New England College of Optometry 2014-2015 Catalog
The College
Faculty Listing
Academic Programs
Admission, Costs, Financial Aid
Academic Policies

The College

The New England College of Optometry has been the educational and intellectual center of optometry in New England since 1894. The College serves as a leader in optometric instruction and research and continues to spread its influence throughout the world. 

Located in the Back Bay area of Boston, the New England College of Optometry is a professional graduate institution educating students in the discipline of optometry. NECO provides a four-year post-baccalaureate professional curriculum taught by more than 40 full-time and 100 part-time and adjunct faculty. The College aims to give its students a broad and sound training in the science of optometry; a thorough training in the practice of optometry; to uplift the science of optometry to the highest standard; and to make useful, practical and successful optometrists.

With an enrollment of over 400 students, the student body is the most diverse of any college of optometry in the world: More than 25% of the students enrolled in the doctor of optometry program received their pre-optometry education outside the U.S., representing 14 different countries. There are also unique 2-year accelerated programs leading to a doctor of optometry degree for people with advanced academic degrees. Most recently, the College has been working with foreign educators to create customized, accredited programs for training optometrists and upgrading their credentials in countries as diverse as Italy, Spain, China and South Africa.

A small, private institution, the New England College of Optometry emulates larger universities in its ambitions and scope.  The College is committed to the advancement of vision care and boasts of an academic environment rich in intellectual exchange and opportunity.

What is an Optometrist?

As primary eye care providers, Doctors of Optometry examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eyes and associated structures and their related systemic conditions.

Optometrists examine the internal and external structure of the eyes to diagnose eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and retinal disorders; systemic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes; and vision conditions including nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia. They also determine the patient's ability to properly focus and coordinate the eyes, to judge depth and to see colors accurately.

The New England College of Optometry is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) of the American Optometric Association (a member of the Council of Post-Secondary Accreditation) and the New England Association of Schools & Colleges, Inc. (NEASC).

2014-2015 Academic Calendar

Vision, Mission, Goals & Objectives

Vision Statement

(Approved by the Board of Trustees Dec. 1999)

The New England College of Optometry seeks to be the preeminent college of Optometry.

The New England College of Optometry educates the world leaders of tomorrow for careers in eye care delivery, research, and education. The College honors discovery and supports an academic community which excels at teaching and research. The College is ever mindful of the public interest and possesses the resolve to produce important and lasting improvements in the visual health and welfare throughout the world.

Mission Statement

(Approved by the Board of Trustees Dec. 1999)

The mission of The New England College of Optometry is to serve the optometric needs of the public by educating optometrists to the highest level of proficiency, integrity, and professionalism.

In achieving its mission, the College

  • attracts and supports a faculty which excels at teaching and is committed to the growth and development of students
  • creates a dynamic environment which combines tradition and innovation, fosters intellectual inquiry, and supports research
  • serves the community by providing quality clinical vision care and educating the public about vision and eye health
  • cultivates compassionate and ethical behavior, promotes lifelong learning, and instills sensitivity to the health and social welfare of the community

Institutional Goals and Objectives

(Approved by the Board of Trustees – December 7, 2005)

The New England College of Optometry, including the New England Eye Institute as the clinical care affiliate of the College, and together with strategic partners worldwide, is committed to fulfilling the mission and vision of the community through the achievement of these Goals and Objectives.

Goal 1: To establish an institutional culture, and adequate financial resources and facilities that enable the College to become a world leader in optometric programs.

Objective 1-1: Develop an innovative and forward-looking perspective that continually drives the College toward world leadership in optometry.

Objective 1-2: Maintain a culture and environment of accountability within the College to assure that programs are successful.

Objective 1-3: Strengthen the financial base of the College, including the endowment, for the growth of its programs.

Objective 1-4: Acquire and provide appropriate facilities to accommodate the College’s plans for the future.

Goal 2: To create and provide excellent, innovative, and evolving educational programs.

Objective 2-1: Recruit and retain faculty with demonstrated excellence or potential in teaching as well as in scholarship or clinical care.

Objective 2-2: Provide time and resources for the faculty to effectively implement curricula so that students have an excellent learning experience.

Objective 2-3: Serve as the leading intellectual resource for optometry in the New England region.

Objective 2-4: Recruit and support well qualified students who are eager to learn and contribute.

Objective 2-5: Assure that the curricular content for all programs is of the highest quality.

Objective 2-6: Provide diverse clinical education opportunities that prepare students for all modes of practice, cultural variations in health care, and a variety of career pathways.

Objective 2-7: Provide the support and resources needed to assure that students thrive and excel on a personal and professional level.

Goal 3: To establish the College as a leader in important selected areas of research and scholarship in vision science and health care.

Objective 3-1: Recruit and retain faculty who have demonstrated scholarly excellence and provide them with time and resources to advance to the top of their fields.

Objective 3-2: Provide encouragement, support and professional development opportunities for emerging research leaders.

Objective 3-3: Provide opportunities for students to participate in significant research projects.

Objective 3-4: Develop centers of excellence through which the College is recognized as a world leader for its contributions to knowledge in selected areas in vision science and health care.

Objective 3-5: Develop outstanding research degree programs at the Masters and PhD levels that will further the College’s research effort and prepare graduates of these programs to lead research at other institutions in the future.

Objective 3-6: Establish collaborative research projects and initiatives with other leading institutions locally, nationally and internationally to develop new research directions.

Goal 4: To be a leader in the development and implementation of collaborative health care delivery systems to improve health and vision locally, nationally, and internationally.

Objective 4-1: Serve the community, through the College’s clinical affiliates, by providing expertise in clinical eye and vision care. 

Objective 4-2: Prepare students to improve the health status of communities locally, nationally, and internationally.

Objective 4-3: Serve as a primary resource for educating the public about vision, eye health, and health care delivery in order to improve the visual health of communities. 

Objective 4-4: Lead in the development of sustainable, high quality, comprehensive eye and vision care for various underserved populations around the world.

Objective 4-5: Serve as a center of excellence for public health research and the development and implementation of innovative concepts for clinical delivery systems and health policy initiatives.

Goal 5: To foster an institutional culture where all members of the College community are valued, nurtured, and challenged.

Objective 5-1: Recruit, develop and retain the best people to achieve the College’s mission.

Objective 5-2: Respect all members of the College community and value their contributions, while honoring diversity, respecting dissent, and embracing cultural sensitivity and awareness.

Student Learning Outcomes

Educational Objectives

The faculty of the New England College of Optometry has established a common set of objectives for all of its Doctor of Optometry educational programs. These objectives reflect the competencies expected of every graduate of the College, to enable the graduate to independently practice optometry anywhere in North America.

A Doctor of Optometry graduate from the New England College of Optometry must be knowledgeable in ophthalmic and systemic care, and possess a commitment to continuously improve knowledge and abilities. The graduate will be skillful in techniques and new technologies, skillful in problem solving, and will possess professional, ethical and compassionate behavior and standards. The graduate will be able to address community health issues and thrive in a changing health care environment.

Knowledgeable in visual, ocular and systemic care—the graduate shall:
• know the structure and function of visual and systemic systems.
• know the normal range of clinical findings.
• recognize pre-disposing epidemiological, environmental, and etiological factors
that require intervention to prevent visual deterioration or ocular disease.
• understand the principles underlying the use of ophthalmic devices and
procedures in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of visual conditions.
• understand the mechanisms and interactions of pharmacological agents along
with their safe and effective use in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular
• understand the pathogenesis of disease and the implications for ocular health
and function and be knowledgeable in ocular and laboratory testing used in
the assessment of systemic, visual and ocular function.
• know the scientific and statistical principles underlying the practice of
• possess the initiative and critical acumen required to continuously improve
their knowledge.

Skillful—the graduate shall demonstrate the ability to:
• obtain the pertinent information about a patient using communication,
observation, and diagnostic testing.
• interpret results of common procedures, develop differential and definitive
diagnoses, devise and implement treatment and management strategies,
including the skillful use of ophthalmic materials.
• recognize and triage life threatening and sight threatening problems.
• be aware of the limitations of current procedures and the need to
continuously learn, understand, develop and incorporate new technologies
and procedures into examination strategies.
• be skillful in organizing, integrating and applying knowledge.
• apply scientific principles to problem solving by:
— identifying the problem
— retrieving relevant information from current knowledge of basic sciences
judging its adequacy, pursuing additional information and assessing its value
— interpreting and relating all data to the information obtained
— applying deductive reasoning to solve the problem
— monitoring outcomes and modifying management strategies

Professional and ethical—the graduate shall demonstrate:
• knowledge of principles that govern ethical decision making and respect
for the dignity of the patient.
• honesty and integrity in patient and professional interactions and be mindful
of ethical pitfalls, conflicts of interest and legal issues in various practice
• ability to provide compassionate care.
• commitment to provide eye care regardless of the patient’s economic means.
• skill to identify and relate to the special needs of diverse patient populations,
• understanding of community health issues.
• how to use epidemiological factors to identify and respond appropriately
to environmental issues affecting eye disease.
• how to thrive in a changing health care (eye care) marketplace.
• understanding of organizational and financial issues of private practices,
health centers, HMOs and hospitals.
• recognition that health care is a team approach which includes a wide range
of professionals and practitioners in both the local and global communities.
• ability to participate and take leadership in inter- disciplinary and multi -
disciplinary health care communities.
• understanding of the standard of care for various disease entities and
to recognize the risks, consequences and legal implications of the failure
to adhere to established and recognized standards.

Accreditation Information


UNDER 34 CFR 643.43B

New England College of Optometry (the College) is accredited by both the American Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) of the American Optometric Association and by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of School and Colleges (NEASC). The ACOE focuses its review on the College’s professional optometric degree and residency programs whereas CIHE on the College’s financial health, board governance and public disclosure policies. The College has been continuously accredited by ACOE since 1941 and by NEASC since 1976.

Both NEASC and ACOE are recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as reliable authorities on the quality of education and adhere to the standards of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Periodically the College undergoes a peer review process. It last underwent a joint accreditation visit in 2003 and is scheduled for its next visit in November 2012.  Each of its residency programs are separately reviewed by just ACOE on a different timetable. Since the last joint accreditation visit, the College has annually prepared interim submissions for ASCO and NEASC that met their respective guidelines.

Inquiries and requests for written documentation regarding the College’s accreditation may be directed in writing to the Office of the President, 424 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02115.

If you have any further issues with the College’s accreditation, you may contact, subject to each site’s specific instructions:



Massachusetts Board of Higher Education: