Comprised of student representatives from each class, the University of California Optometric Student Association (UCOSA) represents the interests of students to the faculty. UCOSA also organizes vision care services through student-sponsored activities, student activities, textbook sales, and publication of the Berkeley Study Guide for national board exams.

American Optometric Student Association

Vision Care Services

Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH)

Members donate their time and skills to deliver vision care to underserved people around the world. The emphasis has been on providing optometric care to developing countries where the need is the greatest, including Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Thailand, and the Philippines. Much is done by student members even before the screening takes place, such as collecting, cleaning, neutralizing, and sorting many thousands of glasses, as well as fundraising. For example, eleven students and two optometrists traveled to Costa Rica, where for four days our volunteers examined over 1,200 patients, yet still found time to tour central Costa Rica. VOSH is an independent, all-student organization.

Visit the VOSH webpage

Suitcase Clinic

Students provide free preliminary vision screenings at the First Presbyterian Church in Berkeley. to low-income and homeless persons in the Berkeley area. Besides optometric care, patients at the Suitcase Clinic receive — from other professionals — medical, chiropractic, and legal help. Even free haircuts are offered. All funding for the clinic is through university grants and donations.  People in need of further evaluation are referred to the Meredith Morgan Eye Center for complete eye exams, free of charge. These patients are also eligible to receive a free pair of glasses.

Vision Screenings and Community Outreach

Students perform vision screening at events such as the Lion’s Club Vision Screening program and the Annual East-West Shrine Classic Vision Screening program. Students also visit local elementary schools to help children learn more about vision and the eye.

Campus Events

Students participate in campus events such as Cal Day, alumni programs, Save Your Vision Week, and Foresight (UC Berkeley’s Pre-Optometry Club) Programs.

American Optometric Association Political Action Committee (AOA-PAC)

AOA-PAC is the political action committee for the American Optometric Association in Washington, D.C. Here at Berkeley Optometry, the goal is to educate and involve optometry students in the political process with respect to optometry and optometric-related legislation in Congress. Once a year the student liaison leads a delegation of students to Washington, D.C. to be learn about current legislation and to lobby on Capitol Hill with optometrists from each state. Membership is strongly encouraged at the national level for students — the requested student donation is $20 per year.

AOA website

The Bay Area Optometric Council (BAOC)

The BAOC is a subgroup of the California Optometric Association (COA). The BAOC promotes, represents, and lobbies in the best interests of optometry at a local level. As a BAOC student representative, you will network with local optometrists and the board members of the council to open externship and mentorship opportunities for students.

BAOC website

Berkeley Study Guide

The Berkeley Study Guide is a comprehensive review of optometric material that has been compiled to help you pass the National Board Exams in Optometry the first time! The Study Guide is written and maintained by Berkeley Optometry students. It is available to purchase via the button below.

Learn More

Officers and Contacts

Please use the email addresses listed below to contact UCOSA officers.






Academic Liaison


Merchandise Coordinator

Student Life Committee

Philanthropy Co-Chairs