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About ICO

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Largest, most popular, and totally focused on you.

The Illinois College of Optometry is one of the world’s leading optometric institutions. Our size and reputation often precede us, and we think that’s a good thing. It means our students are making a real difference in optometry and the world.

Located in Chicago, ICO has earned its popularity. We’ve been perfecting our curriculum and craft since 1872. Thanks to our distinguished faculty, collaborative student community, and unmatched clinical resources, ICO graduates enter the real world best prepared to practice optometry.

Practicing doctors often say they “can just tell” when an optometrist comes from ICO. An OD from our school isn’t just a piece of paper; it means you’ve seen diverse ocular conditions, can practice with confidence, and are backed by the largest alumni support network anywhere.

Quick Facts

  • More than 600 students attend ICO. Each class has approximately 160 students.
  • All full-time faculty hold an OD, PhD, MD or MS/MA.
  • The student/faculty ratio in clinic is 4:1
  • The student/faculty ratio in labs is 15:1.
  • The student/faculty ratio in lecture is 165:1.
  • ICO’s NBEO pass rate is among the highest in the country, annually exceeding the national average on all three tests.


The Illinois College of Optometry holds professional accreditation from the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education of the American Optometric Association, which is a member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. ICO is also accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, from which the college received the strongest possible endorsement from an accrediting body. The degree program curriculum is also approved by the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs.