers of MPO credits from another institution to be used toward the completion of the Master of Prosthetics and Orthotics (MPO) degree.
We do not require any experience, employment or job shadowing prior to acceptance. However, exposure to prosthetics and orthotics practice plays a factor in the selection process. Direct exposure to patient care, fabrication and practice management in a P&O clinical facility are all beneficial to the applicant. Most of our applicants have 200-300 hours of shadowing/exposure. Virtual shadowing hours will be counted in the application process. A supervising clinician must confirm the total number of hours of virtual shadowing.
Applicants can obtain experience by working or volunteering at any P&O facility. The ABC website can help you locate an accredited facility. Working with a board-certified prosthetist and/or orthotist will help prepare you for some of the technical and clinical activities that you will encounter in school. More importantly, it will provide you with a general understanding of the P&O field.
Prerequisite courses ensure that all accepted students have sufficient foundation and scientific knowledge to complete the advanced courses offered as part of the program. Grades of “D+” or lower are not acceptable because they indicate insufficient mastery of the concepts. Confer with your university adviser about the equivalency of your coursework. Courses can be the initial course of a series, and must be intended for STEM majors. Courses that qualify for pre-Physicians' Assistant or pre-Physical Therapy will prepare you best for our program.
All applicants must have completed the following:
- Life sciences/biology
- Human anatomy and physiology (One combined AP course will meet this requirement. However, you will be better prepared for our program by completing two combined AP courses, or separate Anatomy and Physiology courses.)
Completion of the lab portions of these courses is not required. If you claim completion of a lab component for anatomy and physiology courses in the "Recommended Courses" section, you must include proof of completion with your application. The details of this requirement can be found in the MPO application.
If you are interested in visiting the NUPOC suite, please contact: Sophia Schmidt
We anticipate that every new cohort will be filled by the December preceding the start date of the MPO program. Please submit your application as soon as possible to be considered for an early acceptance decision. Indicate in your application any required coursework that you will be completing prior to the start of the MPO program. We will continue to accept and review applications after December to fill available openings in each cohort.
All application materials should be sent together as one complete packet. Incomplete application packets cannot be processed and may be returned to you for completion and resubmission. Resubmissions will be assessed a $25 administrative fee. Your application packet must include:
- Printed and signed copy of the completed MPO Application Form (If you are unable to fill the form fields on computer, please print the application form and fill the fields legibly by hand using black ink.)
- Two letters of recommendation using the MPO Letter of Reference Form
- Recommendations from practitioners who hold an ABC credential (CP, CO, or CPO) are preferred.
- Personal essay
- Sealed official transcripts
- Application fee ($95)
Mail the completed packet to:
Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center (NUPOC)
c/o Admissions Assistant
680 N. Lake Shore Dr., Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60611 USA
OPCAS Applications: Applicants who use the Orthotics and Prosthetics Centralized Application Service (OPCAS) must also complete and mail the NUPOC MPO Application Form. NUPOC does not accept submissions from any other online service. Applicants who are submitting an application through OPCAS are not required to duplicate the letters of reference, personal essay, or transcripts when submitting the NUPOC application.
Our curriculum is designed to prepare graduates to enter an accredited P&O residency, to sit for examinations by the American Board for Certification and ultimately to practice P&O within the U.S. International applicants planning to practice outside of the U.S. must determine whether this focus would be helpful in meeting their personal goals. Students who are not U.S. citizens must also demonstrate acceptable immigration/visa status. Graduates of foreign undergraduate and graduate institutions are welcome to apply for admission.
Northwestern University strives to provide access to its online degree programs to all students. While we will do our best to provide access, students must be aware that they may not be able to access course material due to technology or internet limitations. To that end, students are advised that they must meet the following technology requirements:
- Students are required to have a laptop that meets or exceeds university requirements, with a working webcam and microphone for synchronous sessions.
- Students are required to have access to a reliable, high-speed internet connection of at least 5 Mbps. While students can connect via Wi-Fi, we highly recommend using a wired internet connection, as faster internet connections improve the online experience.
Course materials are hosted primarily in the learning management system (Canvas), but occasionally courses may link to external content. Any costs associated with procuring access will be borne by the individual student.
In addition, it is a student’s responsibility to understand requirements related to whether an online degree will be recognized in a country other than the United States, how the collection of student data may be used in another country and whether withholding taxes (in addition to the price of tuition) will apply. Some countries may not formally recognize foreign online degrees, which may have implications for students who later seek to enroll in other educational programs, or for those who seek employment with that country’s government or other employers requiring specific credentials.
International students considering an academic program that leads to a professional license should first confirm with the appropriate professional licensing board in their country of residence or the country where they intend to work as to whether an online degree will be recognized when seeking licensure or certification.
Potential applicants may find the resources of the International Office of Northwestern University helpful.
The minimum acceptable equivalence to apply is a bachelor’s degree and English proficiency. The Graduate School (TGS) at Northwestern University requires 90 or above on the TOEFL internet test for admission. TGS cannot waive this requirement except for applicants with undergraduate or graduate degrees from institutions in the U.S. or accredited institutions where English is the language of instruction. IELTS scores (7.0 or higher) can be used in place of TOEFL. See TGS English Proficiency Requirements for details about acceptable minimum level of spoken English proficiency and fulfillment criteria.
For TOEFL, official scores must be taken no more than two years before the intended quarter of entry and must come directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). For example, to be considered valid for 2023 admission, TOEFL scores must be no older than September 2021. The TGS's school code for TOEFL is 1565. TGS department code is 01. Test takers may be asked by ETS to choose the "department" to which they want their scores sent. While you should choose the department most closely aligned to the program to which you are applying, we do not use this information to distribute scores. All scores sent to school code 1565 are made available to our programs, regardless of the "departments" selected on the ETS form.
Copies of IELTS scores must be sent directly from IELTS to your admitting department. You will also be asked to scan and upload a copy of your score report (if you have it available) while submitting your online application. This uploaded version is not considered “official” and will only be used for preliminary review purposes, until your official scores have been received from ETS or IELTS.
Course Equivalency Evaluation
Individuals attending academic institutions outside of the United States are required to have all transcripts interpreted by the World Education Service.
Selection & Acceptance Process
Applications are ranked based on multiple weighted criteria, with the most important factors listed below. Please note that each criterion helps determine the applicant’s likelihood of admission, so a weakness in any area will reduce the chances for admission.
1. Highest academic degree earned at an accredited institution
2. Overall academic Grade Point Average (GPA) in most recent degree program (Bachelor’s or higher)
3. Duration of relevant clinical experience or exposure to P&O practice
4. Strength of letters of recommendation; letters from credentialed P&O clinicians are recommended
5. Quality of personal essay
To enter the MPO, a bachelor's degree and completion of prerequisite course work with at least a "C" (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) are required. Please note that competitive applicants rarely attain a grade below a “B” (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) in any of the prerequisite coursework. The average GPA of past MPO cohorts has consistently been 3.4 or above, and a GPA of below 3.0 is not likely to be competitive. Any bachelor's degree from an accredited academic institution in any field is acceptable, provided that all pre-requisite coursework is completed. Degrees in the health sciences and biomedical engineering are most common among our applicants.
NUPOC continually reviews new applications as they arrive. The highest-ranking applicants are offered a place for early admission and, after the first of the year, regular admissions begin. This process continues with new invitations each month until the upcoming class is full. After all seats are filled, the remaining applicants are notified no later than Aug. 1 each year.
Acceptance letters are sent to applicants via email. Be sure to check your email regularly and respond to NUPOC by the stated deadline.
Deferral is rarely granted. A deferral may be granted due to extraordinary and demonstrated extenuating circumstances, and then only at the discretion of the NUPOC MPO program director.
Northwestern University prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, parental status, marital status, age, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, genetic information, reproductive health decision making, or any other classification protected by law in matters of admissions, employment, housing, services, or in educational programs and activities.