Prospective Externship Programs

Thank you for your interest in participating in the externship program at the Illinois College of Optometry (ICO). The off-campus educational experience is invaluable to our students, and we are pleased to include practices and doctors who want to give back to their profession by “paying it forward” to their future colleagues.

All fourth year students stay at the College’s home clinic, the Illinois Eye Institute, for one quarter, while rotating at external sites for the remaining three quarters: at least one Primary Care; and at least one Ocular Disease; and/or one Pediatric/Binocular Vision/Advanced Contact Lens/Vision Rehabilitation.

As a preceptor, you will have access to our alumni magazine, ICO Matters, and have the opportunity to apply for an adjunct faculty position, which provides access to the Illinois College of Optometry online library resources and complimentary registration to our Continuing Education programs.

The requirements for precepting of ICO fourth-year externship students are as follows:

  • Must be a multi-doctor practice with at least two full-time Doctors of Optometry.

  • All doctors must be practicing for at least five years or be residency trained.

  • Have a current, valid license to practice, have professional liability insurance, and no current or pending malpractice claims against any doctor(s) or the facility.

  • Be willing to accept a student every quarter of the academic year, yet understand that there is no guarantee that you will have a student each quarter.

  • Maintain a reasonable patient volume and provide an appropriate educational experience.

  • Be willing to treat your student(s) with respect and as a valued member of your team.


*Please note that family members of current ICO students may not participate in the externship program due to concerns of conflict of interest.

Simply fill out the application and return it, along with the requested supporting documentation. The Assistant Dean for Community Based Education and International Programs, Dr. Jaymeni Patel, will review the materials and contact you. Thank you again for your interest in being part of our team!