As one of the first optometry schools to be integrated into an academic health center, the UAB School of Optometry offers courses within its Department of Optometry and Vision Science, in addition to courses in other UAB health science departments.

Learn more: Curriculum

The four-year curriculum begins with an emphasis on basic science and vision science and transitions to clinical content. Students are exposed to patients early and their patient care responsibilities increase as each term passes. In fact, the final year of the curriculum is devoted exclusively to clinical rotations on and off campus. Externships are an integral part of the final year of the curriculum and ensure each student is exposed to diverse clinical experiences prior to graduation.

Course subjects include optics, neuroscience, gross anatomy, eye movements, public health optometry, glaucoma, pediatric optometry, contact lenses, low vision rehabilitation, binocular vision and more. The UAB School of Optometry provides a vibrant, comprehensive and ever expanding curriculum reflective of the environment in which it is offered: a world class academic medical center.

The Doctor of Optometry degree prepares students for a career as a licensed optometrist. Licenses to practice optometry must be obtained for each state or province in which the practitioner renders care to patients. UAB’s well-rounded curriculum includes training on skills approved for optometrists outside the state of Alabama. Our graduates can expect to be well prepared to complete licensure exams outside the state and beyond.

In an effort to match the changing demands of the profession, the curriculum outlined below changes periodically.

Year 1