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Optometry School Application Process

Overview of the Pre-Optometry Application Process

Students hoping to enter optometry school in the fall following graduation should plan to take the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT) in spring of the junior year or in the summer following. This will allow you to complete your application early in the cycle.

The OAT is a computerized multiple-choice exam and is offered throughout the year. The four parts of the OAT are:

  • Survey of the Natural Sciences
  • Physics
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Quantitative Reasoning (math)

A free OAT guide is available as a PDF via the OAT main page. You also can supplement your preparation with paid modules available from OAT itself. This important test is required by every optometry school. Take it seriously and prepare well. Students with financial need should request a partial fee waiver from OAT well in advance.

Next, you will submit a primary application form to the Optometry Centralized Application Service (OptomCAS). All optometry schools in the United States accept primary applications submitted through OptomCAS. The OptomCAS application is available year-round and can be submitted at any time. However, each school has its own application deadline and supplemental material requirements. It is wise to research schools individually. The application should be submitted well in advance of a school?s official deadline. Many schools review applications on a rolling basis and accept students before the deadline. Be sure to request your transcripts and letters of recommendation prior to submitting the application, as your application is generally not reviewed without them.

After receiving your OptomCAS application, individual schools may send you their own (secondary) application, along with requests for supplementary material. When all application material has been received, selected applicants will be invited to visit the school and interview with members of the admissions committee.

To make sure that you will have satisfied all requirements for graduation, have your coursework checked by the College of Arts & Sciences early in your senior year. You also must apply to graduate by February in order to receive your degree and matriculate into dental school.