What Are Some Well-Known Optometrist Schools in the U.S.?

Learn about characteristics of some of the top optometry schools in the country. Find out ranking information for these programs and get information about Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) programs offered. Schools offering Optician degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Attributes Should I Look For in a Top Optometrist School?

Only 22 optometry schools exist in the continental United States as of 2015, according to the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry, and most are part of highly respected universities. In choosing the school that's right for you, you'll want to check out O.D. programs that offer ample opportunities to conduct patient exams. You also might want to choose a school that has state-of-the-art facilities.

Three Top Optometry Schools

Ohio State University in Columbus

Ohio State University tied for 56th in the U.S. News and World Report for best national universities in 2019. OSU's College of Optometry has provided eye care to the surrounding community for nearly 100 years through eye clinics and outreach programs. You can help provide these services as a student in the optometry program. In addition to an O.D., the school offers a joint Master of Science (M.S.) in Vision Science/O.D. program and an M.S. in Vision Science/advanced practice fellowship program that covers vision rehabilitation, pediatrics, contact lenses and family practice. Students can earn:

  • O.D. (Doctor of Optometry)
  • Master of Science in Vision Sciences
  • Ph.D. in Vision Sciences

University of California - Berkeley

The University of California in Berkeley ranks at number 22 on the U.S. News and World Report list of best national universities as of 2019. If you're interested in vision care opportunities, at the University of California you can participate in hands-on training through the Meredith Morgan Eye Center and other clinics. Ultimately, optometry students examine approximately 2,500 patients in the course of their 4-year O.D. program. These degrees are offered:

  • O.D.
  • Ph.D. in Vision Science

University of Houston in Texas

The University of Houston in Texas currently ranks at number 96-127 on the U.S. News and World Report list of best regional colleges in the West. Founded in 1952, its College of Optometry was scheduled to open its new Vision Institute, a facility containing classrooms, laboratories, surgical centers and more, in fall 2012. As an O.D. student, you can participate in service opportunities through the college's Mobile Eye Institute. This bus travels throughout the Houston area to provide eye exams to those who have limited access to typical vision care resources. The following degrees are available:

  • O.D.
  • O.D./M.S.
  • M.S. in Physiological Optics/Vision Science
  • Ph.D. in Physiological Optics/Vision Science

Other Schools with Accredited Optometry Programs

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition*
Illinois College of Optometry 4-year, Private Chicago, IllinoisN/A
Indiana University-Bloomington 4-year, Public Bloomington, Indiana$10,500
Western University of Health Sciences 4-year, Private Pomona, California$22,500
University of Alabama-Birmingham 4-year, Public Birmingham, Alabama$8,000
Ferris State University 4-year, Public Big Rapids, Michigan$7,000
Midwestern University-Arizona College of Optometry 4-year, Private Glendale, Arizona$46,000
New England College of Optometry 4-year, Private Boston, Massachusetts$21,000
Northeastern State University 4-year, Public Tahlequah, Oklahoma$5,000
Nova Southeastern University 4-year, Private Fort Lauderdale, Florida$21,000
Pacific University 4-year, Private Forest Grove, Oregon$31,500

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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