Why SUNY?

The SUNY College of Optometry is dedicated to ensuring the success of its students academically and professionally throughout their lives. Simply put, the College is one of best optometry schools in the world. As an independent campus within the State University of New York system, SUNY Optometry has developed the resources and programs necessary to support our students as they pursue one of many career paths within the profession.

SUNY Optometry students train in one of the largest and most diverse vision care clinics (the University Eye Center) in the country, and they start working with patients early on in their educational experience. Students encounter a diverse patient base over four years, so they learn to treat and evaluate virtually any vision problem that comes their way. There is no substitute for such a comprehensive, hands-on patient experience.

Professors at the College are experts in their fields, passionate about what they do and advance our understanding and treatment of vision problems through research and discovery. They bring the latest concepts and procedures to the classroom and clinic, and offer opportunities for student engagement in vision research. Our small class size fosters more personalized, in-depth relationships between students and professors. Indeed, at the SUNY College of Optometry, professors see themselves as mentors almost as much as instructors.  

Our Career Development Center proactively engages students throughout their four years to assist them in making decisions about their career objectives and providing co-curricular opportunities to advance their post-graduate success.

Students graduate from SUNY Optometry with extensive clinical experience, a strong academic foundation, a rich overall education and a clear path to professional success. A degree from the SUNY College of Optometry is recognized around the world and the College stands as one of the most respected leaders in optometric education.

Top Ten Reasons to Choose SUNY Optometry

  1. Reputation
    SUNY College of Optometry is renowned for its excellence. The College offers students an outstanding optometric education and clinical experience in one of the most vibrant cities in the world. SUNY Optometry is committed to educational excellence, improving patients’ lives, enhancing public health and advancing the field of vision science through research. Due to its reputation, a degree from SUNY Optometry is your key to a successful and fulfilling career.

  2. Rigorous, Hands-On Curriculum and High Board Scores
    SUNY Optometry offers a rigorous, hands-on, integrated curriculum that fully prepares students to provide excellent eye care. The Doctor of Optometry degree program develops students’ clinical critical thinking and problem-solving skills by integrating clinical knowledge and skills with knowledge of the basic sciences through a series of small-group clinical case study discussions through the four years.

    Students begin working in the University Eye Center’s patient care clinics in the first year and continue with greater responsibilities in subsequent years. Externships in the fourth year are available in a variety of settings across the country, in Canada and in China.

    The exceptional level of our academic curriculum is reflected in the fact that over the years, our students pass the national licensing exam the first time they try, and with scores significantly above the national average. Find out more information about SUNY Optometry's Board passing rates here

  3. A Clinical Experience that Is Second to None
    One of the largest on-campus clinics offering vision and eye care to a diversified patient population in the heart of Manhattan, the University Eye Center provides SUNY Optometry students exposure to a great diversity of visual/ocular problems. All students rotate through and work with patients in all specialty clinics (Adult and Pediatric Primary Care, Ocular Disease, Special Testing, Glaucoma Institute, Pediatrics, Contact Lenses, Low Vision, Vision Therapy, Head Trauma, Children with Special Needs, Learning Disability Unit, Infants Vision, Dispensing.) SUNY Optometry also has an on-campus Laser Center. As a result of the large clinic, small-class size and the diversified patient population, students obtain a rich and comprehensive clinical experience that is second to none.

  4. Outstanding Faculty
    SUNY Optometry's faculty members are accomplished educators and researchers who have a passion for teaching and are fully committed to your academic and professional success. Over 100 PhDs, ODs and MDs comprise SUNY Optometry’s team of outstanding educators. Being part of the largest state university system in the country contributes to the depth and quality of our faculty.

  5. Excellence in Research
    SUNY Optometry has nationally and internationally recognized faculty engaged in cutting-edge research in vision science. SUNY Optometry has the greatest concentration of world-class vision science research faculty in New York City. Students interested in research can choose between the OD/MS and PhD programs in Vision Science. Research investigations at the College are in the areas of cell biology and ocular pharmacology, visual optics, visual neurophysiology and vision and visual perception.

  6. Excellent Value for Your Money
    With highly competitive tuition rates, SUNY Optometry is, on average, one of the best investments in Optometry education in the nation. Most out-of-state U.S. residents are eligible for in-state tuition after their first year. On average our students graduate with approximately $30,000 less debt than other students nationally.

  7. Exciting Location
    Excitement. Culture. Music. Dance. Colleges. Broadway. Museums. Libraries. New York is a sum of many different parts existing together in one of the safest, most diversely populated islands in the world. SUNY Optometry is located in a historic building in the beautiful and safe neighborhood of midtown Manhattan, across from Bryant Park and the New York Public Library, where students feel comfortable and have easy access to all forms of public transportation.

  8. Personalized Services
    The College’s dedicated staff and faculty are committed to our students’ academic and professional success, from the moment they inquire about our programs to graduation and beyond. The Student Affairs staff offers individualized counseling programs for applicants and two open houses a year to guide prospective students through the application process. Student Affairs further serves as a center of advocacy for students in all areas of student life, organizing student programs and creating opportunities for leadership and involvement outside of the classroom.

  9. Brilliant Student Body
    SUNY Optometry’s student body is comprised of highly accomplished students who have succeeded not only academically but also outside of the classroom. Students accepted into the professional program are graduates from some of the most competitive schools in the country and have very competitive GPAs. The average OAT scores of SUNY Optometry students are above the national average and some of the highest in the country. Students have many interests outside the classroom including a passion for volunteering and sharp leadership skills. (See entering class profile)

  10. Ideal Class Sizes
    SUNY Optometry has an ideal class size that fosters more personalized, in-depth relationships between students and faculty. In the clinics, depending on the rotation, the College offers a rich student-to-faculty ratio.