Post-baccalaureate degree: OD

Optometrists are trained to provide eye-care for people who have vision problems or develop them as a result of reduced ability to adjust their eyes to changing light and distance, a problem that often appears as we age. Optometrists spend much of their time assessing the vision status of each patient to provide individualized lenses, in the form of contact lenses or glasses. Recently, optometrists have also begun to perform laser surgeries on the eye and to specialize in low-vision care.

Academic and Career Information [PDF]

Minimum Prerequisites for Admission

The following prerequisites must be completed prior to matriculation in an optometry program:

  • baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution preferred
  • each program has its own prerequisites: check specific school for prerequisites details
  • general course prerequisites (at least 3 years of pre-optometric study, minimum 135 quarter units prior to admission):
    • general biology with lab, one year
    • general chemistry with lab, one year
    • organic chemistry with lab, one year
    • general physics with lab, one year
    • English, one year
    • calculus
    • statistics
    • biochemistry
    • microbiology
    • psychology
    • anatomy
    • cellular physiology

Test Needed

  • Optometry Admission Test (OAT)
    • Online OAT registration
    • Try to take the OAT in your Junior year after the completion of the basic requirements in biology, chemistry and physics.

Professional Associations

Application Service

California Optometry Schools

General Education

We recommend that all pre-health students enroll in courses that meet the particular general education requirements to help develop a broad understanding of the health professions in relation to other disciplines of study. Review our General Education Recommendations [PDF] for additional information.