Orthoptic Fellowship Programs

Admission criteria varies between programs. However, national regulations require completion of a baccalaureate degree prior to sitting for the American Orthoptic Council [AOC] certifying examinations. There are no required course prerequisites mandated from AOC, individual orthoptic programs may have their own pre-requisite requirements or recommendations.

The Graduate Record Examination is not required. Advance standing may be awarded to ophthalmic medical personnel who possess an undergraduate degree and a current COT or COMT certification. Advance standing eligibility is determined by the program director upon a candidate’s acceptance into their program. Advanced standing may also be granted on a case-by-case basis by the AOC based on the extra qualifications, degrees and/or related work experience of the applicant. A request for special consideration of advanced standing will be submitted by the program director on the student’s behalf. Advanced standing students must complete a minimum of 12 months in an accredited program. The exact length of training will be determined by the program director based on the student’s progress, their fulfillment of the program’s requisites and if they are deemed ready to sit the AOC certifying exams.

Look at the below map to find the program near you. 

 Approved Programs in the United States Of America


Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

Division of Ophthalmology
225 E. Chicago Avenue Box #70
Chicago, Illinois 60611
Vivian Tzanetakos, CO
(312) 227-6718


University of Iowa Orthoptic Fellowship Program                

Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences 
200 Hawkins DriveIowa City, IA 52242 
Tara Bragg, CO
Phone (319) 356-3863
Fax (319) 384-9831
Application (2020)



GBMC Orthoptic Fellowship Program

6569 N. Charles St. PPW Suite 505
Baltimore, MD 21204 
Maureen Flanagan, CO, COA
(443) 849-6341
Fax (443) 849-2648
Alex Christoff, CO, COT
Co-Director, The Wilmer Eye Institute



Boston Orthoptic Fellowship Program

Collaboration: Boston Children's Hospital & Tufts Med Ctr.
Boston, MA
Shelley Klein, CO
Sarah Mackinnon, CO



University of Michigan Orthoptic Program

W.K. Kellogg Eye Center
1000 Wall Street 
Ann Arbor, MI 48105 
Bruce A. Furr, CO,PhD 
(734) 764-7558
Fax (734) 763-7114


Children’s Eye Care Orthoptic Program of Michigan

Stilson Medical Center/Children’s Hospital of MI
42700 Garfield Road, Suite 200
Clinton Township, MI. 48038
Judy Petrunak, CO, COT
Fax 586-416-1608



University of Minnesota Orthoptic Program

Minnesota Lions Children’s Eye Clinic
701 25th Ave S. Ste 300
Minneapolis, MN 55454
Kimberly Merrill, CO 
Fax 612-365-8351          



The Ross Eye Institute Orthoptic Program

1176 Main St.
Buffalo, NY 14209
Kyle Arnoldi, CO, COMT
(716) 881-7914
Fax (716) 887-2991



OHSU Orthoptic Program Casey Eye Institute

Department of Ophthalmology
3375 SW Terwilliger Blvd
Portland, OR 97239-4197
Dusty Gronemyer, CO 
(503) 494-0972         
Suite 9NW27
Philadelphia, PA 19104         
215 590-4591       
Salvatore Bellante, CO 



Hamilton Eye Institute Orhtoptic Program

930 Madison Ave. Suite 400
Memphis, TN 38103
Chantel Devould, CO 


Vanderbilt Eye Institute Orthoptic Program Tennessee Lions Eye Center

2311 Pierce Ave
Nashville, TN 37232
Ron Biernacki, CO, COMT



Orthoptic Program - University of Wisconsin

Department Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences 2880 University Ave. Room 223
Madison, WI 53705-9030 
Kali Loberger, CO 
(608) 263-6978
Fax (608) 263-4247

Approved Programs in Canada



Vancouver Orthoptic Program 

BC Children’s Hospital
4480 Oak St. 
Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6H 3V4 
Christy GiligsonOC(C) 
(604) 875-2326



Clinical Vision Science Program

Dalhouse Univ., IWK Health Centre
5850 University Ave.
PO BOX 9700
Halifax, NS Canada, B3K 6R8
Daren Oystreck, MMedSCi, OC(C), COMT 
(902) 470-8959 
Fax (902) 470-7207 



Saskatoon Health Region Orthoptic School and Clinic Eye Care Centre

701 Queen St.
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, S7K 0M7
Jocelyn Zurevinsky OC(C) BA  
[email protected]
(306) 655-8094 


Inquiries regarding US and Canadian Programs 


[email protected]


About the Program

The study of orthoptics follows a logical sequence of courses vital to the understanding of the visual system. Course work is integrated with hands-on clinical approach. The primary aim of the Orthoptic Program is to prepare students to become efficient members of the vision health care team. For two intensive years of instruction, orthoptic students interact with medical students, ophthalmology residents, fellows and medical professionals in a clinic setting.

Subjects Include:

A thorough investigation of the structures of the human visual system with concentration on the anatomy of the eye and surrounding structures. A basic knowledge of human anatomy is recommended.
 A basic introduction to the central and peripheral nervous systems and to the parts of the brain which are essential to vision and eye movements.
 A thorough understanding of the normal functioning of organ systems and organs with emphasis on the eye. 
 The study of diagnostic and therapeutic drugs used in ophthalmology. The properties and reactions of specific agents is studied as well as the proper clinical indications for the prescription of specific ophthalmic drugs.
Diagnostic Testing & Measurement
 An introduction to the clinical techniques necessary for an orthoptist to perform a diagnostic examination. The application and interpretation of specific testing procedures is covered in-depth throughout the course of study.
Systemic Diseases & Ocular Motor Disorders
 Visual symptoms are often the presenting sign of a serious systemic illness. The pathogenesis, signs and symptoms of various disease processes are discussed. A systematic overview of the visual disorders encountered by the orthoptist is provided.
Principles of Surgery
Introduces the student to the essentials of pre and postoperative patient care. Provides an overview of the indications for surgery and the types of surgery performed by an ophthalmologist to correct eye alignment and eye movement disorders.
Basic Ophthalmic Exam Techniques
 Orthoptic programs provide instruction in the principles of ophthalmic technical procedures such as refractometry, visual field testing, and contact lens fitting which are useful adjuncts to the specialized skills of an orthoptist. Some programs offer clinical proficiency in these technical skills while others focus primarily on theoretical concepts.
Ophthalmic Optics
 Examines basic principles from the genesis and propagation of light to the laws of applied optics relative to ophthalmic lenses and prisms. A basic knowledge of algebra and physics is recommended.
Orthoptic Treatment
 An introduction to the various forms of non-surgical treatment encompassing theoretic principles and clinical application.
Additional subject areas may include:
  • Principles of Genetics
  • Child Development
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Clinical Research Methods
  • Medical Writing