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OD/PhD Dual Degree Program

The Division of Graduate Medical Sciences at the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and the New England College of Optometry (NECO) have established a combined Doctor of Optometry (OD) and PhD program. The core curriculum for the program incorporates NECO’s four-year OD curriculum with the requisite curriculum of the post-Master’s graduate programs of the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences. This sequence is similar in its programmatic elements to the BUSM MD/PhD program.

Students in the combined degree program will complete the first three years of the four-year OD program. Assuming satisfactory academic performance standards have been met during these three years, the student will then begin the post-Master’s PhD curriculum at BUSM. Students can choose from the following disciplines offered by the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences:

  • Anatomy 
  • Behavioral Neuroscience 
  • Biochemistry 
  • Biomedical Neuroscience 
  • Biophysics 
  • Genetics and Genomics 
  • Immunology 
  • Microbiology 
  • Molecular and Translational Medicine
  • Nutrition and Metabolism Sciences 
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology

Upon completion of the PhD program and a satisfactory defense of a dissertation, the student will return to NECO to complete their clinical training. Upon completion of the requirements for the OD degree, both degrees will be conferred at the respective commencements of the two participating institutions.