Optometrists are major providers of vision care. They examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures. Treatments done by optometrists include prescription glasses, contact lenses, vision therapy and in many states therapeutic drugs for specific diseases. Optometrists work with ophthalmologists who are Physicians specializing in diagnosis and treatment of eye disease and defects, including surgery.
The need for a well-trained doctor of optometry is increasing. Admission committees for four-year programs leading to the doctor of optometry consider the following factors: strength and breadth of academic record, OAT scores, evidence of work (paid or volunteer) under the supervision of a professional in optometry, extra curricular activities and community service, and strength of recommendations and on-campus interviews. (Contact each optometry school for its admission packet.)
More information can also be obtained from the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry
Enrollments are limited and admission is selective. All pre-optometry courses must be completed before entering a college of optometry. The following represents a minimum pre-optometry program:
This information is provided for informational purposes. It is essential that students check the programs at the school you are interested in for current prerequisites as these are constantly changing.
George Fox University offers all of the prerequisite courses for entering optometry school. Students can complete three to four years at George Fox and then apply for admission to the optometry school of choice. Below are listed the required courses required for Optometry School at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon.
Biology - 12 hours
BIOL 331 Human Anatomy and Physiology4, BIOL 331 Human Anatomy and Physiology4
BIOL 330 Advanced Physiology4
BIOL 440 Advanced Human Anatomy 4
BIO 370 Microbiology 4
Chemistry – One-year general and one-year organic chemistry
CHEM 211 General Chemistry 4, CHEM 212 General Chemistry 4
CHEM 321 Organic Chemistry 4, CHEM 332 Organic Chemistry 4
CHEM 341 Biochemistry 4
Physics – one year general Physics (algebra or calculus based)
PHYS 201 General Physics 4, PHYS 202 General Physics 4 OR
PHYS 221 General Physics w/ Calculus 4, PHYS 222 General Physics w Calculus 4
Mathematics - 3 hours
MATH 201 Calculus I 4
Statistics - 3 hours
MTH 240 Statistical Procedures 3
Psychology - 3 hours
PSYC 150 General Psychology 3
Writing – 8 hours
Must include two courses in writing composition (expository, technical and scientific writing courses are strongly recommended). Speech and communication courses do not meet this requirement.
WRIT 110 College Writing 3
A bachelor’s degree is required of all students and can be completed at George Fox University before applying to optometry school. A person can also apply to optometry school after three years if the above requirements are fulfilled. The student should contact the school of interest to obtain the actual requirements for that school.