Current Practices

Students with a strong application file (ie: strong optometric clinical background, acceptable performance on the PCO administered placement exam, and NBEO Part I) are considered for a customized course of study. Students who do not have a strong application file may still be accepted into the program however, are not eligible for a customized course of study; rather, they are enrolled into a traditional four year optometry program.


What is the duration of the APOD program?

Since the course of study is customized for each student, the duration of the program depends on demonstrated competencies of each individual student. The currently offered APOD program can take up to 44 months (the same duration as a traditional four-year optometry degree program), however, can be completed faster based on demonstrated competencies of a given student.

How much does the APOD program cost?

Although the APOD program may be shorter in duration, due to the individualized nature of the program, the total tuition costs will be the same as for those students enrolled in the four-year Traditional OD degree program. More information on tuition and fees may be found under Cost of Attendance.

Will students come to the US on a visa?

Yes. Currently, the APOD program requires an F1 visa (full-time status) for all non-US citizens.

Will I take courses with students enrolled in the Traditional OD degree program?

Yes. Students enrolled in our APOD program take courses with the students enrolled in the Traditional OD degree program. Customized courses may also be offered depending upon demonstrated competency of an individual student and students may be enrolled in courses that span many class years.

Why is Part 1 of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) required for eligible candidates?

Since the course of study is customized, it gives our APOD Admissions Committee critical information when designing an applicant’s individual course of study.

Is there a minimum score requirement on Part 1 of NBEO?

A minimum score of 300 or above is required for a candidate to be fully accepted and to matriculate into the APOD program. However, competitive students who do not pass Part 1 of NBEO may still be accepted to complete the four-year optometry degree program.

At the successful completion of my program, will students receive the equivalent degree as those successfully completing the Traditional OD program?


How many students are admitted into the APOD program yearly?

Due to the highly customized nature of this pathway to the OD degree, there are a limited number of students admitted into the program. Currently, no more than five students are likely to be admitted during a given year.

How do I receive more information?

Please contact for more information.