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Pre-Professional Health Program

Optometry

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Professional Overview

photo of students in a classroom

Doctors of Optometry (Optometrists) are independent primary health care providers who specialize in the examination, diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures and the diagnosis of related systemic conditions. Optometrists provide vision care by prescribing ophthalmic lenses, contact lenses, other optical aids, and vision therapy. 

Optometry graduate school is four years of specialized professional education and clinical training. 

General Pre-Optometry Prerequisite Coursework; Wright State Specific Courses 

Most optometry schools require the following prerequisites:  

  • Anatomy and Physiology (with lab): 8 semester hours (ANT 3100, ANT 3120)  
  • General Biology (with lab): 8 semester hours (BIO 1120, BIO 1150)  
  • Microbiology: 3-4 semester hours (BIO 2200 or BIO 3100 with lab)  
  • General Chemistry (with lab): 8 semester hours (CHM 1210, CHM 1220)  
  • Organic Chemistry (with lab): 8 semester hours (CHM 2110, CHM 2120)  
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: 3 semester hours (BMB 4210 or BMB 4001)  
  • Physics (with lab): 8 semester hours (PHY 1110, PHY 1120)  
  • Psychology: 7 semester hours (PSY 1010, PSY 3410)  
  • English: 6 semester hours (ENG 1100, ENG 2100, or 2130)  
  • Statistics: 4 semester hours (STT 1600 or STT 2640)  
  • Calculus: 4 semester hours (MTH 2240 or MTH 2300) 
  • Additional courses include humanities: 6-9 semester hours and social sciences: 6-9 semester hours. 

Note. Individual requirements vary by school. It is important to research individual health professions programs for specific requirements. Contact the Pre-Health Advisor for assistance. 

Academic Major 

Any major is acceptable if you complete the required prerequisite coursework, recommended extracurricular activities, and present a strong application to optometry school. Optometry schools seek students who have demonstrated they can do well, particularly in prerequisite courses, and followed their academic interests. 

Pre-optometry students often major in one of the following since many of the prerequisite courses are part of the major’s academic requirements: 

  • Biological Science 
  • Biochemistry 
  • Chemistry 
  • Neuroscience 
  • Physics 
  • Public Health 

Presenting a Competitive Application 

Students should check directly with the schools they plan to apply to for application requirements, information, and timelines. Admissions to health profession schools tend to be very competitive. While there is “no magical formula” for gaining admissions, general expectations include: 

  • Strong academic performance (3.4 or higher) in both your cumulative and prerequisite courses. 
  • Scoring highly (between 320 to 330) on the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT). 
  • Optometry schools require extensive familiarity with the field of optometry to gain an appreciation for and understanding of the profession. Students should: 
    • Shadow several optometrists to gain a realistic perspective of the profession. 
    • Gain direct patient and/or clinical exposure/experience in several unique and diverse settings and various types of patients. 
    • Get involved in community service, volunteer experiences, and co- and extracurricular activities on campus. 
    • Seek leadership responsibility, such as employment, church, community, and school organizations, including coaching, tutoring, and mentoring. 
    • Conduct research (however, not required) to help you understand scientific literature, how research is conducted, and distinguish credible research. 
    • Demonstrate the ability to balance school and responsibilities outside the classroom, demonstrating your ability to handle the difficult demands of optometry school 
    • Exhibit strong interpersonal skills, the ability to work in teams and among a diverse group of people, and a desire to help others; be able to communicate and listen effectively and possess skills to express your thoughts and ideas.