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Pre-Optometry

Preparation for Optometry School

What should I major in if I want to go to Optometry school? There is not a specific major that is required for admittance in an optometry program.  However, most optometry schools are science intensive (biology or chemistry).  With your advisor’s assistance you can design a program that meets the requirements to enter an optometry school while studying what you are most interested in.  Students who have developed excellent writing and speaking skills, possess analytic and synthetic thinking ability, life-long learners who are enthusiastic, and understand the interpersonal aspects of medicine are they type of students most optometry schools seek.   Your major does not determine your success in being accepted to optometry school.

 

Undergraduate PreparationEye Chart

The “pre-optometry” checklist is a beginning point for students.  There
are certain criteria that must be fulfilled for admittance to optometry school.  You and your academic advisor will need to examine your interests, your academic record and the requirements to determine the best academic path for you.  Most schools require pre-professional level science courses - brief survey courses in the sciences usually do not
prepare you for optometry school.  According to Association of Schools
& Colleges of Optometry the following are a guide of suggested pre-requisite courses:

  • BIOL 1110/1111 - Principles of Biology
  • BIOL 2300/2301 or 4300/4301 - Microbiology or Bacteriology
  • BIOL 2010/2011 & BIOL 2020/2021 - Human Anatomy & Physiology I and II
  • CHEM 1110/1111 & 1120/1121 -General Chemistry I and II
  • CHEM 3510/3511 - Organic Chemistry
  • CHEM 4310/4311 - Biochemistry
  • MATH 1530 - Statistics
  • MATH 1910 - Calculus
  • PHYS 2010/2011 & PHYS 2020/2021 - College Physics I and II
  • English, History, Speech, Social Sciences, Psychology

Early in your academic career you will need to research some of the optometry schools you are interested in attending in order to insure you will meet all their criteria for admission. Some basic factors common to all professional schools include:

  • Good undergraduate grades (overall GPA of 3.0 minimum)
  • Test scores (OAT - for Optometry)
  • True interest in profession as demonstrated by shadowing or volunteering in the field
  • Service-related experiences in people-oriented environments – long term service preferred to short bursts of unrelated service activities
  • Exceptional communication skills
  • Strong reference letters from professionals often including an optometrist that you have shadowed as well as other professionals who know your character, as well as, your work ethic.