Optometry is a career dedicated to the care of vision. Doctors of Optometry (O.D.) are
trained in vision analysis, prescribing and adapting lenses or other optical aids, and
detecting and recognizing eye diseases. Representatives of optometry refer to the
profession as an "emerging" one which has undergone profound changes in recent
years. They also stress that there is a severe shortage of optometrists. At present there
are fourteen colleges of optometry in the U.S. and two in Canada, but 6 more schools are
in the planning stages. All colleges have a six-year program: two years of preoptometry
and a four-year professional degree program. Some colleges have graduate programs at the
masters and/or doctoral level in physiological optics and other areas of specialization.
Each college has different requirements for prerequisite courses that students must
complete before entry into optometry, therefore it is critical that you check with the
schools in which you are interested during your first year of undergraduate study.
As with other areas of health care, the trend is towards only accepting students who
have completed a baccalaureate degree program. The University of Hartford's
joint BS/OD program with the New England College of Optometry is an exception to this
rule. Please visit the Joint
B.S./O.D. page for details about the program and the curriculum. Students enter
New England College of Optometry in their fourth year of undergraduate study.
Brochures entitled Information for Applicants to Colleges of Optometry and Your
Future in Optometry are available.
Osteopathy: If you are interested in a career in medicine and your dream is to be a physician who has a holistic approach to healthcare you should consider being a osteopathic physician. A doctor of osteopathy has a fundamental belief in the power of the body to heal itself and focuses on direct patient contact working side by side with other physicians and health care providers. A doctor of osteopathy has all the rights and privileges given to MDs. Click on the "Links" bullet below to learn more about this challenging opportunity and what a doctor of osteopathic medicine is.