To attend optometry school in the United States, school-specific academic prerequisites must be met. Most schools give preference to applicants who have completed a four-year degree. An adviser for a specific school of optometry is qualified to recommend courses to prospective students. Undergraduate coursework generally consists of pre-professional courses in college-level science, mathematics, English and social sciences.
In addition to satisfying academic requirements, students must apply to optometry schools, pass the Optometry Admissions Test and demonstrate their eligibility to admissions officers. To apply to any school of optometry in the United States, all prospective students must complete an online application through Optometry's Centralized Application Service, or OptomCAS. All schools of optometry in the United States have this requirement. This online application allows the student to apply to multiple schools of optometry using one set of materials.
The Optometry Admissions Test is a standardized examination that measures academic ability in four areas, which are natural science, reading comprehension, physics and quantitative reasoning. Students are permitted to take this test after their first year of college. In addition to academically successful candidates, optometry schools want students who possess leadership qualities, a strong work ethic and a disposition to serve others, according to The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry.