OD Curriculum

The professional program leading to the Doctor of Optometry (OD) at the SUNY College of Optometry is four years in duration. The curriculum integrates the basic biological and vision sciences that form the foundation of clinical practice, teaches the fundamentals of optometry and develops critical thinking for clinical care and case decision making. Patient care begins early and continues throughout all four years of the program with increasing responsibilities under the supervision of our clinical faculty at the University Eye Center (UEC) as well as through a minimum of two quarters during the fourth year at externship sites around the country.

The first two years of the program concentrate on students integrating basic biological and visual sciences with clinical practice, while developing and understanding of the theory and fundamentals of ocular examination, treatment and therapy. Students begin working in the UEC clinics in the first year and continue with greater responsibilities in subsequent years. Direct patient contact begins in the spring of the second year. Third year integrates didactic and clinical teaching further, and students work directly with patients in primary care and various specialty services.

Students, working as interns with patient care responsibilities, are assigned to multiple rotations through various clinics in the UEC and at least two externship sites at various hospitals and other health care facilities as part of our externship program. Opportunities for rotations through one of the College's international clinical affiliates also exist. After the successful completion of the fourth year, the Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree is awarded. Once state licensing exams are passed, the graduate is qualified to begin practice.

Curriculum Features: Tracks and Integration

 

The curriculum features two 16-week semesters. Individual courses may be conducted for a full semester or within an eight-week module. A 10-week summer session takes place in year three. Year four consists of four quarters beginning in the summer after year three.

 

The curriculum features seven tracks that extend throughout the four years:

Department of Biological and Vision Sciences

•   Systemic and Ocular Health

•   Refractive Conditions

•   Visual Perception and Sensorimotor Control
 

Department of Clinical Education

•   Clinical Examination – Optometric Theory and Procedures

•   Public/Community Health

•   Optometric Clinic

•   Integrative Seminar

The Integrative Seminar Track is designed to help students integrate clinical knowledge and skills with the basic sciences that form the foundation of the profession. The Integrative Seminars provide small-group learning environments that use clinical case studies to improve critical thinking and problem-solving skills. In the third year, the Integrative Seminar is directly tied to the student’s patient care assignments and takes place in the clinic in clinical care units called “pods.” which are comprised of small groups of students and two clinical faculty supervisors. 


First Year

The scientific foundation for optometric practice is established in the first year. During this year, students are introduced to the profession of optometry, optometric theory and the elements of clinical practice. The program builds from the knowledge base acquired prior to professional school through prerequisites and sets the foundation for advanced didactic and clinical activities during the rest of the curriculum and into optometric practice. Integrative seminar helps students tie the basic and clinic sciences together.

Fall Semester

Course Title

Dept*

Course#

Lec

Lab

Clinic

Credit Hours

Human Bioscience I

BVS

BVS-121FA

4.00

0.25

0.00

4.00

Gross Anatomy

BVS

BVS-106FA

4.25

1.75

0.00

2.45

Ocular Anatomy, Biochemistry & Physiology I

BVS

BVS-181FA

2.00

0.50

0.00

2.00

Integrated Optics I

BVS

BVS-131FA

3.0

1.00

0.00

3.50

Optometric Theory & Procedures I

CE

CEX-141FA

3.00

3.00

0.00

4.50

Integrative Seminar I

CE

CEI-1FA

1.00

2.00

0.00

2.00

Neuroanatomy BVS BVS-106A 4.25 1.75 0.0 2.45

Spring Semester

Course Title

Dept*

Course#

Lec

Lab

Clinic

Credit Hours

Human Bioscience II

BVS

BVS-122SA

3.00

0.25

0.00

3.00

Ocular Anatomy, Biochemistry & Physiology II

BVS

BVS-182A

3.00

0.50

0.00

3.00

Integrated Optics II

BVS

BVS-132SA

3.50

1.00

0.00

4.00

Visual Function: Sensory (A)

BVS

BVS-170SA

3.50

1.50

0.00

4.50

Visual Function: Sensory (B)

 

 

4.00

1.50

0.00

Optometric Theory & 
 Procedures II

CE

CEX-142SA

3.00

3.00

0.00

4.50

Integrative Seminar II

CE

INT-1SA

1.00

2.00

0.00

2.00

*BVS: Biological and Vision Sciences
*CE: Clinical Education

(A) module A runs the first 8 weeks of the semester
(B) module B runs the second 8 weeks of the semester

Second Year

The knowledge acquired in the first professional year sets the foundation for the second year. Basic knowledge acquired during this year generally is intended to enhance the primary care clinical skills of students. The Integrative Seminar in second year continues to integrate basic and clinical sciences and includes more direct clinical exposure. By the end of the second year, students will be able to perform a comprehensive eye examination and will have seen their first patients in the University Eye Center (UEC).

Fall Semester

Course Title

Dept*

Course#

Lec

Lab

Clinic

Credit Hours

Human Bioscience III

BVS

BVS-223FA

3.00

0.25

0.00

3.00

Microbiology (B)

BVS

BVS-204AFA

2.00

1.00

0.00

2.50

Pharmacology I

BVS

BVS-205FB

3.00

0.00

0.00

3.00

Integrated Optics III

BVS

BVS-233FA

3.50

1.00

0.00

4.00

Visual Function: Sensorimotor I (A)

BVS

BVS-271FA

2.00

1.50

0.00

3.00

Optometric Theory & Procedures III

CE

CEX-243FA

2.00

3.00

0.00

3.50

Integrated Seminar III

CE

CEI-2FA

1.00

2.00

0.00

2.00

(A) module A runs the first 8 weeks of the semester
(B) module B runs the second 8 weeks of the semester

Spring Semester

Course Title

Dept*

Course#

Lec

Lab

Clinic

Credit Hours

Ocular Disease I

BVS

BVS-251SA

4.50

1.50

0.00

5

Pharmacology II

BVS

BVS-206SA

2.50

0.00

0.00

2.50

Contact Lenses I

BVS

BVS-261SA

2

1.50

0.00

3.00

Visual Function: Sensorimotor II

BVS

BVS-272SA

2.50

1.00

0.00

3.00

Children, Vision & Learning I

BVS

BVS-217SA

2.50

0.00

0.00

2.50

Optometric Theory & Procedures IV

CE

CEX-244A

1.00

3.00

0.00

2.50

Integrated Seminar IV

CE

CEI-2SA

1.00

2.00

0.00

2.00

*BVS: Biological and Vision Sciences
*CE: Clinical Education

Third Year

In the third-year students continue to take didactic courses in areas of ocular disease, contact lenses, binocular vision, public health and practice development. While course work continues, they are also providing patient care in the UEC in primary care and several specialties including vision rehabilitation, contact lenses, pediatrics and ocular disease. The emphasis of clinical education in the third year is in primary care, where students are assigned to small clinical teaching units – called pods – comprised of students and two doctors. Each pod meets weekly for a full day clinic session in the Primary Care Service and includes an Integrative Seminar where issues and experiences with patient care are discussed. Students are assigned to pods for eight weeks to provide consistency in the clinical education experience and then are changed to expose the students to different doctors. In addition, students are required to take two elective courses. Electives are offered in the summer session and second half of the spring semester.

Summer Semester

Course Title

Dept*

Course#

Lec

Lab

Clinic

Credit Hours

Integrative Seminar V

CE

CEI-3RA

0.00

1.00

0.00

0.50

Optometric Clinic I

CE

CEC-341RA

0.00

0.00

6.00

2.00

Epidemiology

CE

CEP-304RA

1.60

0.00

0.00

1.00

Neuroanatomy

BVS

BVS-315RA

3.60

1.00

0.00

3.00

Fall Semester

Course Title

Dept*

Course#

Lec

Lab

Clinic

Credit Hours

Ocular Disease II

BVS

BVS-352FA

4.50

1.50

0.00

5.00

Contact Lenses II

BVS

BVS-362FA

2.00

1.50

0.00

3.00

Anomalies of Visual Sensorimotor Functions

BVS

BVS-370SA

4.50

2.50

0.00

6.00

Optometric Clinic II

CE

CEC-342FA

0.00

0.00

10.50

3.50

Integrative Seminar VI

CE

CEI-3FA

0.00

1.00

0.00

0.50

Spring Semester

Course Title

Dept*

Course#

Lec

Lab

Clinic

Credit Hours

Ocular Disease III

BVS

BVS-353SA

4.00

1.00

0.00

4.50

Children, Vision and Learning II

BVS

BVS-318SA

2.00

1.25

0.00

2.50

Optometric Clinic III

CE

CEC-343SA

0.00

0.00

10.50

3.50

Public Health

CE

CEP-310SA

2.50

0.00

     0.00

2.50

Optometric Practice in a Changing Health Care Environment

CE

CEP-320SA

2.50

0.00

  0.00

2.50

Integrative Seminar VII

CE

CEI-3SA

0.00

1.00

  0.00

0.50

*BS: Biological Sciences
*VS: Vision Sciences
*CE: Clinical Education

Fourth Year

Students are assigned to four clinical rotations in the fourth year. Rotations take place in a number of carefully selected internal and external sites in order to allow students to experience a greater variety of clinical environments. These environments expose the fourth-year student to a diversity of ocular and general conditions of patients of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Course Title

Course#

Term

Hours

Credit Hours

Clinical Internship I

CEC-4401A

Summer

40

13.00

Clinical Internship II

CEC-4402A

Fall

40

13.00

Clinical Internship III

CEC-4403A

Winter

40

13.00

Clinical Internship IV

CEC-4404A

Spring

40

13.00

Clinical Seminar

CEI-4500A

1 quarter

2

2.00


Note: All courses offered in the fourth year are administered through the Department of Clinical Education.