Optometry school requirements
ASCO publishes a School and College Prerequisites list which you can download here. Although requirements do vary from program to program, optometry schools generally require the following courses:
- One year of inorganic/general chemistry with lab (CHEM 1211/L and 1212/L)
- One semester of organic chemistry with lab (CHEM 2211/L )
- One year of biology with lab (BIOL 1107/L and 1108/L)
- One year of physics with lab (PHYS 1111/L and 1112/L or PHYS 1211/L and 1212/L)
- One year of English (ENGL 1101 and ENGL 1102)
According to the School and College Prerequisites list compiled by ASCO, most schools also require or recommend one semester of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, psychology, calculus, and statistics.
DISCLAIMER: This is not a definitive list of the classes you will need for every school. Always check with the individual schools to see their specific requirements.
AP Credit & Substitutions
Most schools have policies regarding advanced placement (AP) credit. Some schools restrict the use of such credit in fulfillment of pre-requisite requirements. In these cases, schools will often allow students to take additional upper-level courses in the science areas where AP credit was received.
Contact the schools or colleges directly or visit their websites to confirm prerequisite courses and to learn whether AP credits and/or online credits are accepted to complete prerequisites.
Anatomy and Physiology Requirements
If a school where you want to apply has an anatomy and physiology requirement, there
are two ways to satisfy that requirement at UGA. The elements you must determine
are if the school’s requirement can be satisfied by one or two semesters and if there
is a lab attached to the requirement. Students should discuss satisfying the requirement
with the school in question prior to taking the course.
The requirement may be satisfied with separate anatomy and physiology upper-division courses that also might count in your major (check with your UGA major advisor). Taking physiology is helpful for the OAT. Options are taking VPHY 3100 (Elements of Physiology, 3 hours with no lab), CBIO 3710 (Principles of Physiology, 3 hours with an optional lab), or PMCY 3000 (Human Physiology, with an emphasis upon drug interaction, 4 hours with lab included). Anatomy may be taken later in your course plan. If dissection of a vertebrate is required, CBIO 3010/L (Functional Human Anatomy) will satisfy; otherwise, CBIO 3000/L (Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy) is an option. Always review the lab requirements of your target programs.
The other option is the two lower division anatomy and physiology courses with accompanying labs, CBIO 2200/L and CBIO 2210/L (anatomy and physiology I and II). These are integrated system and function classes. You MUST take both courses to satisfy either the anatomy or the physiology prerequisites. Unless they are specifically required in or for a major/degree program, it is likely that they will be general electives and will only count for degree if you have sufficient general elective space to accommodate them.
Should I major in Biology?
Although a life-science major such as Biology may offer the most practical route to completing the requirements for admission into optometry school, it is not required. It is more important that you choose a major that best fits your interests. As long as you show proficiency in the sciences and a general pattern of challenging yourself, your major is largely unimportant to admission committees.
How GPAs are calculated
OptomCAS calculates several GPA types, including year-level GPAs, and course subject category GPAs, which are detailed here