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.


Approved Programs in the United States Of America


Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital

Orthoptic Program (Dept. Ophthalmology)
225 E. Chicago Avenue Box #70
Chicago, IL 60611

Vivian Tzanetakos, CO
Phone (312) 227-6718


University of Iowa Orthoptic Fellowship Program                

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences 
200 Hawkins Drive 
Iowa City, IA 52242 

Tara Bragg, CO
Phone (319) 356-3863
Fax (319) 384-9831
Application (2020)


Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC)

GBMC Orthoptic Fellowship Program
6569 N. Charles St. PPW Suite 505
Baltimore, MD 21204 

Maureen Flanagan, CO
Phone (443) 849-6341
Fax (443) 849-2648


Boston Orthoptic Fellowship Program

Collaboration: Boston Children's Hospital & Tufts Med Ctr.
Boston, MA

Shelley Klein, CO
Phone   617-636-6769
Sarah Mackinnon, CO
Phone    617-355-6845

Email     [email protected]


Introduction letter to the Boston Orthoptic Fellowship Program

Application form

Instructions for writing letters of reference


University of Michigan Orthoptic Program

W.K. Kellogg Eye Center
1000 Wall Street 
Ann Arbor, MI 48105 

Bruce A. Furr, CO,PhD 
Phone (734) 764-7558
Fax (734) 763-7114


Children’s Eye Care Orthoptic Program of Michigan

Children’s Hospital Specialty Center
42700 Garfield Road, Suite 200
Clinton Township, MI. 48038

Mary De Young Smith, CO

Phone 586-532-3380
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 
Phone 612-365-8365
Fax 612-365-8351          

Mayo Clinic Orthoptic Program

MA07E Ophthalmology
200 First St., SW
Rochester, MN  55905

Lindsay Klaehn Oc(c), CO, COMT
Phone 507-284-2744



Ross Eye Institute Orthoptic Program

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


Columbus Orthoptic Fellowship

555 S 18th St Suite 4C
Columbus, OH 43205

Kelsey Black, CO

Phone: (865) 386-1102

Meghan McMillin, CO


OHSU Casey Eye Institute

Orthoptic Program Dept. of Ophthalmology
3375 SW Terwilliger Blvd
Portland, OR 97239-4197

Dusty Stolz-Gronemyer, CO 
Phone (503) 494-0972         
Suite 9NW27
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Salvatore Bellante, CO 

Phone (215) 590-4591

Email [email protected]

Application form


UTHSC Hamilton Eye Institute Orthoptic Program

930 Madison Ave. Suite 400
Memphis, TN 38103
Chantel Devould, CO 
Phone 901-448-3010


Vanderbilt Eye Institute Orthoptic Program

Tennessee Lions Eye Center
2311 Pierce Ave
Nashville, TN 37232

Ron Biernacki, CO
Phone 615-966-2250



Orthoptic Program - University of Wisconsin

Department Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences 
2880 University Ave. Room 223
Madison, WI 53705-9030 

Kali Loberger, CO 
Phone (608) 263-6978
Fax (608) 263-4247

Children's Wisconsin Orthoptic Fellowship

Department of Pediatric Ophthalmology
8920 W. Connell Ct., Suite 130
Milwaukee, WI  53226

Veronica Picard, CO

Phone: 414 -266-2020

Fax : 414-266-2027 

Email  [email protected]

Application form



Approved Programs in Canada



Vancouver Orthoptic Program 

BC Children’s Hospital
4480 Oak St. 
Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6H 3V4 

Christy Giligson, OC(C) 
Phone (604) 875-2326



Clinical Vision Science Program

Dalhousie University / IWK Health Centre
Eye Clinic - 6th Floor
5850 / 5980 University Ave.
PO BOX 9700
Halifax, NS Canada, B3K 6R8

Darren Oystreck, PhD, OC(C), COMT 
Phone (902) 470-8959 
Fax (902) 470-7207 
Dawn Pickering, BSc, OC(C), COMT, CLVT
Phone (902) 470-8019
For information, contact:  [email protected]



Saskatoon Health Region Orthoptic School

Orthoptic Clinic Eye Care Centre
701 Queen St.
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, S7K 0M7

Jocelyn Zurevinsky OC(C) BA  
[email protected]
Phone (306) 655-8094 


Inquiries regarding US and Canadian Programs 

Phone 608-233-5383 
[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.
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
Last Updated on Thursday, April 28, 2022 12:23 PM