List of Top Optometry Schools in the U.S.

Learn about some of the top schools for optometry in the U.S. Get an in-depth look at three of these schools, including their rankings and program details, and see a list of other top universities in this field.

School Overviews

The United States has 23 Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) programs that are fully accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education of the American Optometric Association as of 2015. Many optometry schools also offer vision science programs that lead to a Master of Science (M.S.) or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). The University of California - Berkeley is a top-ranked school that offers a 4-year O.D. program as well as graduate programs in vision science, while the University of Alabama at Birmingham offers an O.D. program and a doctoral program that focuses on research in vision science.

1. University of California - Berkeley

School Highlight: Students can participate in a summer research program sponsored by the National Eye Institute.

Students of the 4-year O.D. program at University of California - Berkeley spend 440 hours in laboratory training before participating in field clinics during the final two years of study. The University Eye Center offers on-campus training clinics in geriatrics, binocular vision and primary care, among others. Training in off-campus and community outreach clinics is also available. The school's graduate program leading to a Ph.D. in Vision Science offers instruction in molecular genetics, neurobiology and infectious diseases.

2. University of Alabama at Birmingham

School Highlight: Students gain first-hand experience through UAB Eye Care, the clinical wing of the School of Optometry.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham's School of Optometry offers an O.D. program that combines a foundation in vision science with professional training in clinical optometry. Students can take advantage of the many resources available from the UAB Academic Health Sciences Center during their four years of full-time study. The school also offers a graduate vision science program that emphasizes research and teaching.

Top Optometry Schools

School Name Distinction Location
Ferris State University Students can join the Michigan Optometric Student Private Practice Association, the Optometry Student Government, the American Optometric Student Association, and more. Big Rapids, MI
Indiana University - Bloomington Vision science seminars are offered weekly by the School of Optometry. Bloomington, IN
Northeastern State University Students in the optometry program experience more than 60,000 patient interactions each year. Tahlequah, OK
Nova Southeastern University Students have access to five clinics and can take mission trips to foreign countries. Fort Lauderdale, FL
Ohio State University Optometry students participate in more than 100,000 patient interactions each year. Columbus, OH
University of Houston The College of Optometry hosts a summer research program supported by the National Eye Institute. Houston, TX
University of the Incarnate Word The school offers the only faith-based optometry program in the nation. San Antonio, TX
University of Missouri - St Louis The school offers a mobile eye center to provide eye care to underserved neighborhoods. Saint Louis, MO

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