Illinois College of Optometry Logo Illinois College of Optometry Logo
Search Button

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

SUMMER QUARTER
FALL QUARTER
COURSE NAME LECTURE LAB CREDIT
HRS HRS HRS
Microscopic Anatomy 3 2 4.0
Human Anatomy 4 2 5.0
Human Physiology & Pathology I 3 0 3.0
Geometric & Theoretical Optics I 4 .5 4.5
Biochemistry I 4 0 4.0
Introduction to Optometric Procedures 2 2 3.0
WINTER QUARTER
COURSE NAME LECTURE LAB CREDIT
HRS HRS HRS
Human Physiology & Pathology II 3 0 3.0
Geometric & Theoretical Optics II 3 0 3.0
Vision Science I 4 2 5.0
Biochemistry II 4 0 4.0
Optometry 1.2 2 2 3.0
Patient Advocate Program 0 2 1.0
Applied Ocular Anatomy 5 2 6.0
SPRING QUARTER
COURSE NAME LECTURE LAB CREDIT
HRS HRS HRS
Neuroanatomy & Neurophysiology 3 2 4.0
Human Physiology and Pathology III 4 0 4.0
Vision Science II 4 1 4.5
Optometry 1.3 2 2 3.0
Visual & Physical Optics 4 0 4.0
Clinical Assistant Program 0 2 1.0

SECOND PROFESSIONAL YEAR

SUMMER QUARTER
FALL QUARTER
COURSE NAME LECTURE LAB CREDIT
HRS HRS HRS
Ocular Physiology 3 2 4.0
Binocular Vision 2 1 2.5
Ocular Motility 2 1 2.5
General Pharmacology 4 0 4.0
Optometry 2.1 2 2 3.0
Opthalmic Optics 4 2 5.0
Patient Care 0 2 1.0
WINTER QUARTER
COURSE NAME LECTURE LAB CREDIT
HRS HRS HRS
Color Vision 1 0 1.0
Development Vision and Neurobiology 1 0 1.0
General and Ocular Pharmacology 4 0 4.0
Ocular Disease I 3 0 3.0
Optometry 2.2 2.5 2 3.5
Introduction to Binocular Anomalies 1 0 1.0
Opthalmic Optics II 3 0 3.0
Eyewear Center 0 2 1.0
Patient Care 0 2 1.0
SPRING QUARTER
COURSE NAME LECTURE LAB CREDIT
HRS HRS HRS
Ocular Pharmacology /
Therapeutics
4 0 4.0
Physical Diagnosis 1 2 2.0
Optometry Seminar 2 2 3.0
Ocular Disease II 2 0 2.0
Microbiology 1 0 1.0
Eyewear Center 0 2 1.0
Patient Care 0 2 1.0

THIRD PROFESSIONAL YEAR

SUMMER QUARTER
COURSE NAME LECTURE LAB CREDIT
HRS HRS HRS
Ocular Disease III 4 2 5.0
Contact Lenses I 4 4 6.0
Infant / Child Development & Management 2 3 3.5
Evidence Based Health Care** 2 0 2.0
Patient Care 1 8 5.0
Community Based Practice – CPS or Alivio* 0 4 2.0
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
Contact Lenses II 2 2 3.0
Binocular Vision Disorders 2 3 3.5
Patient Care 1 8 5.0
Eyeware Center* 0 4 2.0
CPR – Health Care Provider 0 0 0.0
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
Vision Rehabilitation 2 2 3.0
Strabismus & Amblyopia I 3 2 4.0
Patient Care 1 8 5.0
Community Based Practice – CPS or Alivio 0 1 0.5
Clinical Assistant Program* 0 4 2.0
SPRING QUARTER
COURSE NAME LECTURE LAB CREDIT
HRS HRS HRS
Injections for the Optometrist 0.5 0.5 1.0
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 1 8 5.0
Contact Lens Practice* 0 2 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

PATIENT CARE INTERNSHIP / EXTERNSHIPS