Pre-Optometry

Prerequisite Courses

PrerequisitesMason Courses
Biology with lab, 2 semesters BIOL 213/Cell Biology
BIOL 311/Genetics
Anatomy & Physiology with lab, 2 semesters
(Required or strongly recommended – can vary by school)
BIOL 124 and 125 or BIOL 430 and 431
Microbiology with lab, 1 semesterBIOL 305 and 306
General Chemistry with lab, 2 semestersCHEM 211 and 213
CHEM 212 and 214
Organic Chemistry with lab, 2 semesters
(Recommended – can vary by school)
CHEM 313 and 315
CHEM 314 and 318
College Physics with lab, 2 semestersPHYS 243 and 244
PHYS 245 and 246
Calculus, 1 semester
(Recommended – can vary by school)
MATH 113
Statistics, 1 semesterBIOL 214/Biostatistics or STAT 250/Statistics
English, 2 semesters*ENGH 101
ENGH 302
*Honors College students fulfill this through the Honors Curriculum
Psychology
(Recommended – can vary by school)
PSYC 100/Basic Concepts in Psychology
PSYC 211/Developmental Psychology
PSYC 325/Abnormal Psychology
  • Required coursework and numbers of semesters can vary on a school-by-school basis.
  • Please review prerequisites at the OptomCAS School and College Prerequisites.
  • Any undergraduate major is appropriate for optometry school assuming the applicant has completed the above prerequisites.
  • For a competitive application, it is very important to do well in science courses.

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.“ Employment Outlook and Earnings

The current Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook for Optometrists can be found online.

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.”

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.

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.