Academics - Optometry

Doctor of Optometry Program

The Southern California College of Optometry provides the highest quality optometric education through excellence in teaching, patient care, research and public service.

The college offers a four-year, post-baccalaureate program leading to the degree, Doctor of Optometry (OD). The class size is 100 students and the program is 14 quarters in duration.

The first professional year curriculum provides the foundation for clinical practice and emphasizes basic and applied biomedical and vision sciences. The curriculum also introduces students to clinical topics, including practice management, public health, professional ethics, interpersonal communications and pre-clinical methods. Students are scheduled for limited patient care experiences at the University Eye Center at Ketchum Health Anaheim.

The second professional year expands the students’ knowledge in the clinical sciences and completes the biomedical science course sequence, including clinical medicine and pharmacology. Students are involved in school vision screenings and begin examining their own patients at Ketchum Health Anaheim in preparation for comprehensive patient care in the third professional year.

As part of the third professional year curriculum students enjoy two days of patient care assignments each week at Ketchum Health Anaheim under the supervision of clinical faculty. They also complete their didactic requirements with courses in cornea and contact lenses, strabismus, vision therapy, ocular disease management, public health and low vision rehabilitation.

The final year of the optometry program focuses on direct patient care in the various clinics and health centers of the Outreach Clinical Program. One 12-week rotation is spent on campus at Ketchum Health Anaheim where optometric referral services are emphasized. The Outreach Clinical Program offers a vast array of clinical opportunities with diverse and challenging patient encounters. In order to graduate, students must successfully pass all 65 academic courses.


Our Vision

  • We seek to reimagine the future of health care education.

Our Mission

  • To educate today’s minds to provide tomorrow’s eye, vision and health care. Our mission is excellence in patient care, clinical education, and research.

Our Core Values

Marshall B. Ketchum University is guided by the values of:

  • Accountability
    We are committed to honesty, fairness and responsibility for our words and actions. 
  • Caring
    We strive to address the needs of our University community and others by nurturing a spirit of compassion.    
  • Excellence
    Consistent with our legacy, we are committed to achieving outcomes of the highest quality.  
  • Innovation
    We have the courage to dream and experiment with creative and unique ideas.
  • Respect
    We value the unique talents and diversity of people, strive to work collaboratively, and honor the open exchange of ideas. 

Our Inspiration

  • Good vision is more than seeing 20/20 ... it is seeing without effort.

Educational Philosophy

Presenting a premier optometry degree program within a four-year period presents an ongoing challenge to the faculty. While lectures and laboratories are provided in state-of-the-art facilities, the faculty continues to seek more effective ways to deliver educational content. For the past decade, greater emphasis has been placed on incorporating small group discussions in the curriculum at the expense of some lecture time. The faculty is also committed to enhancing the application of newer technologies including online learning access for students to supplement resources available through course syllabi, class notes and the library center. Faculty closely monitor student performance and are accessible for any additional support that students may need.

College Program and Student Learning Outcomes

In support of the college’s mission, vision and core values, the following program and student learning outcomes are to be achieved for all students upon graduating with the Doctor of Optometry degree.