Program of Study

Class Profile for the Class of 2017, entering Fall 2013
Average number of applications 400-450
Class size 91
Men 32%
Women 68%
Average age 23
Age range 20-39
Average Cumulative GPA 3.53
Admitted range 2.84 - 4.0
Average Total Science OAT


TS Admitted Range 280 - 400
Twenty states are represented, along with four Canadian provinces.

Pacific University College of Optometry became part of the Pacific campus in 1945. It was originally founded in 1921 as the North Pacific College of Optometry. PUCO prides ourselves on our clinically oriented program, focusing on the graduation of a comprehensive practitioner with expertise in general optometry, contact lenses, low vision, vision therapy, sports vision and ocular disease. Pacific University is a fully accredited member of the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges and the Council on Optometric Education of the American Optometric Association. Graduates are fully qualified to practice in any state in the nation, the curriculum far exceeding the most stringent educational requirements of any state.  The curriculum also prepares students for successful completion of the National Board Exam.

Pacific is an excellent academic institution, preparing students well for licensure and practice.  Pacific Class of 2013 Pass Rate for first-time test takers on the March 2012 Applied Basic Science (ABS) exam was 94.05% compared to the 85.43% national average.  Pacific’s scores are typically above the national average, and reflect the elite education our students receive here at Pacific University, and the hard work, dedication and focus our students and faculty bring to the classroom every day.

We offer a four year doctoral program in optometry. The curriculum consists of academic and laboratory experiences integrated with clinical work. The fourth year is entirely clinical, consisting of four full-time preceptorships. In addition to clinical training, Pacific demonstrates its commitment to quality optometric research by offering all students an elective research thesis opportunity, encouraging and providing funds for faculty to attend scientific meetings and providing research facilities. The annual Pacific Vision Conference on campus allows practitioners, students, faculty and other researchers the opportunity to exchange findings and information.

Unique to Pacific University are additional graduate degree programs in clinical optometry, allowing specialization in various areas of optometry. In conjunction with Pacific's School of Education, the Master of Education (M.Ed.), Visual Function in Learning program is designed to provide specialized study to qualify the optometrist as an education vision consultant. The M.Ed. and O.D. degrees may be pursued concurrently or separately. Pacific also offers a concurrent M.S. Vision Science degree for students in the O.D. program.  Successful graduates of the O.D. program can complete this research-oriented Master's degree in just one year. 

Residency programs leading to a certificate in Hospital Optometry, Rehabilitative Optometry, and Hospital/Geriatric Optometry are also available. These are conducted in conjunction with Veterans Affairs Medical Centers.  A contact lens residency is also offered at the Forest Grove campus.

We have excellent facilities located on the Pacific campus along with a network of clinical centers in the Portland metro area. Graduates have broad-based clinical skills in all areas of optometry. Preparation for clinical work begins in the first year and increases in complexity as the student progresses. Intensive clinical work in the third year requires the student intern to rotate through a series of Pacific University EyeCare centers. In addition, fourth year students will complete four full-time external preceptorships.


Optometry Licensing Requirements

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Interested in Amigos, Pacific's International Eyecare Student Club? Visit the Amigos website for more information about the club!