Founded in 1900, The Texas Optometric Association (TOA) represents more than 1200 doctors of optometry, optometry students, and optometric technicians across the State of Texas. Originally, the organization was name the Texas Optical Association, later named the Texas Optometric Association. The TOA began organizing local societies in 1943. In 1987, it had 972 members and 21 local societies. TOA offers a variety of services including job referral, continuing education courses, insurance, travel benefits, periodicals, and meeting and conference opportunities. The Texas Optometric Association has been an essential advocate for Texas optometrists and has maintained its headquarters in Austin since 1951.
With the promise of substantial financial assistance from TOA pledges, the University of Houston College of Optometry, became the tenth optometry school in the nation, in 1952. At that time, the university was a private school, but in 1963, it became a state-supported college. Today UHCO is one of only 17 optometry schools in the United States. The institution offers a four-year program of instruction and clinical experience for the Doctor of Optometry degree. It also offers M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs in physiological optics for those who plan careers in research or teaching. By 1987, it had awarded 23 Ph.D. degrees, 34 M.S. degrees, and more than 1,500 O.D. degrees.