"Doctors of optometry are independent primary healthcare providers who examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures as well as diagnose related systemic conditions." (American Optometric Association)
Optometrists can specialize in contact lenses, vision therapy, sports vision, ocular disease, geriatrics, pediatrics, low vision, occupational vision, education and research.
As an undergraduate student, you may choose any major in preparation for attending optometry school. Optometry schools do not have a specific preference on a particular major, so you are encouraged to choose a major based on your own personal interests and strengths. What’s important is that you have completed the prerequisite courses required by the institution you are applying to.
Requirements may vary from school to school, so you will want to research different program requirements. In general, most optometry schools will expect applicants to have completed the following types of courses:
|Course||Course Title||Required or Recommended|
|CHEM 150||General Chemistry I||Required|
|CHEM 150L||General Chemistry I Lab||Required|
|CHEM 210||General Chemistry II||Required|
|CHEM 210L||General Chemistry II Lab||Required|
|CHEM 350||Organic Chemistry I||Required|
|CHEM 355||Organic Chemistry I Lab||Required|
|CHEM 360||Organic Chemistry II||Required|
|CHEM 365||Organic Chemistry II Lab||Required|
|BIOL 111||Cell Biology||Required|
|BIOL 111L||Cell Biology Lab||Required|
|BIOL 115||Organismal Biology||Required|
|BIOL 115L||Organismal Biology Lab||Required|
|BIOL 323||Human Anatomy||Recommended|
|BIOL 323L||Human Anatomy Lab||Recommended|
|BIOL 349||Human Physiology||Recommended|
|BIOL 349L||Human Physiology Lab||Recommended|
|BIOL 350L||Microbiology Lab||Required|
|MATH 261||Calculus I||Required|
|BIOL 275, MATH 234, PSY 230L||Statistics||Required|
|PHYS 160/L or PHYS 200/L||College/General Physics I & Lab or Physics I with Calculus & Lab||Required|
|PHYS 161/L or PHYS 201/L||College/General Physics II & Lab or Physics II with Calculus & Lab||Required|
|PSY 113||General Psychology||Required|
*Other courses may be required/recommended by specific programs. You are responsible for knowing the requirements for each individual program. Policies on AP, IB and community college credits vary by institution.
Complete listing of accredited optometry schools and their admission requirements.
The current sections of the OAT are:
- Survey of Natural Sciences (biology, chemistry, organic chemistry)
- Reading Comprehension
- Quantitative Reasoning