Degree Programs

Degree Programs

The school offers one of the best programs in the country for the education of optometrists. The American Optometric Association defines an optometrist as a primary health care provider who examines, diagnoses, treats, and manages diseases and disorders of the visual system. Students in the four-year Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) program study a rigorous curriculum that prepares them to provide outstanding eye care to all patients. The students learn to diagnose and treat patients with refractive errors, binocular vision problems, ocular diseases, and other eye-related problems. Practical experience is gained in the school’s clinics in Indianapolis and Bloomington and on rotations to different clinical settings in and outside Indiana.

The school also provides education for professionals who complement the work of optometrists: opticians and optometric technicians. Students in the Optician/ Technician program at the IU School of Optometry earn a two-year Associate of Science (A.S.) degree.

They learn how to test visual acuity, depth perception, and field of vision, and how to help people select eyewear and learn to care for contact lenses. They also learn how to fill optical prescriptions and make spectacles. Opticians and optometric technicians are a valuable part of the eye care team.

Students interested in research can join the graduate program in vision science and study for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. This is an interdisciplinary program intended primarily for those who wish to prepare for teaching and/or research in the sciences related to vision. Students participate in research projects in such areas as ocular physiology, psychophysics, optics, corneal physiology, infant vision, contact lenses, and low vision. They work with world-renowned faculty members to add to the body of knowledge of the vision sciences.

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