Massachusetts Board of Optometry CE Requirements

About MSO CE

Optometrists in Massachusetts must complete eighteen (18) hours of continuing education (CE) annually to renew their license. These hours must be either COPE-approved, State Board-approved or given by a continuing education entity. Currently, the only State Board-approved entities are:  New England College of Optometry, Massachusetts College of Health Pharmacy and Health Sciences School of Optometry, Tufts University School of Medicine, and Harvard Medical School.

Anyone certified to treat glaucoma and orals must make certain that three of the yearly eighteen hours are in glaucoma continuing education.   

MSO CE courses are all COPE-approved unless otherwise indicated.

State Board regulations state that optometrists can only be credited for up to six (6) CE hours in the combination of the following areas: CPR, child abuse recognition, infection control, office procedures, record keeping, legislation or optometric statutes and regulations.

No more than six (6) CE hours can be credited for distance-based courses such as a webinar or journal article.

All eighteen (18) hours of CE credit must be completed by December 31st of each year. Please use this link if you have additional questions or concerns.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Division of Occupational Licensure Board of Registration in Optometry 
1000 Washington Street, Suite 710
Boston, Massachusetts 02118


Pursuant to 246 CMR 2.01(3)(a)(2), "[n]o more than six Continuing Education Hours per renewal period will be credited for distance based learning Continuing Education Courses."

It is the interpretation of the Board that for purposes of 246 CMR, "distance based" means a separation between an instructor and student, this separation being physical AND temporal (aka time). Accordingly, a "distance based learning Continuing Education Course" is an online or correspondence course in which students receive instruction in an asynchronous manner, such as by reading content, observing pre-recorded presentations, or otherwise interacting with on demand multimedia. Conversely, a course that utilizes a live interaction between an instructor and students, even if the instructor and students are not physically in the same location, is NOT "distance based" for purposes of 246 CMR. Such courses are thus not subject to the limitations of 246 CMR 2.01(3)(a)(2). The Board notes that this requirement does not prohibit an otherwise "live" continuing education class from utilizing videos or other multimedia presentations as part of the course so long as the majority of the class is a real-time collaboration between instructor and students.

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