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Pre-Optometry

Overview

Optometrists are health professionals who diagnose, manage, and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system. A Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) completes a four-year program, and the majority of O.D. work in a general practice.

Here you will find information on recommended coursework for optometry school, the Optometry Admissions Test, and additional helpful links about the field of optometry.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for optometrists is projected to increase by 33% between 2010 and 2020.

Coursework

Many optometry schools require the following coursework for admission to medical school. However, different schools may have different pre-requisite coursework so be sure to check with individual schools about their admission requirements.


Biological Sciences

Some optometry schools require at least 8 credits of introductory biology and at least 4 additional intermediate or advanced biology credits. Some optometry schools also require a microbiology course and coursework in anatomy and physiology. At Edgewood, we recommend the following Biological Sciences courses for a pre-optometry route:

  • Bio 151 General Biology: Cell Biology and Ecology (or)
  • Bio 181 Honors General Biology: Cell Biology and Ecology
  • Bio 152 General Biology: Genetics and Evolution (or)
  • Bio 182 Information Flow in Living Systems – Honors
  • Bio 210 Anatomy and Physiology I
  • Bio 211 Anatomy and Physiology II
  • Bio 312 Microbiology
  • Bio 401 Genetics

Additional 400-level Biological Sciences courses may be useful for admission to and success in optometry school. These include but are not limited to:

  • Bio 402 Cell and Molecular Biology (offered even falls)
  • Bio 406 Medical Microbiology (offered odd springs)
  • Bio 408 Immunology
  • Bio 410 Pathology

Behavioral Sciences

Most optometry schools require one semester of psychology. At Edgewood, you can meet this requirement with:

  • Psy 101 General Psychology

Chemistry

Many optometry schools require at least one semester of biochemistry in addition to general and organic chemistry coursework. At Edgewood College, students must complete one year of general chemistry and one year of organic chemistry before enrolling in biochemistry. Here is the sequence of courses at Edgewood:

  • Chem 120 General Chemistry I
  • Chem 121 General Chemistry II
  • Chem 321 Organic Chemistry I
  • Chem 323 Organic Chemistry II
  • Chem 340 Biochemistry

English

Most optometry schools require 6 credits of English or composition.


Mathematics

Most optometry schools require a calculus and statistics course. At Edgewood, such courses are:

  • Math 231 Calculus I
  • Math 121 Statistics

Physics

Some optometry schools require a one-year, or 8-credit, physics sequence. At Edgewood we recommend either of the following two sequences (the second-sequence, Phys 201 and 202, is calculus-based):

  • Phys 130 and 131 General Physics I and II
  • Phys 201 and 202 College Physics I and II

Relevant tests

Most optometry schools require Optometry Admission Test (OAT) scores for admission. Students usually take the test the summer before they apply. Prometric Tests Centers administr this computer-based test.

The OAT has four sections: Survey of the Natural Sciences (Biology, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry), Reading Comprehension, Physics, and Quantitative Reasoning. If you are experiencing financial hardship, you can request partial fee waiver forms in writing (oatexam@ada.org) or by phone (800.232.2162).