Welcome from Dean Karla Zadnik


Dean Karla Zadnik

On behalf of all of us at The Ohio State University College of Optometry, welcome! We want you to use our website to cultivate your interest in optometry in general and in Ohio State Optometry in particular.

Our goal is simple--admit the 64 best first-year optometry students in the country. We want the future leaders, the next generation of professors, and the most successful practitioners. If you have the abilities, experiences, drive, and dedication that make you want to excel at the most comprehensive health sciences center in the country, then our program is for you.

Explore our website and online materials. Learn more about The Buckeye Advantage and how you can become part of the Ohio State Optometry family.

Please let us know how we can best serve you!

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

Leadership and Legacy

The Ohio State University College of Optometry is a leader in optometric education in the United States and is the only optometry program in Ohio. It is the oldest university-based program in the nation and was one of the first state university programs to grant the Doctor of Optometry degree. We share the resources of the most comprehensive health sciences center in the U.S.

We are a leader in:

  • contact lenses
  • visual perception
  • corneal physiology
  • vision standards
  • infant and pediatric vision
  • myopia research
  • geriatric vision

Our faculty members are recognized internationally for their academic credentials, real-life experience, and cutting-edge research. The Ohio State Doctor of Optometry program provides a well-rounded learning experience and fully prepares you for optometric practice both today and in the future.

One of the Nation's Best Clinical Programs

Ohio State's clinical optometry program is one of the premier programs in the nation. As a student clinician, you will have the opportunity to work side by side with international leaders in the field.

Student interns are involved in over 100,000 patient visits per year within our campus and affiliated clinics. By working and learning in these clinics, you will gain valuable direct patient care experience in all aspects of optometric practice.

The science and practice of optometry continually evolve as research produces new information and better ways of providing optometric care. A primary goal of the College of Optometry is to foster the desire in students to seek and critically analyze new information to be used more effectively to serve patients.

Strong Tradition of Excellence

Graduates of our program consistently achieve scores exceeding the national average in all 10 sections of the basic and clinical science examinations of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry.

Ohio State Optometry alumni are in high demand for employment in a variety of settings, including private practice, medical facilities, hospitals, industry, the military, and educational institutions. Graduates of our program are known for their broad clinical science knowledge, and their extensive experience with patient care.

The Master of Science degree in vision science is a desirable additional credential for optometrists wishing to pursue industry or educational career opportunities. A combined program is available to outstanding students enrolled in the Doctor of Optometry program who also wish to complete a simultaneous Master's in Vision Science degree. Additionally, we offer a Ph.D. program in vision science for graduates who intend to pursue higher education careers in research and teaching.

Valuable and Varied Learning Opportunities

We have a long tradition of service to the community through vision screenings and home-based vision care programs. Our multiple outreach programs focus on the community and meeting the needs of underserved populations. Each year we provide screenings to more than 3,000 schoolchildren and vision care to hundreds of Ohio veterans at Veterans Affairs hospitals.

The fourth year curriculum includes three externship programs that provide extensive training and hands-on exposure to a variety of practice settings, including primary care, co-management clinics, VA hospitals, ophthalmology practices, and community clinical facilities, ensuring a diverse patient base. You will have the opportunity to see many hundreds of patients with different conditions including cataracts, glaucoma, diabetes, and other diseases. Clinical externships are available in Ohio and many other states as well.