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Four-Year OD Program


The four year Doctor of Optometry Program is our core academic program. It consists of three years of study in classroom, clinic, laboratory, and seminar settings, followed by an all-clinical fourth year. The student’s final year is entirely clinical with assignments available in an array of diverse practice settings and locations. Clinical experiences provide students with exposure to diverse patient populations, state of the art instrumentation, and supervisory faculty who are committed to exemplary patient care and education. The preceptorship method is used throughout our programs, with licensed and experienced faculty serving as mentors for our students.

Preparing Clinicians, Researchers, and Educators

The College’s four-year Doctor of Optometry degree program provides students with a strong foundation in the visual, biomedical and clinical sciences, which are then integrated through a rich and diverse patient care experience.  This program prepares students for a career as a clinician, researcher, or educator. Our unique elective program provides the opportunity for advanced education in an area of personal interest with options for pursuing a postgraduate education.

The curriculum of the four-year program is organized and delivered through four departments: Vision Sciences, Biomedical Sciences and Disease, Primary Care, and Specialty and Advanced Care. Each course is developed as one step in a sequence designed to facilitate each student’s mastery of the knowledge and skills required of an optometric professional capable of managing conditions of the human eye and visual system.

Customize your Experience

We believe strongly that each student should have the opportunity to customize their experience based on their needs, interests, and passions.  From additional coursework, concentration programs, and research opportunities to 

Concentrations in Pediatric Optometry and Cornea and Contact Lens

NECO has introduced a Concentration in Pediatric Optometry and a Concentration in Cornea and Contact Lens for qualified OD candidates to further customize their experience and specialize in a field of interest throughout their time at the College. Integrated into the traditional four year program, candidates in these concentration programs are matched to faculty mentors receive enhanced didactic and clinical opportunities in their area of specialty. 

Dual Degree Programs

  • OD/MS Program: Students enrolled in the Four-Year OD program can apply in their first year to enter the dual degree program to earn a master of science in vision science degree simultaneously with their OD degree. The MS portion of the program features graduate-level courses, seminars, an original research project, and completion of a thesis with a thesis defense. The MS program is designed to develop the analytical thinking and problem-solving skills needed to be a successful scientist. The program emphasizes research in an area of vision science that is determined by your interests and the expertise of our graduate faculty.
  • OD/PhD Program: Students enrolled in the Four-Year OD program can apply in their first year to enter a dual degree program to earn a PhD in addition to an OD degree. The seven year program is available through a partnership with Boston University. 
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