EyeStar / EyeMBA

EyeStar Program


EyeSTAR training is intended for ophthalmic physician scientists or geneticists who are interested in academic careers.

The Specialty Training and Advanced Research in Ophthalmology and Visual Science (EyeSTAR) program combines clinical ophthalmic practice with basic science or ophthalmic genetic research. This unique educational opportunity is intended for physicians who are committed to academic careers in ophthalmology, blending basic science or genetics with clinical practice in a 7-year curriculum. Trainees select their faculty mentors and laboratories or research groups from a wide range of participants throughout the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine including the Intercampus Medical Genetics Training Program, the UCLA College of Letters and Science, the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and the independent Pardee RAND Graduate School. The EyeSTAR program assists trainees in obtaining admission to degree programs or the Intercampus Medical Genetics Training Program. The EyeSTAR program pays all costs of trainees’ salaries, fringe benefits, and university tuition/fees. Salary and benefits are set to parity with level of PGY training completed. 

The EyeSTAR curriculum blends laboratory research, graduate courses if not already completed, and ophthalmic clinical training; clinical genetics training is included for the genetics track.

Year 1. All tracks. 
The first year of all tracks in the curriculum is the PGY-1 training year in Internal Medicine at UCLA, but with four elective months assigned to the ophthalmology service of a UCLA-affiliated public hospital. Trainees will attend Ophthalmology Department lectures and teaching functions only as time otherwise permits during ophthalmology elective assignments.

Years 2 – 4.
All tracks will attend Ophthalmology weekly clinical conferences and major lectures, including the Annual Seminar and annual weekend research retreat. All tracks will spend one half day weekly in an Ophthalmology clinical experience of the candidate’s choice, flexibly-scheduled to avoid conflict with classes or time-critical research activities. There will be no clinical call or service obligations during this time.

A. Ph.D. curriculum for trainees obtaining this degree. Graduate courses and research in the laboratory of the doctoral thesis adviser.

B. Post-Ph.D. fellowship curriculum. Post-doctoral research in the laboratory of the research mentor or mentors. Optional courses if desired.

C. Genetics curriculum. Course work in the UCLA Intercampus Medical Genetics Training Program (https://intercampus.genetics.ucla.edu/) providing eligibility for board certification by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics in Clinical Genetics and Genomics.

Years 5 – 7.
All tracks will complete PGY2 – 4 of the UCLA Stein Eye Institute Ophthalmology residency, with clinical and surgical duties identical to all other residents in the program, including call rotations leading to eligibility for board-certification by the American Board of Ophthalmology. Trainees may continue or initiate limited research projects as their interests and time may permit, but must attend the annual weekend research retreat.

Each trainee’s educational course is individualized depending on his or her background, interests, and needs. The goal of the program is to generate leaders in ophthalmology who are investigators as well as practitioners—physicians who are as comfortable at the laboratory bench as in the examining lane or operating room. Alumni of the EyeSTAR program now hold endowed professorships in major academic departments on both coasts.

Applicants to the EyeSTAR Program must apply through SF Match and submit a supplemental EyeSTAR Program Application along with three (3) EyeSTAR Program Evaluation Forms and letters of recommendation. These should be sent directly to the Stein Eye Institute EyeSTAR Program following the instructions on the forms. The program administrator must receive all supplemental application materials by September 30. (link to supplemental application)

EyeSTAR Program Information
Yolanda McNair, Program Administrator
Phone: (310) 825-5931

EyeStar Genetics Program


In a national first, the UCLA Department of Ophthalmology is introducing a Medical Genetics track to the Stein Eye Institute’s Specialty Training and Advanced Research (EyeSTAR) program. This new track offers ophthalmology residency training in tandem with training by the UCLA Intercampus Medical Genetics Training Program leading to Clinical Genetics and Genomics certification by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics.

Understanding how variations in an individual’s DNA may affect disease and health is the underpinning of medical genetics. With this knowledge, clinician-scientists can propel innovations in the diagnosis and detection of disease, as well as new approaches to treatment.

Founded in 1995, EyeSTAR continues to lead the nation in offering a combined ophthalmology residency training integrated with basic-science PhD training or post-doctoral fellowship research. EyeSTAR provides crucial training for residents aspiring to academic careers that incorporate clinical practice and research. The EyeSTAR Committee is chaired by Joseph L. Demer, MD, PhD, Arthur L. Rosenbaum, MD, Chair in Pediatric Ophthalmology.

The UCLA EyeSTAR track in Medical Genetics addresses a critical for clinicians and clinician-scientists at academic centers who have strong foundations in both clinical ophthalmology and genetics. The groundbreaking Medical Genetics track includes an understanding of modern molecular genetic diagnostics, clinical evaluations in adults and children, therapeutics, and research.

UCLA’s Ophthalmology Residency Program encompasses a full breadth of instruction from general ophthalmology to ophthalmic subspecialties, and it is one of the top programs in the country. Its innovative EyeSTAR component is unique in the nation and recognized by the National Eye Institute and the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology as a model training program for clinician scientists in ophthalmology. EyeMBA is expected to attain similar standing.

For detailed information about EyeSTAR and its Medical Genetics track, click here. To learn more about the UCLA Intercampus Medical Genetics Training Program, visit our website.

EyeSTAR Program Information
Yolanda McNair, Program Administrator
Phone: (310) 825-5931

EyeMBA Program

The EyeMBA Program is a joint Ophthalmology Residency/MBA Program that combines Ophthalmology Resident Training with the MBA Degree.  Reasons for this initiative include recognition that future leaders of ophthalmology will need financial, management, and measurement skills that are at the core of the MBA degree curriculum.  These skills will be broadly applicable to leadership in academia, translational research, health system management, health care delivery and biomedical industry liason.  Students will complete the Ophthalmology residency program at the UCLA Stein Eye Institute and be enrolled in the UCLA Anderson School Fully Employed MBA program (FEMBA), which offers a more flexible schedule than the traditional MBA program, but results in fulfillment of all requirements for and awarding of an MBA degree.

Application and Interview Process
Applicants for the collaborative EyeMBA Program are accepted throught SF Match biennially on even numbered match years (ie January 2020 match).

Applicants who are selected to interview for the program must also complete the UCLA Anderson School of Management FEMBA Program application. At the time of Ophthalmology Residency Program interviews, these applicants will have a coordinated program of orientation to the Anderson School of Management and interviews with Anderson School representatives.

The Department of Ophthalmology and the Anderson School will coordinate the acceptance process and plan to accept one applicant for the EyeMBA Program each year. Acceptance by the Anderson School of Management is contingent upon the applicant meeting all admission requirements as delineated by the Anderson School of Management, including review of the applicant’s MCAT score in lieu of the GMAT.

Education and Training Schedule

In year 1 (following PGY1 internship) of the program, participants will enroll in classes at UCLA Anderson and complete the first half of the requirements for the MBA degree by the end of the Summer Term. 

In years 2, 3 and 4 of the Ophthalmology Residency/FEMBA Program, participants will be full-time ophthalmology residents and complete all components of the Ophthalmology Residency Program. During ophthalmology resident training in years 2, 3 and 4, participants will complete the remaining MBA requirements, including the Global Access Program (a program that may require limited domestic or international travel).

A sample schedule of the EyeMBA Program for an applicant accepted in January 2018:

August – November 2017

Apply to and interview with both UCLA Ophthalmology and the Anderson School of Management

January 2018

EyeMBA match

July 2018-June 2019 


July 2019 – July 2020

Enrollment in classes at Anderson School and completion of first half of MBA requirements

July 2020 – June 2023

Completion of Ophthalmology Residency Program and Remaining MBA requirements


Sample Quarterly Schedule:



Credits (80 Total Required)

1st Year MBA: Q1 (Fall)

3 Core Classes (LF/Stats/OB)


1st Year MBA: Q2 (Winter)

2 Core Classes, 2 Electives


1st Year MBA: Q3 (Spring)

2 Core Classes, 2 Electives


PGY2: Summer

1 Global Immersion (1 Week)


PGY2: Q1 (Fall)



PGY2: Q2 (Winter)



PG2: Q3 (Spring)

1 Global Immersion (1 Week)


PGY3: Summer, PGY3



PGY3: Q1 (Fall)

1 Core Class


PGY3: Q2 (Winter)

1 Elective


PGY3: Q3 (Spring)

1 Elective


PGY4: Summer, PGY4



PGY4 Q1 (Fall)

1 Core Class


PGY4: Q2 (Winter)

GAP (including Ophthalmology elective)


PGY4: Q3 (Spring)

1 Elective


Financial Considerations
EyeMBA Program participants are eligible for and are expected to apply for student financial aid from the Anderson School. Participants are also expected to apply for financial aid from other sources identified by the Anderson School, the UCLA Department of Ophthalmology and other potential sources of support for postgraduate students. Overall, approximately 75% of Anderson School M.B.A. students have some financial assistance and about 50% have fellowships (www.anderson.ucla.edu/degrees-mbadegree, accessed 7/26/2015)
The Department will provide a PGY2 salary during the first year of Anderson enrollment, and also work to enlist support for payment of the Anderson School tuition from donors, organizations and eye care industry to cover tuition and expenses that are not covered by grants or fellowships sourced via the Anderson School financial aid programs if necessary. 
EyeMBA Program Information:
Debbie Sato, Program Administrator

We look forward to meeting you!

Contact information:

Debbie Sato
Academic Programs Administrator
100 Stein Plaza, Rm 2-132
Los Angeles, CA 90095
(310) 825-4617