The Ultimate Guide to Getting Into Optometry School


Aspiring to be an optometrist is an admirable career path. Not only do you help people improve their visual health, but it’s also a lucrative profession with a projected growth of 4% over the next decade. But getting into optometry school requires dedication, hard work, and resilience. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the requirements, timelines, and OAT prep materials you’ll need to successfully get into optometry school.

Prerequisite Courses and GPA

To be considered as a candidate for admission to the professional OD program, a four-year baccalaureate degree is highly recommended. The educational institution must be accredited. Students who have completed all pre-requisite courses and a minimum of three years (90 semester credits) of undergraduate study from an accredited institution will also be considered for admission.


2. Application and Transcripts

The SUNY State College of Optometry participates in OptomCAS, the centralized application system for all schools and colleges of optometry in the United States and Puerto Rico. All application materials, including official transcripts, must be submitted through OptomCAS.

  • Official transcripts of all completed coursework must be submitted from all institutions attended.
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3. Letters of Recommendation

All applicants are required to attain three letters of recommendation:

  • One letter from a science faculty member attesting to the applicant’s academic abilities in the sciences.
  • One letter from a professional supervisor (employer, coach, non-science faculty, internship director, etc.) attesting to the candidate’s abilities working in a professional, volunteer, or research setting.*In place of a letter from a professional supervisor, a second letter of recommendation may be submitted from a science faculty member.
  • One letter from an optometrist attesting to the applicant’s demonstrated experiences/knowledge of the profession.
  •  A minimum of 3.0 GPA

Requirements for Optometry School Admission

Becoming an optometrist requires a Bachelor’s degree and a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree from an accredited optometry school. In addition to meeting the prerequisites for optometry school, you’ll need to pass the Optometry Admission Test (OAT), participate in optometry-related extracurricular activities, and gain clinical experience.

To get into optometry school, you’ll need to obtain a Bachelor’s degree with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. Each optometry school has its own prerequisites, so it’s essential to research individual optometry schools to ensure you meet their requirements. In addition to your academic achievements, you’ll need to participate in internships or optometry-related volunteer work to showcase your commitment to the field.


Optometry Admission Test (OAT) Prep Materials

The OAT is a computer-based exam that measures general academic ability and your understanding of scientific information. It’s important to allocate adequate study time to ensure you can perform to the best of your ability. The best way to study for the OAT is by using OAT prep materials such as Kaplan, Orgoman OAT Videos, and OAT Destroyer. These resources can provide you with a better understanding of the test content and how to approach it. Some optometry schools also offer OAT prep courses to help you prepare for the exam.

Timeline for Optometry School Admission

To get admitted into optometry school, you’ll need to apply through the Optometry Centralized Application Service (OptomCAS). Applications open in late June, and it’s wise to apply early as many optometry schools use a rolling admittance process. Rolling admissions means that schools review applications as they're received, so it’s best to submit your application as soon as possible. OptomCAS requires official transcripts, 3 letters of recommendation, and your OAT scores. After submitting your application, you may receive interview offers from schools, and it’s best to prepare for them by rehearsing answers to common interview questions and researching the school.

Factors that Could Affect Your Chances of Admission

Many factors can impact your chances of admission into optometry school. One major factor is your OAT score, which should be above average. You may also be evaluated on your extracurricular activities, internships, and clinical experiences, so it’s essential to demonstrate an active interest in the field of optometry. Additionally, optometry schools consider each candidate’s resume holistically, so it’s best to avoid any negative marks on your academic record, such as failing grades.


Becoming an optometrist is a rigorous but rewarding path. It requires a Bachelor’s degree, clinical experience, extracurricular activities, and a strong OAT score. Additionally, applying for optometry school requires dedication and a well-prepared OptomCAS application. By taking the time to understand the admissions process, studying strategically, and showcasing your commitment to the field, you can increase your chances of getting into optometry school and achieving your career goals.

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