Jul 13, 2024  
2016-17 NSU Graduate Catalog 
2016-17 NSU Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

College of Optometry



The first session of the 34th Oklahoma Legislature referred a request for an interim study to determine the need and feasibility of establishing a school or college of optometry at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah to the Legislative Council.  The Executive Committee of the Legislative Council in December of 1973 requested the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education to undertake a study of the subject so that the results could be repeated the second session of the 34th Legislature.

The Regents published the results of their study in a report entitled, “Optometrists for Oklahoma: A Study of Supply and Demand to 1990,” in May, 1974.  The study showed that Oklahoma did need to increase the number of optometrists either through establishing a new school of optometry or through increasing the number of contracts with out-of-state optometry schools.  In the study, the Regents noted that individuals with impaired or deficient vision are handicapped in an increasing visual world, and it is therefore critical that Oklahoma have access to adequate primary visual care through the provision of adequate numbers of optometrists to serve all the state’s citizens.

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education authorized Northeastern State University to begin a program in optometric education with the Fall Semester of 1979 and gave formal approval to Northeastern to implement a full four-year professional program in optometry during the Regents’ July 29, 1981, meeting.


The Oklahoma College of Optometry is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education and is a member of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry.


Optometry is the third largest independent, primary health care profession in the United States and is the major provider of primary eye care in America.  Optometric physicians are independent primary health care providers who specialize in the examination, diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures as well as the diagnosis of related systemic conditions.  Within this scope of practice, optometric physicians are dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the quality of our lives and environment.


For more informatioon about NSU’s Oklahoma College of Optometry, visit the website: https://optometry.nsuok.edu/futurestudents.aspx