The Basic Science Course

Basic Science Course in Ophthalmology - Class of 2017

Course Overview

Since 1941, the Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute at the Columbia University Department of Ophthalmology has offered an ophthalmology basic science course. While the focus of the course is resident training, it has also proven useful for the visual sciences community as a whole. Coursework examines the fundamentals of vision and emphasizes how these basic principles relate to patient care.

The curriculum is developed by a committee of active scientists, practicing clinicians and the chief academic resident, and is updated annually to include the most recent scientific advances as well as any controversial developments in the field. It is also continuously revised in response to feedback from previous course evaluations. An international faculty of more than 80 clinicians and scientists is chosen based on expertise, clarity of presentation, and visual aids. In addition to over one hundred hours of lecture, the course includes a two-day orbital dissection, ocular anatomy and histology laboratories, an oculoplastics workshop for fillers and facial rejuvenation, two days of instruction in retinoscopy and refraction, a hands-on imaging workshop including ultrasound, Pentacam and keratography, and a Phaco wet-lab.

The background reading text for the course is The Basic and Clinical Science Course from The Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, San Francisco, CA.

Produced by G. Chang (2017)


  Celebrating More than 75 Years of Basic Science 


Course Dates

January 7 - February 1, 2019 

Course Brochure


2019 Weekly Schedules

Click for details:

  • Week 1 - Jan.  1 - 11, 2019

  • Week 2 - Jan. 14 - 18, 2019

  • Week 3 - Jan. 21 - 25, 2019

  • Week 4 - Jan.  28 - Feb. 1, 2019

Course Registration

International participants should apply for a visa as soon as possible. Columbia University and Columbia University Medical Center do not provide assistance in obtaining visas for this program. However, applicants are encouraged to contact the United States embassy to obtain an appropriate visa.  After you have registered and paid for the course, we will be happy to provide a personalized letter of invitation upon request as a supporting document, please just contact us with your request.


Part 1 - Complete Course Registration

  • You'll be directed to the Basic Science Course Registration form

Part 2 - Complete Payment for the Course 

  • Upon completion of registration, you'll be directed to PayPal where you'll have options to pay online with or without a PayPal account
    • Early Bird Fee: $2,000 (ends November 24, 2018)
    • Regular Fee: $2,300 (ends December 20, 2018)
  • Discounts are available for groups of 6 or more students.

Complete Registration and Payment



Contact Information

If you have questions or need additional information about the ophthalmology basic science course, please contact:

Course Resources