Pre-Optometry

Pre-Optometry

Pre-Optometry Advisement Track

  • The Pre-Optometry concentration coursework provides a strong foundation for OAT preparation
  • The courses listed below satisfy the course requirements for admission at most optometry schools.
  • Additional elective courses are recommended but not required, and can vary depending on the optometry school to which students intend to apply.
  • Students must consult SUNY Oneonta's current undergraduate catalog for descriptions of courses, course prerequisites, and time of year when courses are offered in order to plan properly in advance.
  • Students have the responsibility to check entrance requirements for schools to which they intend to apply.
  • BIOL 130, 131, 133, 201, 362
  • CHEM 111-112, 221-322 or 226-330
  • PHYS 103-104 or 203-204 (Calc I & II are co-/pre-requisites for PHYS 203-204)
  • MATH 223 (173) [224 (174) as advised]
  • STAT 101
  • PSYC 100 or SOC 101
  • COMP 100
  • LITR selection
  • BIOL 180, 181, 201, 362
  • CHEM 111-112, 221-322 or 226-330
  • PHYS 103-104 or 203-204 (Calc I & II are co-/pre-requisites for PHYS 203-204)
  • MATH 223 (173) [224 (174) as advised]
  • STAT 101
  • PSYC 100 or SOC 101 (SOCL 100)
  • COMP 100
  • LITR selection

The timeline for applying to dental school varies among students and is dependent on a variety of factors, including successful completion of prerequisite coursework, competitive DAT examination scores, and appropriate healthcare experience.

Many Pre-Optometry students are choosing to take at least one year after they graduate SUNY Oneonta to work in healthcare or pursue other academically or intellectually enriching experiences after they graduate.

In fact, across the United States many first-time applicants to optometry school apply after their senior year or later. 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.

If a student wishes to take a "growth year," or takes a different undergraduate path, students will need to adjust the course sequence plan accordingly, based on their personal planning needs. 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.

Students should regularly review the Optometry School Admission Requirements

Applicants are evaluated on:

  • competencies for optometry school
  • letters of recommendation (committee letter preferred)
  • leadership skills (on and off campus)
  • GPA (BCPM & Overall)
  • OAT
  • healthcare experience (clinical & observational)

Application to optometry school is made via the centralized application OptomCas.

  • The 2021-2022 OptomCas Application Cycle opens in late June 2021

Applicant Guides are available from ASCO

Preparation for the OAT should begin once students choose the optometry career path.

OAT exams are ongoing throughout the year (FAQs)

Many optometry schools require two letters of recommendation

  • Optometrist
  • Professor (science)

Some optometry schools require a Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC) letter in addition to the optometrist and professor recommendations; SUNY College of Optometry requires a composite letter, which necessitates full letters of recommendation from an Optometrist and Science Professor be included with the HPAC letter; therefore all Pre-Optometry Students applying for a HPAC interview must request full letters of recommendations from their evaluators to be submitted as part of the HPAC interview process.

  • 79% of SUNY Oneonta Pre-Optometry student applicants were accepted into Optometry programs (2016-2020 Advisor Report).
  • SUNY Oneonta alumni have been accepted to the following Optometry programs: Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry, MCPHS University School of Optometry, New England College of Optometry, NOVA Southeastern University College of Optometry, Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry, State University of New York State College of Optometry, University of Pikeville, Kentucky College of Optometry​​​​
Pre-Optometry questions should be directed to Tami LaPilusa, M.S., Interim Program Coordinator for the Pre-Health Professions Advising Track Program
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