To obtain licensure, graduates must have completed the requirements established by each state or national licensing board. Licenses require successful passage of a country's national board examinations and may require the passage of additional state licensing exams. Postdoctoral requirements may vary among US states. The National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) administers complete integrated examinations in three parts that reflect the different stages of a candidate's optometric education and training. The earliest date for a student candidate to take the Part I examination is March of the third professional year at an accredited institution. The earliest date for a candidate to take the Part II examination is in December during the candidate's fourth year at an accredited institution. Students are eligible to take the Part III examination at the conclusion of their third year or at any time throughout their fourth year.
Students intending to practice in Canada must seek a Certificate of Competence in Optometry in most provinces. This requires that they take and pass the Optometry Examining Board of Optometry (OEBC) examination which has Written and Practical (clinical skills) Assessments. A candidate is not eligible for registration for the spring or fall exam administration until they are enrolled in their final year of an optometry program. Candidates registering for a spring administration must graduate with an OD degree on or before June 30th following that administration. Candidates registering for a fall administration must graduate with an OD degree on or before November 30th following that administration.
It is the responsibility of the individual student to pass national board examinations. For additional information regarding licensure, contact the following agencies:
National Board of Examiners in Optometry
200 S. College Street, #2010
Charlotte, NC 28202
Phone: 800-969-EXAM (3926) or 704-332-9565
Optometry Examining Board of Canada
37 Sandiford Drive, Suite 403
Midwestern University’s Doctor of Optometry meets the educational requirements for licensure to practice as an optometrist in the following jurisdictions: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Each student should check the additional licensure requirements for the state, district or territory in which they intend to pursue employment.
Special Note: Licensure in Oklahoma requires that you must have passed the Laser Therapy for the Anterior Segment Course offered by the Northeastern State University.