Frequently Asked Questions

Annual Meeting

General Information
Travel & Lodging
Q. How many hours of continuing education (CE) will be offered at the meeting this year?
A. There will be over 400 hours of CE offered. 

Q. How many hours can I earn at the meeting?
A. It is possible to earn 34 hours at the 2020 meeting. 

Q. How will you track my continuing education (CE) at the meeting?
A. Your badge will be scanned going into each session

For all lectures, workshops, symposia and special sessions (fixed credit)

• Anyone entering after the 10 minute grade period will NOT receive a credit form for their barcode. You may enter the room for personal enrichment but no credit will be awarded.
• Anyone leaving before the course is over and attempts to turn in the form will be informed that credit will not be given. 

For papers and posters (variable credit)

Your badge will be scanned going both in and out of each session. Your total time will be calculated based on entry and exit times. Reporting of attendance to state boards, if required, is the individual’s responsibility unless state law or regulations indicate otherwise.

Q. I need to get a copy of my CE certificate from a previous meeting, how do I go about doing so?
A. You can log-in and select "CE Certificates" from the drop-down menu above (hover over My Account). You may also email Christina Velasquez at and she will be happy to help you. 

Q. Can you tell me the size of the board for the poster session at the meeting?
A. The poster size should not exceed 4 feet (height) x 4 feet (width). Please note: There will be two posters being presented side by side on each poster board. 

Q. How do I sign up for corporate breakfasts or lunches?
A. You can sign up for these sessions when you register for the meeting online. 

Q. Where can I find citation information for Academy meeting paper and poster abstracts?
A. Please visit our citation information page

Q: I would like to exhibit at your meeting. Who should I contact?
A. Please visit the Academy Exhibits page where you will find an exhibitor’s prospectus and application form, as well as an updated floor plan of the convention center. If you have any further questions, please contact  Betty Taylor at or by telephone at 321-319-4861.

Q: What does it cost to exhibit at your meeting?
A: Please visit the Academy Exhibits page for more information.

Q: Are there still booths left?
A: Yes, however the exhibit floor will sell out quickly. Don't miss the opportunity to exhibit! Academy 2020 Nashville promises to be the best meeting ever! The exhibition will include three days of products, services, technology and educational resources related to eye care. Over 8,000 leaders in optometry and vision science are drawn to our annual meeting to discuss the latest research and scientific findings that support the clinical practice in our profession. As an exhibitor, you are a vital component of the meeting, and the Academy is committed to providing your organization an exciting forum to present your products and services. If you would like to view our floor plan, please visit Academy Exhibits and scroll down to Exhibit Hall Floor Plan to launch a PDF file of the Exhibit Hall. For Exhibit Hall questions, please contact Betty Taylor at or by telephone 321-319-4861.

Q: How many companies exhibited last year?
A: More than 200 different companies.
Q: Who is responsible for your meeting site selections?
A: Tradeshow Logic

Q: Do you have a brochure that lists the courses offered at the meeting that you can send to me?
A: Our Program Preview for Academy 2020 Nashville will be available to download at in May 2020.

Q: Where is your meeting being held?
A: This year’s meeting will be held from October 7-10, 2020 at the Music City Center in Nashville, TN.

Q: Do you have to be a member to attend the AAO meeting?
A: No, our meeting is open to both members and non-members who are optometrists, ophthalmologists, students, vision scientists and others who are interested in the fields of optometry and vision science.

Q: How many people do you expect to attend your meeting?
A: We expect around 8,000 attendees.
Q: How can I reserve a meeting room at your meeting in Nashville?
A: Please email Megan Scherman at for more information.

Q. How much does it cost to attend your meeting?
A: Please visit for registration rates when available.

Q: What is the price if you pay after Early Bird Registration Deadline?
A: Prices increase by $50 in each category.

Q: I live outside the U.S. and want to attend your annual meeting. Can I obtain a "letter of invitation" to support my documents to apply for visa to the U.S.?
A: Please forward your complete contact information to Sarah Kidd or call 321-319-4860 and dial 6. 

Q: How do I register for your meeting?
A: Registration is available online. Registration will open on May 12, 2020. 

Q: This is my first time attending your meeting, how does the registration work? Do I register per class or per day?
A: Attendees at Academy meetings register for the entire meeting, although single day registrations are also available. Attendees do not sign up for classes ahead of time (except for workshops, ACE courses, and leadership courses); most of the classes are filled on a first-come-first-serve basis. 

Q: I am bringing a guest with me to the meeting, should I obtain a guest pass, so that person can attend a few lectures with me?
A: The seating at our education sessions is limited; and primarily it has been reserved for anticipated attendees needing CE. For this reason, the Academy is unable to accommodate individuals who may want to observe our CE courses. However, we would like to invite you to register for a guest pass, so that your guest can participate in other Academy activities such as our Exhibit Hall, Awards Program and Alumni Receptions.

Q: How do I go about canceling my registration for the meeting? 
A. All cancellation requests must be received in writing.  For a full refund less a $25 fee, cancellation requests must be received by August 14, 2020. Any requests received between August 14, 2020 and September 10, 2020 will receive a full refund less 25%. No refunds will be issued after September 11, 2020.

Q. I am a current resident, but I am also a Candidate for Fellowship. Can I register for the annual meeting at the student/resident rate?
AYes. Please contact if you have any difficulty registering.

Q: What is the host hotel for this year’s annual meeting?
A: The headquarters hotel will be the Omni Hotel Nashville.

Q: What are the highlights of these hotels?
A: Visit our annual meeting webpage for more information.

Q: How do I make hotel reservations?
A: Once you have registered for the meeting, a link will be provided for you to reserve your hotel room. 

Q: How do I cancel or change my hotel reservation?
A: You need to do it through the Passkey system.

Q: I called the hotel and was told they’re sold out. Why?
A: Because hotel reservations for our meeting are only handled through the Passkey system.


Annual Dues
Earning Fellowship
General Info
Student Membership
OVS Journal

Q: How can I find out if I paid my dues or not?
A: Please contact the Academy Membership Office by e-mail at or contact the Academy's office by phone at 321-319-4860.

Q: Can I check and see if my annual dues payment was received?
A: Please check your canceled check or credit card statement. If your check was paid by your bank, or your credit card was charged, then we received your payment. If you need further assistance, feel free to send your inquiry by e-mail to our Academy Membership Office at or call the Academy’s office at 321-319-4860.

Q: Can you send me a receipt for my dues payment?
A: Yes, please send your request by e-mail to our General Delivery Mailbox or call the Academy’s office at 321-319-4860. If you paid by credit card online, you should have been emailed an automatic receipt. 

Q: Can I pay my dues over the phone with a credit card?
A: Yes, the Academy is able to accept credit card dues payments over the telephone. Please call 321-319-4860 and the Academy’s receptionist can assist you.

Q: Do you have a membership category for retired Fellows?
A: In accordance with the Academy’s bylaws, the Board of Directors may grant Retired Fellow status if an individual has reached the age of 65 and has retired and is no longer earning any income from optometry. Email for more information.

Q: Is there a reduced membership fee available for Fellows who are not yet retired but have reached a certain age?
A. There are two options for reduced membership fees available to Fellows who meet the following criteria. 

Option 1 – Emeritus Status
In accordance with the Academy’s bylaws,

  • The Board of Directors may grant Emeritus Fellowship to any Fellow who has been a Fellow for at least 30 years and has reached age 70.

  • Exception to the December 2005 updated bylaws: The Board of Directors may grant emeritus Fellowship to any Fellow born during 1940-1945 who has been a Fellow for at least 30 years and has reached age 65.

Emeritus Fellowship is automatically granted in the appropriate year (no requests are necessary)

  • Dues = $90

Option 2 – Senior Fellows
In accordance with the Academy’s bylaws, the Board of Directors may grant Senior Fellowship to any Fellow who has reached age 65.

Senior Fellowship is automatically granted in the appropriate year (no requests are necessary)

  • Dues = $270

Q: How much does it cost to become a Fellow? Are there application fees?
A: The annual dues are based on the year that the candidate graduated from professional school (includes OD completion). Recent graduates pay a lesser amount on a sliding scale. The initial candidate dues fee is refundable if, for any reason, an applicant does not qualify for candidacy. Applications and dues received after October 1 will be credited through the following calendar year.
  • Application Fee (non-refundable): $60**
  • Annual Dues
    Graduated from professional school (includes OD completion):
  • In current calendar year: $0
  • In last calendar year: $180
  • Two calendar years ago: $275
  • Three+ calendar years ago: $370

** Student/resident members who have graduated from optometry school, and have paid AAO student dues through the end of the calendar year, may transfer their membership to candidate for Fellowship during the same calendar year, at no additional charge, and are not required to pay the application fee. Also, student membership may not be reactivated after graduation.

Q: How do I become a Fellow of the AAO? Is there an opportunity at your meeting to learn more about becoming a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO)?
A: A candidate for Fellowship application form must be filled out and sent to the Academy office. Additional written materials need to be submitted to qualify for the FAAO oral exams. Oral exams are administered at our annual meeting. Candidate have three years to complete this process. To learn more about the candidate process, including downloading an application form, please visit Earning Fellowship.  

Is it true that I do not have to pay the candidate application fee, if I completed a residency program this year and submit my application for Fellowship this year?
A: Yes, as long as your Academy student dues are paid through the current calendar year, then the application fee will be waived. 

Q: Is it too late to submit my application for Fellowship?
A: Our office accepts Fellowship applications throughout the year. However, in order to qualify for the oral exam in October in Nashville, the deadline for clinical candidates to submit their first case report and for all candidates to submit their proposed plan for written work is February 1, 2020 to the subcommittee chairs of the Admittance Committee. The second case report must be submitted by April 1, 2020. The remainder of written work must be submitted by all candidates by May 15, 2020.

Q: What is my membership identification (ID) number?
A: Go to the Academy's home page at login go to the "members area" in the upper right hand corner and click on the "Login" button and then click on the highlighted section, "Forgot Password" and you will be asked to provide the e-mail address you have already given us, then click the submit button. Your membership identification number will be sent to you by email. You may also contact the Membership Office by e-mail or contact the Academy office by phone at 321-319-4860.

Q: What is my password?
A: Begin at the login, go to the "members area" in the upper right hand corner and click on the "Login" button and then click on the highlighted section, "Forgot Password" and you will be asked to provide the e-mail address you have already given us. Enter your e-mail address and then click the "Submit" button. Your login ID and password information will automatically be sent to you. 

Q: How can I change my contact information in your system?
A: As a Academy member, you are able to update your contact information at any time. Begin at the login link in the upper left-hand corner. Select "Individual Profile" to update your address information in the system. Please remember to hit the "Save" button at the bottom when finished.

Q. I am no longer a student member and do not want to pursue becoming a Fellow at this time. Is there a general membership fee that I can pay? 

A: The Academy does not have a general membership category. After you have graduated from optometry school or completed a residency program, the next option you have to continue your Academy membership is to become a candidate for Fellowship. Candidates have three years to complete this process. To learn more about the candidate process, including downloading an application form, please visit the How to Become a Fellow page.

Q: How do I obtain missing copies of my Optometry and Vision Science journal?
A: Current and past issues of the Optometry and Vision Science journal are all available online on the OVS website. Please log in to access journal. 

Q: How do I access the online version of Optometry and Vision Science (OVS) from your Web site?
A: Full text and PDF versions of the journal articles are available to all Academy members. Begin at the OVS webpage and click the "Access OVS" button. Once on the OVS website, login with the credentials emailed to you for journal access. If you do not remember your login credentials, select "Forgot Password" and this information will be emailed to the email address you provided the Academy. 

Q: Who do I contact if I am having problems accessing the online version of Optometry and Vision Science?
A: Please contact the Membership Office by e-mail or contact the Academy office by phone at 321-319-4860.

Public Information

Q. Does the Academy have a job posting board on your website?
A. The Academy’s Web site does not provide that resource; however, the American Optometric Association (AOA) offers a service called Optometry’s Career Center. It is a national, online job matching service for optometry that helps provide individuals with detailed information needed for finding optometric jobs or candidates for those jobs. To access that site, please visit, Optometry's Career Center.

Q. Can you send me information on how to apply to your school?
A. The American Academy of Optometry is not one of the accredited schools of optometry. To learn more about those 23 schools, please visit the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) Web site. Select the Student & Advisor Information page. Scroll down to the "Frequently Asked Question" section and you will find a "Where to Study Optometry" topic. Select that topic to obtain a complete list and contact information for all 23 schools and colleges of optometry.

Q. How can I contact an Academy Fellow or Diplomate in my area?
A. You can use the online Fellow and Diplomate Directory located on the Academy's Web site. Use any of the provided fields to complete your search. You may search by name or by partial spelling, or by zip code and state, or by country.