The Pennsylvania College of Optometry curriculum, like those of other schools and colleges of optometry, prepares graduating students to competently practice Primary Care optometry at an expected “entry level.” PCO is the only optometric institution to offer Advanced Studies certificates to those students who wish to be trained beyond this level in specific curricular areas for their personal and professional goals.

The Advanced Studies program offers an option for preparing students beyond the entry level, enhancing their knowledge and skills in distinct areas of practice or research, and expanding their breadth and concentration in selected knowledge bases. The PCO graduate with an Advanced Studies program certificate is able to apply these competencies and advanced technologies confidently, at a level of proficiency that surpasses basic entry-level expectations.


  • Advanced Studies in Anterior Segment
  • Advanced Studies in Contact Lens
  • Advanced Studies in Binocular Vision and Vision Therapy
  • Advanced Studies in Neuro-Ophthalmic Disease

PCO students who elect to apply to the Advanced Studies program and are accepted into the program will have the opportunity to participate in on-campus and distance education courses involving their chosen area of study.


To Apply PCO student applicants must:

  • Be in their third year of study;
  • Be in good academic standing within the core curriculum program at the time of application and maintain that standing throughout the application process;
  • Must successfully complete any required interviews by the Selection Committee of the Advanced Studies program;
  • Achieve a minimum grade of “B” in the basic core curriculum course related to the chosen content area
  • Provide appropriate documentation determined by the Director of the Advanced Studies program.


Additional per credit tuition applies. Each Advanced Studies content area consists of 4.5 credits.

For questions about the Advanced Studies Program, please contact the program’s Director, Dr. Josh Kim at