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

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

SUMMER QUARTER
FALL QUARTER
COURSE NAMELECTURELABCREDIT
HRSHRSHRS
Human Anatomy425.0
Human Physiology & Pathology I404.0
Geometric & Theoretical Optics I414.5
Biochemistry I404.0
Introduction to Optometric Procedures223.0
WINTER QUARTER
COURSE NAMELECTURELABCREDIT
HRSHRSHRS
Microscopic Anatomy324.0
Applied Ocular Anatomy526.0
Human Physiology & Pathology II202.0
Geometric & Theoretical Optics II303.0
Biochemistry II404.0
Optometry 1.2223.0
Clinical Assistant Program (PEC)021.0
SPRING QUARTER
COURSE NAMELECTURELABCREDIT
HRSHRSHRS
Neuroanatomy & Neurophysiology324.0
Human Physiology and Pathology III404.0
Vision Science I425.0
Optometry 1.3223.0
Visual & Physical Optics404.0
Clinical Assistant Program (PEC)021.0
Practice Management202.0

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 NAMELECTURELABCREDIT
HRSHRSHRS
General Pharmacology404.0
Vision Science II414.5
Ocular Physiology324.0
Optometry 2.1223.0
Opthalmic Optics I425.0
Introduction to Binocular Anomalies101.0
Patient Care (IEI)021.0
WINTER QUARTER
COURSE NAMELECTURELABCREDIT
HRSHRSHRS
Color Vision101.0
Binocular Vision212.5
Development Vision and Neurobiology101.0
Ocular Motility212.5
General and Ocular Pharmacology404.0
Ocular Disease I303.0
Optometry 2.2122.0
Opthalmic Optics II303.0
Eyewear Center010.5
Patient Care (IEI)021.0
SPRING QUARTER
COURSE NAMELECTURELABCREDIT
HRSHRSHRS
Ocular Pharmacology /
Therapeutics
404.0
Physical Diagnosis122.0
Contact Lenses I425.0
Vision Rehabilitation223.0
Ocular Disease II202.0
Microbiology1.501.5
Eyewear Center010.5
Patient Care (IEI)010.5
Practice Management1.501.5

THIRD PROFESSIONAL YEAR

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

SUMMER QUARTER
COURSE NAMELECTURELABCREDIT
HRSHRSHRS
Evidence Based Health Care** 2 02.0
Ocular Disease III425.0
Contact Lenses II223.0
Infant / Child Development & Management223.0
Patient Care (IEI Primary Care)185.0
Patient Care (CPS)010.5
Eyewear Center010.5
Specialty Rotation (Advanced Eyecare)00.50.25
Specialty Rotation (Vision Rehabilitation)00.50.25
Specialty Rotation (Cornea / Contact Lens)00.50.25
Specialty Rotation (Pediatrics/Binocular Vision)00.50.25
FALL QUARTER
COURSE NAMELECTURELABCREDIT
HRSHRSHRS
Clinical Medicine202.0
Ocular Disease IV303.0
Ocular Disease V101.0
Eyewear Center010.5
Binocular Vision Disorders223.0
Patient Care (IEI Primary Care)185.0
Patient Care (CPS)010.5
Specialty Rotation (Advanced Eyecare)00.50.25
Specialty Rotation (Vision Rehabilitation)00.50.25
Specialty Rotation (Cornea/Contact Lens)00.5 0.25
Specialty Rotation (Pediatrics/Binocular Vision)00.5 0.25
WINTER QUARTER
COURSE NAMELECTURELABCREDIT
HRSHRSHRS
Clinical Medicine II202.0
General & Ocular Emergencies202.0
Neuro-Ophthalmic Disorders303.0
Eyewear Center010.5
Strabismus & Amblyopia I324.0
Patient Care (IEI Primary Care)185.0
Patient Care (CPS)010.5
Specialty Rotation (Advanced Eyecare)00.50.25
Specialty Rotation (Vision Rehabilitation)00.50.25
Specialty Rotation (Cornea/Contact Lens)00.50.25
Specialty Rotation (Pediatrics/Binocular Vision)00.50.25
SPRING QUARTER
COURSE NAMELECTURELABCREDIT
HRSHRSHRS
Injections and Minor Surgical Procedures1.50.52.0
The Business of Optometry2.502.5
Strabismus & Amblyopia II303.0
Ophthalmic Lasers0.50.51.0
Patient Care (IEI Primary Care)185.0
Patient Care (CPS)010.5
Eyewear Center010.5
Specialty Rotation (Advanced Eyecare)00.50.25
Specialty Rotation (Vision Rehabilitation)00.50.25
Specialty Rotation (Cornea/Contact Lens)00.50.25
Specialty Rotation (Pediatrics/Binocular Vision)00.50.25
Practice Management1.501.5

* 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