Optometry as a Career
Doctors of Optometry (OD) are the independent primary health care professionals for the eye. Optometrists examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures as well as identify related systemic conditions affecting the eye.
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- Meet with your Pre-Health Advisor each semester and request to be added to the Pre-Optometry Email List.
- Choose a college major that you enjoy and that provides a good “back-up plan” and career path in case you change your mind about optometry.
- Carefully check admission requirements at optometry schools of most interest and take the required coursework; see the list of accredited optometry schools in the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) program directory
- It is also highly recommended that you contact or review each school’s website to confirm prerequisite courses and learn whether or not they accept AP credit and/or online coursework for prerequisites
- Get significant shadowing and clinical experience and maintain a formal log (Professional Development Activities Log). Find out firsthand what the profession is like, decide if it is right for you, explore different areas of the field, and be sure to meet clinical experience requirements of your preferred schools.
- Develop strong relationships with faculty mentors, optometry professionals, and others who will be writing letters of reference
- Get involved in extracurricular, leadership, and volunteer activities
The application process consists of taking the Optometry Admission Test (OAT), applying through the Optometry Centralized Application Service (OptomCAS), submitting college transcripts and letters of reference, and participating in invited interviews.