Doctors of optometry are independent primary health care providers who examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases and disorders of the eye and associated structures. More than 70 percent of an estimated 88 million primary eye examinations in the U.S. each year are conducted by optometrists.

Optometrists are located in communities throughout the U.S. In some of those communities, optometrists are the only providers of primary eye care. All optometry programs offer the O.D. degree.

Admissions Requirements

  • Minimum of three years undergraduate preparation. Not all schools require the B.A./B.S. degree but most admitted students have completed the baccalaureate degree.
  • Demonstrated ability in manual dexterity and coordination and in visual acuity
  • Optometry Admission Test (OAT) administered in February and October of every year.
  • Professional experience in an optometry practice is highly desirable.
  • Letter of recommendation from an optometrist
  • Letters of recommendation from the Pre-Health Advisory Committee and any others chosen by the student

Major/Minor Requirements

Many optometry programs do not require the baccalaureate degree but the student is strongly encouraged to complete the B.A./B.S. degree. No specific major is required for admission to optometry programs but the student should confer with a member of the Pre-Health Advisory Committee before selecting a major.

Students should contact the school of choice to confirm a list of required courses

Application Process

  • Application materials are available in the Department of Biology office or may be obtained from the addresses listed below.
  • The OAT exam is offered in February (December application deadline) and October (September application deadline) of each year. For students seeking to enter optometry school in August, the OAT should be taken no later than the previous October.
  • Applications for optometry school are accepted until March 31 of each year but the student is encouraged to complete the application as early as possible.

Useful Contacts

Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry
6110 Executive Blvd. Suite 510
Rockville, MD 20852
(310) 231-5944
FAX: (310) 770-1828

American Optometric Association

Optometry Admission Testing Program (OAT)
211 East Chicago Avenue
Suite 1846
Chicago, IL 60611-2678
(312) 440-2693