Woman student looking in the distance next to stair rail.

Academics

Your optometry education is an important decision; that’s why NECO makes every course, clinical exercise, and community interaction count.

With degree options, range of concentrations, a variety of clinical experiences, and other professional and service opportunities, you can tailor your NECO education to fit your career goals.

Degree Programs

We prepare doctors for the practice of optometry today—and to adapt to new technologies and evolving patient expectations for the future.

Wood carving of 1894, the year NECO was founded.
NECO was founded in 1894 and is the longest continuously operating optometry school in the country.

Doctor of Optometry (4 year program)

A strong foundation in visual, biomedical, and clinical sciences integrated with rich, diverse patient care experiences.

Our unique elective program provides the opportunity for advanced education in an area of personal interest with options for pursuing a postgraduate education.

Man sitting on stairs with laptop and wrought iron banister behind him.
AODP student Ricardo is pursuing an OD in addition to his medical degree.

Accelerated OD Program

The AODP program is designed for scientists and physicians who have a doctoral-level science or medical degree. This 36-month program includes a full year of clinical rotations, engaging in full time patient care.

Dr. Mueller with microphone at a podium delivering a talk.
Dr. Mueller brings the medical aspects of optometry to Switzerland.

Advanced Standing International Program

Our two-year OD program (ASIP) is for graduates of an international optometry program. Graduates bring their new knowledge and skills back to their countries, where many go on to assume leadership roles or advocate for legislation to expand the scope of practice in their countries.

a labeled OCT image

MS in Vision Science

A two-year, research-driven graduate program designed to prepare you for competitive residencies or expand academic and industry career opportunities.

Doctor and optometrist from ASIP program completing an eye procedure on a patient.
Ke Zheng, MD, OD, bridges the two fields to help the most patients possible.

MS/OD China Program

A unique joint degree program through a partnership with China’s Wenzhou Medical University. Students are provided with the credentials needed to assume positions of leadership in China’s medical education and health care systems.

Student in red shirt helping patient put on eye test equipment

OD/MS Dual Degree Program

Earn an MS in Vision Science while studying for the Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. This dual degree is completed within the time frame of the four-year OD degree program and involves modifications to the course sequence.

Students walking up stairs to go into Boston University Medical School building.
Boston University Medical School campus.

OD/PhD Dual Degree Program

Students complete the first three years of the 4-year OD program and then begin the post-Master’s PhD curriculum at Boston University School of Medicine.

Leading the Profession

NECO faculty members are active researchers, respected clinicians, and industry leaders. They publish in journals, present at conferences, and practice in a range of healthcare and community settings.

  • 24

    faculty members

    actively provide care at Boston-area health centers.

  • Significant scholarly activity

    … in areas such as myopia development, low vision rehabilitation, color vision, and pediatric eye conditions.

  • 2110

    clinic hours

    you'll have completed at the end of four years.

Meet Our Faculty
Ben Young and another faculty overseeing a lab course.
Voices of NECO

Engaged in your success

Ben Young, OD, FAAO

Helping students to become more confident in their knowledge base and technical skills. Often students enter NECO knowing very little about the eye, but they transform into working and thinking clinicians. Students often don’t realize how much they have grown themselves, but it is a pleasure to watch as a professor.

  • Assistant Professor of Optometry Areas of Expertise: Ocular Disease, Primary Eye Care