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Optometrist Schools

by Amy Pearson, studioD

Optometrist schools teach students not only about the function, design and disorders of the human eye, but also about other body systems that contribute to eye health. Prospective optometrists complete a four-year doctoral program as well as a year of residency. Most optometry programs are research-based but all explore different parts of vision and the ocular system, according to the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry.

Northeastern Schools

The MCPHS University School of Optometry, in Worcester, Massachusetts, is a four-year program that trains future optometrists using the latest in technology and teaching practice. Students learn to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions associated with eye health at The Eye and Vision Center, the school’s on-campus eye clinic. Boston’s New England College of Optometry is a leading research center and teaching facility that offers a four-year graduate-level professional training program for a diverse student body of more than 400 students.

Midwestern Schools

One of the oldest optometry schools in the country, the Illinois College of Optometry has more than 600 students. The school’s website reports approximately one in five optometrists in the country are ICO graduates. The Michigan School of Optometry at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, trains prospective optometrists to professionally and responsibly treat patients during the school’s clinical-based program. The school boasts smaller than average class sizes, tutoring programs and mentorship opportunities for students.

Southern Schools

Florida’s Nova Southeastern University Doctor of Optometry program prepares optometrists to work for professional work in a multidisciplinary learning environment. Students provide eye care to Florida residents during their clinical training, including experiences in pediatrics, contact lenses and ocular disease, according to NSU’s website. The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry has more than 30 full-time faculty committed to providing students with the latest in optometric science and research. Students work with a variety of industry experts, including vision scientists and ophthalmologists.

Western Schools

Midwestern University’s Arizona College of Optometry is located in Glendale, Arizona. The school’s full-time, four-year Doctor of Optometry program offers clinical simulations and optometrist business management training. The school’s website claims that more than 90 percent of students pass licensing exams on their first attempt. The Southern California College of Optometry, located on the campus of Marshall B. Ketchum University, is the third oldest optometry school in the nation. The school trains optometrists to be professional and compassionate industry leaders. The school awards the Doctor of Optometry Degree and the Master of Science in Vision Science.

About the Author

Amy Pearson earned dual bachelor's degrees in management and horticulture. She is a licensed elementary teacher for kindergarten through sixth grades. Pearson specializes in flower and vegetable gardening, landscape design, education, early childhood and child development.

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