First Year Curriculum

Didactic and clinical laboratory instruction begins in the first semester of the first professional year and continues throughout all four years. All courses, including basic science courses, integrate and emphasize clinical applications and scenarios.

First Professional Year; 44.5 credit hours

Fall Semester

First Year Fall Semester
Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
OPT111 Basic Optometry 4.5
OPT112 Principles of Optics 4.5
OPT113 Gross Anatomy and Histology 5.0
OPT114 Fundamentals of Vision Science 4.0
OPT115 Clinical Physiology 3.0
OPT119 Developing as an Optometrist 1.0
  Total Credits 22.0

Spring Semester

First Year Spring Semester
Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
OPT121 Intermediate Optometry 4.5
OPT129 Healthcare Systems and Communications 1.5
OPT123 Clinical Ocular Anatomy 4.0
OPT126 Neuroanatomy 3.0
OPT122 Visual and Applied Optics 6.0
OPT128 Ocular Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics 1.5
OPT125 Clinical Immunology and Histopathology 2.0
  Total Credits 22.5

OPT 111 Basic Optometry (4.5 credits)
Prerequisites - None

Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week. Introduction to optometric examination technique, theory and application. Strategies of optometric procedure sequencing. Emphasis on chair skills to include case history, visual acuity, stereopsis, color vision, Amsler grid, extra-ocular muscles, accommodation, convergence, confrontation visual fields, and pupillary reflexes. Medical interviewing techniques, health history content, medical record documentation, introduction to diagnosis of the visual system. Lectures will incorporate the theory of the procedures and proper sequencing. Laboratory will emphasize the performance of the procedures accurately and efficiently.

OPT 112 Principles of Optics (4.5 Credits)
Prerequisites – None

Four hours of lecture and one hour of laboratory per week. Fundamentals of geometric optics to include the properties of light, reflecting and refracting surfaces, thick and thin lens optics, the optics of mirrors and refractive systems, and the optics of thick and thin prisms. The study of apertures within optical systems. The optics of telescopes and microscopes. The use of catadioptric images to assess the axes, angles, and anatomical structures of the eye. Spherical ametropia and the optical correction of spherical ametropia. Incidence, distribution, etiology, development, and course of ametropia in humans. An introduction to clinical case analysis will be used to develop critical thinking skills. Case-based approach will be used when possible to integrate theoretical optics with clinical optical applications.

OPT 113 Gross Anatomy and Histology (5 Credits)
Prerequisites – None

Four hours of lecture and two hours of lab per week. Detailed study of general human anatomy and histology. Head, neck, thorax, abdomen and organ anatomy along with their microstructure will be emphasized. The histogenesis and embryological development of human systems. Comparison of normal adult morphology with congenital defects. Identification of gross anatomical structures of the human body with emphasis on the head and neck region. Identification of anatomical structures based on radiographs such as x-ray, CT, and MRI. Laboratory will include dissection and identification along with microscopic anatomy of the ocular structures, orbit, adnexa, visual pathway, brain, cranial nerves, and spinal cord.

OPT 114 Fundamentals of Vision Science (4 Credits)
Prerequisites – None

Three hours of lecture and two hours of lab per week. Topics include: (1) Light Perception: spectral, spatial, temporal properties of absolute threshold; duplex retina; brightness-difference and chromatic thresholds; spatial and temporal summation; dark and light adaptation; radiometry and photometry; contrast specification (2) Color Perception: specification (hue, saturation, brightness); mixture and appearance; contrast, constancy, adaptation; colorimetry; spectral sensitivity; inheritance and classification of hereditary color deficiency; acquired anomalies; color vision testing (pseudoisochromatic plates, arrangement tests, anomaloscope); vocational aspects of color vision (3) Form Perception: visual acuity and contrast sensitivity specification, test properties and tasks; impact of defocus, intensity and contrast on spatial vision; simultaneous contrast, spatial interactions, illusions, constancies, and figure-ground relations (4) Space Perception: absolute and relative depth discrimination, monocular and binocular cues; stereopsis; binocular summation
(5) Temporal Perception: critical flicker fusion frequency; subfusional flicker; masking; temporal contrast sensitivity function; stabilized imagery; saccadic suppression (6) Motion Perception: real and apparent motion; displacement detection; motion after-effects; dynamic visual acuity, impact of target and observer motion (7) Psychophysical Methods and Theory: measurement of threshold (limits, adjustment, constant stimuli, forced choice, yes/no); suprathreshold matching and scaling; signal detection theory (8) Neurophysiology of Vision: single neuron, parallel pathways, and electrophysiological correlates of visual perception.

OPT 115 Clinical Physiology (3 Credits)
Prerequisites – None

Three hours of lecture per week. An introduction to general physiological and detailed cellular biological processes. Cellular organelles, active and passive membrane transport, and nerve and muscle function to include synaptic physiology. Integrated study of the physiological processes of the major organ systems to include the circulatory, respiratory, renal, digestive, nervous, endocrine, and reproductive systems.

OPT 119 Developing as an Optometrist (1 Credit)
Prerequisites – None

One hour of lecture per week. The course emphasizes general topics related to your development as an optometrist and future health care provider. A general overview of the history of health care and the profession of optometry will be discussed as well as current issues facing the profession. Professional and ethical issues in the practice of optometry are focused on. An overview of organized optometry will be presented. Additionally, a concentration of key concepts and topics related to personal and spiritual development for future healthcare providers will be emphasized by way of the Personal Development Pathway lecture series.

OPT 121 Intermediate Optometry (4.5 Credits)
Prerequisites – OPT 111

Three hours of lecture and three hours of lab per week. Introduction to optometric examination techniques to include the theoretical basis for detection, diagnosis and management of refractive error and related conditions. Emphasis is placed on a consummate understanding of the etiology and functional basis of refractive error and visual anomalies as the basis for accurate and effective diagnosis and management. Monocular and binocular refractive techniques, lensometry, keratometry, retinoscopy, ophthalmoscopy. A case-based approached to the integration of data will be used to develop critical thinking skills and a practical use of data in development of diagnoses and treatment plans.

OPT 122 Visual and Applied Optics(6 Credits)
Prerequisites - OPT 112

Five hours of lecture and two hours of lab per week. The optics of the human eye will be studied in detail as it relates to human visual function. The eye as a refracting device will be investigated along with the clinical application of lenses to remediate refractive error. The application of prism and ocular deviation will be addressed along with the axes and angles of the eye. A general overview of photometry and physical optics including interference, diffraction, polarization, thin film optics, and lasers. Entopic phenomena and the Stiles-Crawford effect. Magnification and retinal image size with clinical applications of accommodation, presbyopia, aphakia, and pseudophakia. The clinical role of the pupil in depth of field, aberrations, and accommodation. Introduction to contact lenses in the treatment of ametropias. Contemporary optics will be introduced to include the study of aberrations, testing for higher-order aberrations, and the remediation of higher order aberrations within the human visual system.

OPT 123 Clinical Ocular Anatomy (4 Credits)
Prerequisites - OPT 113, OPT 115

Three hours of lecture and two hours of lab per week. A detailed study of the gross ocular anatomy of the human eye, adnexa, and surrounding tissues supporting the structure and function of the visual system. Histology and clinical micro-structure of ocular structure. Embryological integration to the normal and abnormal development of ocular anatomy. Introduction to a clinical approach to the assessment and management of ocular anatomical disorders.

OPT 125 Clinical Immunology and Histopathology (2 Credits)
Prerequisites - OPT 113, OPT 115

Two hours of lecture per week. A study of human immunology and its application to normal function and disease processes. Emphasis on ocular immunological processes to include inflammation, allergic disease, immunology, immuno-pathology, and cellular disease. Histopathology of cell and tissue injury. Reversible and irreversible cellular changes. Cell death, tissue apoptosis and necrosis.

OPT 126 Neuroanatomy (3 Credits)
Prerequisites - OPT 113

Two hours of lecture and two hours of lab per week. A detailed gross and microscopic study of the human central and peripheral nervous systems. Emphasis on the functional neuroanatomy of sensory and motor systems. An integrative approach to clinical patient care will be emphasized through the use of radiology studies of the neuroanatomy to include X-ray, CT, and MRI. Laboratory will emphasize the identification of the gross central and peripheral nervous systems and their respective microanatomy.

OPT 128 Ocular Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics (1.5 Credits)
Prerequisites - OPT 113, OPT 115

One and one-half hours of lecture per week. Basic principles of biosynthesis and bioenergetics of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins applied to ocular structures. Biochemical mechanisms of molecular biology, gene regulation and contemporary methodology to include genomics. Emphasis on biochemical principles as they relate to the treatment and management of ocular disease.

OPT 129 Healthcare Systems and Communications (1.5 Credits)
Prerequisites - OPT 113, OPT 115

One hour of lecture and one hour of lab per week. Feedback from videotaped patient interaction will be used to enhance communications. Discussions involving the ethical practice of optometry. The dynamics of practicing optometry within the healthcare delivery system. HMOs, insurance panels, Medicare, Medicaid, third-party insurance, discount plans, fee-for-service. Effective inter-professional and intra-professional written and oral communications within the context of effective and well-documented patient care delivery. Medical necessity and appropriateness of orders and interpretations/reports of findings. Introduction to co-management relationships and their associated legal aspects.