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Best opt school?

Discussion in 'Pre-Optometry' started by idoctobe, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. idoctobe

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    I know there is no rank, but what is the "perceived" order of the best schools out there? any input would be great!
     
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  3. eyestrain

    eyestrain Member

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    Indiana. No doubt about it. After all, I go there. How much more awesome could it get?
     
  4. IndianaOD

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    In reality go to the least expensive school in the town you can stand to live in. My short list is: Indiana, Ohio State, Berkley. Many here know I don't like the private schools ;).
     
  5. hfpepperbean47

    hfpepperbean47 You wish you were me

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    That is good advice. The only bad thing is, coming from Minnesota, there aren't very many places that are cheaper than the other. Bad luck I guess...but I don't think the difference between a public or private optometry school is what one would expect - not really akin to comparing, say, a private undergraduate institution to a public one.
     
  6. Opii

    Opii Senior Member

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    The Harvard School of Optometry followed by the Yale school of Optometry.
     
  7. iproblem

    iproblem Banned
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    what about massachusetts institute of optometry and stanford school of optometry? too bad they don't have a minimal 3.9 GPA cutoff.
     
  8. DrSpontaneouz83

    DrSpontaneouz83 Junior Member

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    I heard the Corneall School of Optometry is pretty competitive, it's the newest addition to Cornell in Ithaca, NY. I believe you have to at least have a 3.999999999 GPA and an OAT score of 450.
     
  9. joshkim

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    none of those schools exist
     
  10. DrSpontaneouz83

    DrSpontaneouz83 Junior Member

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    LoL sorry you didn't catch on to the jokes. We're just being facetious since this forum has so many debates about comeptitveness, minimal standards, etc. etc.:laugh:
     
  11. Opii

    Opii Senior Member

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    :eek: Then who have I been sending my tuition money to? All this time I thought I was in Haavad.
     
  12. iiiimonica

    iiiimonica 4 eyes on me

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    Why UC Berkeley, of course!
    GO BEARS!!

    ranked the top public university in the world, by some magazine no one really reads, but it was sent out by the chancellor so we all read it and bring it up whenever we can:laugh: . there is a lot going on here and that is part of what makes it a great school. i think every other graduate program here is ranked in at least the top 5 of all programs - quality husband/wife pool! and it's Berkeley - so dirty, so lively, so many causes, so little time.


    but does this mean it's the best optometry program?
    as much as us bears would like to think so, who knows? there are no optometry school rankings and seeing as the boards are about to change, the old "our school is the best because we have the highest board passage argument" will mean nothing. so the best school is...

    1. the cheapest
    2. the one that takes you


    other then that, for name brand appeal, it's going to vary by region, but you could safely say UC Berkeley is pretty well known (did you know it was ranked the number 1 public university in the world?:laugh: ).
     
  13. iiiimonica

    iiiimonica 4 eyes on me

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    i would never wear the cardinal! never!!! stanfurd? hsssssssssssssssssssssss


    (true story - everytime stanford is mentioned at Cal, students hiss, the first time i heard it, i was blown away. image ~400 undergrads hissing! it doesn't happen with as much venom in grad school, mainly only the professors and students who were undergrads hiss)
     
  14. qwopty99

    qwopty99 Optometrist

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    at the academic level (some may dispute whether this is even relevant or not since u get as good a clinical experience - perhaps even better - at the privates as u do the publics), but the top-2 are typically viewed as:

    1. Berkeley
    2. Ohio State

    Third on the list can be any of the following four, but if u had to split hairs:

    Tied for 3rd. Indiana/Houston
    Tied for 5th. SUNY/UAB

    if u had to refine further, u could probably make the case Indiana>Houston, and SUNY>UAB, but at this level, it is really is trivial. complicating matters, is that i'm pretty sure houston has more grad students than indiana, and that UAB has stronger students in general than SUNY (but SUNY has better faculty, i think), so it really is a wash.

    bottom line: the top schools at the academically prestigious level are all the schools associated with a state university. the privates (NEWENCO, PCO, SCCO) are less academically recognized and have varying levels of research going on (NEWENCO-lots, SCCO-nil).
     
  15. ODisme

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    Hello 14_of_spades

    I'm not sure exactly what is meant by academically recognized. Do you mean that if you were going to apply for a job for example, that you would be preferred if you were from a state school? Or put in other words that your education is regarded as being better, or of higher quality?? Hmmm...interesting....I haven't really heard of this viewpoint before. I always thought schools like PCO, and SCCO were good schools based on board scores, reputation, etc. To be honest with you, I'm not really even sure which schools are private or public (except for the few you mentioned in your post). Don't know if I'm imagining things, but I believe they had that info on www.opted.org under the profile of entering students or prereqs for each school in previous years. It is not there anymore this year though (that is if my memory serves me right and it was even there last year).
    Oh yeah and by NEWENCO do you mean the New England College of Optometry?

    Thanks!
     
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  17. qwopty99

    qwopty99 Optometrist

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    hi ODisme (plz re-read the post - as i did many edits)

    i'm sure my post can come across as being somewhat controversial. it's not intended to be, but it's an assessment of what i've come across in my time as both an (foreign) academic and as an advisor to prospective vision science graduate school applicants (so not exactly equal to the OD program per se). i've researched what graduate programs are available at all the schools - they vary a lot - from MS/PhD, to having none at all.

    first of all - i said reputation at the "academic" level is not the same as "academically recognized". ALL the OD schools are "academically recognized". go to harvard medical school hospital and see if they have an OD practicing in there - it's probably a NEWENCO (new england) grad. so when it comes down to it, u can have a strong OD come from any program.

    at the vision science "academic" level, however, not all the schools are equal. here's a short database i came up with:

    Programs Offering the PhD

    Univ Alabama at Birmingham
    http://main.uab.edu/show.asp?durki=4967
    Financial aid 23000/year
    http://main.uab.edu/show.asp?durki=16336
    Deadline Jan.15

    UC Berkeley
    Deadline Jan.5

    Indiana University
    http://www.opt.indiana.edu/programs/graduate/index.htm
    Grad Student Profiles
    http://www.opt.indiana.edu/people/grads.htm
    Fee Remission, 20000/year
    Deadline Feb.1

    University of Houston
    http://www.opt.uh.edu/go/academics/grad-prog
    Toefl 550, GRE 1150
    Student Profiles
    http://www.opt.uh.edu/go/academics/grad-prog/grad-student-directory

    Ohio State Univ
    http://optometry.osu.edu/graduate/
    Requires an interview, needs OD or equivalent
    Seems to require MS before PhD.

    State University of New York
    http://www.sunyopt.edu/academics/grad.shtml
    Deadline Mar.1

    University of Waterloo
    http://www.optometry.uwaterloo.ca/graduate/prospectivestudents.html

    Masters Only Schools

    Pennsylvania College of Optometry
    http://www.pco.edu/acad_progs/grad/grad_prgs.htm

    University of MIssouri - St.Louis
    GRE 1100, Toefl 550
    http://www.umsl.edu/divisions/optometry/programs/physoptic.html

    New England - MS in VS
    http://www.neco.edu/educational-programs/MS_OD_Program.aspx
    (they are apparently trying to get a PhD program in collaboration with Boston U Med School)

    Nova Southeastern - Distance MS
    http://optometry.nova.edu/cvr/index.html

    No Vision Science Programs (?)
    SCCO
    Pacific
    Illinois
    Ferris State Univ Michigan
    Southern College
    Northeastern State University

    Australian Schools

    Queensland Univ Brisbane Australia
    http://www.hlth.qut.edu.au/opt/courses/course-major.jsp?major-id=4441&parent-count=1

    Univ New South Wales Australia
    http://www.optom.unsw.edu.au/future/postgraduate/pgrequirements.html
    Research Programs (MSc, PhD)
    Applicants for admission to our research programs should first contact the Postgraduate (Research) Co-ordinator, to discuss the proposed area of research and suitable supervision.

    Univ Melbourne
    http://www.optometry.unimelb.edu.au/dept/pginfo.html
     
  18. qwopty99

    qwopty99 Optometrist

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    anyhoos - my post and comments are about optometry at the "academic" level - i.e. largely vision science research.

    the presence of a PhD program obviously trumps any school that has no such offering. as such, one can make a pretty compelling case there exists a "top-6" (top-7 if u count Waterloo) optometry school grouping in the area of optometry academics.
     
  19. qwopty99

    qwopty99 Optometrist

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    true story.

    Columbia University used to have a graduate optometry program.

    it was discontinued in the 1950s...
     
  20. qwopty99

    qwopty99 Optometrist

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    i think u are referring to this?

    http://www.opted.org/profiles.pdf
     
  21. Opii

    Opii Senior Member

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    Yay! :clap: So at least we had our foot in one Ivy league at one time (before our life time).
     
  22. hfpepperbean47

    hfpepperbean47 You wish you were me

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    The results just came in (from a reliable internet polling source) that Central Valley Community, Alternative Learning, and Optometry College (Missouri) is the #1 Optometry school in the nation for 6 years running. Not coincidentally, they also have #1 GED program in the nation!! Don't believe me? Check it out! http://www.cvcaloc.mo.edu
     
  23. ucbsowarrior

    ucbsowarrior Senior Member

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    :thumbup:

    The last national ranking of opto schools was in the late 90's. Since 99' most ranking has stopped.

    Typically the schools ranking were as follows:

    1. Berkeley
    2. Ohio
    3. Indiana

    The book did not go into the qunatitative methods used to assess each school/college.

    I would take rankings with a grain of salt as opto school will be the final chapter in formal school for most optometrist, as opposed to being in undergrad and having to apply for post-grad degrees.

    I would advise students to rank schools according to the following:

    1. How well versed is the academic and clinical faculty at pedagogy. If they cannot convey information to students, I don't care how smart or how many publications they have. They are useless to students. This was a problem for a few instructors at Berkeley. They were world reknown in their respective fields, but their pedagogy skills sucked. They might as well have been speaking a different language. At one point or another, probably 90% of the class did not know what they were trying to convey. You guys remember the movie, A BEAUTIFUL MIND, true story, smart guy ~ but if he taught you, you would not learn jack. Some of the research oriented schools have a handful of these gifted nuts, but most were pretty good. Even worse, some of them are treated for psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety, etc (please do not ask for their names).

    2. School environment. Is it a place you would like to call home for 4 years. Not a place you can tolerate, but a place you would like to live. Class demographics is another isssue. Many schools have an over representation of certain ethinic classes or a certain gender. I would like to see more diverse student populations. More African American, Latino and other minorities would be good.

    3. Party environment. These will be the last 4 years you'll be able to party hard and live a semi-carefree lifestyle. If you don't do it, you're a fool. How accessible are you to the clubs, bars, etc. Is your class full of fellow party people! Study - Work - Play, remember these three principles you'll be a happy camper.

    4. Student retention rate. You may ask each school regarding their dropout rate. This info is provided to the government and you may request for it.

    5. Cost of living should be a small consideration. The cost to study and party hard at the same time is priceless.


    ucbsowarrior
     
  24. ODisme

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    Hello 14_of_spades,

    Ok, now I see what you mean about the different optometry schools. You kind of had me lost there, but you cleared it up with your editing and your new posts. So, pretty much the schools you were mentioning were really up there in terms of research and leading the field in that sort of thing, but a person can still get just as good an education at a private school. Gotcha!

    As far as the link you provided, yes, that is the one I was referring to. However, I believe that in previous years there was an additional column that stated whether a school was private or public. I'm pretty sure it was there before, but not this year for some reason. Oh well. One more question for you...do you know if PCO is big on research even though they are a private school?

    Thanks again.
     
  25. qwopty99

    qwopty99 Optometrist

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    >do you know if PCO is big on research even though they are a private school?

    i don't think i've ever been able to find any graduate program information on their website (http://opt.pacificu.edu/test/index.html) - although i have heard elsewhere they do offer an M.Ed or something (although that might be in conjunction with the rest of the university, and not the OD school itself.

    in general, if there's no grad school in vision science, u can be pretty sure the research going on is pretty minimal.


    and yes, u got my point. NONE of this academic stuff is relevant if u just want to get an OD school and practice. i have heard bad stuff about UCB clinical (good research there), and good stuff about SCCO clinical (no research there). i haven't heard of any private school giving a poor clinical education (in fact, i've heard people rave about the clinical ed some/most privates give), although i have heard of publics not always giving a great education (coincidentally with UCBwarrior's post above or not, the school in question being UCB).

    that said, i've also had UCB grads tell me their clinical was great. so its hard to go by anecdotes.
     
  26. luckyfool

    luckyfool SUNY Opt

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    so which schools do you think have the better clinical programs?
     
  27. qwopty99

    qwopty99 Optometrist

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    i don't think i can answer this question. most of what u (i) hear is anecdotal, so it wouldn't be fair for me to name names.

    u can reasonably generalize a major concept though:

    - an OD school clinic (or MD school hospital, or whatever) in a bigger city is likely to have a wider range of patient disease presentations. the diseases a clinic sees in downtown chicago is likely going to be more varied than a clinic housed in some rural, uniform environment.

    people will generally associate a better clinical experience with a more established school clinic. just by raw population/numbers, the bigger more active clinics offering greater services are typically those in bigger cities - because they have access to a larger population of people.

    i know that where i'm from, some medical schools have been judged to give poorer educations because they are a medical school in what is essentially a university-town. consider this. the university town that i mention will only have enough population to support ONE hospital. so u have 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year students ALL doing their rotations in that ONE hospital. PLUS, there are the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th (ped neurosurgery) year residents, ALSO doing their training in that ONE hospital. compare that to a med school based in an urban environment - there might be 5-6 hospitals in the immediate surroundings where one may do their training over the period of their education.
     
  28. ucbsowarrior

    ucbsowarrior Senior Member

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    Most of the potential of each student lies from within. There's must be some correlation with regards to your training institution, however I would be bold enought to say that it is mainly dependant on the individual. The worst student could goto the 'best' school and become a total flop and vice versa.

    With regards to obtaining an expertise in a particular clinical area / field, there just isn't enought time in school to fully hone your skills in any one specialized area without work experience in an area or a residency. You may receive general compentency in your clinical skills, but few will excel in any specific area without further clinical reinforcement postgraduation. School clincial training mainly exposes you to the many subspecilities of optometry and the basic general skills.

    Last but not least, remember: Partying is the key to a good academic life :thumbup:

    ucbsowarrior
     
  29. qwopty99

    qwopty99 Optometrist

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    this is a fair statement.:thumbup:

    if u really want to get some expertise, u probably need to do a residency.
     
  30. ucbsowarrior

    ucbsowarrior Senior Member

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    wow, thank you for your validation - best read my other post, b/c I'm not seeking validation:sleep:
     
  31. iiiimonica

    iiiimonica 4 eyes on me

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    saucer of milk, table for one!


    Ps welcome back ucb:)
     
  32. drbizzaro

    drbizzaro Varilux/Essilor Advocate

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    this post is pretty good for those interested in the school rankings
     
  33. dblugoose

    dblugoose New Member

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    All I know is that even though school rankings have not been released since 99, they have also changed alot.

    From what I hear, the top opt. schools (present) in no particular order are Berkley, SCCO, SUNY, and UCB. Berkley is widely known for their research while SCCO is known for their clinical experience.

    In the end, the best thing to do is just to visit the schools and see if you "fit" in.
     
  34. iiiimonica

    iiiimonica 4 eyes on me

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    i agree with going to visit the school, but research is no more a focus at Berkeley then at SCCO. we are no longer required to do a thesis project, and research is not forced on us in anyway. now if you want to do research their are many opprutunities, some paid! so let's stop saying SCCO is clinical, Berkeley is research. it's just not true. Both programs produce great clinicians.
     
  35. qwopty99

    qwopty99 Optometrist

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    i don't know where u got that ranking. i think ohio state, houston and indiana would have an opinion on the matter.

    further, i don't know if it was intentional or not, but u listed Berkeley twice:

    -Berkley (sic)
    -UCB (which is UC Berkeley)
     
  36. Opii

    Opii Senior Member

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    I second that motion.

    My completely biased opinion: PCO, Indiana, PUCO, UH, UAB, OK (but you can't get in unless your from OK).
     

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