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Dean: Earl L. Smith III, O.D., Ph.D., University of Houston
Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research: Laura J. Frishman, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
Associate Dean for Professional Studies: Kimberly A. Lambreghts, R.N., Pace University, O.D., SUNY College of Optometry
Director of Learning Resources: Suzanne Ferimer, M.L.S., University of Kentucky
The College of Optometry offers the Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree and the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in physiological optics.
Each year 100 students are admitted to the four-year professional program leading to the Doctor of Optometry degree. All applicants must have earned a baccalaureate degree prior to matriculation into the Doctor of Optometry program.
This section provides an overview of the profession and information on undergraduate preparation for admission to the professional (O.D.) program. The Graduate and Professional Studies catalog contains detailed information concerning the college’s graduate and professional degree programs. The program of graduate study in physiological optics is designed for students who wish to pursue an academic career in teaching and vision research.
Doctors of Optometry are independent primary health care providers who specialize in the examination, diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures as well as the diagnosis of related systemic conditions.
Graduates may enter private practice or serve in multidisciplinary primary care clinics. Graduates also find careers in public health, teaching and research, and health administration. Residencies/fellowships are available in pediatrics, primary care, contact lenses, rehabilitative optometry, hospital-based optometry, cornea and ocular disease, and neuro-ophthalmology. Special services for children, the elderly, and the partially-sighted can each be exclusively practiced. Helping to care for vision, our most treasured sense, makes optometry a rewarding profession for students interested in a health career.
Doctor of Optometry Program
The mission of the University of Houston College of Optometry is to lead in the discovery and dissemination of knowledge in optometry, vision science and clinical care, with unparalleled excellence, integrity and compassion; enhancing vision for life. Our educational goal is to educate leading professionals in eye care and vision science; optometrists, residents, teachers and researchers and to foster lifelong learning through scholarship, citizenship and knowledge. Our service goals are provide service to support research, optometric education, clinical care and the profession and to provide advanced care to patients of all ages, without regard to socioeconomic background. Our research goals include conducting cutting-edge research to better understand the normal visual system, the mechanisms underlying, and the strategies to prevent, visual impairment and blindness and to apply this new knowledge to improve public health and patient care.
The College of Optometry’s major responsibility is to educate and train students who, upon graduation, are able to provide all of the diagnostic and treatment services that characterize the general practice of Optometry. The College is committed to providing comprehensive, evidence-based care using the latest technology and knowledge to improve the quality of life of our patients. To this end, educational objectives have been established for each course in the professional curriculum which supports this broad purpose. The institutional objectives are to ensure that each student, resident and graduate:
- is well-trained and mentored to maximize success in the classroom, laboratory and clinic.
- will adhere to a high standard of professionalism and excellence that fosters the conversion of student to Doctor of Optometry and/or Vision Scientist.
- will develop a sense of responsibility to their education, their patients and/or their research activities.
The College of Optometry, established at the University of Houston in 1952, has resided since 1976 in one of the most modern facilities designed for optometric education and vision science research in the country. The teaching and research activities of the college are facilitated by the year-round operation of an outpatient clinic; The University Eye Institute, an ambulatory surgery center, a refractive surgery center, up-to-date research laboratories, a newly renovated library, and expanded computer and study spaces.