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Low Vision/Ocular Disease

Basic Information

Category Title: Vision Rehabilitation
Program Area of Emphasis: Low Vision Rehabilitation
Program Site: University of California Berkeley School of Optometry
Program Location: School or College of Optometry
380 Minor Hall
Berkeley, California 94720
Phone Number: 510-643-6696
Fax Number: 510-643-7111
Affiliation: University of California - Berkeley, School of Optometry
Director of Residency Education:

Kuni Kanai, OD, FAAO

Program Application Deadline: January 10, 2022
Program URL:

Program Description

Date Program Established: 1984
Accreditation Status: Accredited

Click here for more information about accreditation of optometric residency programs.

Combined Residency/Graduate Program: No
Program Mission Statement:

The Optometric Residency Program at Berkeley Optometry and its affiliate programs seek to recruit and admit the best-qualified postgraduate optometrists. Our aim is to provide advanced clinical education and concentrated clinical experience in specialty areas of optometry in an institutional or hospital-based setting. This mentored educational and clinical experience will prepare optometrists for lifelong scholarship in patient care, education, and optometric leadership.

Program Description:

The specialty program in Low Vision Rehabilitation provides residents with a broad experience in low vision care and rehabilitation for patients with decreased vision. The Low Vision Clinic has a diverse clinical population and provides service for substantial numbers of visually handicapped (often multi-handicapped) children, as well as, adults in college, at work, or in rehabilitation programs. The majority of the Clinic's patient population is elderly. The Low Vision Resident gains experience in prescribing hand-held and spectacle-mounted optical systems for distance and near activities and devices to compensate for peripheral vision loss. The Resident also learns about electronic magnification systems and computer hardware and software solutions. By working with our rehabilitation specialist, the Resident will acquire knowledge about rehabilitation services, such as support group programs, educational and mobility evaluations, contrast enhancement techniques and lighting options. Each week the Low Vision Residents rotates through clinics at the California School for the Blind and the San Francisco Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired. In addition, the Low Vision Resident will spend one day a week in an ocular disease clinic.

Program Length: 53-56 weeks
Number of Positions Available in Program: 1
Program Starting Date: Last Monday in June
Typical Weekly Hours and After-Hours Responsibilities:

Residents are scheduled for 5 days/week and most clinics run from approximately 8am-6pm. All residents also participate in the after hours emergency on-call program.

Requirements for Completion:

Three case presentations, one formal paper, patient logs, completion of residency binder, required evaluations and favorable recommendation from the Chief Mentor.

Program Salary/Stipend: $37,500
Program Benefits and Liability Coverage: Professional Liability Insurance


Other: Educational Leave
Completion Certificate: Yes
VA Hospital Affiliation: No

Key Contacts

Program Coordinator, Coordinator Title: Dr. Marlena Chu, Chief Mentor, Low Vision
E-mail Address:
Program Co-Coordinator, Co-Coordinator Title:
E-mail Address:

Application Information

Application Materials and Procedures:


1. Apply online with the Optometry Residency Match following the guidelines at 

2. Complete an online UC Berkeley application for Optometry Residency program at

3. For the UC Berkeley application, follow directions outlined on our website: 

4. You do not have to pay the application fee. When completing PAYMENT section, choose FEE EXEMPTION and then OPTOMETRY RESIDENCY PROGRAM from the list of eligibility. Follow the guidelines outlined in each section. 


Email with questions about your UC Berkeley online application.

Selection Procedure and Admission Criteria:

* Applicants must satisfy all requirements to allow for California licensure by the first day of the residency training. This includes successful completion of NBEO Part I, II, III, TMOD, and passing the California law exam administered through the state board. Details about California licensure, how to take the law exam, and a copy of the California law can be found at: * Applicants must have graduated from an Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) accredited school or college of optometry, and have earned an OD degree by the time of matriculation. * It is required that applicants have achieved at least a 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) cumulative GPA in the optometry professional curriculum. * All applicants will be evaluated without regard to gender, race, color, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or national origin. The Residency Admissions Committee, chaired by the Dean, will follow the procedures of the University of California as an equal opportunity employer. * There are a limited number of positions and only the most qualified candidates will be admitted. * International candidates must be eligible for an OPT visa. * Once all the required documents are submitted, selective applicants are invited for interviews. The majority of interviews will be conducted after the application deadline of 1/10/2022. However, the residency program allows for some flexibility given student clinicians' schedules. 

Program Application Deadline: January 10, 2022

Additional Comments

Optometry Residents at UC Berkeley are registered graduate students and may qualify for student loan deferral while registered in the program.