The percentage of women entering North America’s optometry schools and colleges remains high. For the 10 years between 2006 and 2015, women, on average, accounted for 65.5 percent of first-year enrollments. In the seven years since, the average has risen to 69.3 percent.
Only one college—University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Optometry—had fewer than 50 percent females in its entering class of first-year students this fall.
The chart below takes a look at the trend of percentage of women in optometry school classes since WO began reporting this data in 2006. That first year only included the U.S. schools and colleges of optometry, however, each year since analyzed ALL North American traditional optometry programs including Canada and Puerto Rico.
The enrolling class this year, the class of 2026, had 70 percent female students, dropping down just slightly from last year’s 71 percent.
In 2022, women represented more than 45 percent of the practicing ODs.
Click here to view the class of 2026 enrollment statistics.