Pre-Optometry Advisement Track

Dual-advising is available to assist students with timely completion of both the primary major coursework and the pre-health advisement track coursework as of the date of their matriculation at SUNY Oneonta. Students must declare a primary major and are encouraged to declare their intended Pre-Health Concentration for effective advisement. Students should confer with advisors for their primary major and specific Pre-Health Concentration, beginning at the time of admission to SUNY Oneonta.

Students can review their individual degree progress via DegreeWorks.

  • The Primary Major Faculty Advisor assists with selection of courses for the Primary Major Requirements.
  • The Pre-Health Advisor guides the student through the Pre-Optometry Concentration, listed below.

Pre-Optometry Concentration

Required Coursework
TOTAL: 56-60 sh
BIOL 180, 181, 201, 362 16 sh
CHEM 111-112, 221-322 or 226-330 16 sh
COMP 100 3 sh
LITR selection 3 sh
PHYS 103-104 or 203-204 (Calc I & II are co-/pre-requisites for PHYS 203-304) 8 sh
MATH 223 (173) [224 (174)as advised] 4-8 sh
STAT 101 3 sh
PSYC 100 or SOC 101 (SOCL 100) 3 sh

Suggested Course Sequencing

The recommended course sequence is based on a student taking the GRE (if necessary) and applying to optometry school the summer BEFORE their final year at SUNY Oneonta, and that the student will graduate in four years. If a student wishes to take a "growth year," or take a different undergraduate path, coursework plans can change accordingly.

Individual student plans may vary depending on when the student hopes to enter optometry school and what major is chosen, therefore each student should work with their primary major advisor and their pre-health concentration advisor to establish their own personalized schedule.

NOTE: Many pre-optometry students are choosing to take at least one year off after they graduate. Having a “growth year” between undergraduate studies and beginning optometry school is often beneficial for applicants and does not hurt your chances of admission as long as you continue to strengthen your application. It allows time to gain additional life experiences, continue volunteering or pursue non-academic interests.

BIOL 180 (Biology I) 4 sh BIOL 181 (Biology II) 4 sh
CHEM 111 (General Chemistry I) 4 sh CHEM 112 (General Chemistry II) 4 sh
COMP 100 3 sh *MATH 105 (as advised) or other courses 3 sh
STAT 101 3 sh upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective or Gen Ed 1-4 sh
CHEM 221 or 226 (Organic Chemistry I) 4 sh CHEM 322 or 330 (Organic Chemistry I or Intro. Biochemistry) 4 sh
MATH 223 (173) (Calculus I) 4 sh MATH 224 (174) (if necessary) (Calculus II) 4 sh
BIOL 201 (Cell & Molec. Biology) 4 sh PSYC 100 or SOC 101 (SOCL 100) 3 sh
upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective or Gen Ed 1-4 sh upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective or Gen Ed 1-4 sh
PHYS 103 or 203 (Physics I) 4 sh PHYS 104 or 204 (Physics II) 4 sh
BIOL 362 (Microbiology) 4 sh LITR selection 4 sh
upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective 6-8 sh upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective 6-8 sh
YEAR 4 * additional experiences to enhance undergraduate experience*
upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective 12-16 sh upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective 12-16 sh

Applying to Optometry School

Centralized Application Services

Entrance Exams

  • Preparation for the OAT should begin once students choose the optometry career path.
  • OAT exams are ongoing throughout the year (FAQs)

Requirements for Optometry School

Many optometry schools require two letters of recommendation

  • Optometrist
  • Professor (science)

Some optometry schools require a committee letter in addition to the optometrist and professor recommendations; SUNY College of Optometry requires a composite letter; therefore all Pre-Optometry Students applying for a HPAC interview will be expected to request full letters from their evaluators. (see below for details re: the committee letter).

Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC)

The Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC) Letter is how SUNY Oneonta formally presents our candidates to optometry school. The strengths and attributes of students applying are summarized in a "HPAC Committee Letter or Committee Letter" of recommendation, which accompanies the individual letters of recommendation that are forwarded to optometry schools. Students desiring a Committee Letter for their optometry school applications should plan to apply for an interview in their spring semester prior to application to optometry school or the spring semester prior to graduation from SUNY Oneonta.

The following HPAC interview & letter eligibility requirements have been established. Students are approved in two phases:

Phase 1: The following information must be submitted to the HPAC Chair via email the Office365 Form NO LATER than 5 p.m. on January 30, 2019:

  • Names of individuals completing HPAC evaluation form (3-5 persons)
  • Class standing (Student must be of junior or senior standing)
  • Expected graduation
  • GPA (Student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0)
  • Completed hand-signed Privacy Act Waiver Form
  • Electronic copy of Privacy Act Waiver Form

Only students approved after Phase 1 will eligible to apply for Phase 2.

Phase 2: The following documents must be submitted to the HPAC Chair via email NO LATER than 5:00pm on March 30, 2019:

  • HPAC Evaluation form from 3-5 references
  • Personal Statement
  • CV (resume)
  • OAT scores (or results of practice tests), if available
  • NEW for 2018: FULL recommendation letters, on official letterhead, from 3-5 references must be submitted to the HPAC Chair. Letters MUST be from the following:
    a) Optometrist
    b) Science faculty member
    c) Employer or other professional references

Students who are approved after BOTH Phase 1 AND Phase 2 of the application process will be invited to interview with the HPAC beginning April 2, 2019.
Spring 2019 HPAC interviews will be held in early April, 2019.

HPAC related questions should be directed to the HPAC Chair.

3+4 in Optometry at SUNY College of Optometry

  • SUNY Oneonta & SUNY Optometry have developed an articulated 3 + 4 agreement in Doctor of Optometry for qualified students applying for admission to SUNY College of Optometry in NY, NY.
  • Admission to SUNY Optometry's 3+4 program is not guaranteed and is highly competitive.
  • The 3 + 4 program requires three years & a bachelors degree at SUNY Oneonta followed by four years of graduate study at SUNY Optometry. Students should review prerequisite coursework for completion prior to applying to SUNY Optometry.

Pre-Health-related questions should be directed to the Pre-Health Professions Program Coordinator.

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