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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.

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

  • Fall


    Course Title


    Sem. Hrs

    OBHS 111

    Fundamentals in Dentistry and Optometry I



    OPT 111

    Introduction to Optometry

    Nichols, K.


    OPT 112

    Geometric and Clinical Optics



    VS 111

    Ocular Anatomy



    VS 112

    Physiology of the Eye

    Srivastava / Gorbatyuk


    VS 113

    Biochemistry of the Eye



    OBHS 112

    Fundamentals in Dentistry and Optometry 2



  • Spring

    Course Title Instructor Sem. Hrs

    OBHS 121

    Systems 1: Neuroscience Pittler 4

    OBHS 122

    Systems 2: Gross Anatomy Resuehr / Kadisha 2

    OBHS 123

    Systems 3: Cardiovascular and Respiratory Smith 3

    OPT 121

    Clinical Evaluation of the Visual System I West 1

    OPT 122

    Ocular Microbiology Khanal 1

    OPT 124

    Optometric Clinical Seminar 102 Maharrey .5

    VS 121

    Visual Optics Oechslin 5

    VS 122

    Visual Psychophysics Liu 3
  • Summer

    Course Title Instructor Sem. Hrs

    CLN 131

    Clinical Rotation I (partial groups for each session)

    Steele / Call


    OBHS 131

    Systems 4: Renal (3 weeks) Smith 2

    OPT 132

    Clinical Evaluation of the Visual System II West 4

    OPT 133

    Clinical Ophthalmic Optics Gordon 1

    OPT 134

    Professional Communications Sims 1

    VS 131

    Neurobiology of the Visual System Gawne 2

    VS 132

    Eye Movements & Principles of Binocular Vision Oechslin / Quinet 4