For questions about the Student Fellowship program please contact Kayla Ritten at
NOTICE: The deadline to watch the Student Orientation Video has been extended to Wednesday, November 14 at 11:59 PM.

The Academy offers the 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.

Student Fellowship Requirements

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 and graduate students 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. View a mandatory orientation video. You must view this video by Wednesday, November 14 at 11:59 PM ET for it to count toward your Student Fellowship requirements
  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 1 hour of paper presentation sessions (Residents Day paper sessions also count) **
  6. Attend 1 hour of poster presentation sessions (Residents Day poster sessions also count) **
  7. Attend ONE of the following sessions:
    • Plenary Session (Wednesday, November 7 from 10 AM to Noon)
    • Monroe J. Hirsch Symposium (Thursday, November 8 from 8 to 10 AM)
    • Ezell Fellows Presents (Friday, November 9 from 2 to 4 PM)
  8. Attend the Student/Resident Awards Lunch
    • Thursday, November 8, Noon to 1:00 PM
  9. Attend ONE Section or SIG Symposium*
  10. Attend the American Academy of Optometry and American Academy of Ophthalmology Joint Symposium*
    • Thursday, November 8 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM

    *You may substitute a Merton Flom Leadership course or you may volunteer for a shift assisting with the FDR SIG study for this requirement.

    **If you are accepted to present a paper/poster, the presentation fulfills that requirement. Example: You are accepted to present a poster. Thus, you would NOT also need to attend 1 hour of posters. You would still have to attend 1 hour of papers. Hybrid paper and poster sessions, marked "Super Session" count toward BOTH 5 and 6 above.

    Terms and Conditions

    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).