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Curriculum


Learn the science of caring.

In addition to a rich clinical education, ICO gives its students a strong foundation rooted in biomedical science. Basic biomedical courses are spread across the first two years of our program: human anatomy, immunology, and pharmacology. Many of these are complemented by interactive laboratories.

From basic human sciences to high-level ophthalmic studies, every ICO course is presented through the lens of primary eye care. Our curriculum visits optics, ocular anatomy and physiology, visual perception, neuroanatomy, sensory aspects of vision and color vision. Thus, every moment ICO students spend in a classroom is a moment spent preparing for real life.

In the clinical program, students gain high-quality experiences in primary eye care, pediatric optometry, binocular vision, low vision rehabilitation, contact lenses, emergency care, and ocular disease. The clinical program is student-centered, beginning in the lecture-laboratory setting and advancing to a one-to-one relationship between student and patient. ICO’s faculty works both in the lecture hall and in clinic. So, students receive supportive, personalized education in every environment. Read more about our clinical education.

Below is a year-by-year breakdown of the required curriculum. Please note, elective courses, including topics like financial literacy and practice management, can be added on to each year:

FIRST PROFESSIONAL YEAR

Students enter the Clinical Assistant Program and assist patients in making their way through the IEI.

SUMMER QUARTER
FALL QUARTER
COURSE NAME LECTURE LAB CREDIT
HRS HRS HRS
Human Anatomy 4 2 6.0
Human Physiology & Pathology I 4 0 3.0
Geometric & Theoretical Optics I 4 1 5
Biochemistry I 4 0 4.0
Introduction to Optometric Procedures 2 2 4.0
WINTER QUARTER
COURSE NAME LECTURE LAB CREDIT
HRS HRS HRS
Microscopic Anatomy 3 2 5.0
Applied Ocular Anatomy 5 2 7.0
Human Physiology & Pathology II 2 0 3.0
Geometric & Theoretical Optics II 3 0 3.0
Biochemistry II 4 0 4.0
Optometry 1.2 2 2 4.0
Clinical Assistant Program (PEC) 0 2 2.0
SPRING QUARTER
COURSE NAME LECTURE LAB CREDIT
HRS HRS HRS
Neuroanatomy & Neurophysiology 3 2 5.0
Human Physiology and Pathology III 4 0 4.0
Vision Science I 4 2 6.0
Optometry 1.3 2 2 4.0
Visual & Physical Optics 4 0 4.0
Clinical Assistant Program (PEC) 0 2 2.0

SECOND PROFESSIONAL YEAR

Students become directly responsible for patients, expanding their presence through rotations in the IEI Community Screening Program and Fait Family Eyewear Center.

SUMMER QUARTER
FALL QUARTER
COURSE NAME LECTURE LAB CREDIT
HRS HRS HRS
General Pharmacology 4 0 4.0
Vision Science II 4 1 5.0
Ocular Physiology 3 2 5.0
Optometry 2.1 2 2 4.0
Opthalmic Optics 4 2 6.0
Introduction to Binocular Anomalies 1 0 1.0
Patient Care (IEI) 0 2 2.0
WINTER QUARTER
COURSE NAME LECTURE LAB CREDIT
HRS HRS HRS
Color Vision 1 0 1.0
Binocular Vision 2 1 3.0
Development Vision and Neurobiology 1 0 1.0
Ocular Motility 2 1 3.0
General and Ocular Pharmacology 4 0 4.0
Ocular Disease I 3 0 3.0
Optometry Seminar 1 2 3.0
Opthalmic Optics II 3 0 3.0
Eyewear Center 0 1 1.0
Patient Care (IEI) 0 2 2.0
SPRING QUARTER
COURSE NAME LECTURE LAB CREDIT
HRS HRS HRS
Ocular Pharmacology /
Therapeutics
4 0 4.0
Physical Diagnosis 1 2 3.0
Contact Lenses I 4 2 6.0
Vision Rehabilitation 2 2 4.0
Ocular Disease II 2 0 2.0
Microbiology 1.5 0 1.0
Eyewear Center 0 1 1.0
Patient Care (IEI) 0 2 2.0

THIRD PROFESSIONAL YEAR

Students take on more responsibility for patient care sessions, while also continuing the didactic program.

SUMMER QUARTER
COURSE NAME LECTURE LAB CREDIT
HRS HRS HRS
Ocular Disease III 4 0 4.0
Contact Lenses II 2 2 4.0
Infant / Child Development & Management 2 2 4.0
Evidence Based Health Care** 2 0 2.0
Patient Care (IEI Primary Care) 1 8 9.0
Patient Care (CPS/Alivio) 0 1 1.0
Patient Care (IEI Contact Lens) 0 0.5 0.5
Clinical Assistant Program (Peds/LV) 0 1 1.0
Eyewear Center 0 1 1.0
FALL QUARTER
COURSE NAME LECTURE LAB CREDIT
HRS HRS HRS
Clinical Medicine 2 0 2.0
Ocular Disease IV 3 0 3.0
Ocular Disease V 1 0 1.0
Eyewear Center 0 1 1.0
Binocular Vision Disorders 2 2 4.0
Patient Care (IEI Primary Care) 1 8 9.0
Patient Care (CPS/Alivio) 0 1 1.0
Patient Care (IEI Contact Lens) 0 0.5 0.5
Clinical Assistant Program (Peds/LV) 0 1 1.0
WINTER QUARTER
COURSE NAME LECTURE LAB CREDIT
HRS HRS HRS
Clinical Medicine II 2 0 2.0
General & Ocular Emergencies 2 0 2.0
Neuro-Ophthalmic Disorders 3 0 3.0
Eyewear Center 0 1 1.0
Strabismus & Amblyopia I 3 2 5.0
Patient Care (IEI Primary Care) 1 8 9.0
Patient Care (CPS/Alivio) 0 1 1.0
Patient Care (IEI Contact Lens) 0 0.5 0.5
Clinical Assistant Program (Peds/LV) 0 1 1.0
SPRING QUARTER
COURSE NAME LECTURE LAB CREDIT
HRS HRS HRS
Injections and Minor Surgical Procedures 1.5 0.5 2.0
The Business of Optometry 2 0 2.0
Strabismus & Amblyopia II 3 0 3.0
Ophthalmic Lasers 0.5 0.5 1.0
Patient Care (IEI Primary Care) 1 8 9.0
Patient Care (CPS/Alivio) 0 1 1.0
Patient Care (IEI Contact Lens) 0 0.5 0.5
Clinical Assistant Program (Peds/LV) 0 1 1.0
Eyewear Center 0 1 1.0

* Students are assigned to one of these activities each quarter. The quarter may vary from student to student.
** This course includes a research project.

FOURTH PROFESSIONAL YEAR

Students leave the classroom environment entirely, pursuing hands-on patient care at IEI and rotations through affiliated externship sites.

PATIENT CARE INTERNSHIP / EXTERNSHIPS

Academic