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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 academic departments: Vision Sciences, Biomedical Sciences and Disease, Primary Care, and Specialty and Advanced Care, as well as the departments of Clinical Education and Graduate Studies. 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 and specialized coursework to concentration programs and research opportunities, NECO offers different opportunities to create your own great experiences. 


NECO offers 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. 

Learn about Concentration Programs

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. 

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. 

Explore Dual Degree Programs

“When people ask me why I chose NECO my response is simple: NECO was the only school to offer such a unique public health driven clinical experience”

Jessica Taylor, Class of 2019