Announcement iconAdmission Applications are now being Accepted !!
for the Fall Semester of the Academic Year 2020/2021

Doctor of Optometry


The Arab American University of Palestine is delighted to announce the launch of the Doctor of Optometry Degree, which is the first professional optometry doctorate program offered in the Middle-East. It is our goal to recruit bright and motivated students and train them to become excellent clinicians and future leaders working towards the development of a new model of clinical optometry in the region.

The OD program at AAUP was established in partnership with a professional team from the College of Optometry at the State University of New York. The 6-year curriculum integrates basic health and medical sciences with vision sciences to develop critical thinking skills that forms the foundation of clinical practice. The last two years of the program focuses heavily on clinical training through delivering direct patient care at AAUP’s eye center which is equipped with state of the art equipment. The student’s clinical experience will be further enhanced by delving into optometric sub-specialty training in exceptional externship training sites locally, regionally and internationally.

Program Accreditation and Professional Body

The professional optometric degree program at the Arab American University is accredited by the Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education. A team from the State University of New York will oversee the launch of the program to ensure it meets the international standards of optometric education.

Graduates of the Doctor of Optometry program will be members of the Palestinian Council of Optometrists and Opticians following their graduation.

Program Goals

AAUP aims to serve as a center of excellence in optometry education by delivering an exemplary doctor of optometry educational program whose graduates possess the highest level of competency relative to international standards and who become future clinicians who are knowledgeable, clinically competent, professional and most of all ethical. The Doctor Optometry Program will:

  1. Educate outstanding Doctors of Optometry who provide exceptional comprehensive primary eye care.
  2. Combat blindness and visual impairment by providing exceptional general and specialized optometric care;
  3. Enhancing public health through education, research and evidence-based practice to a broad range of communities within the West Bank.


This six year curriculum will be delivered in three stages:

Stage 1 - Pre-Clinical (Years 1& 2): The first two years of the program concentrate on introducing students to medical health sciences that will form the foundation of their problem-oriented critical thinking and evidence-based patient care.

Stage 2 - Didactic and Introduction to Clinic (Years 3 & 4): During this stage information gained from health sciences in stage 1 is integrated with visual sciences and clinical practice. Students will develop understanding and knowledge of the visual system and learn fundamentals of delivering primary eye care through comprehensive eye examination. Students begin their clinical training in this stage under the supervision of clinical optometric faculty.

Stage 3 - Clinical (Years 5 & 6): During this stage students integrate didactic knowledge gained through the past 4 years and clinical skills through delivering direct patient eye care in primary eye care clinics and specialty optometric clinics. During the last year students will b assigned to various clinical rotation sites where they will be given patient care responsibilities. Opportunities for rotation at international clinical affiliates will be offered to students.