Dean's Welcome

Dean Karla Zadnik
Dean Karla Zadnik

Welcome to The Ohio State University College of Optometry, a first-rate optometry program at a major U.S. university. We recently celebrated our 100th birthday! We have a big university feel with a small-town optometry vibe. We have much to offer our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the community.

Teaching students who graduate as excellent optometrists is our primary goal. Our didactic coursework and extensive clinical experiences contribute in equal measure. We’re housed in a beautiful old building in the heart of the Ohio State health sciences sector, and our facilities inside are top drawer! One of our newest additions—a preclinic teaching area with 18 examination rooms and injections and contact lens labs—is open to students 24/7. Whether our students are headed to private practice, group practice, military or Veterans Administration sites, industry, or the academic world, we offer a program that will help them achieve their goals.

We also host the Graduate Program in Vision Science. Our graduate students pursue Master’s degrees, along with their Doctor of Optometry degree, Advanced Practice Fellowships in a variety of subspecialty areas, or a PhD in Vision Science. We are training the future "best of the best" faculty members and vision scientists.

Because of our location at a world-renowned university, our research is vital, too, and there is a broad intersection between clinical care and research here. Optometry is a profession, not a trade. Professions are defined by their independent generation and dissemination of new knowledge, and our faculty members make a difference in their federally-funded research. Their most ambitious goal is to make discoveries that actually change how optometrists care for their patients.

Faculty, students, and staff have access to all the wonderful resources that Ohio State and the city of Columbus have to offer. Beyond competitive benefits and the University's commitment to professional/personal balance, there are learning and research in the college and interdisciplinary opportunities among colleges and departments across campus.

Our alumni—part of the population of 500,000 living Ohio State alumni--are active and invested in our continued success. They received an excellent education here but also a deep sense of caring and commitment to optometry and to Ohio State. Many of them participate as externship preceptors and residency supervisors for our students’ advanced clinical experiences. One unique feature of The Ohio State University College of Optometry is its close relationship with the Ohio Optometric Association. We partner with the state’s most important optometric advocacy organization to ensure the "health" of our beloved profession.

The people of Central Ohio, along with the Ohio State community, have access to full clinical eyecare services at the college, Ohio State’s Student Health Service, Faith Mission, and Lower Lights Christian Health Center. We deliver eyecare every day that makes a real difference in people’s lives.

Whether you are a prospective student, alumnus, donor, potential employee, or longtime friend, spend some time exploring our website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed. You’ll discover a dynamic college with deep roots in Ohio State and tall branches that reach out to the profession of optometry, the central Ohio community, and beyond. Please come visit us. I would love to personally show you around. Come explore The Ohio State University College of Optometry’s Buckeye Advantage with me.


Karla Zadnik, OD, PhD
Dean and Glenn A. Fry Professor in Optometry and Physiological Optics