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OPTOMETRY SCHOOLS Things to Consider General Admissions Requirements Location (if there’s a chance, visit school) Curriculum Strengths and Weaknesses (+/-) Academic Fees and Cost of Living Talk to your peers Pennsylvania College of Optometry

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things to consider
Things to Consider
  • General Admissions Requirements
  • Location (if there’s a chance, visit school)
  • Curriculum
  • Strengths and Weaknesses (+/-)
  • Academic Fees and Cost of Living
  • Talk to your peers
pennsylvania college of optometry
Pennsylvania College of Optometry

1. General Admissions Requirements-must have completed a minimum of 90 semester hours or 135 quarter hours of credit from an accredited undergraduate college or university-must complete the following Pre-Optometry courses with a 2.0 GPA or better-Pre-Optometry Prerequisites:General Biology or Zoology (with labs) - 1 year

  • General Chemistry (with labs) - 1 year
  • Organic Chemistry (with labs) - 1 year OR Organic Chemistry (with lab) for 1/2 year and either Biochemistry or Molecular Biology for 1/2 year (labs highly recommended for either)
  • English, Composition or Literature - 1 year
  • Math (College Math - 1 year) or Calculus for 1/2 year
  • Microbiology or Bacteriology (with lab) - 1/2 year
  • General Physics (with labs) - 1 year
  • Psychology - 1/2 year
  • Statistics (Math or Biology or Psychology) - 1/2 year
  • -Recommended Classes: Biochemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, Histology, Cell Biology, Genetics, and Experimental and Physiological Psychology

2. Degree Programs Offered: -Doctor of Optometry (4 years)-Doctor of Audiology (4 years)-Master of Science and Certificate in Low Vision Rehab-Master of Science and Certificate in Vision Rehab Therapy-Master of Science and Certificate in Orientation and Mobility-Master of Science and Certificate in Education of Children and Youth with Visual and Multiple Impairments-Physician Assistant (2 years)

3. Fees/Expenses:-OD Program tuition = $28,500/year-Sample First Year Student Budget:Tuition: $28,500

  • College Fees: $445
  • Books & Instruments: $3640
  • Room/Board: $10,440
  • Transportation: $1500
  • Health Insurance: $2000
  • Miscellaneous: $1000
  • Estimated Total Expenses = $47,525

4. Statistics:-Class of 2011:155 students total chosen from 847 total applicants

  • Average OAT of accepted Students: (Bio)320, (G-chem)310, (O-chem)320, (Physics)310, (QR)320, (RC)300, (TS)320, (AA)320
  • 13 students from California!
  • Average GPA: 3.35

5. School Motto: Don't see one.

6. Interesting/Unique Facts:-PCO offers various Master degrees related to management of vision impairment and vision rehabilitation-Students would most likely need their own cars for transportation into Philadelphia-PCO has a very established externship program.  The program has over 130 locations all over the US and students will get to do 4 to 5 externships.-PCO offers an Accelerated O.D. Program for talented high school students with an interest in optometry.  If you're qualified and selected for the program, you will be able to earn the O.D. degree in 7 years (Undergrad + Grad) instead of the traditional 8 years.-In an attempt to bridge basic science and clinical education, PCO created a new "Clinical Problem Solving" course plan that incorporates case-oriented problems to lectures and labs for small groups of students to reason their way through.

southern college of optometry
Southern College of Optometry

1. General Admissions Requirements:-Applicant must have at least 3 years of Undergraduate work (preference given to applicants with bachelor degrees)-3 year minimum = 90 semester hours or 135 quarter hours-Closed-file and one-on-one interviews-Prerequisites:English, Composition or Literature - 1 year

  • Math (calculus) - 1 course
  • General Psychology - 1 course
  • Social Science (courses in any of the following: Sociology, Psychology, Political Science, History, Economics, Anthropology, Geography, Religion or Philosophy) - 1 year
  • Statistics - 1 course
  • General Biology (with labs) - 1 year
  • General Chemistry (with labs) - 1 year
  • General Physics (with labs) - 1 year
  • Microbiology or Bacteriology(with lab) - 1 course
  • Organic Chemistry (with lab) - 1 course
  • Biochemistry or Molecular Biology - 1 course

2. Degree Programs Offered:-Doctor of Optometry (4 years)

3. Fees/Expenses:-Regional Tuition (Regional refers to residents from Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia) = $15,448/year-Non-regional Tuition (all other states and countries) = $20,448/year-Other fees for First Year:Textbooks = $1,028

  • Equipment = $2,399
  • Miscellaneous = $507
  • -Room/Board fees weren't specified but Memphis has one of the lowest cost of living for cities with population greater than 500,000.

4. Statistics:-Class of 2011 stats:123 Enrolled students out of 694 total applicants

  • Mean overall GPA: 3.44
  • Mean Prerequisite GPA: 3.47
  • Mean OAT scores: (Bio)335, (G-chem)323, (O-chem)333, (Physics)326, (QR)338, (RC)342, (TS)337, (AA)335
  • -SCO NBEO Passing Rates (Part I Basic Science):Class of 2007 - (SCO)92% (National)72%
  • Class of 2008 - (SCO)98% (National)77%
  • Class of 2009 - (SCO)91% (National)75%

5. School Motto: None Found.

6. Interesting/Unique Facts:-Memphis is the city where the blues and rock 'n' roll were born (also where Elvis Presley was from!)-Memphis has over 150 festivals and special events every year, including daily entertainment events as well (concerts, sports, etc.)-15% of the students in SCO purchased their own homes for the prices from $75,000 to $125,000.-One of the few optometry schools that have almost even number of male and female students! (Better odds for the girls for once hehe)-As mentioned before, Memphis has one of the lowest cost of living of US cities, which is one of the BIG PLUSES for prospective students.

indiana university
Indiana University

1.General Admissions Requirements:

-A total of 90 semester hours of college credit is required as a minimum for admission to the School of Optometry

BUT a bachelor's degree is strongly recommended.

2.Degree Programs Offered:

  • Doctor of Optometry (4 years)
  • Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Vision Science
  • The MS and PhD programs are two separate and independent programs. The MS program has a goal of supplementing clinical training with basic and or clinical research (some of the MS students are in a combined OD/MS program). The PhD program has broader goals, and attracts students from a variety of backgrounds (e.g., optics, biology, medicine, and optometry).
  • Associate of Science (A.S.) in Optometric Technology

3. Fees/Expenses:

-$51,564.19 average cost for non resident each year


4. Statistics:2008 entering class

  • 78 student class (159 students accepted)
  • 3.48 average GPA
  • 329 average OAT

5. Interesting/Unique Facts:Indiana University named

  • Hottest big state school by Newsweek in 2005.
  • #1 wireless university by Intel in 2004.
  • College of the Year Among Research Universities by Time in 2001.
  • Sixth best college sports town in the nation!!
  • USA Today called it top 10 places for campus culture.
  • School of optometry is located on the main campus of Indiana University in Bloomington.
  • Bloomington was named the 7th lowest stress city according to Psychology Today.
michigan college of optometry at ferris state university
Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University

1. General Admissions Requirements: (C- or better)

  • General Biology one year with laboratory (BIOL 121, 122)
  • Inorganic Chemistry, one year with laboratory (CHEM 121, 122)
  • Organic Chemistry, one year with laboratory (CHEM 321, 322)
  • General Physics, one year with laboratory (PHYS 211, 212)
  • Microbiology one course with laboratory (BIOL 286)
  • Calculus, one course (MATH 220)
  • Statistics, one course (MATH 251 or STQM 260 or PSYC 210)
  • Speech, one course (COMM 121)
  • General psychology, one course (PSYC 150)

English/Composition, one year (ENGL 150, 250) * http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/academics/gened/bscomm.html*<http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/academics/gened/bscomm.html>

  • Humanities, 9 semester hours (Humanities includes: Cultural Enrichment * http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/academics/gened/cultcourses.html*<http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/academics/gened/cultcourses.html>,
  • Art, Drama, Foreign Language, History, Literature, Music, Philosophy, and Theology)
  • Behavioral Science, 6 semester hours in addition to the general psychology course above Social Awareness * http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/academics/gened/soccourses.html*<http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/academics/gened/soccourses.html>(
  • Behavioral Sciences include: Anthropology, Economics, Geography, Political Science, Psychology, Social Science, Sociology)
  • Recommended: *In order of importance: *Physiology (BIOL 205 or BIOL 321/322) Biochemistry (CHEM 324 or CHEM 364) Genetics (BIOL 375) Cell Biology (BIOL 373) Anatomy (BIOL 205) Embryology/Developmental Biology(BIOL 370) Business management or accounting (MGMT 310 or ACCT 201)

2. Degree Programs Offered: OD

3. Fees/Expenses

- The tuition at the Michigan College of Optometry for the 2007-2008 academic year averages $20,606 for residents and $31,588 per year for non-residents.

4. Statistics

  • entering class of 2007

OAT EXAMINATION (200 to 400)

High Mean ............. 370

Low Mean.............. 300

Overall Mean ......... 336

  • Mean OAT scores by examination category:

- AVG 336, QR 349, RC 350, PHY 321, BIO 327, GCHM 333, OCHM 342, SCI 335


For more detailed stats go to this link: http://www.ferris.edu/mco/admissions/2007%20PROFILE.pdf

5. Interesting/Unique facts

- Working on building a new facility for the clinic and academic programs

university of alabama at birmingham college of optometry
University of Alabama at Birmingham College of Optometry

1.) General Admissions Requirements

  • Any undergrad major is OK
  • OAT by Dec 15 deadline
  • Applications accepted from July 1 - Dec 31.
  • $75 application fee
  • All college transcripts
  • Composite evaluation or four letters of recommendation
  • PREREQS: need C or better
    • One year of Biology with labs
    • One course of Microbiology
    • - One year of General Chemistry with labs
    • One half year of Organic Chemistry with a lab
    • One year of Physics with labs
    • One course of Calculus - One course of Statistics
    • One year of English
    • One course of Psychology *
    • One year of Social and Behavioral Science**

One year is equal to two semesters or three quarters. One half year is equal to one semester or two quarters.

* A statistics course taken in a psychology department may not be counted for fulfillment of both the psychology prerequisite and the statistics prerequisite.

**Any combination of two semesters or two quarters in sociology, economics, anthropology, history, political science or additional psychology.


2.) Degree Programs Offered

  • OD -Vision Science Grad program
  • Residency (family practice, pediatrics, and cornea/contact lenses)

3.) Fees/Expenses

- DO offer financial aid to those who apply (financial need and academic promise)

-Following notification of admission: $200, nonrefundable deposit within 2 weeks of being notified. This deposit is credited toward tuition upon matriculation. Six weeks after notification of admission a $500 nonrefundable pre-registration deposit is required. This deposit is also credited toward tuition upon matriculation.

- TUITION for FIRST YEARS (Fall 2007):

  • General tuition (per quarter): In-state $3,032. Out-of-state $9,096 Fees: Student service fee (annual) $496 General building fee (per quarter) $444 Student Recreation Center fee (annual) $204 Lab fee (per quarter) $133 Technology fee (per quarter) $74

4.) Statistics

-The mean GPA: 3.4 to 3.6 in the past few years. The mean OAT scores: 300 to 340.

-1 in 5 students accepted (40-45 students a year!)

-100% pass rate for national board exams (according to their handout)

-small school, lots of funding

-faculty and students see more than 25,000 patients a year in their clinics

-According to Kaplan web site: Average GPA: 3.55 Average OAT: 322 Tuition & Fees: Resident - $10,277 Nonresident - $23,357 <http://main.uab.edu/optometry/show.asp?durki=29172>


5.) School Motto

-*Vision Statement*The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry aspires to make significant contributions to eye and vision care knowledge, vision science, and to provide meaningful service to humanity.

6.) Interesting/Unique facts

- The UAB School of Optometry is the first school of optometry to be integrated into an academic health sciences center complex.

- Dean said: More than 1,150 graduates of the School…. I feel they are the best reflection of what UABSO is all about.

- Students in optometry program attend classes with dental/medical students

-*Interview Process and Factors Considered by the Admissions Committee*

  • Scholastic Aptitude and Performance
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Personality, Character and Motivation
  • Optometry-Related Experience
nova southeastern university college of optometry
Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry

1. General Admissions Requirements

  • Must have completed a minimum of 90 semester hours (30 of which must be taken at a four-year institution)
  • Minimum of 2.80 GPA ; Earn C or better in all required courses


  • Math (calculus) - 3 semester hours
  • English, Composition or Literature – 6 semester hours
  • Social Science/ behavioral science or humanities – 15 semester hours
  • General Biology (with labs) – 8 semester hours
  • General Chemistry (with labs) - 8 semester hours
  • General Physics (with labs) – 8 semester hours
  • Microbiology or Bacteriology(with lab) – 3 semester hours
  • Organic Chemistry (with lab) – 4 semester hours
  • Anatomy and physiology – 3 semester hours
  • Biochemistry or Molecular Biology – 3 semester hours

2. Degree Programs Offered

- Doctor of Optometry (4 years)

- Extended Doctor of Optometry degree ( 5 years) – first two years of the traditional full-time program is covered in three years in the extend program


3. Fees/Expenses

  • 4. Statistics
    • Class of 2011: 742 applied, 206 accepted, 101 enrolled
    • Mean overall GPA: 3.28
    • AA Avg. OAT: 326 TS Avg. OAT: 330
  • 5. School Mission
    • The mission of the College of Optometry is to prepare, educate and train optometric physicians to practice at the highest level of proficiency, integrity, and professionalism; and to provide a multidisciplinary environment that encourages lifelong learning, scholarly activity and service.
  • 6. Interesting/Unique Facts
    • Dress Code policy: professional appearance whenever student is on University grounds, in classes, laboratory and experiential rotation. Guidelines apply from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday
    • Big Health Professions Division – 1st year students attend general science classes with 1st year dental students; will be able to meet students from many different health professions
university of missouri st louis college of optometry
University of Missouri, St. LouisCollege of Optometry
  • Website: http://www.umsl.edu/divisions/optometry/
  • Student Services:OpStuAff@msx.umsl.edu, 888-EYE-UMSL (393-8675)

1. General Admissions Requirements:

  • -Rolling Admissions: Aug. 1-Feb. 15 (first deadline: Dec. 15 for merit scholarships)
  • -OAT (>300, >320 science), LOR (4 letters w/ form: 1 optometrist, others: academic, employer, advisors…), Transcript, Online app, $50 fee
  • -Pre-reqs (AP credits only on non-science courses, but check!):

*students should take one semester of General Biology (with lab) and it is recommended the student take one semester of either Biochemistry (with lab) or Human/Vertebrate Anatomy/Physiology (with lab).

**if you elect to take a survey type calculus course rather than one requiring trigonometry as a pre-requisite, you will need to show evidence of having taken trigonometry (even if just in high school).


2. Degree Programs Offered:

  • -O.D. four yr. program
  • -M.S. or PhD. in Vision Science (Physiological Optics); take GRE like regular grad school

3. Fees/Expenses:

  • -(Fall 2007) Non-resident: $17,574.76 per semester, Resident: $9,547.56 per semester (+books, equipment)
  • -Cost of living: $600/month (single w/ roommate including utilities), Optometry Villa ($200/month)
  • -Financial aid: www.umsl.edu/services/finaid/
  • -Gaining residency: Dr. Barbara Brown brownbw@umsl.edu

4. Statistics (class of 2007):

  • -avg. GPA: 3.5
  • -OAT score average: 330
  • -male/female ratio: 50/50
  • Class size: 44 students
  • National Board pass rates are: Part I 90.7%(class of 2009) , Part II 100% (class of 2008), and Part III 98.7% (class of 2007).

5. School Motto: Enriching Lives through Vision

  • Values: Growth, Responsibility, Discovery, Community

6. Curriculum:

  • -semester system
  • -1st yr: Biochem, Anatomy, Optics, Intros…
  • -4th yr: only 2 required courses (clinic class & business management)
  • -Externship Rotations during 4th yr: planned by each individual including different specialties and different sites. Patient care logs like case studies due bi-weekly. Six 8-week rotations. We have rotations all over the country. Rotations have also be set up in other countries such as Australia, England, and Canada in the past.
  • + 3 semester electives (Ocular photography, Geriatric Care, Case studies in Ocular disease, Directed research, etc.)

7. Strengths:

  • -Curriculum: externships! & electives
  • -strong externship program.
  • -strong contact lens department

8. Clinic:

  • -Center for Eye Care: 25 yrs.
  • -made up of 4 eye care facilities: University Eye Center (south campus), Optometric Center (central west St. Louis), East St. Louis Center (Illinois), Harvester Eye Care
  • -Primary care, Pediatrics/Binocular Vision, Rehabilitation, Eye Health Management, CL, Dispensary
  • -neighborhood clinics are associated with college of optometry

9. Location:

  • -St. Louis is a huge metropolitan city w/ sports, restaurants, attractions, etc!
  • -Museums, Sports: Rams football, Blues hockey and Cardinal baseball, Gateway Arch, etc.
western university of health sciences school of optometry
Western University of Health Sciences School of Optometry
  • Pomona, CA (opening 2009)
  • -private university
  • -accreditation: Preliminary Approval as of Feb. 2008
  • -Approval of the OD program by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) is pending.
  • Website: http://www.westernu.edu/xp/edu/optometry/welcome.xml
  • Student Services: 909-469-5335, admissions@westernu.edu

1. General Admissions Requirements: (mostly TBD, check website)

  • -Rolling Admissions: deadlines TBD
  • -OAT, LORs (3: optometrist, faculty member or pre-health advisor, other), Transcripts, Online app, $ fee, resume*
  • -Pre-reqs:
  • General Biology or Zoology - one year with laboratory
  • General (Inorganic) Chemistry - one year with laboratory
  • General Physics - one year with laboratory
  • English - one year
  • Calculus - one course of 3 semester units or 4 quarter units
  • General Microbiology or Bacteriology - one course of 3 semester units or 4 quarter units with laboratory

Organic Chemistry - one course of 3 semester units or 4 quarter units with laboratory

  • Biochemistry - one course of 3 semester units or 4 quarter units
  • Psychology - one course of 3 semester units or 4 quarter units
  • Statistics - one course of 3 semester units or 4 quarter units

2. Degree Programs Offered:

  • -O.D. four yr. program
  • -12 different health programs (Vet, Osteopathic, Physical therapy, Nursing, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Optometry & Podiatry)
  • - MS in Health Sciences & MS in Physician Assistant Studies

3. Fees/Expenses: TBD by April 2008, check website 

4. Statistics:

  • -Class size: 70 students
  • -no minimum OAT score as of now

5. School Motto: The Discipline of Learning. The art of caring.

6. Curriculum:

  • -semester
  • -1st yr: enrolled in several courses with medical, dental, and podiatric students (Study of Medicine, Anatomy, Medical ethnics, Behavioral health…)
  • -patient care clinics start end of first year
  • -4th yr: 4 rotations (all externships)

7. Strengths/Interesting facts:

  • -emphasis on neuro-science and neuro-optometry (neuro-rehabilitation, neurological disease affecting vision)
  • -curriculum includes small group discussions between students and community service projects 

8. Clinic: don’t think there is a clinic on campus.

ohio state university college of optometry
Ohio State University College of Optometry

1. General Admissions Requirements

  • Semester Hours
  • English Composition 3-4
  • Chemistry
  • Inorganic, with Lab 8-10
  • Organic 3-4
  • Biochemistry 3-4
  • Physics, with Lab 8-10
  • Mathematics
  • Algebra and Trigonometry 3-4
  • Analytical Geometry and Calculus 3-4
  • Biology, with Lab 6-8
  • Intermediate Physiology 6-8
  • Microbiology, with Lab 3-4
  • Introductory Psychology 3-4
  • Humanities 6-8
  • Social Sciences 6-8

135 quarter hours of credit in prescribed pre-optometry coursework (exclusive of military science, naval science, air force aerospace studies, physical education, or health education) at The Ohio State University, or the equivalent at any other accredited university or college;

  • Completion of all stated prerequisite courses;
  • Above-average standing in the listed minimum pre-optometry course requirements. Applicants with cumulative point-hour ratios of 3.00 or higher (4.00=A) will be given first consideration. Performance in courses which are specifically required for admission is particularly important;
  • Completion of the Optometry Admission Test (OAT);
  • Submission of official transcripts for all post secondary-level studies;
  • Complete at least 10 hours of observation at a minimum of two different optometric practice settings;
  • A personal interview;
  • Submit completed application materials (including application form, personal statement, resume, 3 personal evaluations including one from an optometrist and one from a professor).
  • Personal evaluations must be submitted by an optometrist and a professor who knows the applicant, and a person of the applicant's choice

2. Degree Programs Offered

  • Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) Program
  • Graduate Studies in Vision Science Program
  • -Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)

3. Fees/Expenses

  • The estimated cost for the first three quarters for an Ohio resident in the College of Optometry includes these expenses (from Academic Year 2006 - 2007):
  • Application fee: $40 domestic; $50 international

Acceptance fee: $25

  • Tuition deposit*: $200
  • Tuition: $16,227
  • Student health insurance: $1,305
  • Books and Instruments: $4,065
  • Vehicle registration fee: $201
  • Living Expenses: $11,958Total: $33,765

4. Statistics

  • National Board Of Examiners in Optometry (2006)
  • Basic Science Ohio State 93%
  • Basic Science National 77%
  • Clinical Ohio State 98%
  • Clinical National 92%
  • Patient Care Ohio State 100%
  • Patient Care National 93%

5. Interesting/Unique facts

  • -The College of Optometry at Ohio State is the longest established university degree program in optometry.-Research at the OSU college of optometry has been the subject of several news stories from OSU Today to The New York Times. This research on the condition of dry eye is what has garnered the recent media attention. The research suggests that squinting at a computer screen reduces the number of times an individual blinks, which in turn causes a person’s eyes to ache or burn, with accompanying sensations of dryness such as irritation or tearing.

Pacific University – College of Optometry

1. General Admissions Requirements

  • Biological Sciences 12 semester hours- must include microbiology, human or comparative vertebrate anatomy, and human or animal physiology. All courses must include lab.
  • Chemistry 12 semester hours – standard one year in general chemistry, standard one-year in organic chemistry or survey course in organic chemistry. A course in biochemistry strongly recommended. All courses must include lab
  • General Physics 8 semester hours – standard one year course, include lab
  • Math 3 semester hours – either analytic geometry or calculus
  • Statistics 3 semester hours- must be from math department, psychology, sociology or statistics
  • General Psychology 3 semester hours
  • English/Writing 9 semester hours
  • Humanities 12 semester hours
  • Social sciences 12 semester hours

2. Degree Programs Offered

  • Doctor of Optometry (O.D.)

3. Fees/Expenses

  • (Costs for 2007-2008)
  • Tuition Per Academic Year: $27,042
  • Books and Supplies: $6,276

4. Statistics

  • Class Profile for the Class of 2011
  • Total applications 330-350
  • Class size: 90
  • Men 45
  • Women 45
  • Average age 24
  • Age range 20-63
  • Average GPA 3.45
  • Average OAT 349

5. Interesting/Unique facts

  • Job placement rate of 99 percent within the last two graduating classes (2006, 2007)