About Optometry and Vision Science

A white building with narrow horizontal windows running along its length stretches into the distance under a blue sky

Launched in 1967, the School of Optometry & Vision Science is a world-renowned centre for optometric education, vision science research and clinical care.

Our vision

Helping people see

Our mission

To be a global innovator in optometry, vision research, education, and patient-centred collaborative care through:

  • state-of-the art, contemporary optometric education and training for practice anywhere
  • high impact, world class eye, health, and vision science research
  • exceptional patient care and experiences across the full range of patient-centred eye, vision and healthcare services 
  • preparation of the next generation of leaders in the optometric profession 
  • training the next generation of research leaders and innovators 
  • residency training across the full range of optometric care
  • specialized training opportunities for practitioners 
  • life-long learning and continuing professional development opportunities
  • eye health initiatives with global impact

Our values

These principles guide our decisions, strategies and actions:

  • Excellence
  • Integrity
  • Compassion 
  • Collaboration
  • Innovation  

Our School

As Canada’s only English-language optometry program, we have trained close to 3,500 optometrists who practice in communities all across the country. We deliver a four-year degree program, accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE), leading to a professional Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree.  Our students receive extensive clinical training in one of the country’s largest eye and vision care centres, which gives them practical experience while providing optometric services to our community. In support of optometry’s growing scope of practice, we offer opportunities for optometrists across Canada to further develop their skills through residencies and continuing education.

The School also offers masters, doctoral and OD/MSc research programs in both Vision Science and Optometry. Award-winning faculty, recognized both nationally and internationally for their research and teaching excellence, lead initiatives ranging across basic, translational, educational, and clinical research.  

Graduates of both the Optometry and Vision Science programs at the University of Waterloo make positive contributions in their communities and apply their knowledge, skills, and leadership to help people see.