Preparing for a Career in Optometry

Learn what it means to be a Doctor of Optometry from this link

Academic Requirements for Optometry programs

Optometry School Prerequisites (Requirements Vary by School So Check Each School): Prerequisites listed by school at the OptomCAS website.

Requirement General Description U of A Course Numbers
Biology 8 Semester Hours Biology

MCB 181R & 181L

ECOL 182 R & 182L

General (Inorganic) Chemistry 8 Semester Hours Chemisty

CHEM 151 or 141/143

CHEM 152 or 142/144

Organic Chemistry 4 Semester Hours Organic Chemisty

CHEM 241A & 243A

CHEM 241B & 243B also recommended

Physics 8 Semester Hours Physics

PHYS 102&181 and PHYS 103&182

(other levels of Physics may fulfill the requirement as well)

English 6 Semester Hours

English 101& 102 or

English 109H & additional English class,

usually composition

Mathematics 6 Semester Hours

Math 113 or 122b (Calculus) and

Math 163 or 263 (statistics/biostats)

Additional Requirements or Recommendations

Discipline Required/Recommended General Description U of A Course Numbers
Statistics Required for some 3 semester hours

Suggested:  Biostatistics = Math 263

Other stats courses may meet requirement

Anatomy/Physiology Required for some 3 semester hours PSIO 201 or PSIO 380
Psychology Strongly recommended 3 semester hours PSY 150A1 or PSY 101
Biochemistry Required for some 3 semester hours

One of the Following:

BIOC 384, 385 or 462A


Microbiology Required for most 4 semester hours (includes lab) MIC 205A & 205L


Application Pathway

The standardized test for Optometry Schools is the Optometry Admission Test (OAT).  The test is comprised of four subtests:

  1. Survey of the Natural Sciences (Biology, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry)
  2. Reading Comprehension
  3. Physics
  4. Quantitative Reasoning

The OAT is administered at testing centers on computer and you may take the OAT an unlimited number of times.  However, you must wait at least 90 days between tests. One additional requirement for taking the OAT is one year of college but we advise you not to take the exam until you have two years of college credit earned including biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics. The fee for the OAT includes sending your scores to five optometry schools and there is an additional fee per school beyond your allowed five.

Register online to take the OAT test through the ASCO website  then click “OAT – Optometry Admission Test.”

The Centralized Application Service for Optometry Schools is OptomCAS

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