The Department of Ophthalmology of the Howard University College of Medicine was established by the Board of Trustees of Howard University on January 22, 2000. Prior to that date, the Ophthalmology Service, located in the Ambulatory Care Center (Towers Building) at Howard University Hospital, was a division under the Department of Surgery.

The Ophthalmology Residency Program at Howard University Hospital (HUH)  was first accredited in 1946. The department is dedicated to the development of a program of excellence in Ophthalmology service, training, and education. The department endeavors to increase funded research projects, maintain a competitive residency program, and develop a stellar clinical and research staff. The residency offers a wide range of clinical experiences and provides a strong background for residents entering comprehensive ophthalmology practice and for those pursuing advanced subspecialty ophthalmic training.

Beginning in July 2021, the program will offer an integrated intern year (PGY - 1) that offers residents a solid foundation for ophthalmic training through rotations in a variety of settings, including inpatient wards, the intensive care unit, outpatient clinics, the emergency room and the operating room.

The HUH Department of Ophthalmology is a referral center for the surrounding metropolitan area. The Eye Clinic is equipped to provide a full range of diagnostic service. General ophthalmic and subspecialty clinics in glaucoma, oculoplastics, pediatrics, and retinal diseases are held on a weekly b asis. Sub-specialty clinics in cornea-external disease and neuro-ophthalmology are held bi-weekly. A modern minor surgery area, including three ophthalmic lasers, allows us to provide convenient outpatient services. Two well-equipped, dedicated eye opera ting rooms provide an advantageous setting for a wide range of outpatient ophthalmic procedures. An optical shop was established to give the ophthalmology residents experience in the art of dispensing and making glasses, low vision aids, and contact lens.

In 2008 the department of Ophthalmology opened a diagnostic center with state-of-the-art equipment. Over the years, the equipment has been updated to stay current and includes: IOL Master, Pentacam HR, Cirrus and Heidelberg OCT with angiography, Optos ultra widefield photography and fluorescein angiography, B-scan and A-scan ultrasonography, Humphrey visual field perimetry, and anterior segment slit lamp photography.