Student Experience

Your journey into optometry is one of the most important decisions of your life—and when your path starts at NECO, you won’t be alone. You’ll have support from classmates, faculty, residents, and alumni every step of the way.

Your instant support network begins with our peer mentor program. During your first year, you’ll be paired with a second-or third-year student who will help introduce you to life at NECO.

Commencement 2022

NECO celebrated its 128th commencement ceremony to honor the Class of 2022 on Sunday, May 15, 2022.

Living & Learning at NECO

Student talking to another person in the library.

Student Support & Resources

Explore CAPA’s wide range of services, from academic assistance and career guidance to housing and mental health resources.

There are also courses you can take in practice management to get more in-depth insight into the business side of a practice.

Looking down large spiral staircase in the Rotunda.
NECO's iconic spiral staircase in the Rotunda.

The NECO Campus

Our campus is a blend of old world charm at our Beacon Street location and the latest in training facilities at our Clinical Training Center.

Kayakers on the Charles River with the city skyline in the background.

Living in Boston

Discover “America’s College Town” and explore its many attractions and residential options. We also help students in the housing process.

Six students studying together outside in courtyard with laptops open on tabletop

Student Clubs & Events

Make new friends—and a difference—by joining professional, service-oriented, and advocacy student groups. You’ll have the opportunity to join organizations and participate in events all throughout your four years at NECO.

The NECO Experience

How We Support Your Journey

Your desire for success in optometry is why we compiled support services that help you in every phase. And it’s created by people who have walked in your shoes and want to see you succeed.

Looking Out for Each Other

From the classroom to the clinic, every aspect of the NECO educational experience is designed to enhance learning, remove barriers, and help you be the best optometrist you can be. By nature, our students sustain and enhance this academic excellence.

A driving force of NECO’s collective academic success is the strong camaraderie among our students. It’s commonplace here to see students cheering and advocating for each other. This spirit of support and cooperation is unique to a close-knit optometry school environment like NECO. It makes a difference.

  • Dynamic Learning

    We continually adapt our curriculum to meet the evolving needs of our profession—and the student voice—your voice—is integral to our decisions.

  • Peer Mentoring & Tutoring Description

    Students support each other academically in many ways, including peer-to-peer tutoring and shared note-taking.

Five students talking while standing on front steps of Beacon Street building on a sunny day

Mastering the Transition

We’ll help make your transition to optometry school and life in Boston as smooth as possible. You’ll receive personalized support throughout the admissions and financial aid process, as well during your arrival to Boston and on campus.

In fact, your first year here, you’ll be paired with a 2nd or 3rd year student who will help you get acclimated sooner.

  • Making Boston Home

    We’ll help you feel at home in Boston with housing tips, discount transportation passes, and even a NECO Marketplace to help you get what you need.

  • Staying Healthy & Well

    Take advantage of our student health plan, a free YMCA membership, and 24/7 counseling services.

Male with jean jacket and backpack looking up while in front of office buildings.

Preparing for Practice

Our career services staff and successful alumni provide expert guidance, and you will have access to a full roster of resources to help you launch and grow your career.

  • CAPA Careers

    Take advantage of our individual and small group networking meetings with alumni and our job fairs that connect you to possible future employment opportunities.
  • Professional Development

    Entrepreneurship courses, industry conferences, networking events, and other learning experiences will prepare you for an array of career paths.

Female student at Commencement wearing black robe and black mortar board

Board Prep

NECO students and faculty create review sessions that help you prepare for the National Boards. Students also practice in NECO’s NBEO room, a replica of the room you’ll experience during the boards, so you’re familiar with the physical setting as you prepare.

  • Get Prepared

    Through panels, faculty-led review sessions, and other events, you’ll be well-prepared for your licensure exams.

Headshot of Michelle Curtis.
Voices of NECO

Feels Like Family


NECO staff and upperclassmen all treat you as a community—and as family. Everyone is helpful and considerate. You feel as if the entire staff is there to help you succeed.


  • Class Year 2025
  • Hometown New York