Quaint alleyway with red brick buildings alongside a granite cobblestone road.

Living in Boston

World-class medical facilities. Famous historical sites and museums. Plentiful parks and green spaces. Plus all of the dining, entertainment, shopping, and recreation options you’d expect from a major U.S. city. And New England College of Optometry is located in the heart of it all.

Nestled in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, NECO is just steps away from the Charles River and surrounded by the innovation and opportunity of one of the east coast’s most vibrant cities.

Kayakers on the Charles River with the city skyline in the background.This is one of the most important decisions of your life, and we believe that location is more than where you’ll be making a home for four years. It’s also about choosing a location that augments your learning experience.

A hub for healthcare and education

Home to some of the world’s most distinguished academic and medical institutions, Boston is a city full of intellectual energy. Tens of thousands of students from around the globe are learning, researching, and growing professionally here. Boston is also home to emerging healthcare technology companies.

The regions richness of community health centers, VA medical centers and hospitals, and other community health services is the basis of NECO’s clinical training program, so that students learn in the communities of Boston while providing essential eye care services to those in most need.  These opportunities make Beantown an ideal place to pursue your doctor of optometry degree.

People walking down a sidewalk in the Boston Common with tree leaves in yellow and oranges of fall.

Walkable, enjoyable

With walkable neighborhoods, excellent public transportation, access to taxis/rideshare apps, bike rentals (and a growing number of bike lanes/paths), nearly any Boston-area destination is within your reach. From running everyday errands and enjoying a night out to exploring museums and enjoying a game, you can always get where you need to be.

Beyond Boston: New England & the Northeast

Boston is a few hours by car or train to New York, Providence, and other metro areas in the northeast, which could open you up to externship, residency, and career opportunities.

Boston’s proximity to scenic landscapes, quaint towns, seaside villages, and notable historic landmarks could also inspire plenty of daytrips and weekend getaways during your time at NECO. Just a few ideas:

  • Cape Cod for the white sand beaches and National Seashore.Young musicians play for tips sitting on bridge in Boston Public Gardens
  • Provincetown for the arts, culture, and nightlife.
  • Newport, Rhode Island, for the history and architecture.
  • White Mountains of New Hampshire for the fall foliage, hiking, and skiing.
  • Portland, Maine, for the food scene and fishing village vibe.

Our Community. Your Community.

spring trees and bushery along sidewalk

Housing: Where to Live

Where you’ll live while you attend NECO is an important decision, so we’ve gathered some housing resources for you.

two people biking by a river and trees

Transportation: Getting Around Boston

From grabbing a Bluebike to catching the T, you’ll have many options for getting to and from campus—and all around town. For farther travels: Logan International Airport and Amtrak and bus stations.

group of people ice skating the winter on frozen pond at night

Around Boston: Things to Do & See

Boston is constantly abuzz with activity, and there is something for everyone. Ball games at Fenway Park. Historic walking tours. Zoos and aquariums. Festivals and events.

A Great Place to Be a Student

Nicknamed “America’s College Town,” Boston is a student-friendly city with plenty to do and see.

  • 150,000+

    College Students Living in Boston

    With more than 35 colleges and universities in the city, NECO is part of an absolutely thriving college town.

  • 20+

    Distinct Neighborhoods

    and each one has a character of its own. NECO students choose to live in Back Bay, Brighton/Allston, and Fenway/Kenmore.

  • #6

    Best Cities for Young Professionals in America

    Niche.com ranked Boston a top spot for young professionals in 2021.

Head and shoulders photo of Hassam
Voices of NECO

Feeling at Home in Boston


Being alongside the Charles River in Boston, Massachusetts, NECO is one of the most beautiful campuses I have seen. There are so many different areas of the city to visit when you have free time. I have lived in Upstate New York with my parents my entire life, and transitioning to Boston could not have gone any smoother.

  • Class Year 2025
  • Hometown Demlar, NY