The Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) is a professional degree which requires six years of professional study. During the first year of optometry school, students concentrate on the basic biological sciences including; anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and neuroanatomy. In addition, they receive lecture, laboratory, and clinical instruction in theoretical optics and the conducting of an optometric examination.
During the second year, students study ocular physiology and psychophysics. They also begin with their first courses in ocular disease and anomalies of binocular vision. In the summer between the second and third years, students begin to examine patients in the University's Eye Care Institute. They care for adult, pediatric, and geriatric patients with all types of ocular and visual needs in the primary eye care clinic. In addition to seeing patients, third year students continue to study ocular disease, contact lenses, and clinical medicine. A two semester practice management course begins in third year with introduction to basic business and management concepts.
During the fourth year, students receive extensive training in; secondary-tertiary eye care, specialized optometric care and continued clinical education. Training emphasizes practical experience through externships, specialty clinical rotations, and clinical practice. A fourth year practice management course presents business decisions and concepts that will be necessary for success in practice.