Optometrists examine the eyes and other parts of the visual system. They also diagnose and treat visual problems and manage diseases, injuries, and other disorders of the eyes.

Optometry at a Glance

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 (American Optometric Association [AOA]).  

Core 34 Pre-Admission Coursework:  Check Sheet (PDF)Accessible Check Sheet (PDF)

Core Pre-Admission Coursework:  Check Sheet (PDF)Accessible Check Sheet (PDF)

References: Most schools require two to three, and some require one letter from an optometrist.  Many schools require/recommend one letter from a science faculty member. 

Shadowing Experience: Highly recommended – students are encouraged to shadow a few optometrists to have a good understanding of the profession 

Healthcare Experience: Recommended 

Community Service/Leadership Experience: Highly recommended 

Research Experience: Not required 

Pre-Admission Standardized Tests: Optometry Admission Test (OAT) - many schools will accept some or all of the following, as well - Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), Dental Aptitude Test (DAT), Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT), or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)  

Student Organizations: Pre-Optometry Club, International Pre-Health Sciences Organization, Delta Epsilon Mu (co-ed healthcare fraternity), University of Kansas Women in Medicine, Future Leaders in Healthcare  

Application Window: Typically, mid-summer through April/May  

Resume Required: No 

Centralized Application Service: Optometry Centralized Application Service (OptomCAS)  

Early Decision Option: Yes, some programs have this option 

Interview Required: Yes