University of Waterloo School of Optometry

University Of Waterloo School Of Optometry

University of Waterloo School of Optometry

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The School of Optometry is one of the professional schools at the University of Waterloo. It is housed in the Faculty of Science. It is the larger of the two optometry schools in Canada, and the only facility for English-language optometry instruction in the country. (The Université de Montréal has a French-language optometry program.)


The University of Waterloo School of Optometry opened on July 1, 1967 (the Canadian Centennial). Before this time, optometrists were trained at the College of Optometry of Ontario in Toronto. The size of the program doubled once this affiliation with UW was established. Dr. Edward J. Fisher served as the new school's first dean until 1975. Fisher had been dean of the College of Optometry for 19 years beforehand, and from 1969 to 1970 he served as the 23rd President of the American Academy of Optometry, the first Canadian to serve in that capacity.

Classes and administrative offices were originally based in the Math and Computer building and the Biology 1 buildings at the University in Waterloo. A clinic was established in the old post office at 35 King Street North. In 1973, the Optometry building was built in its present location on the north side of Columbia St, where lecture halls and clinic facilities were available in one place.

The Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree has been a four year program since the 1950's at the College of Optometry of Ontario, where a Grade 13 high school education was sufficient for admission. Since...
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