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Optometry Schools in the United States
Optometry Schools in the United States provide the classroom instruction and hands-on training required to become a practicing Optometrist. All states require optometrists to be licensed and all require a prospective optometrist to have a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree from an accredited optometry school. In all states licensure also requires that a prospective optometrist successfully complete all sections of the National Boards in Optometry. Some states require an additional exam. Many states require optometrists to take continuing education and to renew their license periodically. The curriculum at U.S. Optometry Schools is designed to prepare students to successfully complete the National Boards and to become effective practicing optometrists.
Students educated at Optometry Schools in the United States take classes in ophthalmic and physiological optics, ocular anatomy, ocular pharmacology, ocular disease, the neurophysiology and neuroanatomy of the vision system, binocular vision, movement and vision perception, visual environment design and modification, vision performance and vision screening. Additionally, optometrist training includes a thorough study of microbiology, biochemistry, the human anatomy, systemic diseases, general pathology, general pharmacology, perceptual and sensory psychology, statistics and epidemiology.
Optometry Schools in the United States supplement this classroom instruction with extensive supervised hands-on experience in clinical settings. Some schools also offer advanced degrees for individuals who want to pursue research and academic careers in Optometry. For individuals who have earned their O.D. degree, many Optometry Schools sponsor or facilitate residency programs where optometrists get advanced clinical training in a specialty. Specialty areas for residency programs include family practice, primary eye care, pediatric or geriatric optometry, vision therapy and rehabilitation, cornea and contact lenses, refractive and ocular surgery, low vision rehabilitation, ocular disease, and community health optometry.
While the training curricula at all Optometry Schools in the United States is similar, admission requirements, selection criteria, and student and alumni support does vary. Accordingly, interested applicants should inquire with Optometry Schools in their State to learn more about admission requirements, selection factors, curriculum, degree programs and student and alumni support services each school provides: