Pre-Optometry

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.

PrerequisitesMason Courses
Biology, two semesters with labsBIOL 213 and BIOL 311
Anatomy & Physiology, required or strongly recommendedBIOL 124 or BIOL 430
MicrobiologyBIOL 305/306
Biochemistry, can vary by schoolBIOL 483/CHEM 463
General ChemistryCHEM 211 + 213
CHEM 212 + 214
Organic Chemistry, can vary by schoolCHEM 313/315 and CHEM 314/318
Physics, two semesters with labsPHYS 243/244 and PHYS 245/246
Calculus, can vary by schoolMATH 113
Statistics BIOL 214/STAT 250
English, two semestersENGH 101 and 302
Psychology, can vary by schoolPSYC 100, 211, 231
Social Sciences, can vary by school

For further information, see the OptomCAS School and College Prerequisites.

Optometrists

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.“

Optometry Programs

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 an optometry admission test designed to provide optometry education programs with a means to assess program applicants’ potential for success. The OAT is administered year round by Prometric test centers in the United States, its territories (including Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands) and Canada.

The OAT is comprised of multiple-choice test items presented in the English language. The test is developed according to established test specifications. The OAT consists of a battery of four tests on the following: Survey of the Natural Sciences, Physics, Reading Comprehension, and Quantitative Reasoning. In the OAT, both the U.S. customary system and the metric system (Imperial System) of units are used.”

More information about the OAT can be found online.

OptomCAS

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.

Pre-Optometry Advising

The information contained on this page should be discussed with the Health Professions Advisor. The availability of 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.