Students/New Grads

Colorado is a wonderful place to live and a great place to practice optometry. We invite you to get to know our state and the Colorado Optometric Association during your student years. If you're a recent graduate who is considering moving to practice in Colorado, the Colorado Optometric Association can be a valuable resource while making the transition.

Applying for your Colorado license

Students can apply for their license in Colorado once you have your final transcript and have passed your final exams. Transcripts must be sent from your Optometry school via mail (1560 Broadway, Suite 1350, Denver, CO 80202) or e-mail ( to the Colorado State Board of Optometry Office of Licensing - Attn: Optometry Licensure.

You must take and pass the below examinations. Your application cannot be fully processed until NBEO sends your passing results directly to the Office of Licensing Attn: Optometry Licensure ( OR 1560 Broadway, Suite 1350, Denver, CO 80202):

  • Part I Basic Science
  • Part II Clinical Science
  • Part III Patient Care


  • Treatment and Management of Ocular Disease (TMOD)

All applications are submitted online here:

Living in Colorado

If you love the outdoors, Colorado offers a diverse array of recreational opportunities. From hiking, biking and world-renowned skiing to water sports like kayaking, river rafting or world-class fishing, you can enjoy almost any sport here. Colorado boasts 18 million acres of state and national parks, forests and monuments. If you're more of a city dweller, Colorado has much to offer. Thriving metropolitan areas offer cultural events, museums, breweries, wineries and fine dining and shopping. The people of Colorado are friendly and helpful, and even in the large cities of our state, many people appreciate the small-town friendliness of Colorado's citizens.

To learn more about recreational opportunities in Colorado, go to

Practicing optometry in Colorado

The profession of optometry in Colorado is as diverse as its landscape. Many new graduates find opportunities in the large metropolitan areas, but there are also many under served rural areas that need providers.

The scope of optometry practice in Colorado is one of the best in the nation. Practitioners in our state are able to treat a wide array of eye disease, and have a wide range of therapeutic tools to choose from.

Colorado Optometric Association membership

Wherever you decide to practice, membership in your state optometric association and the American Optometric Association is of vital importance. Without our associations to represent us in legislative, third-party, health care reform and Medicare, our profession would not be the organized, effective force in health care that it is today. Because of our associations, and the optometrists in our associations before us, today's optometrists are able to provide to patients the highest level of optometric patient care in history.

In Colorado, we have been fortunate to have a long history of dedicated optometric leaders, a highly organized and motivated Association staff, and generations of volunteer optometrists who have worked tirelessly to ensure many of the privileges that we enjoy today in our practices.

Association benefits for students and new graduates

  • Your membership gives you full access to the COA website's Member Center. The Member Center is full of helpful information, publications and resources, including the Classifieds, a list of job opportunities in the state.
  • As a member, you'll be able to download the COA's monthly newsletter, Viewpoints, from the website. This publication includes valuable information about what's going on in Colorado optometry and helps you get to know your future colleagues.
  • You can also list yourself as an opportunity seeker in the COA Classifieds so that colleagues with available openings can find you easily.
  • You can sign up for OD ASAP, a program in which you receive instant email notifications of new fill-in positions available in the Classifieds.
  • COA has four local affiliated societies: The Denver Metro Optometric Society (DMOS), Southern Colorado Optometric Society (SCOS), Northern Colorado Optometric Society (NCOS) and the Western Colorado Optometric Society (WCOS). Joining a local society is a GREAT way to network and meet local colleagues, as well as get CE credits under your belt.
  • The COA is a great resource for questions about issues such as securing a DEA number, networking opportunities, practice purchasing opportunities, buying group information and much more.
  • The AOA offers an 'Advocate for the New Practitioner' section, which includes information about career options, marketing yourself, joining/starting/buying a practice, managing practice operation, marketing and patient communication.
  • Optometry's Career Center® Managed Care Resource Guide, a Practice Resource Center and a Resource Guide for Employed/Affiliated Optometrists are all at your disposal as a member.
  • The AOA provides a Dr. Locator service (with a link through the COA's website) so that patients can find your new practice.
  • The COA is the largest network of optometrists in the state of Colorado. Many professional opportunities, friendships, mentorships and professional relationships have grown from contacts made at COA events. The COA sponsors Celebrating Colorado Optometrists, the annual awards program, to give members a chance to mingle and reconnect with colleagues. The annual Golf Tournament is always a great time to catch up with friends and enjoy a day in the sun.
  • As a new graduate, AOA membership gives you access to group rate medical and dental plans, Life/Disability/Hospital Indemnity insurance programs, and low-cost professional liability insurance.

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