Optometrists are independent primary health care providers who examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases and disorders of the eye. In addition to prescribing and fitting glasses and contact lenses, optometrists are trained to evaluate any patient’s visual condition and to determine the best treatment for that condition.
The necessary prerequisite courses vary significantly among institutions. However, most optometry school programs require:
1 Year General Biology — Bio 111, 112
1 semester Microbiology — Bio 325
1 Year General Chemistry — Chem 111, Chem 241
1 or 2 semesters Organic Chemistry — Chem 221, Chem 321
1 or 2 semesters Calculus — Math 111, Math 112
1 Year Physics — Physics 109 and 110, or Physics 111, 112
1 Semester Statistics — Math 217 OR Psy 201 (Psy 101 is a prerequisite)
1 Semester Psychology — Psy 101
1 or 2 semesters Composition — Eng 101, Eng 201, Eng 410
There is considerable variation among the optometry programs with regard to the amount of chemistry, math, psychology, and English required. Some programs require Anatomy (Bio 221) or Biochemistry (Chem 361, Chem 321 is a prerequisite). Visit ASCO to view all program requirements.
There is now a centralized application service for optometry school programs. For more information, visit OPTOMCAS. The standardized test required for entrance into all optometry school programs is the Optometry Admissions Test, OAT.
Typically a student needs a minimum GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale to be a competitive candidate. Optometry school takes four years to complete. All optometry school students are also required to pass a national board examination (NBEO part 1) before they can graduate from optometry school.
The Indiana University School of Optometry website can be found here.
For more information on pursuing optometry as a career, contact Jill Rogers.