About Our College | A Message from the Dean

Dr. Earl L. Smith III, O.D.,Ph.D., FAAO

Dean & Greeman-Petty Professor 


On behalf of the faculty and staff at the University of Houston College of Optometry – WELCOME!

As a UHCO graduate and faculty member, I have been deeply committed to the College’s growth and development for more than 35 years. As we continue to innovate and expand the services offered to our patients, our charge is clear: discovery and dissemination of knowledge in optometry, vision science and clinical care, with unparalleled excellence, integrity and compassion; enhancing vision for life.

UHCO has a robust research program with more than 30 renowned faculty conducting research supported by grant funds averaging over $6.5 million annually. Our diverse group of optometric researchers are studying normal and abnormal visual processes, as well as inherited and acquired diseases and disorders of the eye and visual pathways. They work to prevent, or slow the progression of visual loss using a variety of approaches ranging from cellular and molecular, to behavioral or optical interventions.

Students, at UHCO, deepen their local and global impact as well as strengthen their overall academic experience through community service opportunities. Providing over 200 hours of service annually to help those in need is a critical part of UHCO’s mission. Whether it is a local health fair or a mission trip to Central or South America, community engagement is a priority for the college and the university giving our students unique cultural experiences.

Our strongest assets include our students, alumni, faculty, staff, donors and community partners, and I look forward to working collaboratively with all as we fulfill our goals. Our College prepares the highest caliber optometrists and vision scientists who go on to serve throughout the world making positive contributions to the optometric profession. Through numerous educational experiences, research and community service, our students and faculty find opportunities to grow, both personally and professionally.

I encourage you to explore our website to learn about the programs and opportunities that await you at UHCO. We hope you consider joining us in our efforts to improve the health and well-being of neighborhoods and families around the globe.

Best Regards,

Earl L. Smith III, O.D., Ph.D., FAAO
Dean & Greeman-Petty Professor