Ophthalmic Technician Curriculum

The Duke Ophthalmic Technician program is a 51-week, full-time, certificate program. Each year, we offer two program start dates, one in early January and another in early July.

Most Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT) programs require two years to complete, Duke’s unique, 51-week, accelerated program provides a rich educational environment. Each student receives a comprehensive education and exposure to all that is necessary to prepare them to pass their certifying examination at the COT level and begin a successful career as an ophthalmic technician.

The first three months, are devoted to an intensive curriculum of lectures, classroom work, and practical workshops, structured to provide each student with the strong basic clinical skills to confidently, and competently begin their clinical rotations. 

In subsequent months, students advance their knowledge and skills through clinical rotations under the guidance and supervision of seasoned technical staff and Duke Eye Center physicians.   As students apply their skills and gain a greater understanding of complex ophthalmic conditions, they become essential and valued members of our eye care teams.  

Upon successful completion of the Ophthalmic Technician Program, graduates receive a certificate from the Duke School of Medicine and are well-prepared, to  take the IJCAHPO, internationally recognized, certification exam for Ophthalmic Technicians.

To learn more about the program admissions, see the Duke University School of Medicine Bulletin.

Download the Course Schedule


Sessions start dates:

  • First week of July  
  • First week of January  
Holidays include: 
New Year’s Day
Martin Luther King Day
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Thanksgiving Day and the day after
Christmas Day
Completion of the Duke OpTech program and passing the COT exam can provide 18 credit hours toward a degree. See how.

Contact for more information:

Deborah Smith, COMT, BSBA
Coordinator of Education and Training
Program Director