The Basic Science Course in Ophthalmology

Basic Science Course in Ophthalmology - Class of 2020

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 (2019)


  Celebrating 80 Years of Basic Science 

Course Dates: January 3, 2022 - January 28, 2022  

This year, we will be offering two options:

Option 1 (All Virtual) - REGISTER NOW -

  • Four consecutive weeks of all-virtual didactics and discussions
  • Registration Fee: $1,200

Option 2 (Hybrid)* - REGISTER NOW -

  • Three consecutive weeks of all-virtual didactics and online discussions (Weeks 1-3: 1/3/22-1/21/22)
  • One week of in-person, on-site workshops at CUIMC (Week 4: 1/24-1/28/22)
  • Registration Fee: $2,300

*A minimum of 20 in-person registrants is required for the workshops to take place. If you register for the second option and we do not meet the required amount of registrants you will be refunded the difference. 

Course Information 

Contact Information

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