The Doctor of Optometry is a 4-year academic program that prepares graduates to deliver contemporary eye, vision and health care as an integral member of the primary care health team. During the first year, students are exposed to the basic sciences and research techniques. Included are courses in geometrical and physical optics, biomedical sciences, visual sciences. First-year students also begin instruction in basic ocular examination skills beginning their first quarter.
The second year emphasizes clinical techniques and advanced studies in visual science. Students begin seeing their own patients at Ketchum Health in the second quarter of the second year.
Third-year students have patient care assignments at Ketchum Health under the supervision of clinical faculty and take courses in contact lenses, vision therapy, diseases of the eye, ocular pharmacology, clinical optometry and public health.
The final year is primarily spent serving patients in the various facilities of the outreach clinical program. Some assignment in the specialty services at Ketchum Health is also included.
View Summary of 4-year Program
Clinical Outreach Program
SCCO's Outreach Clinical Program has been in existence since 1974 and provides fourth-year interns with three off-campus clinical rotations. Each rotation lasts 10 – 12 weeks and is designed to enhance the intern’s clinical knowledge and proficiency.
The program provides diverse clinical settings including Veteran’s Administration medical centers, military bases, HMOs, Indian health service facilities, co-management centers and private practice. These sites are located throughout the United States, but predominantly in the western region – Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington. Outreach sites are also available in Guam and Japan.
The Outreach Clinical faculty are leading clinicians and serve as adjunct faculty members of the college.
Map of Locations
We offer over 80 outreach sites, regionally, across the US and abroad, each with its own patient demographic providing students with a unique fourth-year experience. Each rotation site has a unique patient demographic. Because students select their own rotation sites, our outreach program allows them to tailor their fourth-year clinical experience to their own professional interests.
View Map of Clinical Outreach Locations
NBEO Pass Rate & Graduation Rates
The national board exams for optometry are administered by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) and are universally accepted for optometric licensure in the United States. For more information about the NBEO, please visit their website.