Curriculum and sequence of courses are subject to change, and do not constitute a contract between an applicant or a student and Pacific University. When changes are made, a revised curriculum is made available to students advising them of the new requirements. Options for extenuating circumstances and for a smooth transition to the new requirements will be provided. No core courses may be challenged for credit by examination.
Required and elective courses may be given at various locations and times, and students are expected to bear the costs to attend. Many factors enter into class scheduling and, as a result, elective courses listed may not be available while others, not yet listed, are available. Every attempt is made to assign schedules that are convenient for the student. However, there are times when individual student preferences cannot be accommodated and program goals must take precedence in the assigning of lecture, laboratory, and elective times.
First Professional Year
Prerequisites: admission to the entering optometry class or approval from the course instructor and the Associate Dean for Academic Programs.
Second Professional Year
Prerequisites: advancement to the second year by the faculty or approval from the Academic and Professional Standards committee and the Associate Dean for Academic Programs.
Students are required to complete a minimum of three elective credits, chosen from those offered by the College of Optometry. Alternatively, with prior authorization, it may be possible to substitute courses taken:
- as an independent study;
- at Pacific University outside of the College of Optometry; or,
- at other institutions with credits transferable to Pacific University (the costs of any courses taken at other institutions are the responsibility of individual students)
Fourth Professional Year
Students will provide supervised and direct patient care as Interns during the fourth year. A specialty Track is attached to the Patient Care courses listed below. Tracks 1-4 may apply toward graduation a maximum of one time each; Track 5 may be repeated multiple times.
Track 1: Medical Eye Care with emphasis in Contact Lens - Rotation in the Ocular Diseases and Special Testing and Contact Lens specialty clinics, including the clinical assessment and management of patients with ocular diseases, and management of cosmetic and therapeutic specialty contact lens prescribing.
Track 2: Medical Eye Care with emphasis in Low Vision - Rotation in the Ocular Diseases and Special Testing and Low Vision clinics, including the clinical assessment and management of patients with ocular diseases and management of patients with low vision rehabilitation needs. Rotation also includes a half day of contact lens service per week.
Track 3: Vision Therapy, Pediatrics, Neuro-Optometry - Rotation in the Binocular Vision/Vision Therapy and Pediatric clinics including supervised clinical management of patients requiring vision therapy. Weekly experience in the Occular Motility and Neuro-Optometry (OMNO) services with related exposure to co-management principles. Rotation also includes a half day of contact lens service per week.
Track 4: Vision Therapy and Pediatrics - Rotation in the Binocular Vision/Vision Therapy and Pediatric clinics including supervised clinical management of patients requiring vision therapy. Unique exposure in the Beaverton Performance Clinic.
Track 5: Supervised clinical practice in affiliated hospital settings, health care centers, and public or private eye and vision care centers. Primary care and/or specialized health care services unique to each site.
Students must earn a bachelor’s degree prior to graduating with the Doctor of Optometry degree. In many cases, the bachelor’s degree is earned prior to applying for admission; in other cases, it is completed while the student is enrolled in the OD program, through the College of Optometry’s Bachelor of Science program (earning a major in Visual Science). All requirements for the bachelor’s degree must be completed by the beginning of the third professional year.
Some students attending institutions with pre-professional programs plan a program of study to include pre-optometry requirements plus the bachelor’s degree requirements for that institution. In the case where Pacific University’s professional courses in optometry are used to satisfy another institution’s graduation requirements, written notice of such an arrangement is required.
All students are required to participate in off-campus externships for a portion of their clinical training. Living and transportation costs incurred during these assignments are borne by the student. Every attempt is made to assign clinic schedules that are convenient for the student. However, there are times when individual student preferences cannot be accommodated.
Students must receive a grade of “C” or better in all courses and be recommended for promotion by the faculty in order to move from the first to second year, and second to third year. All unsatisfactory grades require remediation in a timely manner, and remediation must occur according to specific written plans.
For promotion from the third to the fourth year, students must satisfactorily complete all courses in the first, second, and third years of the curriculum, have been awarded a bachelor’s degree, and be recommended for promotion by the faculty. The status of students failing to meet these requirements is determined by the College’s Academic and Professional Standards Committee (see Academic and Professional Standards).
Eligible candidates for a May degree conferral must apply for the degree by January 15. All students receiving degrees are required to participate in the May Commencement ceremony. The degree is conferred With Distinction upon graduates who have maintained a grade point average of 3.8 or higher in the professional curriculum and have not received substandard or failing grades in the professional didactic and clinical curriculum.
Candidates for the Doctor of Optometry degree generally are required to enroll as full-time students during each of the four professional years. A full-time student is defined as taking no fewer than 9 credits per semester during the first three years and no fewer than 11 credits per session during the fourth year.
All core courses required for the Doctor of Optometry degree should be completed successfully while the degree candidate is a matriculated student at the Pacific University College of Optometry. Courses taken elsewhere, or taken while the degree candidate is not matriculated at Pacific University, may be difficult to substitute for core courses.
In addition to letter grades, the following grades are used:
- P (Pass) = equivalent to C or above
- HP (High Pass) = equivalent to B work that is consistently above proficiency standards in patient care
- H (Honors) = equivalent to A work that is demonstrated by exemplary achievements in patient care
Instructors may issue an alternative grade (e.g. work in progress, incomplete, etc.) as defined by the Registrar’s Office. The instructor and student should complete an approved contract from the Registrar’s Office with a timeline for the completion of all work; it is expected that all course requirements be completed by the end of the following semester.
Once a grade has been submitted to the Registrar it is changed only in the case of recording errors. Faculty members submit Grade Change forms to the Associate Dean for approval.
National Board of Examiners in Optometry Scores
Pacific University candidates for the National Boards of Examiners in Optometry are required to release their scores to Pacific University College of Optometry. Scores will be used solely for program assessment.
Tuition and Fees
Full-time tuition is charged for 9-23 credits per semester. 8 or fewer are charged per-credit; more than 23 are charged full-time tuition plus the per-credit fee for each credit over 23.
1st- and 2nd-year students, per semester: $20,340
3rd-year students, per semester: $13,560
(Summer, 2018; Fall, 2018; Spring, 2019)
4th-year students, per rotation: $10,170
(May, 2018; August, 2018; November, 2018; February 2019)
Audit, per credit hour: $450
AOSA (Professional Association) Dues: $50
AAO Membership Fee (1st-year students): $15
ExamSoft Fee: $55