Fun facts about Southern College of Optometry


Located in Memphis, Tennessee, the Southern College of Optometry (SCO) is a prestigious institution that specializes in optometric education and patient care. The college has a rich history, having been established in 1932. Over the years, SCO has become a renowned institution for its excellent academic programs, world-class faculty, and state-of-the-art facilities. In this blog post, we will explore some fun facts about the Southern College of Optometry that you might not have known.

Fun facts about Southern College of Optometry

The College’s History

SCO was founded in 1932 by a group of optometrists who were determined to establish an institution that would provide quality optometric education to students. The college began with only six students and one full-time faculty member, but over the years, it has grown to become a world-class institution with a student population of over 500 and a faculty of 80.

The college’s campus is located in the heart of the Memphis Medical District, which is home to several other healthcare institutions. The proximity of the campus to these institutions provides students with opportunities for interprofessional education and collaboration. The college has also been involved in several research projects, which have contributed to the advancement of the optometric field.

SCO is also known for its commitment to serving the community. The college’s outreach program provides eye care services to underserved populations in Memphis and the surrounding areas. The college also hosts several events throughout the year that promote eye health and education.

Academic Programs

SCO offers several academic programs, including a Doctor of Optometry (OD) program, a Master of Science in Clinical Vision Research (MSCVR) program, and a residency program. The OD program is a four-year program that prepares students to become optometrists. The program has a rigorous curriculum that includes both classroom instruction and clinical experience.

The MSCVR program is a two-year program that is designed for students who want to pursue a career in vision research. The program provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to conduct research in the field of optometry.

The college’s residency program provides optometrists with additional training in a specific area of optometry. The program is highly competitive, and residents have the opportunity to work with some of the most experienced and knowledgeable optometrists in the country.

Student Life

SCO has a vibrant student community, and there are several student organizations on campus that cater to different interests. The college’s student government association (SGA) is responsible for organizing events and activities for students throughout the year. The SGA also represents the interests of the student body and advocates for their needs.

The college also has a strong athletics program, with several sports teams that compete against other colleges in the area. The sports teams include basketball, volleyball, and soccer, among others. The college’s athletic facilities are state-of-the-art and include a gymnasium, a fitness center, and a swimming pool.

SCO also has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. The college has a diversity and inclusion committee that works to promote a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students. The college also offers scholarships and financial aid to students from underrepresented backgrounds.

Accreditation and Recognition

SCO is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE), which is recognized by the United States Department of Education. The college is also a member of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO).

The college has received several awards and recognition for its academic programs and patient care services. In 2020, the college was ranked as the #1 Optometry school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The college’s outreach program has also received recognition for its efforts to provide eye care services to underserved populations.

Technological Advancements

SCO has always been at the forefront of technological advancements in optometry. The college was the first optometry school in the country to integrate electronic medical records into its curriculum. The college also uses state-of-the-art equipment and technology in its clinics, including digital imaging, advanced diagnostic equipment, and advanced treatment options.

In addition to its use of technology in patient care, SCO also offers several online courses for students. The college’s online courses provide students with the flexibility to complete coursework at their own pace and on their own schedule. The online courses also provide students with the opportunity to learn from experienced faculty members from around the world.

Alumni Network

SCO has a large and active alumni network, with over 7,000 graduates practicing optometry in all 50 states and several other countries. The college’s alumni association provides support and resources to graduates, including networking opportunities, continuing education courses, and access to job opportunities.

Many of SCO’s graduates have gone on to become leaders in the optometric field. Several alumni have served as presidents of state and national optometric associations, and others have become faculty members at optometry schools around the country.


In conclusion, the Southern College of Optometry is a prestigious institution with a rich history and a commitment to excellence in optometric education and patient care. The college offers a wide range of academic programs and has a vibrant student community. SCO is also known for its commitment to serving the community and its technological advancements in the field of optometry. The college’s alumni network is also a testament to its success in preparing students for successful careers in optometry.