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Fact Sheet

Founded in 1971 and located in New York City, the State University of New York College of Optometry is a leader in education, research and patient care, offering the Doctor of Optometry degree as well as MS and PhD degrees in Vision Science. The College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Its four-year professional degree program and residency programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) of the American Optometric Association.

Students and Admissions

Degrees awarded: OD, PhD, OD/MS, OD/PhD
Enrollment: 402
OD Applicants (Class of 2023): 436 applicants; 100 enrolled
Students from New York State: 56%
Female/male ratio: approx. 71%/29%
Average GPA of entering classes: 3.59
Graduate Students: 11 PhD, 9 OD/MS, 3 MS
Alumni: approx. 3,200
National Board average pass rates (5-year average): 95% of students pass all three parts of the NBEO by graduation.


Faculty: 113
Full-time faculty: 66
Part-time faculty: 17
Satellite faculty: 30
External adjuncts: 170


The College conducts a robust program of basic, translational and clinical research.
Grants in FY 2018-19: 33
Funding: approx. $3.62 million

Residency Programs

Residents: 41 (2018-19)
Residency areas: Cornea and Contact Lenses; Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Family Practice; Low Vision Rehabilitation; Ocular Disease; Pediatrics; Primary Eye Care; Acquired Brain Injury; Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation; Combined Residency and Graduate Degree (MS or PhD) in Vision Science.

Patient Care

The University Eye Center (UEC) is one of the largest optometric outpatient facilities in the nation and offers both primary and specialized vision care services.
Patient visits in FY 2018-19: 69,626
Total Patient Encounters: > 240,000 including UEC, Satellite Clinics and Educational Affiliates.

Clinical Education

Hours of clinical experience for each OD student over four years: >2,400

  • Primary Care, including pediatrics, children with special needs and learning disabilities, and infants.
  • Advanced Care, including specialized care for patients with cataracts, glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration and other ocular diseases, specialty contact lenses, and imaging services.
  • Rehabilitation, including individualized care for patients with visual disorders, low vision, and head trauma.
  • Social Work Services, including free support groups, other support services, and referrals for long-term counseling.
  • Eyewear Center, with a large selection of frames, designer eyewear, and specialty lenses.
  • Community Outreach, including education, screenings, support groups, and homebound care touching 9,600 lives through The Bowery Mission, and partnerships with hospitals affiliated with NYC Health + Hospitals and other medical centers, and community based organizations.

The College also has 65 affiliated clinical sites.

International Affiliations

  • Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, China
  • LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.

Optometric Center of New York

Founded in 1956, the OCNY is the nonprofit allied and endowing foundation of the College.
OCNY trustees: 21
Assets: $10.8 million


In-state tuition (2019-20): $29,840
Out-of-state tuition (2019-20): $51,150
Scholarships/grants (2018-19): $1.0M
Annual operating budget: approx. $34 million


All classrooms, research facilities, the University Eye Center, and the library are located in a 298,000 square-foot, 18-story building on 42nd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in Midtown Manhattan. There are additional externship sites around New York City and beyond.

Revised 8.2020

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