About the Profession

Doctors of Optometry examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases of the eye. Training requires four years at a professional school of optometry preceded by a bachelor’s degree or at least 90 credits of undergraduate education including the five prerequisite courses while individual schools may require psychology, statistics, microbiology or additional courses. The required admissions test is the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT). You can review recent admission statistics to see the profile of the most recently admitted class, as well as other data related to applicants, students, faculty, research, and residencies.

For information you may consult the Association of Colleges and Schools of Optometry. There are 23 schools of optometry in the US. One school located in New York State, the SUNY College of Optometry, is public and located in New York City.

Your Record

From the time you begin college, you are assembling a complete dossier with which to apply to these professional schools. For optometry schools your record will include:

  • A Bachelor’s degree or least 90 credit hours of undergraduate work.
  • Prerequisite courses.
  • OAT Admissions test.
  • Letters of recommendation.
  • Health related experience.

Course Requirements

Start planning as a freshman to meet the following course requirements: A minimum of one year each of Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biology, and Physics, all with a year of lab; one year of English; and one year of Math is recommended. Check on individual school websites, or the OPTOMCAS School and College Prerequisites page, for additional requirements. Below are the UB courses which we recommend you take in order to meet these requirements:

Chemistry (Required and on OAT) CHE 101-102 w/labs 113-114, or 105-106, or 107-108 w/labs 127-128 10 credits
Organic Chemistry (Required and on OAT) CHE 201-202, or 203-204 w/labs 205-206, or 251-252 10 credits
Biology (Required and on OAT) BIO 200, and BIO 201 w/lab 211 9 credits
Physics (Required and on OAT) PHY 101-102 w/labs 151-152, or
PHY 107-108 or 117-118 w/lab 158*
10 credits
English/Writing (Required) Communication Literacy 1 and 2
(If any waived take 3 or 6 credits of writing intensive, literature-based courses – check with prehealth advisor if unsure)
6 credits
Biochemistry Highly recommended - some schools require and on OAT) BIO 305 or BCH 403 3 credits
Statistics (Highly recommended - some schools require and on OAT)
STA 119 or PSY 207 or STA 427 4 credits
Calculus (Recommended - some schools require) MTH 121 OR 141 4 credits
Human Anatomy (Recommended - some schools require) PAS 313 (formerly 113) or PAS 427 4 credits
Human Physiology (Recommended - some schools require) PGY 300 or PGY 451-452 4-6 credits
Microbiology (Recommended - some schools require) MIC 401 4 credits
Psychology (Recommended - some schools require) PSY 101 3 credits

*Consult with a prehealth advisor regarding additional lab requirements if taking a Physics sequence which includes only one lab.