6 | Optometry COURSE OF STUDY TRADITIONAL PROGRAM NSU’s Doctor of Optometry is a postgraduate degree awarded after successful completion of four years of professional study. There are three parts to the program. Didactic Period (first year) • The first year of the professional program consists of basic medical sciences, including microbiology, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, optics, and the vision sciences. • In preparation for the direct patient care in our primary care clinics, which begins during the second-year winter term, students start the study of optometric theory and methods; general pathology; and diagnosis, treatment, and pharmacological management of diseases and disorders of the visual system. Hybrid Period (second and third academic years) • Students provide supervised, direct patient care in our Eye Care Institute clinics. • Studies include clinical medicine; contact lenses; and pediatric, geriatric, and rehabilitative optometry. • Students develop a deeper understanding and ability to diagnose, treat, and manage increasingly complex ocular and systemic conditions. Clinical Year (fourth academic year) • Program is entirely clinical, with intensive training in the affiliated college sites within The Eye Care Institute and external primary, specialty, and medical/surgical care facilities. • Students are trained by completion of the fourth academic year to be optometric physicians capable of providing quality eye care to a wide range of patients. Did You Know? While more than 90 percent of entering students enter the program with a Bachelor of Science degree, a few exceptional candidates may be offered the opportunity to enter with a minimum of 90 semester hours. A B.S. in Vision Science will be conferred upon completion of required coursework at the end of the second year.