Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Optometry orientation photos
WesternU / College of Optometry / Academic Program

Academic Program

The College of Optometry offers an innovative Doctor of Optometry program that emphasizes optometric rehabilitation including neuro-optometry. This emerging specialty helps patients who have visual and perceptual problems as a result of brain injury, stroke, physical disability or neurological illness. Our emphasis on optometric rehabilitation also includes vision therapy, low vision rehabilitation, and care for vulnerable populations such as those with developmental disabilities.

Optometry orientation

Doctor of Optometry

As a WesternU graduate, you will also be prepared for full scope optometric practice. Whether you choose to work in a private or group practice, a hospital-based setting, community clinics, or any other setting, you will be prepared for a rewarding career helping people to improve their vision and to maintain and restore their eye health.

Hands-on Clinical Experiences

During the fourth year, students broaden their clinical experience at mostly off-campus externship sites. Throughout these four quarters, students will typically rotate through four sites that will provide exposure to a variety of clinical settings that may include private optometry or ophthalmology practices, Veterans Administration clinics, Indian Health Service clinics, armed forces facilities, as well as WesternU specialty clinics.

Care Harbor LA 2017 Care Harbor LA 2017 College of Optometry third-year student Evan Goldman examines the eyes of patient Paula Robinson of Los Angeles - Western University of Health Sciences is playing a key role in delivering services to Care Harbor patients during the event at The REEF Exposition Hall in Los Angeles

Externship Programs

Externship practice settings provide a diverse patient base, emphasizing patient management in primary care, vision rehabilitation, pediatrics, ocular disease, and surgical co-management. The international site selection provides students an opportunity to also explore locations throughout the U.S. and abroad.

The students’ formal optometric education culminates with the fourth year externship and it is expected that students will reach proficiency in optometric scope of practice that will fully prepare them for graduation, residency training, and licensing anywhere in the U.S. and Canada.