Student Fellowship


The Academy has launched an exciting new Student Fellowship program to encourage students to experience the entire meeting, hoping that it will stimulate improved integration of all of the opportunities offered at the meeting, encourage future involvement, and persuade students to become Fellows upon graduation.

The Student Fellowship program is a great opportunity for students to engage in cutting edge knowledge and technology through lectures, workshops, posters and much more! The program is geared to guide students to develop their skills as an optometric or vision science professional.

Picture Caption: Montreal students, Yousra Djalal, Michele Arthurs and Martin Spiro obtain Student Fellowship status.

The entire process of obtaining Student Fellowship takes place during the annual meeting:

  1. Be a Student Member of the Academy. Your OD graduation date must take place after the annual meeting of which you are pursuing Student Fellowship. Residents are not eligible to participate.
  2. Before the annual meeting, notify the Academy you want to become a Student Fellow by selecting the "I want to pursue Student Fellowship" box during registration for the meeting
  3. Attend the orientation breakfast
  4. Attend 4 hours of continuing education, at least two hours must be in one or more of the following topic areas:
    • Public Health, Jurisprudence, or Practice Management
    • Binocular Vision
    • Low Vision
    • Contact Lenses
  5. Attend 2 hours of paper presentation sessions (integrated paper/poster sessions will be counted toward both requirements). Residents Day paper sessions do count.
  6. Attend 2 hours of poster presentation sessions (integrated paper/poster sessions will be counted toward both requirements). Residents Day poster sessions do count.
  7. Attend ONE of the following:
    • Plenary Session (Wednesday noon - pre-registration is required)
    • Monroe J. Hirsch Symposium (Thursday morning)
    • Ezell Fellows Present
  8. Attend the Academy Business Meeting*
    • Thursday, November 13, 6:00 to 7:00 pm
  9. Attend ONE Section or SIG Symposium*

*You may substitute a Merton Flom Leadership course for 8 or 9 above. You may also substitute participation in Fellows Doing Research for 8 and 9 above (students were previously contacted about this). If you sign up for a Merton Flom Leadership course AND participate in the Fellows Doing Research project, you do not need to also complete 8 or 9 above.

This must be completed prior to graduation from optometry school. Upon completion, the students will receive a Student Fellow lapel pin, Candidacy for Fellowship application dues waived during the year of graduation and free student registration to the next Academy meeting.

PLEASE NOTE: Obtaining Student Fellowship status does not give a student any points or credentials that can be used toward Fellowship in the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO). 

For more information, please contact the Faculty-Student Liaison at your optometry school or Jenny Brown at