"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.

Major Selection

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.

Prerequisite Courses

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 350 Microbiology Required
BIOL 350L Microbiology Lab Required
ENGL 6 credits 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.

Admissions Test

OAT: Optometry Admission Test

The current sections of the OAT are:

  • Survey of Natural Sciences (biology, chemistry, organic chemistry)
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Physics
  • Quantitative Reasoning