WHAT IS AN OPTOMETRIST?
An optometrist examines, diagnoses, treats, and manages injuries and disorders of the eye and associated structures. They can prescribe medications and visual therapy. Some can perform certain surgical procedures. Optometrists have the option of completing a residency. Most work as independant healthcare providers.
EDUCATION LEVEL: DOCTORATE (O.D.)
TRADITIONAL COMPETATIVE PRE-OPTOMETRY STUDENT:
- GPA: 3.6-3.8 (strong science GPA)
- OAT: >340
- Clinical Experiences: 100+ hours
- Volunteering, strong letters and essays, non-healthcare experiences
- Strong in areas such as: communication, interpersonal, professionalism, maturity, problem-solving, empathy, intrapersonal, and cultural competency
UPDATES ON COVID-19
- OAT EXAM & Important Updates Section
- OPTOMCAS COVID-19 Updates
- DEADLINES: Many optometry schools/colleges have made changes to their application requirements and deadlines in light of current circumstances. Visit the specific schools website for updates.
- CDC COVID-19 Updates
Information and resources for pre-optometry students can be found on the links below!
- Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry
- American Optometric Association
- American Academy of Optometry
- American Optometric Student Association
Like most admissions committees, Optometry Schools are looking for "well-rounded" applicants. This will include your extracurricular, volunteering, leadership and clinical experiences. Below are a list of suggestions for experience. Visit the links in the additional resources section at the bottom of this page for more information. Students interested in becoming an Opthamologist will need to attend Medical School and should visit the Pre-Medical Studies page.
- Shadowing Optometrists and Opthamologists
- Volunteering in Healthcare and Non-Healthcare settings
- Optometrist Assistant
- Working in a healthcare setting
- Shadowing other Health Professionals
The prerequisites for Optometry School are very similar to medical school. Below is a list of the required courses for the University of Houston.
|Course (See letter descriptions below)||# of Hours|
|A, E. Biological Sciences with Labs||8 Hours|
|A, E. Fundamentals of Chemistry with Labs||8 Hours|
|A, B, E. General Physics with Labs||8 Hours|
|C. F. Calculus||3 Hours|
|D, E. Advanced Biology||8 Hours|
|F. Organic Chemistry with Lab||4 Hours* (see Biochem)|
(*Prerequisite is OCHEM II – 4 hours)
|A, E. Microbiology with Lab||4 Hours|
|F. Statistics||3 Hours|
|F. Psychology||3 Hours|
- Courses should be equivalent to those required for biological science degree majors.
- Course should have an optics section dedicated to the study of wave theory and the propagation of light. Calculus based physics not required; trigonometry or algebra based physics is acceptable.
- A three-hour course in calculus is required; it is recommended (but not required) that applicants take one or more courses in algebra, trigonometry, pre-calculus and/or analytical geometry in addition to calculus.
- 8 hours of junior/senior-level biology courses are required. 3 hours must be advanced anatomy and/or advanced physiology (higher than A&P I or II). Acceptance of other advanced biology courses to satisfy prerequisite requirements is at the discretion of the admissions committee. It is recommended that applicants receive prior approval from the Program Manager for Admissions for applicable courses. Courses such as genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, neuroscience, advanced human physiology, mammalian physiology, immunology, histology and endocrinology will be acceptable. Courses such as plant physiology, ecology, biodiversity, biotechnology will not be accepted.
- Coursework must be completed with a minimum grade of C no more than five (5) years prior to the date of application.
- Coursework must be completed with a minimum grade of C no more than ten (10) years prior to the date of application.
TEXAS OPTOMETRY SCHOOLS
- University of Houston – College of Optometry
- University of the Incarnate Word – Rosenberg School of Optometry – San Antonio
- Optometry Centralized Application Service (OptomCAS).
- OAT- Optometry Admission Test
- ASCO - OAT Practice Tests
- KAPLAN - OAT Test Prep
- Mometrix - OAT Test Prep