Established by Law No. 2 of 1992 as passed by the Imo State House of Assembly, the Imo State University, Owerri was conceived as a replacement institution for the new Imo State, following the ceding of the premises of the old Imo State University to the new Abia State in 1991. The pioneer Vice Chancellor of the institution was Prof. T.O.C. Ndubuizu.
The first set of optometry students were admitted during the 1995/6 academic session. The first products of the programme were inducted into the optometry profession in 2003. Among them were Drs Young Azuamah, Nwulu Prince, Edom Collins (late), Madu Chima, Umunna Uloma, Nwachukwu Uche, Agulanna Ugochi and Anyanwu Kyrian. Others were Onyeanwu Maimuna, Onyejemezi Elochukwu, Akano Obinna, Ezeigwe Nwamaka, Onwuneme Franklin, Ogoke Nonye, Adaeze Nwachukwu, Savia Jacqueline, and Okolie Gloria.