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Pre-Optometry Track at Hope College

Graduate programs in optometry now offer the Doctor of Optometry degree (O.D.) as the professional degree for an optometrist. Most optometry programs require a student to complete a bachelor's degree before entering the program. However, some optometry schools, including Michigan College of Optometry, do admit some students after they have completed three years of college and all pre-optometry requirements.

Each optometry school determines the admission requirements for its own O.D. program, but there are some courses that are required at almost all optometry schools. It is essential that students check the specific requirements at the optometry schools where they plan to apply since course requirements vary from school to school.

Courses required by most Optometry Schools:

  • Calculus (Math 131)
  • Statistics (Math 210)
  • General biology with lab (Bio 105 + lab & Bio 106 + lab)
  • Microbiology with lab (Bio 231 or Bio 301 both with lab)
  • Physiology (Bio 221 or 442 both with lab)
  • General chemistry with lab (CHEM125/127 & 126/128 or CHEM 131/132)
  • Organic chemistry with lab (Chem 221/255 & 231/256)
  • Physics with lab  (Phys 121/141 & 122/142 or 105/107 & 106/108)
  • English (Eng 113 and either 231 or 232)
  • Psychology (Psy 100)
  • Speech (Comm 140)

These courses should be completed during the first three years so that a student is prepared for the Optometry Admission Test (OAT), which is typically taken in the summer after junior year. The OAT is required by most optometry schools. The OAT covers biology, general and organic chemistry, physics, reading comprehension, and quantitative reasoning.

Recommended courses or courses required by some Optometry Schools:

  • Human Anatomy (Kin 200 or Bio 222 both with lab)
  • Additional Psychology or Sociology (Psy 230 or Soc 101)
  • Upper-level behavioral science (Soc 333)
  • Business management or accounting (Mgmt 100 or Acct 221)

Students should select a major area of study that is of interest and that will provide a foundation of knowledge necessary for the pursuit of several career alternatives. Optometry schools are most concerned with the overall quality and scope of undergraduate work and not with the specific academic major. While many students who are pursuing a career in optometry are interested in the sciences and major in one of the sciences, others with interests in the social sciences, humanities or business may major in one of those areas. Optometry schools seek students with diverse and broad academic backgrounds.

Web links to each optometry school can be found on the web site for the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO). You can follow a link to the school's web site to find the school's admission requirements.

Students should be aware that optometry school admission committees want to see that a student has learned about the optometry profession through first-hand experience. This experience should include a job or volunteer work in a optometry office. It should also include job shadowing one or more optometrists in different job environments. Optometry school admission committees also look at a student's experiences for evidence that the student is committed to serving others and that the student is able to work effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and of different ages.

Useful Web Links to Optometry School Information

Links to General Information

For current Hope College students, questions related to the pre-Optometry track, please contact HPA Professor T Prokopow.