Pre-Health Program

Pre-Optometry

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS for all schools of optometry include at least one year of biology or zoology, general chemistry, general physics, english and college Math. Students should choose try to decide early which optometry school(s) to attend, and follow those schools' specific prerequisites. Many optometry schools require a minimum grade (e.g. B) in the pre-requisite courses and some require that you have your pre-requisites done BEFORE you apply.

Pre-requisites for applying to a typical optometry program:

  • BIOL 211/211L & BIOL 213/213L (non-BIOL majors will need special permission to enroll in these courses)
  • CHEM 121/121L - 122/122/L (this course should be completed as soon as possible)
  • CHEM 321/321L - 322/322L
  • PHYS 151/151L - 152/152L
  • BIOL 314/314/L - 315/315/L
  • BIOL 301/301L
  • BCHM 410
  • MATH 125
  • MATH 130 or MATH 140 (major dependent, students taking PHYS 151/L and 152/L for the biology major do not need calculus, however students in PHYS 201/L and 202/L must take MATH 140 and 240)
  • Combination of PSYC 201, 202, 207 (Lifespan Development), different optometry schools have different psychology requirements. Be sure to check each school’s academic requirements.

Applicants are expected to have had some experience in optometry settings, and should be able to provide strong letters of recommendation from teachers, optometrists(s) and others who can attest to the applicant’s character and attributes.

You will have to take the OAT - Optometry Admission Test. The OAT is the entrance exam for Optometry school. There is a 90-day wait period to retake the OAT so an applicant should take the OAT before July 1 of the application cycle he or she is applying. This will leave enough time for a retake if necessary. The test includes biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics and math through trigonometry. There is also a reading comprehension section in addition to the quantitative reasoning and science sections.

OAT scores range from 200-400, and the average score is assigned to a standard 300*. 330 or higher is considered competitive, and 350 is the 90th percentile.

Applications are generally submitted one or two years before matriculation.

Most optometry schools use the centralized application service (CAS) - OptomCAS.

  • Review the OptomCAS instructions
  • Review the admissions requirements for each school or college of optometry to which you are interested in applying to determine if you have fulfilled, or are in the process to fulfill, their prerequisite requirements
  • Request a personal copy of all your transcripts so you may properly complete the coursework section on the OptomCAS application
  • Review the letters of evaluation requirements for each school or college of optometry to which you are interested in applying
  • Contact your evaluators regarding writing letters of evaluation on your behalf

OptomCAS applications are deleted at the end of every application cycle. Don't create an account unless you intend to apply within that cycle.

There are currently no optometry schools located in Virginia. For a listing of accredited optometry schools in the United States, see the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry or the OptomCAS Directory of Schools and Colleges.

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