Pre-Professional Program

Coordinator: S. Matzner

While several optometry schools admit students after their junior year, many require that applicants obtain their Bachelor’s degrees prior to admission. Most pre-optometry students choose to major in biology, but a student may choose to major in any discipline. While optometry schools look favorably upon an undergraduate record rich in challenging science courses, they also look for a balance between science courses and courses in the humanities and social sciences. Optometry schools expect that applicants have a thorough understanding of and commitment to the profession. Students are encouraged to learn about the optometry profession and patient care through internships, volunteer experiences and employment.

Most optometry schools have specific admission requirements. A student interested in a career in optometry should identify the schools in which he or she is interested as early as possible. Pre-optometry students should then consult with their advisors and the coordinator on a regular basis to discuss course selection and optometry school application procedures. Optometry schools select students on the basis of 1) undergraduate academic performance; 2) OAT (Optometry Admission Test) scores; 3) letters of evaluation from professors and other professional people; and 4) a personal interview (most programs). Admission to optometry school is competitive.

Suggested Pre-Optometry Program of Study:
These are general admission requirements. Students should refer to specific admissions guidelines for each optometry school and consult with their academic advisor and the Coordinator.
BIOL 120 — Biological Principles I (4 cr)
BIOL 121 — Biological Principles II (4 cr)
BIOL 150 — Human Anatomy (4 cr)
BIOL 366 — Advanced Human Physiology (4 cr)
  -or- BIOL 225 — Human Physiology (4 cr)
BIOL 250 — Introductory Microbiology (4 cr)
–or– BIOL 344 — General Microbiology
BIOL 354 — Biological Chemistry 3-(4 cr)
CHEM 116 & CHEM 117 — General Chemistry I & II (8 cr)
-or- CHEM 120 — Accelerated General Chemistry (4 cr)
CHEM 145 — Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry (4 cr)
–or– CHEM 201 — Organic Chemistry*
CHEM 222 — Inorganic Chemistry (4 cr)
PHYS 201 & PHYS 202 — Physics for Life Sciences I & II (8 cr)
–or– PHYS 221 & PHYS 222 — General Physics I & II
MATH 151 — Calculus I (4 cr)
ENGL 110 — First-Year Composition (4 cr)
ENGL 200 — The Literary Experience (3 cr)
PSYC 115 — General Psychology (3 cr)
PSYC 270 — Statistics (4 cr)

Other recommended courses for some schools include work in Business/Accounting, Computer Science, Communication Studies, Sociology, as well as additional Psychology courses.
* Organic Chemistry requirement depends on the Optometry School. About half require just one semester (CHEM 145 is sufficient). The other half require two semesters (CHEM 201 and 202).