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The doctorate of optometry, O.D., is awarded at 17 optometry schools in the United States and Puerto Rico. There are 2 optometry schools in Canada.
What does an optometrist do?
Optometrists treat diseases/disorders of the anterior portion of the eye, including the cornea and lens. They give routine visual exams and make lens prescriptions, as well as treating disorders such as glaucoma and ulcers of the eye. They diagnose more severe diseases affecting the posterior portion of the eye, but these diseases are treated by ophthalmologists.
Optometry Information
Application Process
Important Deadlines
Optometry Organizations/Associations
Undergraduate Course Requirements
Optometry Schools in the U.S. and Canada

Optometry Information

Student Doctor Network
Occupational Outlook for Optometrists
Primary Care Optometry News

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Application Process

Applications are sent directly to individual optometry schools (there is no centralized application service).


All optometry schools in the U.S. require applicants take the OAT, (Optometry Admission Test). The OAT is offered twice a year, April and October.

Format of OAT:
The OAT has 4 sections as follows:
     Section                          # Questions                           Time (min)
     Science                              100                                      90
            Biology                         40
            Gen. Chemistry             30
            Org. Chemistry             30
     Physics                                40                                       50
     Reading                               50                                       50
     Quantitative                         50                                       45
          Algebra                        ~20
          Math Word Problems   ~20
          Geometry/Trig              ~10 

Contact information:
Optometry Admission Test Program
211 East Chicago Avenue, Suite 1846
Chicago, IL  60611-2678
(312) 440-2693

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation should be sent directly to the colleges where you will be applying.


Official transcripts should be sent directly to the optometry schools where you will be applying.

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Important deadlines
Application deadline
     Deadlines vary by school. They generally fall between January 1 - July 15. But remember, the earlier the better.
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Optometry Organizations/Associations
American Academy of Optometry
American Optometric Association
American Orthopic Journal
Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO)

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Undergraduate course requirements

Major- Choose a major in an area that interests you. You do not have to be a science major to go to optometry school. However, you must complete certain course requirements. Most optometry schools require the same courses as medical schools, listed below:

     1 year of physics with lab
     1 year of general chemistry with lab
     1 year of organic chemistry with lab
     1 year of biology with lab
     1 year of english

Requirements do vary between schools. Some other courses required by optometry schools include microbiology, calculus, statistics, and behavioral science. Be sure to check the requirements for the schools that interest you.

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Optometry Schools in the U.S. and Canada

University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry

U.C. Berkeley School of Optometry
Southern California College of Optometry

Nova Southeastern University Health Professions, Division College of Optometry

Illinois College of Optometry

Indiana University School of Optometry

New England College of Optometry

Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University

University of Missouri-St Louis School of Optometry

SUNY College of Optometry

Ohio State University College of Optometry

Northeastern State University College of Optometry

Pacific University College of Optometry

Pennsylvania College of Optometry

Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry

Southern College of Optometry

University of Houston College of Optometry

University of Montreal
University of Waterloo School of Optometry

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Date last changed: February 17, 2011 2:01 PM

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