Skip to main content

Susan Cotter

Susan A. Cotter, OD, MS, FAAO

BS, Loyola University, Chicago
OD, Illinois College of Optometry
MS, University of Southern California
Residency in Children's Vision, SCCO


Dr. Susan Cotter is a Professor of Optometry at the Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO) at Marshall B Ketchum University where she teaches in the classroom and clinic, works with the residents, and conducts clinical research. As a clinician scientist, Dr. Cotter’s primary research interests are related to clinical management strategies for strabismus, amblyopia, convergence insufficiency, and childhood refractive error. Dr. Cotter is the incoming Co-Chair of the Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group (PEDIG), a National Eye Institute (NEI)-funded clinical research network of 300+ pediatric ophthalmologists and optometrists who perform clinical investigations related to strabismus and pediatric eye conditions. She has also served in leadership positions for the following NEI-funded studies: the Multi-Ethnic Pediatric Eye Disease Study (MEPEDS), the Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Refractive Error (CLEERE), the Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial (CITT), and the CITT-Attention & Reading Trial (CITT-ART). 

At present, Dr. Cotter serves on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Optometry where she is a Diplomate and past Chair of the Binocular Vision, Perception, and Pediatric Optometry Section, and a past Editorial Board Member for the Academy’s journal, "Optometry & Vision Science." Currently, Dr. Cotter serves on the National Advisory Committee of the National Center for Children’s Vision & Eye Health (NCCVEH), the Scientific Bureau for the World Society of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (WSPOS), and as an Applied Basic Science Council Member for the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO). 

A graduate of the Illinois College of Optometry, Dr. completed a residency in Children’s Vision at SCCO and received an MS in Clinical & Biomedical Investigations from University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. A recipient of numerous teaching awards, including Outstanding Faculty of the Year from 18 third-year optometry classes, Dr. Cotter is a Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD), a past COVD Skeffington awardee, and received the Alumna of the Year from the Illinois College of Optometry in 2010. A former American Optometric Foundation (AOF) Ezell Fellow, Dr. Cotter recently received the Glenn Fry Medal for Distinguished Achievements in Vision Research from The Ohio State University College of Optometry. She is editor of the textbook "Clinical Applications of Prisms" and lectures internationally in the areas of pediatric eye care and binocular vision.