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Pacific students

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Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 25, 2004
well really i would like your opinion on the school.....do you feel you received a good education there? were there any weaknesses in the program?
How about being in a small town....did you find that the patient base was limited in your third year? I guess in fourth year you do rotations off campus so then it doesnt matter

personally i liked the school when i interviewed, but i just want some feedback from as many students as possible :thumbup:

by the way...what are you going back to school for? masters of science in clinical opt?


Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Nov 5, 2003
I am returning to school to receive an M.P.H in International Health at Emory University. Pacific University College of Optometry is known for the broadness of its education. That is they will teach you all facets of optometry. From Binocular vision and vison therapy to medical optometry. The students are as well or better prepared academically than the other colleges of optometry which can be seen via not only board scores but also their clinical abilities. The course work is constantly undergoing revision, and has become much improved over the years. First year is extremely challenging for most students not due to the difficulty of the material but rather due to the amount of material to be learned. Second and third year are more clinically based and most students find those years a little less stressful but challenging none-the-less.

Pacific is a good school. Drawbacks are: exposure to patient care in third year. Some students have a lot of exposure others have little. This is constantly being adressed and a good step has been taken by limiting the number of fourth years on campus. While the first three years of school are on the semester system the fourth years are now on a quarter system. They do three external rotations and one internal thereby allowing more of the patients to be seen by third years at the same time increasing the number of patients seen by fourth years. PUCO has multiple clinic sites in the greater portland area and very few fourth years actually spend time in Forest Grove. Much time is spent in county clinics or the downtown Portland clinic where there are more patients available to be seen. (I was just talking to one of my students and we determined that the number of patients seen by a Pacific student are on the same level as other schools its just that more of our patients are seen outside of the school - that is on your external rotations.)

Another draw back to Pacific is tuition. I believe this is a problem with optometric education as a whole. The expense of going to most schools is out of line with the eventual earning potential.

All-in-all if I were to do it again I would choose Pacific again. It was a fun four years and I believe the education was on par with other schools. Remember that a lot of your education no matter where you go is what you make of it. If you want to see more patients sign up for extra clinic during holidays. Find your own patients. Bring in friends and family. Give a card to the checker at the grocery store, the gas attendant (you're not allowed to pump your own gas in Oregon), etc. You will do well no matter where you attend school so look more at what school fits your learning style and what part of the country is more attractive to you. (I'll admit that for some time while in school I didn't enjoy PUCO but looking back it wasn't bad at all. I think that everyone ends up with a love-hate relationship with their school)

Good luck.
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