Throughout the four years of this professional program, you’ll take courses that cover visual optics, visual neurophysiology, and clinical techniques along with the health and diseases of the visual system. In the first two years of the program, you’ll build a base of knowledge in the basic sciences of health, disease, optics and visual sciences, and begin learning clinical techniques. In the upper years, patient contact begins. Advanced courses consist of many hours in the clinics and the study and analyses of diverse case examples.
The program’s fourth year consists of three 4-month terms (one full year, starting immediately after the end of 3rd year; i.e. no summer break). Two of these terms include rotations through the primary and specialty clinics in the School and a week rotation in an optometrist's private practice. Some students elect to spend this rotation in a vision care project in a developing country. One of the terms is spent at a site outside of Waterloo, typically in the USA, Canada, or even Sweden, where you’ll be exposed to patients requiring ocular pharmaceutics and ocular disease management. These experiences allow you to apply your classroom learning in hands-on settings and gain insight into the diverse areas of optometry.
The formal description of the Optometry program is laid out in the Undergraduate Calendar, Optometry section.
In the Optometry program, students need to maintain an overall 60% average as well as a mark of at least 60% in each course of the major subject. In the clinical courses, OPTOM 348A/B, 458, 468, and 478, a mark of at least 70% is considered a passing grade. A student who fails to demonstrate clinical competence as evidenced by a failing grade in a clinical course will not be allowed to continue. All courses in a given year must be successfully completed to proceed to the next year.
If you’ve taken courses elsewhere that may be equivalent to those taken within our Optometry program, you may only apply for exemption after beginning your studies in the Optometry program.
This is an intensive professional program.
The links take you to the descriptions listed in the Undergraduate Calendar.
First year courses
|Ocular Anatomy and Physiology
|Geometrical, Ophthalmic, and Visual Optics
|Fundamentals of Visual Optics
|Visual Perception 1: Perception of Light
|Human Gross Anatomy
|Clinical Techniques 1
|Clinical Experience 1
|Clinical Experience 2
|Public Health Optometry
Second year courses
|Visual Perception 2: Monocular and Binocular Visual Processes
|Ophthalmic Optics 1
|Ophthalmic Optics 2
|Introductory Clinical Pharmacology
|Neurophysiology of Vision
|Diseases of the Eye 2
|Diseases of the Eye 1
|Clinical Experience 4
|Clinical Experience 3
|Clinical Ocular Pharmacology
|Clinical Techniques 2
|Clinical Techniques 3
|Strabismus and Aniseikonia
Third year courses
|Case Analysis and Optometric Therapies 2
|Case Analysis and Optometric Therapies 1
|Ophthalmic Optics 3
|Professional Ethics & Optometric Communication
|Contact Lenses 1
|Ophthalmic Lasers & Refractive Surgery
|Contact Lenses 2
|Diseases of the Eye 3
|Pediatric Optometry and Learning Disabilities
|Gerontology and Low Vision
|Clinical Medicine for Optometric Practice
Fourth year courses
Fourth year begins immediately after third year ends (i.e. no summer break). The class is divided into thirds as determined by the students. The groups rotate each term. One of these terms is spent in a 4 month external placement, in a supervised clinic setting where the intern is exposed to ocular pharmaceutics and disease management. Many of these placements are in the USA. The other two terms consist of rotations through the primary and specialty clinics at the School where you will sharpen your patient skills.
|A) OPTOM 468 - Clinical Clerkship 2
|B) OPTOM 458 - Clinical Clerkship 1
OPTOM 477 - Clinical Techniques 4