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


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

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

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.

Cost:  The OptomCAS application cost: $185.00 for one school + $70.00 for each additional school.

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

Cost: The OAT costs $505.00

Fee Assistance Information

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.

English 1 year
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

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. 

Illinois College of Optometry

University of Houston College of Optometry

New England College of Optometry

National Average Cumulative GPA: 3.48
National Average OAT Score: 326

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​. ​​