Health Professions Advising

Optometry

Optometry is the health profession specifically devoted to the care of human vision. The practice of optometry brings together knowledge from a number of sciences including anatomy, biology, chemistry, neurology, optics, pathology, physics, physiology, and psychology. The Doctor of Optometry (OD) is specifically concerned with the treatment of eye problems with visual exercises, eyeglasses, and contact lenses. Drugs or surgery are not utilized by the OD for correction of eye disorders, although some states now provide for some limited prescriptions by ODs.

Other professions in the eye care area include the ophthalmologist, who is an MD. The ophthalmologist can prescribe drugs and perform surgery, as well as other diagnostic and treatment procedures normally under the purview of a physician. The optician, on the other hand, is a professional who grinds lenses and fits then into frames and then fits frames to the wearer.

Depending on location and the type of practice, there is considerable overlap between these optical care professionals. The ophthalmologist has the most latitude in terms of the types of treatments that may be done as well as dealing with more serious medical problems in the eye. On the other hand, the optometrist, in addition to prescribing lenses for the patient, may also be involved in fitting frames to the patient. A practice in a small town will tend to involve a broader range of activities for both optometrist and ophthalmologist. A practice in a large city will tend to be more specialized, with eyeglass-fitting probably being handled by an optician.

Qualification for Application

A pre-optometric program of study can be carried out at Idaho State University. Many of the course requirements are similar to those in a premedical program. Courses required by all optometry schools are the following:

BIOL 1101, 1102 Biology I, II 8 credits
CHEM 1111, 1112 General Chemistry 9 credits
CHEM 3301, 3302, 3303, 3304 Organic Chemistry 8 credits
PHYS 1111, 1112, 1113, 1114 General Physics 8 credits
ENGL 1101 English Composition 3 credits
MATH 1147 Pre-calculus 5 credits
MATH 1160 Brief Calculus 4 credits

Other courses required by some schools of optometry are general psychology, analytical geometry, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, and a year or more of social sciences. Be aware that the Optometry Admission Test (OAT) has a section on organic chemistry. It is necessary for the prospective optometry student to obtain information about the specific optometry school by obtaining the ASCO Admission Requirements document from the American Optometric Association website (available online. http://www.opted.org/files/public/ASCO Admission Requirements *input current school year*Paige.pdf). A bachelor's degree is required by four schools and preferred for many of the other programs. Most students major in the natural sciences in college (biology, chemistry, etc.) because the prerequisites for optometry school are science intensive. However, prospective students can major in any degree discipline as long as they complete all of the prerequisite courses for optometry.

While not always formally stated as a selection criterion, candidates for optometry school are encouraged to obtain some exposure to the field of optometry by observing in the office of an optometrist on a regularly scheduled basis for a period of time. Such exposure documents the applicant's interest in optometry and facilitates a self-evaluation of the student's interest in optometry.

National Standardized Test - Optometry Admission Test (OAT)

Each optometry school requires that the applicant take the standardized pre-admission test (OAT). The OAT is administrated year round. You must apply for your test with the OAT Program and receive your electronic notification prior to scheduling your testing appointment with Prometric. Online registration is available through the following website: https://www.ada.org/oat/index.html. Tests are administered year-round at Prometric Test Centers in the United States. ISU is a test site for the OAT. See the Chair of the ISU Health Professions Advisory Committee for more information.

Many optometry schools require the applicant to take the OAT no later than October of the calendar year of expected entry into optometry school. To increase the likelihood you will receive your first choice of date, time and location, you should schedule 60 to 90 days before the desired testing date. The OAT consists of sections on biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, reading comprehension, and quantitative ability. Scores are reported as standardized scores ranging from 200 to 400 in intervals of 10. A standardized score of 300 represents the 50th percentile of persons who have taken the OAT. Information on ordering materials to prepare for the OAT may be found at www.oatprofessor.com or at www.kaptest.com.

Application Service

Optometry's centralized application service (OptomCAS) launched in July 2009. OptomCAS is an efficient and convenient way to apply to multiple optometry programs using a single web-based application. It eliminates the need for duplicate transcripts and letters of recommendation for students applying to more than one school or college. Through OptomCAS, applicants will submit:

Most optometry programs will also have their own supplemental applications. For more information about OptomCAS, please visit the OptomCAS website at www.optomcas.org.

Application Procedure

Deadlines for application to optometry schools vary somewhat. Some schools have application deadlines as late as April 15 prior to the beginning of school in September. The applicant should write to each school of interest at least one full year prior to the time expected to enter the program. Students are strongly urged to APPLY EARLY in order to increase their chance of acceptance.

Interviews with Colleges of Optometry

Personal interviews are a requirement of most, but not all, colleges of optometry. The applicant must get specific information regarding this requirement from the individual school.

Acceptance to Colleges of Optometry

Notifications of acceptance to colleges of optometry are usually in late spring or early summer prior to the beginning of school in the fall.

Acceptance Information

In the past 12 years, ISU has had 14 students apply for admission to a college of optometry. Twelve of those students were admitted. ISU students have been admitted to the following optometry schools.

Illinois College of Optometry, Chicago, IL
Indiana University School of Optometry, Bloomington, IN
Pacific University College of Optometry, Forest Grove, OR
Southern California College of Optometry, Fullerton, CA
Southern College of Optometry, Memphis, TN
WICHE Schools

Other Information

The prospective optometry student is urged to obtain information from as many sources as possible. Addresses of optometry organizations are the following:

American Optometric Association (AOA)
243 North Lindberg Boulevard
St. Louis, Missouri 63141
Phone (314) 991-4100
http://www.aoa.org

Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO)
6110 Executive Boulevard, Suite 510
Rockville, Maryland 20852
Phone (301) 231-5944
http://www.opted.org

At present, there are 21 schools of optometry in the U.S. Home pages on the internet for each school may be accessed by first going to the home page for the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO).

PROFESSIONAL OD PROGRAMS

ILLINOIS COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRY
3241 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60616
http://www.ico.edu

INDIANA UNIVERSITY
School of Optometry
800 East Atwater Avenue
Bloomington, Indiana 47401
http://www.opt.indiana.edu

INTER AMERICAN UNIVERSITY
OF PUERTO RICO

School of Optometry
500 John Will Harris Rd.
Bayamon, Puerto Rico 00957
http://www.optonet.inter.edu

MASSACHUSETTS COLLEGE
OF PHARMACY AND HEALTH SCIENCES

School of Optometry
179 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115-5804
http://www.mcphs.edu/academics/schools/school-of-optometry

MICHIGAN COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRY
AT FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY

1124 S. State St., Room 236
Big Rapids, Michigan 49307-2256
http://www.ferris.edu/mco

MIDWESTERN UNIVERSITY
ARIZONA COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRY

19555 N. 59th Avenue
Glendale, Arizona 85308
http://www.midwestern.edu/AZCOPT

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COLLEGE
OF OPTOMETRY

2575 Yorba Linda Boulevard
Fullerton, California 92831
http://www.scco.edu

SOUTHERN COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRY
1245 Madison Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee 38104
St. Louis, Missouri 63121
http://www.sco.edu

STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK
State College of Optometry
33 West 42nd Street
New York, New York 10036-8003
http://www.sunyopt.edu

UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM
School of Optometry
1716 University Boulevard
Birmingham, Alabama 35294-0010
http://www.uab.edu/optometry

New England College of Optometry
424 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02115
http://www.neco.edu

CNORTHEASTERN STATE UNIVERSITY
OKLAHOMA COLLEGE OF OPTOMETRY

College of Optometry
1001 North Grand Avenue
Tahlequah, Oklahoma 74464
http://arapaho.nsuok.edu/~optometry

NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY
Health Professions Division
College of Optometry
3200 S. University Drive
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33328
http://www.nova.edu

THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
College of Optometry
338 West Tenth Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43210
http://optometry.osu.edu

PACIFIC UNIVERSITY
College of Optometry
P2043 College Way
Forest Grove, Oregon 97116
http://www.opt.pacificu.edu

PENNSYLVANIA COLLEGE
OF OPTOMETRY AT SALUS UNIVERSITY

Elkins Park Campus
8360 Old York Road
Elkins Park, Pennsylvania 19027-1598
http://www.salus.edu/

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BERKELEY
School of Optometry
Admissions & Student Affairs Office
397 Minor Hall
Berkeley, California 94720-2020
http://optometry.berkeley.edu

UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT ST. LOUIS
College of Optometry
One University Boulevard
St. Louis, Missouri 63121-4499
http://www.umsl.edu/divisions/optometry

UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON
College of Optometry
505 J. Davis Armistead Building
Houston, Texas 77204-2020
http://www.opt.uh.edu

UNIVERSITY OF THE INCARNATE WORD
Rosenberg School of Optometry
4301 Broadway
San Antonio, Texas 78209-6397
http://optometry.uiw.edu

WESTERN UNIVERSITY OF HEALTH SCIENCES
College of Optometry
309 E. Second St.
Pomona, California 91766-1854
http://www.westernu.edu

Canadian Schools of Optometry

School of Optometry
University of Waterloo
Faculty of Science
Waterloo, Ontario
CANADA N2L 3G1
(519) 885-1211
http://www.optometry.uwaterloo.ca

School of Optometry
University of Montreal
Case Postale 6128
Succursale, AA@
Montreal, Province of Quebec
H3C 3J7 CANADA
(514)343-6948 http://www.umontreal.ca


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