Overview of Optometry

There are few optometry schools in the United States, and admission is difficult. Background checks are often conducted.

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


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

Minimum 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
  • Introductory Statistics (MTH 225)

General Education Coursework

  • English Composition I and II (ENG 101 and 201)
  • Social and Behavioral Science: General Psychology (PSY 201) and Introductory Sociology (SOC 200)
  • 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 (CHM 365)
  • 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. 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