WHAT ARE THE ACADEMIC PREREQUISITES?
In making decisions about admissions, optometry schools consider a range of factors that may vary from one school to another. All prerequisite courses usually need to be completed with a grade of C or above.
It is recommended, and often required, that you complete the following courses:*
|Biology||1 year w. lab (generally BIO 150 and BIO 227)
Human Anatomy and Physiology: Cells and Tissues & Human Anatomy and Physiology: Organs and Organ Systems (BIO 143 & BIO 243)
Microbiology (BIO 231)
Immunology (BIO 382) is recommended
|Chemistry||1 year Gen Chem w. lab (CHEM 125 & 126 OR CH/BI 125 & 126 OR CHEM 121, 123, and 126)
1 year organic chemistry with lab (CHEM 247 & 248)
Biochemistry w. lab (CHEM 379)
|Physics||1 year with lab (PHYS 124 & 125)|
|Math & Stats||Calculus (MATH 119 or 120)
Statistics – (STAT 212)
|English||Two composition courses recommended in additional to literature and public speaking|
Prerequisites from different schools (to demonstrate variations in prerequisites)
- Directory of Schools and Colleges of Optometry
- University of California Berkeley
- Ohio State University
- Illinois College of Optometry
WHAT STANDARDIZED TEST WILL I NEED TO TAKE?
WHAT CENTRALIZED APPLICATION WILL I USE?
WHO IS THE DESIGNATED ADVISING SPECIALIST?
Professor Brian Borovsky (Associate Professor, Physics)
Office: RNS 278 Phone: (507) 786-3607 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT ARE THE EXPERIENTIAL PREREQUISITES?*
- Shadowing: It is generally recommended that you shadow a number of different optometrists in a variety of settings for 50-100+ hours.
- Research: It is highly recommended that you complete at least one 10-week research experience. You do not have to find a research opportunity that is related to optometry, although this would be beneficial.
- Volunteering: It is highly recommended that you volunteer in a position, starting as early as your first year at St. Olaf. Although your volunteer role can be in healthcare or outside of healthcare, we recommend that you aim to volunteer in both capacities. Optometry schools are looking for applicants with sustained and meaningful volunteer experience serving the underserved. They don’t want students who are simply checking the “volunteer box.”
- Internship(s): It is recommended that you gain experience in the field through interning at an optometry clinic, a department of health, a community clinic, etc. Internships outside of optometry are highly beneficial as well.
- Leadership: It is strongly recommended that you serve in a leadership capacity (president of an organization, academic tutor, service on an advisory board, etc.). Leaders can enhance their communication and organizational skills, as well as learn how to interact with individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds
Doctors of Optometry (ODs), commonly known as optometrists, are the independent primary health care professionals for the eye. U.S. News & World Report listed optometry as a rewarding job, because it’s “a profession with a high cure rate, regular hours, good pay and realistic potential for being successfully self-employed.” New technologies have helped the profession to expand both the scope and the efficiency of practice. Optometrists and their patients are benefiting from the many advances in eye care and medical technology. For example, the type of contact lenses and lens treatments have expanded and improved in recent years. Additionally, new procedures like the use of lasers to correct vision and diseases, such as glaucoma, have provided better options for patients who need them. Optometrists are often the health care providers who consult with patients about new technologies and treatments like these.
- Examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases, injuries and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures
- Counsel patients regarding surgical and non-surgical options to meet their visual needs
- Identify related systemic conditions affecting the eye, like diabetes or high blood pressure
- Prescribe medications
- Perform certain surgical procedures
- Provide vision therapy and low vision rehabilitation
- Assist patients with eyeglasses and contact lenses
WHAT OTHER RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE AT ST. OLAF?
Study Abroad: Yes – you CAN study abroad as a pre-health student! Speak with your advisor early in order to plan for when a semester or year abroad will fit into your academic plan.
*Ultimately, it is the responsibility of applicants to ensure that they complete all prerequisite coursework and experiential opportunities required for successful admission to optometry school.
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