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Academics

Curriculum

The degree programs at the New England College of Optometry are organized and delivered through four academic departments: Vision Science, Biomedical Science and Disease, Primary Care, and Specialty and Advanced Care. Patient care experiences fall under the Clinical Education Department.

Each course in NECO's curriculum is carefully planned to coordinate and support a student's mastery of both knowledge and skills necessary to be a successful practitioner managing conditions of the human eye and visual system.  Students build a strong foundation of didactic courses and labs focusing on basic science, eye health, ocular disease, and providing care to different types of patients and conditions. These classroom experiences are complemented by a rich and diverse patient care experience that grows progressively in time, commitment, and responsibilities over their time at the College. 


Four-Year OD Program Curriculum Overview

View the four-year OD program curriculum

Program Year

Class, Lab, and Seminar/Online 

Patient Care

Year 1 650+ Hours
Coursework includes: Anatomy & Physiology*, Cell Biology, Histology, and Ocular Anatomy* , Color Vision*, Clinical Reasoning, Neuroanatomy, Ocular Disease Principles*, Optics*, Principles & Practice of Optometry*, Vision Health Care, Visual Sensation and Perception*
40+ Hours
The clinical experience begins with Patient Care I and is comprised of vision screenings of young children and observations of skilled optometrists.  
Year 2 700+ Hours
Coursework includes: Binocular and Accommodative Anomalies*, Binocular Vision and Ocular Motility*, Clinical Medicine, Contact Lenses*, General Pharmacology, Immunology, Neural Basis of Vision, Ocular Biochemistry and Genetics, Ocular Disease Principles *, Ocular Pharmacology, Optics*, Principles and Practice of Optometry*
124+ Hours
Students spend around 8 hours a week working under clinical preceptors to apply classroom skills, perform initial aspects of eye exam, and take on increasing responsibility for the eye exam as the year progresses. 
Year 3 425+ Hours
Coursework includes: Advanced Diagnostic Techniques*, Advanced Ocular Disease, Clinical Neuro-ophthalmic Topics, Clinical Ocular Imaging Topics. Clinical Reasoning, Development, Strabismus, and Amblyopia*, Low Vision Rehabilitation Throughout the Life Span*, Ophthalmic Business and Management Policy, Pediatric Optometry, Solving Complex Refractive Issues, Special Topics: Ocular Disease and Advanced Clinical Care
360+ Hours
 Students spend two days a week at clinical placements in the NECO Clinical Network, working under guidance of clinical preceptors and performing complete eye exams. 
Year 4 No coursework 1600+ Hours
The fourth year is entirely clinical, consisting of four external rotations. 
  • Primary Care Rotation (community health center, community clinic or private practice)
  • Advanced Care Rotation (ocular disease in hospital or surgical center such as a VA medical center)
  • Specialty Care Rotation (vision therapy, contact lenses, pediatrics, geriatrics, patients with disabilities, or low vision)

Note: Courses with an asterisk (*) include a lab component


Accelerated Optometric Degree Program (AODP) Curriculum Overview

View the AODP Curriculum

Program Year

Class, Lab, and Seminar/Online 

Patient Care

Year 1 1117+ Hours
Coursework includes: Advanced Visual Sensation and Perception*, Advanced Ocular Disease I, Binocular Vision and Ocular Motility*, Cell Biology, Histology, and Ocular Anatomy* , Contact Lenses*,  General Pharmacology, Immunology,​Human Anatomy*, Low Vision Rehab Throughout the Life Span*, Neural Basis of Vision, Neuroanatomy, Ocular Biochemistry, Ocular Disease Principles*, Ocular Pharmacology I, Ocular Physiology, Optics A and B*, Optic Nerve Diseases*, Principles & Practice of Optometry I, II, and III*, Principles of Anterior Segment Diseases*, Public Health, Systems Physiology, Visual Development
200+ Hours
The clinical experiences are part of Patient Care. Students work under clinical preceptors to apply classroom skills, perform initial aspects of eye exam, and take on increasing responsibility for the eye exam
Year 2 388+ Hours
Coursework includes: Advanced Diagnostic Techniques*, Advanced Ocular Disease II, Binocular and Accommodative Anomalies*, Clinical Medicine, Clinical Neuro-ophthalmic Topics, Contact Lenses II*, Ocular Pharmacology, Pediatric Optometry, Special Topics: Ocul. Dis, and Adv. Clinical Care, Strabismus and Amblyopia, 
1740+ Hours
Following a spring term of classes, The second year is primarily clinical, consisting of four external rotations. 
  • Primary Care Rotation (community health center, community clinic or private practice)
  • Advanced Care Rotation (ocular disease in hospital or surgical center such as a VA medical center)
  • Specialty Care Rotation (vision therapy, contact lenses, pediatrics, geriatrics, patients with disabilities, or low vision)

Advanced Standing International Program (ASIP) Curriculum Overview

View the ASIP Curriculum

Program Year

Class, Lab, and Seminar/Online (* course includes lab)

Patient Care

Year 1 1064+ Hours
Coursework includes: Advanced Contact Lenses, Advanced Diagnostic Techniques*, Advanced Ocular Disease I and II, Binocular Vision and Ocular Motility*, Cell Biology, Histology, and Ocular Anatomy*, Clinical Medicine, Color Vision, General Pharmacology, Human Anatomy*, Immunology,​ Introduction to Clinical Care*, Lectures in Ocular Motility, Low Vision Rehab Throughout the Life Span*, Neural Basis of Vision, Neuroanatomy, Ocular Biochemistry, Ocular Disease Principles*, Ocular Pharmacology I, Ocular Physiology, Optics A and B*, Optic Nerve Diseases*, Pediatric Optometry,, Principles of Anterior Segment Diseases*, Special Topics: Ocul. Dis, and Adv. Clinical Care,​ Strabismus and Amblyopia, Systems Physiology, Visual Development
240+ Hours
The clinical experiences are part of Patient Care. Students work under clinical preceptors to apply classroom skills, perform initial aspects of eye exam, and take on increasing responsibility for the eye exam
Year 2 23+ Hours
Coursework includes: Clinical Neuro-ophthalmic Topics
1600+ Hours
The second year is primarily clinical, consisting of four external rotations, engaging in full time patient care. 
  • Primary Care Rotation (community health center, community clinic or private practice)
  • Advanced Care Rotation (ocular disease in hospital or surgical center such as a VA medical center)
  • Specialty Care Rotation (vision therapy, contact lenses, pediatrics, geriatrics, patients with disabilities, or low vision)

Additional Specialty Program Curriculums 

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