Admission Process and Program Information

  • Ophthalmic Technology ProgramChairman and Professor – Timothy W. Olsen, MD
  • Program Director – Jeff Horton, MMSc, COMT
  • Medical Director – Paul Pruett, MD
  • Senior Associates – Lindreth Dubois, MMSc, COMT; Rhonda Waldron, MMSc, COMT
  • Associates – Donna Leef, MMSc, COMT


  • Professors –Allen Beck, MD; Valerie Biousse, MD; Geoffrey Broocker, MD; Henry Edelhauser, PhD;
  • Hans Grossniklaus, MD; Michael Iovone, PhD; Scott Lambert, MD; Mary Lynch, MD;
  • Bernard McCarey, PhD; Nancy Newman, MD; Ted Wojno, MD
  • Associate Professors – Maria Aaron, MD; Anastasios Costarides, MD, PhD; Dayle Geroski, PhD;
  • Baker Hubbard, MD; Amy Hutchinson, MD; Susan Primo, OD; Bradley Randleman, MD
  • Assistant Professors – Fulya Anderson, OD; Chris Bergstrom, MD; Beau Bruce, MD;
  • Blaine Cribbs, MD; Annette Giangiacomo, MD; Emily Graubart, MD; Brent Hayek, MD;
  • Joung Kim, MD; Phoebe Lenhart, MD; April Maa, MD; Paul Pruett, MD; Bryan Schwent, MD;
  • Sunil Srivastava, MD; Maria Woodward, MD; Jiong Yan, MD
  • Clinical Instructor – Mary Carlton, OD; Marisa Feliciano, OD; Kenneth Rosengren, OD;
  • Buddy Russell, COMT, FCLSA; Susan Shields, OD; Ann Van Wie, OD; Thao Vu, OD;
  • Michael Ward, MMSc, FAAO; Jill Wells, MD

Certificate Program

Ophthalmic Technology is a field which specializes in eye care. Ophthalmic medical personnel are trained to examine patients with ocular problems and work under the supervision of an ophthalmologist. Ophthalmic Technology students learn to take medical histories, check vision, perform refractions (measure for glasses), measure keratometry & topography (shape of the cornea), fit contact lenses, measure peripheral (side) vision by performing visual field tests, measure intraocular pressure (glaucoma test), detect and measure strabismus (alignment and balance of the eye muscles), photography and imaging of the eye, measure the eye using ultrasound, and assist in surgery along with other more specialized tasks. Currently the Program is accredited by the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology to qualify graduates to sit for the Technologist level exam and is in the evaluation process for accreditation at the Technician level.

Admissions Requirements

The following requirements must be satisfied for admission:

  1. High school diploma or equivalent
  2. COMT applicants only - 60 semester credit hours of college (or two full years of work experience under the supervision of an ophthalmologist).
  3. Approval by the program faculty and the School of Medicine’s Department of Ophthalmology.
  4. Applicants must supply three recommendations, with at least two professional or educational references.
  5. Students receiving education in a country where English is a foreign language must successfully complete the written and spoken Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) as well as provide transcripts verifying completion of one year of schooling in the United States.

Emory Certificate Requirements

  1. Technologist Track - (fully accredited) – a residence of 24 months, satisfactorily completing approximately 2500 didactic and clinical hours.
  2. Technician Track - (accreditation applied for)– a residence of 16 months, satisfactorily completing approximately 1800 hours of didactic and clinical hours.
  3. Endorsement by each instructor that the student is qualified to work in a medical field – basing this opinion on the student’s moral character and sound professional judgment.
  4. Satisfactory performance on written exams and periodic clinical skills assessments.

National Certification

Written and practical (computer based skills assessment) exams are required for National Certification in ophthalmic technology at the COMT (Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist) and the COT (Certified Ophthalmic Technician) levels. These exams are standardized and are administered by the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology. With the endorsement of the Emory Department of Ophthalmology, each qualifying student takes a written exam in the fall of the second year for the Technician track and in the summer of the second year for Technologist track. In order to qualify for the COMT exam, in addition to completion of a formal training program, candidates must have successfully completed two or more years of college/university level courses (60 semester credits) or have worked 4000 hours (two full years) under the supervision of an ophthalmologist. Pending accreditation, completion of the formal training program alone qualifies students for the COT level exam. After successful completion of the exam, the student is invited to take a computer-administered, practical exam.