Pre-Optometry Area of Emphasis (3 years)

Overview of Optometry as a Career

There are few optometry schools in the United States, and admission is difficult. Job prospects are good for those who finish, but the increasing popularity of laser surgery may cause decreased demand for corrective lenses.

See the Occupational Outlook Handbook: Optometry. Also, see the American Optometric Association.

Prerequisite Courses

The courses listed below are general suggestions. Check the professional school of your choice to see specific admission requirements.

Science Coursework

  • Principles of Biology I and II (BSC 120 and 121)
  • Principles of Chemistry I and II and Labs (CHM 211, 212, 217, and 218)
  • Organic Chemistry I and II and Organic Lab (CHM 355, 356, and 361)
  • General Physics I and II and labs (PHY 201, 202, 203 and 204)
  • Mathematics to meet prerequisite requirements for the science courses listed above (MTH 122, Trigonometry; MTH 127/130, College Algebra; MTH 140, Applied Calculus, or MTH 229, Calculus I). COS requires Calculus (MTH 140 or 229) to meet graduation requirements.
  • Introductory Statistics (MTH 225)

General Education Coursework

  • English Composition I and II (ENG 101 and 201)
  • General Psychology (PSY 201)
  • Follow catalog for degree requirements B.S. or B.A.

Recommended Coursework

  • Principles of Microbiology and Lab (BSC 302 and BSC 304) or General Bacteriology (BSC 250) Note: BSC 250 does not count toward a Biological Science degree.
  • Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (BSC 310) or Human Anatomy (BSC 227) Note: BSC 227 does not count toward a Biological Science degree.
  • Introductory Biochemistry (BSC 365 for Biology majors or CHM 365 for Chemistry majors)
  • Animal Physiology (BSC 422) or Human Physiology (BSC 228) Note: BSC 228 does not count toward a Biological Science degree.
  • Introductory Physical Chemistry (CHM 307)
  • Calculus II and III (MTH 230 and 231)
  • Biomedical Physics (PHY 350)
  • Radiation Physics (PHY 440)
  • Child Development (PSY 311) or Physiological Psychology (PSY 440)

Other Requirements

Requirements vary. Check Optometry school requirements.

Professional Exam

The Optometry Admission Test (OAT) must be completed, preferably in fall before entry into the optometry program.

OAT is a computerized exam that consists of four areas: natural sciences, reading comprehension, physics, and quantitative reasoning. The exam is approximately four hours long with a short break.

The approximate cost is $130.00. Additional fees such as late registration, change of testing site, or rescheduling fees can be included in the total cost.

Score are scaled from 200 to 400. An overall score of at least 300 and at least 320 on the natural science section are considered high. Average overall scores ranged from 310 to 350.

For the most current information, review the OAT web site.

Academic Common Market

Since there are no optometry schools in West Virginia the Higher Education Policy Commission has established contracts with institutions to accept West Virginia students. For the most current information on which institutions, contact the Southern Regional Education Board or the West Virginia's Higher Education Policy Commission Academic Common Market Coordinator for details.

Links to Professional Schools

College of Science • One John Marshall Drive • Science Building 270 • Huntington, WV 25755
(304) 696-2372