Curriculum - Optometry

SCCO Curriculum 

The Doctor of Optometry is a 4 year academic program that prepares graduates to deliver contemporary eye, vision and health care as an integral member of the primary care health team. During the first year, students are exposed to the basic sciences and research techniques. Included are courses in geometrical and physical optics, biomedical sciences, visual sciences and clinical techniques. First-year students also receive their first introduction to patient care at Ketchum Health, the university’s eye and health center.

The second year emphasizes clinical techniques and advanced studies in visual science. Students begin seeing their own patients at Ketchum Health in the second quarter of the second year.

Third-year students have patient care assignments at Ketchum Health under the supervision of clinical faculty and take courses in contact lenses, vision therapy, diseases of the eye, ocular pharmacology, clinical optometry and public health.

The final year is primarily spent serving patients in the various facilities of the outreach clinical program. Some assignment in the specialty services at Ketchum Health is also included.

The mission of the Southern California College of Optometry’s outreach clinical programs is to deliver the highest quality patient care and service and to educate clinicians in the art and science of optometry in diverse patient care delivery environments.

The degree of Doctor of Optometry will be conferred on students who are officially admitted to, and who satisfactorily complete, the four-year professional curriculum in optometry. Satisfactory completion of the SCCO program will academically qualify the graduate to apply for licensure in each of the 50 states.

View our four-year at a glance PDF 

Outreach Clinical Program

SCCO's Outreach Clinical Program has been in existence since 1974 and provides fourth year interns with three off-campus clinical rotations. Each rotation lasts 10 – 12 weeks and is designed to enhance the intern’s clinical knowledge and proficiency.

The program provides diverse clinical settings including veteran’s administration medical centers, military bases, HMOs, Indian health service facilities, co-management centers and limited private practice. These sites are located throughout the United States, but predominantly in the western region – Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and Washington. Outreach sites are also available in Guam and Japan.

The Outreach Clinical faculty are leading clinicians and serve as adjunct faculty members of the college.

Clinical Locations Map

Clinical Outreach Flier PDF

View our Clinical Outreach Flier with information about the types and locations of SCCO’s outreach sites.