College of Science and Health | DePaul University > Student Resources > Office of Advising & Student Services > Pre-Health Advising > Health Careers > Optometry

Optometry

The American Optometric Association defines doctor of optometry as an independent primary health care provider for the eye. Optometrists (ODs) examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the eyes, visual systems, and associated structures affecting the eye. ODs can prescribe medication, spectacle lenses, contact lenses, and perform certain surgical procedures.

Currently there are 22 optometry programs in the continental United States.

How do I apply to optometry programs?

Students apply to optometry school through a centralized application system called Optometry Centralized Application System (OptomCAS). Similar to the common application for undergraduate school, students can apply to any of the optometry programs ​in the U.S. through a single application on the OptomCAS. The OptomCAS opens late June/early July.

As of 2017, the OptomCAS application cost: $170.00 for one school ​+ $70.00 for each additional school.​

Do I need to take a entrance exam?

Optometry programs require students to take the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT)

As of 2017, the OAT costs $450.00

What are the prerequisites for optometry school?

It is important for students to check each school's requirements carefully as some schools will require courses not listed below. For more information about a specific program, please contact the school directly.

​Course
​English ​1 y​ear
​Calculus ​1 quarter
​Statistics ​1 quarter
​Anatomy and Physiology Part A and B ​2 quarters
​Biology with lab ​1 year
​Microbiology ​1 quarter
​General Chemistry with lab ​1 year
​Organic Chemistry with lab ​2 quarters
​Biochemistry ​1-2 quarters
​Physics with lab ​1 year
​Psychology ​1 quarter
 

Sample Timeline - Traditional 4 Year

Students should meet with their academic advisor and pre-health advisor each quarter to make sure they are taking the correct courses for their major/professional interest. 


Below is a sample timeline for a Biological Sciences Major. Please be aware that Optometry programs do not require or prefer a specifc major and the below timeline should not be used to replace meeting with an academic advisor. 


Into what optometry programs have DePaul students been recently admitted?

​Illinois College of Optometry
New England​ College of Optometry
University of Houston College of Optometry

What is considered a competitive GPA and entrance exam score for optometry programs?

National Average Cumulative GPA: 3.6
National Average OAT Score: 325
It is important for students to check each school's requirements carefully as some schools will require information not listed above. For more information about a specific schools program, contact that program directly or visit the ASCO​. ​