Pre Optometry PDF
Admissions requirements may vary from school to school. Students should consult school websites for updated information on specific requirements for the schools to which they plan to apply.
|Biology, two semesters with labs||BIOL 213 and BIOL 311|
|Anatomy & Physiology, required or strongly recommended||BIOL 124 or BIOL 430|
|Biochemistry, can vary by school||BIOL 483/CHEM 463|
|General Chemistry||CHEM 211 and CHEM 212|
|Organic Chemistry, can vary by school||CHEM 313/315 and CHEM 314/318|
|Physics, two semesters with labs||PHYS 243/244 and PHYS 245/246|
|Calculus, can vary by school||MATH 113|
|Statistics||BIOL 214/STAT 250|
|English, two semesters||ENGH 101 and 302|
|Psychology, can vary by school||PSYC 100, 211, 231|
|Social Sciences, can vary by school|
For further information, see the OptomCAS School and College Prerequisites.
The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) defines Doctor of Optometry as “The independent primary health care professionals for the eye. Optometrists examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures as well as identify related systemic conditions affecting the eye. Doctors of Optometry prescribe medications, low vision rehabilitation, vision therapy, spectacle lenses, contact lenses, and perform certain surgical procedures. Optometrists counsel their patients regarding surgical and non-surgical options that meet their visual needs related to their occupations, avocations, and lifestyle.“
According to ASCO, “Doctors of Optometry must successfully complete a four-year accredited degree program at one of the schools or colleges of optometry. Most students accepted by a school or college of optometry have completed an undergraduate degree. However, each institution has its own undergraduate prerequisites, so applicants should contact the school or college of their choice for specific requirements.”
Optometry Admission Test (OAT)
ASCO states, “The Optometry Admission Test (OAT) is a standardized examination designed to measure general academic ability and comprehension of scientific information. The OAT is sponsored by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) for applicants seeking admission to an optometry program. All schools and colleges of optometry in the United States, and the University of Waterloo, Canada require the OAT. The OAT consists of four tests: Survey of the Natural Sciences (Biology, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry), Reading Comprehension, Physics and Quantitative Reasoning. The OAT exam is computerized and examinees are allowed to take the OAT an unlimited number of times but must wait at least 90 days between testing dates. However, only scores from the four most recent attempts and the total number of attempts will be reported.”
More information about the OAT can be found online.
OptomCAS allows “optometry applicants to use a single web-based application and one set of materials to apply to multiple schools and colleges of optometry. Applicants who apply through OptomCAS submit a completed web-based application comprised of biographical data, colleges and universities attended, academic course history, letters of recommendation, work experience, extracurricular activities, honors, and a personal essay. It is the applicant’s responsibility to read and follow specific instructions for OptomCAS and the schools and colleges of optometry. APPLICANTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPLY EARLY. Applicants may start and submit the OptomCAS application as soon as it is available. Application deadlines will vary for each school or college of optometry. Information on application deadlines can be found in the Directory of Schools and Colleges.
Employment Outlook and Earnings
The current Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook for Optometrists can be found online.
The information contained on this page should be discussed with a the Health Professions Advisor. The availability of these health professions advising opportunities is announced through the HEALTHPROFESSIONS-L listserv for Mason students.
Students must still be advised in their department regarding their major.
In order to provide more long term tailored advising for Mason students and alumni interested in pursuing allopathic and osteopathic medicine, dentistry, optometry, podiatry, pharmacy, physician assistant, physical therapy, occupational therapy and veterinary medicine, the Medical Sciences Advisory Committee Composite Letter is no longer provided.
Instead, small group advising sessions are offered for all prospective health professions students. The availability of these sessions is announced through the HEALTHPROFESSIONS-L listserv
For those Mason students who are ready (prerequisite coursework and standardized test preparation completed) to apply to a health profession program, an advising Blackboard, with the opportunity for comprehensive, one-on-one advising, is offered. Details about participation in this Blackboard is provided via listserv email.
|• Join the HEALTHPROFESSIONADVISOR-L listserv (http://prehealth.gmu.edu/listserv/).
• Reserve a space in a Health Professions Advising small group session as advertised on the listserv.
• Attend Health Professions Advising events such as visits by admissions directors, etc.
• Take required and recommended coursework.
|Fall Semester (2 years before matriculation)|
|• Prepare to take required standardized tests. Significant preparation (coursework, review and practice) is needed for success. It is recommended that students take these tests only one time.
o Allopathic Medicine: MCAT https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/about
• If prerequisite coursework and standardized test preparation are completed, join the Health Professions Advising Blackboard (includes the opportunity for comprehensive, one-on-one advising.) Details about participation in this Blackboard is provided via listserv email.
|Spring Semester (1 ½ years before matriculation)|
|• Consider a gap/glide/victory lap year to allow more time, without the pressures of upper level coursework, to devote more time to class work, standardized test preparation, clinical and volunteer experience, and research involvement, while earning and saving money.|
|Summer (1 year 3 months before matriculation)|
| • Due to rolling admissions and lengthy verifications, apply early for best, most competitive consideration:
o Allopathic Medicine: AMCAS ~ first week of June
• Take standardized tests for desired health profession (Spring Semester/Early Summer – May, June, July)
• Complete and submit secondary applications, by stated deadlines.
|Fall/Spring/Summer Semesters (1 year/ ½ year/2 months before matriculation)|
| • Receive invitations to interview. Preparation advising will be available for those enrolled in the Health Professions Advising Blackboard
• Hopefully, receive acceptance letters and follow through with school-specific requirements for matriculation.
|Fall Semester – Matriculation|