About the College of Optometry

The Pacific University College of Optometry was originally founded in 1921 as the North Pacific College of Optometry. It became part of Pacific University and the Forest Grove Campus in 1945.

Today, at the College of Optometry, we pride ourselves on our diverse clinically oriented program, focusing on the graduation of a comprehensive practitioner with expertise in primary care optometry, ocular disease, contact lenses, low vision, vision therapy & rehabilitation, pediatrics, and sports vision.

Pacific University is a fully accredited member of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), and the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) of the American Optometric Association (AOA).

Contact information for ACOE can be found at:
Accreditation Council on Optometric Education
243 N. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63141
Telephone (314) 991-4100

We offer a four-year doctoral program in optometry. Graduates are fully qualified to practice in North America, with the curriculum far exceeding the most stringent educational requirements of any state in the US or province in Canada. 

Our Residency Programs provide optometric physicians the opportunity for an additional year of structured educational and advanced clinical experiences in cornea & contact lenses, geriatric optometry, low vision rehabilitation, ocular disease, pediatric optometry, primary eye care, refractive & ocular surgery co-management, and vision therapy & rehabilitation.

In conjunction with Pacific's College of Education, the Master of Education/Visual Function in Learning (MEd/VFL) program is designed to provide specialized study to qualify the optometrist as a vision consultant to schools and other organizations that provide or support primary, secondary and even higher education.  This includes expertise in the role vision plays in reading and learning.

Pacific also offers research-oriented Master of Science in Vision Science (MSVS) and PhD in Vision Science programs. Vision science is a broad and growing field, encompassing numerous disciplines, such as anatomy, physiology, pathology, molecular, cellular, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, optics, psycholphysics, eye movements, perception, color vision, engineering, and computational vision, among others.  Our programs engage students in advanced study and research of the visual system and prepares them for career success in teaching and/or research in academic settings or application in the ophthalmic industry.

To address the global public need for vision care in underserved areas of the world, we now collaborate with medical universities and institutions in Asia to offer a degree completion program, the Bachelor of Applied Vision Science (BAVS) for international students from China and Taiwan.

Pacific University operates several Pacific EyeClinics throughout the Portland Metro Area, providing students with diverse clinical experiences while serving the eye care needs of the community. Our 33-foot EyeVan is our clinic on wheels that provides much needed access to eye and vision care to underserved populations in the region.  In addition, Pacific University is home to the Vision Performance Institute (VPI), a leading research organization in the vision sciences.

Our Student Support Office provides resources to students in the College of Optometry.


Pacific University College of Optometry prepares engaged learners to be highly competent practitioners, optometric leaders, and vision scientists through a diverse education while advancing professional and ethical eye care, scholarship, and service to the community.


  • Didactic and clinical preparation in an engaged learning and patient care setting
  • An intellectual community that supports collegiality, integrity, scientific inquiry, mutual cooperation, and respect
  • An educational experience that conveys multicultural competence, coupled with an enhanced awareness and appreciation of a diverse and changing society
  • A life-long collegial relationship with our alumni

Goals and Objectives

  1. Pacific University College of Optometry will provide diverse educational opportunities in a supportive setting that allow students to acquire a firm foundation in the basic and clinical sciences, together with optometric clinical and interprofessional experiences that prepare students for the practice of optometry
  2. Graduates of Pacific University College of Optometry will consistently demonstrate high levels of professional competency including the ability to critically analyze information
  3. Faculty and students at Pacific University College of Optometry will consistently demonstrate professional and ethical behaviors
  4. Pacific University College of Optometry will provide service to our alumni and to the public and healthcare communities
  5. Pacific University College of Optometry will be active in research and scholarship in vision science and healthcare