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, the College of Optometry has developed the resources and programs needed to support our students as they pursue one of many career paths within the profession.
SUNY students train in one of the largest vision care clinics (the University Eye Center) in the country and start working with patients early in their educational experience. Students encounter a diverse patient base over 4 years, so they learn to treat and evaluate virtually any vision problem that comes their way. There is no substitute for such 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 SUNY College of Optometry, professors see themselves as much as mentors as instructors.
The newly established Center for Career Development proactively engages students throughout their four years, to assist them in making the decisions about their career objectives and providing co-curricular opportunities to advance their post-graduate success.
Students graduate from SUNY 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
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.
Rigorous, Hands-On Curriculum - 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. For more information on SUNY Optometry's Board passing rates, go here.
A Clinical Experience that Is Second to None
One of the largest on-campus clinics in optometry offering vision and eye care to a diversified patient population in the heart of Manhattan, the University Eye Center offers 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 has also 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.
SUNY Optometry faculty are accomplished educators and researchers who have a passion for teaching and are fully committed to your academic and professional success. Over 150 PhDs, ODs and MDs (80 full and 77 part-time) comprise SUNY Optometry’s team of outstanding educators. Being part of a large university contributes to the depth and quality of our faculty.
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.
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.
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.
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 Office of Student Affairs staff offers individualized counseling programs for applicants and 2 Open Houses a year to guide applicants through the application process. The Office of 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 the classroom.
Brilliant Student Body
SUNY Optometry’s student body is comprised of highly accomplished students who have succeeded not only academically but also outside 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)
Ideal Class Sizes
With a yearly enrollment of 88 students into the OD program, SUNY Optometry has an ideal class size that fosters more personalized, in-depth relationships between students and professors. In the clinics, depending on the rotation, the College offers a rich student to faculty ratio. Professors see themselves not only as instructors but as mentors.