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About ICO

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We’re 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 can master the skills needed to practice optometry in the real world.

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

  • Almost 600 students attend ICO. Each class has an average of 148 students.
  • All full-time faculty members hold an OD, PhD, MD, MS, MA or equivalent.
  • 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 155:1.
  • ICO’s NBEO pass rate historically exceeds the national average.


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. ICO is also accredited by the Higher Learning Commissiona regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The degree program curriculum is approved by the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs.