Prospective Students » Optometry » Typical Week

First Two Years (75 hrs/wk)

Pie chart depicting time spent in first 2 years

Third Year (45 hrs/wk)

Pie chart depicting time spent in the third year

Fourth Year (40 hrs/wk)

Pie chart depicting time spent in fourth year

A Week in the Life of an Optometry Student

First Three Years

Student doing eye exam

Class Time: You attend lectures, participate in case-based learning assignments, have small group discussions of case studies, and take exams and quizzes. You will also learn about interprofessional interactions and participate in community-based service learning projects.

Lab Time: Your lab time focuses on providing a foundation for understanding concepts in the basic and biomedical sciences as well as improving clinical skills.

Eye exam

Studying: Professors provide you with electronic copies of the lectures, so studying often consists of reviewing these handouts along with class notes, reviewing case studies, studying in groups, and reading assigned chapters in textbooks. Patient care may also require time for preparation or looking up information.

Clinic: You will start working with patients beginning your very first semester. The amount of patient contact will gradually increase to approximately 12 hours per week in your third year.

Fourth Year

Clinic: In the fourth year you will spend all your time in clinical rotations. You will rotate through a variety of clinical settings including hospitals, specialty care settings, and community clinics.

Students on campus

Non-Academic Time

For long weekends or during spring and winter breaks, you can go home to see your family, ski, or maybe take a trip to Las Vegas. There are many cultural and recreational things to do when you live in Southern California, so our students try to take advantage of them when they can.