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College of Optometry incoming students walk the Esplanade during WesternU Welcome Week day

Student Outcomes

Summary of Applicants and Number Matriculated

Since its inaugural entering Class, the College has seen a robust applicant pool with high ratios of applicants per matriculates. The information shown below summarizes the number of applicants and the matriculates from past admissions cycles.


Graduation and Attrition Rates

Entering Class – 2018 % of total matriculants Entering Class – 2019 % of total matriculants Entering Class – 2020 % of total matriculants
The number that graduated in 4 years (by Dec 31, of graduating year) 70 83.33% 60 86.95% 79 84.04%
The number that graduated in 5 or more years (after Dec 31, of graduating year) 9 10.71% 6 8.69% 7 7.45%
The number leaving for academic reasons 0 0% 2 2.89% 2 2.13%
The number leaving for non-academic reasons 5 5.95% 1 1.45% 6 6.38%
The number still enrolled or on leave of absence 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Of the students not anticipated to graduate within 5 years, the number still enrolled or on leave of absence 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%


  • Clinical Education

    Early entry into patient care and ongoing, diverse patient care experiences are hallmarks of the WesternU education. Clinical education begins during the first semester of the first year. Students participate in clerkship rotations from first through second year, advancing into greater involvement and more advanced levels of care. Every third-year student has exposure to not only comprehensive eye examinations but will also care for patients with ocular diseases, provide complicated contact lens fittings, and care for patients in pediatrics, and geriatrics. The third-year students also care for all aspects of rehabilitative services such as low vision, vision therapy, and neuro-rehabilitation. During the fourth year, the student externs are off campus at a variety of external rotation sites including affiliated private practices, co-management and referral centers, and Veteran Affairs facilities.



  • Licensing Exam Performance

    The college values a student’s success and as such is continually improving our services. Based on our student feedback the College has implemented, and further enhanced our student support services as follows:

    • Optometry Review Course integrated within the curriculum
    • On-campus KMK NBEO (Part I) review sessions with access to books and on-line materials
    • Mock examinations supporting student growth and development
    • Personalized assessments to identify areas for improvement
    • Dedicated space for Mock Part III exam preparation as well as open access to pre-clinical lab facilities

    There are no barriers to a student’s success. Our curriculum provides students with the material needed to pass boards. It is a student’s hard work, preparation, study habits, work ethic, and utilization of all resources that contributes to their overall success on national board exams. We capture students’ success on the licensure exams in a few ways for several reasons. (See tables below)

    NBEO FIRST-TIME PASS RATES Students who have attempted and passed each part of the exam on their first attempt within the defined year of administration To capture the institutional pass rate for all first-time takers of NBEO Parts 1, II, and III as measured using all first-time takers within the defined year of administration
    NBEO-ASCO COHORT GROUPS Graduating students who have attempted all three parts of the exam within a specified time frame (October – September). To capture each institution’s yearly performance in a standard manner for all member schools.






    Number of first-time takers First-time pass rate (%)
    Part 1- ABS


    9/1/2020 – 8/31/2021

    Mar-21, Aug-21



    Part 2 – PAM

    9/1/2020 – 8/31/2021

    Dec-20, Apr-21



    Part 3 – CSE

    8/1/2020 – 7/31/2020



    Part 1 – ABS


    9/1/2021 – 8/31/2022

    Mar-22, Aug-22



    Part 2 – PAM

    9/1/2021 – 8/31/2022

    Dec-21, Apr-22



    Part 3 – CSE

    8/1/2021 – 7/31/2022



    Part 1- ABS


    9/1/2022 – 8/31/2023

    Mar-23, Aug-23



    Part 2 – PAM

    9/1/2022 – 8/31/2023

    Dec-23, Apr-23



    Part 3 – CSE

    8/1/2022 – 7/31/2023





    Time frame for Cohort Number of Candidates Part 1 ABS First-time Pass Rate Part 2 PAM First-time Pass Rate Part 3 CSE First-time Pass Rate Ultimate Pass Rate
    10/2022-9/2023 57 19.30% 61.40% 66.67% 57.89%
    10/2021-9/2022 75 44.00% 70.67% 73.33% 66.67%
    10/2020-9/2021 74 74.32% 85.13% 72.97% 85.14%


  • Student Leadership

    WesternU College of Optometry (WUCO) students have demonstrated strong leadership within the College and within the optometric professional community.

    The following College clubs have been actively involved in service to the College, the University and the local community. In the case of VOSH, WesternU students have traveled to Haiti, Mexico, Fiji and Peru to render service to those in need. WesternU Optometry students have also attained high-ranking positions in several national organizations.

    WUCO students have established WesternU chapters of:

    • American Academy of Optometry (AAO)
    • American Optometric Student Association (AOSA)
    • Beta Sigma Kappa Honor Society (BSK)
    • College of Optometric Vision Development (COVD)
    • Fellowship of Christian Optometrists (FCO)
    • Gold Key Honor Society
    • Lions Club International
    • National Optometric Student Association (NOSA)
    • Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association (NORA)
    • Optometric Extension Program (OEP)
    • Optometry Private Practice Business Club (OPPB)
    • Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH)

    Each year students elect Liaisons to Optometric professional organizations as listed below:

    • American Academy of Optometry (AAO)
    • American Optometric Student Association (AOSA)
    • American Optometric Association – Contact Lens and Cornea Section (AOA-CLCS)
    • American Optometric Association – Sports Vision Section (AOA-SVS)
    • American Optometric Association – Vision Rehabilitation Section (AOA-VRS)
    • American Public Health Association (APHA)
    • Armed Forces Optometric Society (AFOS)
    • Asian American Optometric Society (AAOS)
    • Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry (ARBO)
    • Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO)
    • California Optometric Association (COA)
    • Inland Empire Optometric Society (IEOS)
    • Los Angeles County Optometric Society (LACOS)
    • National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO)
    • Orange County Optometric Society (OCOS)
    • Rio Hondo Optometric Society (RHOS)
    • San Diego County Optometric Society (SDCOS)
    • San Fernando Valley Optometric Society (SFVOS)
    • San Gabriel Valley Optometric Society (SGVOS)
    • South Bay Optometric Society (SBOS)

    On the University level, Class officers also serve as Senators and have a voice in the University’s Student Government Association.

    The University also provides opportunity for service and leadership through a wide variety of inter-professional student clubs and interest groups, which now number near 100 in total.