Clinicical Experience

The Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University emphasizes an early and extensive clinical education program that allows students to attain more hours of clinical experience than most other optometry programs.

This starts with hands-on practice in our on-site clinical skills labs, beginning in the students' first year, comprehensive patient care at The Eye Institute, our clinical learning facility, in the second year, and continues through 12-months of externships beginning at the start of the third year. Graduates of PCO enter the profession with nearly 3,000 hours of clinical experience.

Clinical concepts and skills training begin in the first semester of the first year, followed by an expedited entry into patient care experiences and a significantly expanded clinical training program. The Eye Institute is the clinical facility for our optometry students. Located a few miles from the main campus, TEI offers students the opportunity to work with patients ranging from infants to the elderly and who present diverse vision and eye problems. By the middle of their second year, students are integrated into The Eye Institute and its two satellite locations as full participants in the service delivery system, which manages more than 40,000 annual patient visits.

PCO students are provided with the most expansive clinical experiences in optometric education. Scholars students complete their didactic program on an accelerated schedule and have an expedited entry into a 12-month extensive externship program. The exceptional clinical education received by our students prepares each of them to assume a leadership role in the delivery of comprehensive eye and vision care in the community.


Clinical Experience in the Accelerated Scholars ProgramThe Eye Institute (TEI), located close to the Elkins Park campus, serves as PCO’s clinical teaching facility. At TEI, students treat patients who range from infants to seniors and are exposed to a wide range of eye diseases and conditions not typically encountered. Students are able to collaborate with optometrists, ophthalmologists, opticians, and optometric technicians to deliver the highest quality of eye care.

TEI offers an array of pediatric and adult vision care services including routine eye exams, optical and contact lens services, dry eye management, vision therapy and specialty care for glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, cataracts, neuro-ophthalmology and other eye health disorders. TEI also offers post-graduate residency programs for Doctors of Optometry including advanced clinical competencies in primary care, pediatric/binocular vision, vision rehabilitation, contact lenses, ocular disease and refractive eye care.