Prospective Students » Optometry » Requirements
Application ProcessPrerequisite CoursesApplication Requirements

Step 1: Prerequisite and Application Requirements

The first step in the admissions process is to ensure you are on track to complete both the course prerequisites and application requirements in time to apply for your preferred year of entry.

International Students:We do not require a separate application or fee, and you should be prepared to meet all of the prerequisite and application requirements as outlined. If you need assistance with immigration (I-20 form, F-1 visa, SEVIS, etc.), our International Student Services (ISS) staff are available to help you.Visit the ISS website to learn more.

Step 2: Make Yourself a Competitive Candidate

Admission to the program is competitive so you should strive to not only meet, but exceed the minimum requirements. To get a feel for the competitiveness of the applicant pool we recommend that you view our class statistics page, review the national statistics for Optometry and read what the admissions committee recommends you do to maximize your candidacy.

Step 3: Preparing and Submitting your Application

The apply now page will provide you with step-by-step instructions as well as an application checklist. There are a number of supporting materials that make up your completed application and it is essential that you print and carefully follow the checklist to ensure that you properly submit these pieces by the deadline.

Frequently Asked Questions

We've compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you navigate through the application process, and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have additional questions.

Prerequisite Courses 2018 Entering Classes

Required: 8 semester or 12 quarter units

General Biology or Zoology with lab– may not be an introductory course

General (Inorganic) Chemistry with lab – may not be an introductory course

General Physics with lab -may not be an introductory course

Required: 3 semester or 4 quarter units

Organic Chemistry with lab– may not be an introductory course

General Microbiology or Bacteriology with lab

Human Anatomy AND Human Physiology (3 semester or 4 quarter units of EACH)

  • If Anatomy and Physiology are combined, must be a minimum of 5 semester units
  • Must be taken out of the Anatomy, Physiology, Biology or Zoology Department
  • A lab is not required
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology are preferred but a Vertebrate A&P course that also includes Human A&P will be accepted.
  • No online courses accepted




Psychology – may be an introductory, general or human development course

Required: 6 semester or 8 quarter units


  • May be an English Composition, English Literature, Writing or Critical Thinking course
  • May not be an English as a Second Language (ESL) course
  • May not be a Speech or Communication course

All ​Prerequisites:

  • Must be completed at a regionally accredited U.S. or Canadian institution (exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis) or its equivalent abroad
  • Must be completed with a grade of “C” or better (a grade of “C-” or lower is not acceptable)
  • One course cannot be used to satisfy more than one prerequisite.
  • Must be completed by the spring term just prior to matriculation
  • Online labs are NOT accepted
  • Only English and Calculus may be taken on an advanced-placement basis
  • Pass/No Pass will not satisfy the prerequisite courses
  • All coursework taken from non-US institutions (excluding Canada) must be submitted to an approved service for evaluation

Application Requirements

Completion of prerequisite courses as outlined

Minimum of 90 semester or 135 quarter units of undergraduate coursework

  • Must be completed by matriculation at a regionally accredited U.S. institution

Optometry Admissions Test (OAT)

  • Official OAT scores must be received before application will be considered
  • Only scores after June 28, 2015 will be considered

​Letters of Recommendation

Three (3) letters of recommendation are required
  • Suggested sources:
    • One (1) letter of recommendation from an Optometrist (should not be a family member)
    • One (1) letter of recommendation from a professor
    • One (1) letter of recommendation from your pre-health advisor
  • Note: Re-applicants should submit at least one new letter of recommendation that provides insights into the activities you have participated in since your last application submission.

  • Methods of submitting letters of recommendation
    • Electronic: Letters can be electronically submitted by the recommender to the application service or other services such as Interfolio or Virtual Evals.
    • Paper: Letters must be typed on official letterhead and must be signed by the recommender. Letter must be submitted in a sealed envelope that is signed over the seal by the recommender.
    • Email: Letters may be submitted by email directly from the recommender. The recommender’s email address should be a business or school email address.

Although not required, having earned a BS or BA will likely strengthen your application

  • BS or BA may be in any subject

​Proof of Legal U.S. Residency – if required

  • If you are an international applicant or any other applicant who is not U.S. citizen and is living in the U.S., you should be prepared to provide proof of legal U.S. residency at the time of interview.
  • Proof of legal U.S. residency is required prior to any offer of acceptance.

​Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) – if required

  • The TOEFL is required for all applicants submitting coursework from foreign schools
  • A minimum score of 79 for the Internet-Based test must be submitted at the time of application.
  • TOEFL scores are valid for two years
  • Exceptions:
    • The TOEFL exam will be waived for permanent and temporary residents of the United States who have completed the English prerequisite from an accredited institution in the United States.
    • English courses taken from foreign countries whose native language is English will be accepted (e.g., Canada, Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand and the British West Indies)

​ASCO Functional Guidelines

  • Candidates must meet the functional guidelines established by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO).