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, and do 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, extracurricular activities and community service, 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 educational purposes. Check the programs you are interested in for current prerequisites.

George Fox University offers the prerequisite courses for entering optometry school. Below are listed the required courses required for Optometry School at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon.


BIOL 221/222 Human Anatomy and Physiology 4/4


BIOL 333 Advanced Physiology 4
BIOL 450 Advanced Human Anatomy 4
BIO 367 or 370 Microbiology 4


CHEM 211/212 General Chemistry 4/4
CHE 331/332 Organic Chemistry 4/4
CHEM 341 Biochemistry 4


PHYS 201/202 General Physics 4/4


MTH 201 Calculus I 4

Statistics - 3 hours (Pick one of these)

MTH 240 Statistical Procedures 3
PSYC 340 Statistical Procedures 3
SOCI 340 Statistical Procedures 3

Writing – 8 hours

WRIT 110 Freshman Composition 3

Optometry Admissions Test

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.

Schools and Colleges of Optometry Admission Requirements 2013

Letters of Recommendation

Read our procedure for requesting letters of recommendation from faculty. This must be completed prior to faculty writing you a letter of recommendation. Give your recommenders plenty of time to write their letters,  at least three weeks.  Follow the steps outlined on this document, Pre-Med Letters of Recommendation Process and  Requirements .