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The InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico is a Ecumenic Christian university dedicated to uniting academic excellence with leadership and service to society. The IAUPR is a private co-educational university system in Puerto Rico. It was founded in 1912 in San Germán, Puerto Rico. The University has campuses in Aguadilla, Arecibo, Barranquitas, Bayamón, Fajardo, Guayama, Ponce, San Juan, and San Germán. The Universityl also has two professional schools: the School of Optometry and the Faculty of Law. The Inter offers academic programs in 11 teaching units. 

It is the largest private university in the Western Hemisphere. In 1944 it became the first institution outside the continental United States to be accredited by the Middle States Association if Colleges and Schools.

The IAUPR prepares capable human resources for the workforce and the professions: with a sense of civic and social responsability, who can exert leadership in the diverse fields of human activity, and who can adapt to changing scenarios, incluiding those of other cultures.

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Institutional Cohort Default Rate

The University’s two-year cohort student loan default rate as monitored by the federal government was 16.4% for cohort year 2007, 16.7% for cohort year 2008, and 18% for cohort year 2009. Data released by the Department of Education on its website ( indicates the University’s trial three year cohort default rate for 2008 is 24.87% and for the 2009 is 27.9%. The University’s cohort default rate is within the parameters established by the Department of Education. The University is keenly aware of this projected student loan default rate and is actively working with a specialized independent company to help monitor and reduce the student default rate in anticipation of the use of the three year cohort default period by the Department of Education.

Highlights of Our School and Puerto Rico

  • School is located in Puerto Rico, a Commonwealth of the United States. All Puerto Ricans are American citizens.
  • The banking, postal and judicial system, communications, international transportation and commerce are under US federal laws and regulations.
  • The US dollar is the official currency.
  • Both Spanish and English are official languages.
  • All major American airlines connect US mainland cities to Puerto Rico.
  • Tropical climate with average temperatures of 80º F in the coast and 70º F in the mountain region. Over 200 miles of beautiful beaches and the only rain forest within a US jurisdiction.
  • Only accredited institution outside the continental United States that offers the Optometry Doctor degree.
  • Main provider of bilingual optometrists in the world.
  • Students examine, treat and manage patients with large diversity of ocular and systemic conditions.
  • Only accredited Optometry school in Puerto Rico with remote clinics distributed in various areas of the island that provide diverse learning opportunities for our students.
  • The IAUPR School of Optometry is the Secretariat of the most important optometric organization in Latin America:
    • Latin American Association of Optometry and Optics (ALDOO) - Federation of more than 20 optometric associations.
  • Over 85% of the student body is composed of students from outside of Puerto Rico.
  • The student body represents more than 15 states and countries creating an international multi-ethnic environment. Students come from various cultural backgrounds including Puerto Rico, Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Texas, California, Hawaii, Canada, Colombia, and Nigeria, to name a few.
  • Small classes: Only 60 students are admitted every year.
  • Over 50% of the examinations are given completely online.
  • One of the 17 accredited schools and colleges of optometry of USA.

History of the School

The Inter American University of Puerto Rico is a private institution with a Christian heritage and an ecumenical tradition. The Reverend John William Harris founded it in 1912 as the Polytechnic Institute of Puerto Rico. In 1944, the institution was accredited by The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and has been maintained since then.

Inter American University is the largest private institution in the Puerto Rico States enrolling about a third of all the Island’s college students. It has eleven autonomous academic units.

The Inter American University of Puerto Rico; School of Optometry was founded in 1981. In 1992, the School became a separate autonomous academic unit within the University. The School of Optometry has received a license and approval from the Puerto Rico Council on Higher Education (CEPR), the accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and the accreditation of the American Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) of the American Optometric Association.

The Accreditation Council on Optometric Education has the following address and phone number:

243 N. Lindbergh Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63141
(314) 991-4100

The bilingual nature of the School of Optometry places this optometry program in a unique educational position. Examinations, texts, and patient records are in English. Most of the lectures are also in English language. Spanish language skills are necessary for Clinical service in the 3rd and 4th year program. Its student body represents more than 25 states and countries of the world creating an international, multi-ethnic environment. Students are able to practice in hospitals and external clinical rotations throughout the world.

We invite students to share with us their own unique experiences.

Mission & Vision

Our mission is to educate, develop and train, within a bilingual environment and supported by committed and competent collaborators, a diverse student population from Puerto Rico, the United States and the rest of the world, to become Doctors of Optometry who are knowledgeable, skilled and ethical primary health providers, dedicated to community service. We will promote lifelong learning and provide support services to the profession in and outside Puerto Rico through high quality technologies while maintaining the financial viability of the program.

A leader institution in the world producing bilingual (English/Spanish) primary eye care providers, known for excellence in primary eye care and community service. A leader in the development of the profession in Puerto Rico, and the outside world based on the democratic values and Christian principles of Inter American University of Puerto Rico.

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Contact Information

 © Inter American University of PR, School of Optometry
500 John Will Harris
Bayamón, PR 00957

Admissions: (787) 765-1915 ext 2567 | (787) 925-7577
Admissions Fax: (787) 756-7351
Admissions email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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