12 Best Optometry Schools in the US

Optometrists are extremely valuable in our society because the eyes are such an integral component of our lives. Optometrists are trained how to examine a patient’s vision using a variety of tools.

They also learn to diagnose eye disorders and provide treatment to improve a person’s overall health by inspecting their eyes.

Optometrists are trained to treat people who have eyesight issues or are developing them as a result of a decreased capacity to adjust their eyes to changes in light and distance, which is a common problem as we get older.

12 Best Optometry Schools in the US 1 - Daily Medicos

What Exactly is An Optometrist?

Optometrists are medical doctors who diagnose and treat vision problems such as refractive errors (nearsightedness or farsightedness), astigmatism, cataracts, glaucoma, eye injuries caused by accidents or illness, age-related macular degeneration, and other degenerative eye diseases.

The Best Optometry Schools provide students with a challenging educational curriculum at a fair rate.

Prospective students should consider not just all aspects of their future education but also how they will pay their tuition fees before making any decisions about which school is best for them.

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If you’re considering enrolling in a pricey course such as Optometry Schools, look into loan and financial aid options so that your hard-earned money can be used toward something other than student debt!

What Does An Optometrist Do?

Optometrists assess people’s vision by looking at their eyes. They determine whether a person has 20/20 vision, or the ability to see clearly without glasses, or if they have myopia or farsightedness to any degree.

In some locations, in addition to glasses, contact lenses, and other vision aids, they can also prescribe medications. Some optometrists may do minor operations.

They also look for signs of deterioration caused by conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes, as well as eye problems such as glaucoma.

Individuals with unique visual impairments, as well as children and the elderly, are treated by some optometrists.

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Course of Study in an Optometry School?

To become an optometrist, you must complete seven to nine years of education, including three to four years of college and four years of optometry school. A one-year clinical residency for specialization is available as an option.

The time it takes for optometrists to finish their schooling varies based on a number of factors, but it usually takes between seven and nine years. Imagine graduating knowing that your skills could help people save their sight.

How Much Does an Optometry School Cost?

The cost of optometry school can be extremely high. In-state residents in the United States paid an average of $36,000 per year in tuition. Equipment fees and other costs, which can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, are not included in this figure.

However, the cost of optometry school varies substantially amongst institutions, ranging from $27,000 to over $70,000 per year.

This is why optometry student debt is so high: optometrists have an average student loan debt of $134,199! Optometrists should expect excellent salaries even in their first years out of school, which will help them pay off their student loans faster.

Is An Optometrist a Legitimate Medical Professional?

This is a question that many people contemplate. There is no perfect way to respond to this question, yet the truth is both a YES and a NO.

Optometrists are doctors of optometry who have acquired a Ph.D. from an accredited university or college. (This can be obtained by enrolling in one of these top optometry schools in the United States.)

Optometrists do not have the same authority as other medical professionals like surgeons or physicians because their training does not allow them to handle life-threatening situations like surgery.

Students at some of the best optometry schools in the United States will gain hands-on experience in human anatomy and physiology, which will help them better understand how to treat patients who may require reconstructive surgery as a result of accidents or illness, age-related macular degeneration, and other degenerative eye diseases.

How Fierce is the Rivalry in Optometry Schools?

Optometry colleges are exceedingly competitive and most applicants have a bachelor’s degree before applying. The vast majority of OD programs are four years in length. Some students opt for a one-year residency program to obtain further experience in a particular subject.

Because most optometry schools have a 3.40 or higher average grade point average, some students enter with 4.0s and others with 3.0s.

What Is The Average Salary For An Optometrist?

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary of an optometrist in May 2019 was $106,040, with the majority earning between $52,810 and $192,050 per year.

The majority of optometrists worked at other healthcare professionals’ offices, where they were paid an average of $114,260 per year.

Middle-level junior optometrists may expect to earn at least $83,460 per year, while senior optometrists can earn up to $136,270 per year as they advance in their careers.

Optometrists in the United States with the most success and experience. They were paid $190,000 on average.

In Europe, starting salaries for newly qualified optometrists range from £15,000 to £20,000, depending on the position and location.

With expertise, you may make between £28,000 and £65,000 per year. The profits of the company’s directors, partners, and contract employees are determined by the firm’s success.

Consider These Factors While Selecting an Excellent Optometry School

While this list focuses on the NBEO final pass rate in rating the best optometry schools in the United States, there are no widely agreed criteria for selecting the best optometry school; the process is subjective, and there are other elements to consider, including

  • The cost of tuition
  • The typical academic performance.
  • The high quality of the facilities and equipment.
  • The Alumni

List Of Best Optometry Schools in the US

1. University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry

  • Average GPA: 3.66
  • Average OAT Score: 321
  • NBEO Pass Rate: 91.11%
  • Location: Birmingham, AL
  • Last Accreditation Date: 2017
  • Tuition: $9,013 per term for residents / $18,004 per term for non-residents
  • Multi-disciplinary Program or Optometry-only: Multi-disciplinary
  • Residency Program Offered: 3 in-house; 4 affiliated (11 spots total
  • Undergraduate Degree Program: No
  • Graduate Programs Offered: OD/MBA, OD/MPH and OD/MS
  • Class Size 2019: 45
  • Date Founded: 1969

Access the university website here!

2. Arizona College of Optometry, Midwestern University

  • Average GPA: 3.41
  • Average OAT Score: 319
  • NBEO Pass Rate: 98.15%
  • Location: Glendale, AZ
  • Last Accreditation Date: 2013
  • Tuition: $42,878 annually; one-time equipment fee of $5,014
  • Multi-disciplinary Program or Optometry-only: Multi-disciplinary
  • Residency Programs Offered: 5
  • Undergraduate Degree Program (Joint Degree): Yes; Dual Acceptance Program with Benedictine University, DePaul University, Elmhurst College, and Arizona Christian University
  • Graduate Programs Offered: No
  • Class Size 2019: 57
  • Date Founded: 2009

Access the university website here!

3. Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University

  • Average GPA: 3.32
  • Average OAT Score: 334
  • NBEO Pass Rate: 94.74%
  • Location: Fullerton, CA
  • Last Accreditation Date: 2016
  • Tuition: $42,885 annually
  • Multi-disciplinary Program or Optometry-only: Multi-disciplinary
  • Residency Program Offered: 26
  • Undergraduate Degree Program (Joint Degree): No
  • Graduate Programs Offered: OD/MS
  • Class Size 2019: 104
  • Date Founded: 1904

Access the university website here!

4. University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry

  • Average GPA: 3.42
  • Average OAT Score: 355
  • NBEO Pass Rate: 93.75%
  • Location: Berkeley, CA
  • Last Accreditation Date: 2015
  • Tuition: Tuition and fees: $19,226.25 per semester for residents / $25,069.75 per semester for non-residents
  • Multi-disciplinary Program or Optometry-only: Multi-disciplinary
  • Residency Program Offered: 7 on-site; off-site VA
  • Undergraduate Degree Program (Joint Degree): No
  • Graduate Programs Offered: OD/PhD
  • Class Size 2019: 68
  • Date Founded: 1923

Access the university website here!

5. Western University of Health Sciences

  • Average GPA: 3.17
  • Average OAT Score: 300
  • NBEO Pass Rate: 87.50%
  • Location: Pomona, CA
  • Last Accreditation Date: 2013
  • Tuition: $40,890 annually
  • Multi-disciplinary Program or Optometry-only: Multi-disciplinary
  • Residency Program Offered: No
  • Undergraduate Degree Program (Joint Degree): No
  • Graduate Programs Offered: No
  • Class Size 2019: 69
  • Date Founded: 2009

Access the university website here!

6. University of Houston College of Optometry

  • Average GPA: 3.34
  • Average OAT Score: 308
  • NBEO Pass Rate: 93.14%
  • Location: Houston, TX
  • Last Accreditation Date: 2014
  • Tuition: $24,897 for residents; $44,155 for non-residents
  • Multi-disciplinary Program or Optometry-only: Multi-disciplinary
  • Residency Program Offered: 9 on-site; 5 affiliated
  • Undergraduate Degree Program (Joint Degree): No
  • Graduate Programs Offered: MS, PhD
  • Class Size 2019: 69
  • Date Founded: 1952

Access the university website here!

7. University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry

  • Average GPA: 3.59
  • Average OAT Score: 340
  • NBEO Pass Rate: 89.06%
  • Location: San Antonio, TX
  • Last Accreditation Date: 2013
  • Tuition: $43,096 first year tuition and fees
  • Multi-disciplinary Program or Optometry-only: Multi-disciplinary
  • Residency Program Offered: 3 on-site; 8 affiliated
  • Undergraduate Degree Program (Joint Degree): BSVS
  • Graduate Programs Offered: MS, PhD
  • Class Size 2019: 103
  • Date Founded: 2009

Access the university website here!

8. Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry

  • Average GPA: 3.43
  • Average OAT Score: 323
  • NBEO Pass Rate: 95.92%
  • Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Last Accreditation Date: 2012
  • Tuition: $25,570 for residents / $28,945 for non-residents for years 1-3; $30,802 for residents and $34,605 for non-residents for years 4-5
  • Multi-disciplinary Program or Optometry-only: Multi-disciplinary
  • Residency Program Offered: 2 on-site; 12 affiliated
  • Undergraduate Degree Program (Joint Degree): No
  • Graduate Programs Offered: OD/MS
  • Class Size 2019: 94
  • Date Founded: 1989

Access the university website here!

9. Chicago College of Optometry, Midwestern University

  • Average GPA: 3.21
  • Average OAT Score: 296
  • NBEO Pass Rate: n/a
  • Location: Downers Grove, IL
  • Last Accreditation Date: Preliminary Approval 2016
  • Tuition: $42,878 annually; one-time equipment fee of $5,014
  • Multi-disciplinary Program or Optometry-only: Multi-disciplinary
  • Residency Program Offered: No
  • Undergraduate Degree Program (Joint Degree): Yes; Dual Acceptance Program with Benedictine University, DePaul University, Elmhurst College, and Arizona Christian University
  • Graduate Programs Offered: No
  • Class Size 2019: 61
  • Date Founded: 2017

Access the university website here!

10. Illinois College of Optometry

  • Average GPA: 3.42
  • Average OAT Score: 326
  • NBEO Pass Rate: 93.71%
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Last Accreditation Date: 2017
  • Tuition: $43,265 for first-year tuition and fees
  • Multi-disciplinary Program or Optometry-only: Optometry-only
  • Residency Program Offered: 4 on-site; 7 affiliated
  • Undergraduate Degree Program (Joint Degree): BSVS; dual degree agreements with the Illinois Institute of Technology, Augustana College, Knox College, and Wisconsin Lutheran College.
  • Graduate Programs Offered: No
  • Class Size 2019: 124
  • Date Founded: 1872

Access the university website here!

11. Indiana University School of Optometry

  • Average GPA: 3.58
  • Average OAT Score: 317
  • NBEO Pass Rate: 91.18%
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Last Accreditation Date: 2013
  • Tuition: First year tuition and fees: $55,776 for residents; $68,312 for non-residents
  • Multi-disciplinary Program or Optometry-only: Optometry-only
  • Residency Program Offered: 4 on-site; 7 affiliated
  • Undergraduate Degree Program (Joint Degree): No
  • Graduate Programs Offered: PhD, MS, MBA
  • Class Size 2019: 85
  • Date Founded: 1956

Access the university website here!

12. University of Missouri at St. Louis College of Optometry

  • Average GPA: 3.42
  • Average OAT Score: 314
  • NBEO Pass Rate 2019: 100.00%
  • Location: St. Louis, MO
  • Last Accreditation Date: 2016
  • Tuition: $42,829.60 First year tuition and fees for residents, $191,300.20 for four years for residents; $59,216.00 first year tuition and fees for non-residents, $264,942.60 for four years for non-residents
  • Multi-disciplinary Program or Optometry-only: Multi-disciplinary
  • Residency Program Offered: 2 on-site; 7 affiliated
  • Undergraduate Degree Program (Joint Degree): Yes
  • Graduate Programs Offered: No
  • Class Size 2019: 46
  • Date Founded: 1980

Access the university website here!

Conclusion: 

As the eye is supposed to be the body’s window, any profession that focuses on eye care should be addressed with extreme caution. That is why we have compiled a list of the best optometry schools in the United States.

I hope that this information will help you make the best option possible when it comes to optometry.