Description:  Pre-Optometry  Description:

July 2012


Home |  Feedback |  Disclaimer


Preoptometry Advising. 206 Building 44, 581-5744

John Nilsson and Mayumi Kasai,  Pre-Professional Advisors.

Web Address:

Any major is acceptable, as long as the student also completes preoptometry courses.

PreOptometry Course Work  

Most schools and colleges of optometry require the completion of the following courses prior to admission:  

*General biology or zoology (with lab): BIOL 1210, 2010, 2020, 2325, 2420, and Path 3100  

*General chemistry (with lab): CHEM 1210, 1220 with labs 1215, 1225

*Organic chemistry (with lab): CHEM 2310, 2320, with labs 2315, 2325  

*General physics (with lab): PHYS 2010-2110, 2020 with labs 2015, 2025 (PHYS 2110 or 2210 series also acceptable)  

*English: One year of composition or writing   

*Mathematics (usually including one to two semesters of calculus and a statistics course): MATH 1210, 1220, 1070 or 3070 (or equivalent)

*Psychology: One to two courses  

*Biochemistry: BIOL 3510 is required at some schools. (Prereq.: BIOL 2020 and CHEM 2310)  

In addition, applicants must take the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT). This test is offered year round by computer. Each school sets it’s own deadline.  Before taking this exam students should complete the required preoptometry science courses. There are four examinations in the OAT: 

I. Natural Sciences (biology, inorganic and organic chemistry)  

II. Reading Comprehension (in optometry and basic sciences)  

III. Quantitative Ability (mathematics problems)  

IV. Physics  

Selection criteria vary for each school. Some common criteria include:  

* High school and undergraduate grades demonstrating native intelligence and persistence  

* Letters of recommendation—usually three required (professor, employer/supervisor, optometrist)  

* Volunteer or work experience with an optometrist  

* Optometry Admissions Test results  

* Interview results (when applicable)  

* Motivation for career goal and knowledge of optometry  

* Extracurricular activities (community service, teaching/tutoring, research, campus organizations, work experience)  

* Personal characteristics (e.g., leadership, communication skills, maturity)  

Students make application to optometry schools approximately one year prior to the desired date of entrance. There is no school of optometry in Utah, but Utah residents have access to a limited number of positions every year at two western schools of optometry through the WICHE program (Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education). All qualified applicants should apply to be WICHE-certified as a five-year Utah resident prior to making application to optometry schools. As a WICHE-certified applicant, you will be qualified to apply to the WICHE-member optometry schools: Southern California College of Optometry and Pacific University. Generally, two WICHE-qualified Utah residents accepted to a WICHE college of optometry will be funded by the state each year (the state will pay a portion of the tuition).  

In addition to WICHE schools, an applicant should also consider other private and state optometry colleges. There are 15 optometry schools nationwide.  


Students considering optometry should keep in regular contact with the preoptometry advisors office. Our office keeps a small reference library which includes optometry college catalogs and optometry career information.


[Home]  [Feedback]  [Disclaimer]  [University of Utah]

, © University of Utah
This page is maintained by Administrative Computing Services. 
Please send comments to
University Disclaimer