The Doctor of Optometry (OD) is the degree awarded to optometrists, who serve as independent primary health care professionals for the eye. Optometrists examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures as well as identify related systemic conditions affecting the eye. Doctors of Optometry prescribe medications, low vision rehabilitation, vision therapy, spectacle lenses, contact lenses, and perform certain surgical procedures. (Learn more from the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry).
Prerequisites: Check individual schools. Often include:
- General Chemistry with lab (2 semesters)
- Organic Chemistry with lab (1 semester)
- Physics with lab (2 semesters)
- Introductory Biology with lab (2 semesters)
- Anatomy & Physiology with lab (2 semesters)
- Biochemistry (1 semester)
- Microbiology with lab (1 semester)
- Psychology (1 semester)
- Math: 1 semester calculus, 1 semester statistics
- English (2 semesters)
For more details: OptomCAS School-Specific Pre-Requisites
- Apply in the summer, about 16 months before intended entry.
- The Optometry Admission Test (OAT) is the required standardized test and comprises four sections: Survey of the Natural Sciences; Reading Comprehension; Physics; Quantitative Reasoning.
- Apply through the Optometry Centralized Application Service (OptomCAS). Application opens July 1. (OptomCAS: Overview)
- Most schools accept a committee letter of recommendation. Some require a letter from an optometrist.
Find a program: OptomCAS Directory of Schools and Colleges
For more information:
- HPA Career of the Month (pdf, October 2016)
- The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO)