Optometry is the field involving virtually everything that has to do with eyes and vision, including examination, diagnosis, and treatment of the eyes and surrounding structures, and the treatment of vision problems.
Doctors of Optometry (ODs) are the primary health care professionals for the eyes. They should not be confused with ophthalmologists or dispensing opticians. Ophthalmologists are physicians who perform eye surgery, in addition to diagnosing and treating eye conditions. Dispensing opticians fit eyeglasses and contact lenses, following prescriptions written by ophthalmologists or optometrists.
Applications for optometry schools are processed through the Optometry Centralized Application Service (OptomCAS).
Applications should be submitted in the year prior to the year for which you are seeking admission. Many medical schools have rolling admissions, so applicants would do well to apply as early as possible.
Beyond the usual one year each of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics, most schools suggest or require Anatomy and Physiology, Biochemistry, and Microbiology. You should check early with the specific requirements of schools to which you may apply.
Entrance Exam Requirements
The Optometry Admission Test (OAT) is required for admission to optometry schools. It is a standardized exam, testing you on a Survey of the Natural Sciences, Reading Comprehension, Physics, and Quantitative Reasoning.
Letters of Evaluation/Recommendation
Individual schools require two to three letters of recommendation and most accept the kind of composite letter provided at Ursinus: your adviser from the Health Professions Advising Committee will compose a composite letter from the letters of recommendation you solicit from professors, supervisors, research mentors, and others who know you in professional or service contexts; that letter will also contain a rating of you on behalf of the committee based on your academic record, service, experience, and other factors. Students should consult early and closely with their adviser to determine whom to solicit for letters of recommendation.