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Optometrists primarily concentrate on structure, function and disorders of the eye. They typically work in private practice, hospitals or clinics, and often as part of an interdisciplinary primary health care team. Many UC-trained optometrists remain in California to practice.

Demand for optometrists is expected to increase due to the vision care needs of aging populations nationally and within California. This shift to growing numbers of older Americans is expected to lead to an increased prevalence of glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and diabetic and hypertensive retinopathy.

There are 23 accredited colleges and schools of optometry across the United States, and only three in California.

Leading California — and the Nation

Berkeley Optometry & Vision Science regularly tops lists of the best optometry schools in the U.S.

We take our responsibility of leading the nation in optometry education seriously. That’s why we continue to build upon it every day, with every student. With each graduating class of around 70 students, collaboration and community will be key aspects of your experience—along with a rigorous practical application of your education.

The Wertheim School

"The clinical experience at Berkeley Optometry is invaluable due to the vast number and variety of clinical cases the student clinicians are exposed to daily. The introduction to patient care starting early in second year allows the students to build long-lasting relationships with faculty and colleagues. These relationships are great resources to turn to throughout your career."

Anne Tasaki, OD
Class of 2013

The Wertheim School

Our mission is to further the frontiers of primary vision care practice, specialized optometric practice and vision science research. We offer a Doctor of Optometry (OD) program and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Vision Science program. We also offer a one-year residency program for ODs.



Degree Programs


Patient Care

Doctor standing outdoors

Systemwide Expertise Across California

More than 70 percent of UC optometrists choose to stay in California after graduation from optometry school. Whether our optometry graduates pursue private practice or another path, they can draw from a system of UC alumni that spans the entire state and beyond.

Explore patient care within our six academic health centers

UC Students Studying

Using Research to Inform Patient Care

Research is an integral part of your education at UC Berkeley. As a data-driven system, research continually improves our patient care across the entire UC family. In fact, one in seven National Institutes of Health grants is typically given to the University of California.

See how University of California Health is challenging the status quo through innovative research