Optometry School - Application
While many optometry schools use the OptomCAS application, each school has different deadline submission dates. It is important for you to know the deadline dates for the schools/programs that you plan to apply as well as any requirements needed. OptomCAS has the most up-to-date list of participating schools. OptomCAS also provides a quick checklist to help with your application. It is important you still review the complete instructions.
The OAT (Optometry Admission Test) is a multiple-choice general aptitude test that measures four content areas: Natural Sciences, Reading Comprehension, Physics, and Quantitative Reasoning. OptomCAS provides institutional deadlines. The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry provides information about the OAT including a guide to help you prepare.
Letters of recommendation are critical. Letter requirements vary from school to school. OptomCAS accepts up to four letters of recommendation. It is also wise to obtain a letter from an optometrist who can speak to your interests and knowledge of optometry. OptomCAS provides a reference table that lists requirements by the school. Remember, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure you are submitting the correct letters for each school you apply to.
You can influence the quality of your letter by providing your letter writer with useful information that will aid them in preparing your letter: a copy of your transcripts, your resume, and a copy of your personal statement discussing why you want to be an optometrist. You should plan on meeting with your letter writers to discuss the content of the letter they will write for you.
Electronic letters are strongly preferred. Follow the instructions on OptomCAS of what you need to do as well as how your writers can upload your letters. OptomCAS does not accept more than four letters of recommendation. Additional letters can be sent directly to the individual school if the school accepts additional letters. Read more tips and resources for how to obtain strong letters of recommendation.
A written statement of purpose is required in the admission process. In your statement, plan on addressing why you selected optometry as your career. The statement is an important aspect of the application and should receive careful attention. This is your opportunity to discuss how your relevant personal background and interests, education, and experiences have led you to select a Doctor of Optometry education. Take time to review and rewrite your statement as many times as needed. Select individuals who know you either personally or professionally to read your statement and provide feedback. You are allotted 4500 characters including spaces. You are able to tailor your statement for each school you plan to apply to. Once you have saved your statement(s), you can upload them to the designated school's section. Refer to the OptomCAS instructions for complete details.
Interviews are offered to applicants that optometry schools deem competitive and are by invitation only. Most schools require you to interview as the next step in the admission process. Interviews will vary from school to school. You may be interviewed by an admissions officer, faculty member, and/or an advanced optometry student. Your interview may be just you or you may be part of a group. When you are offered an interview, it is important that you research the type of interview each school conducts so that you can best prepare yourself.
The interview helps the school get to know you better. Like a job interview, schools are looking at you from a professional point of view. You may be asked questions regarding your accomplishments, why you selected optometry, your educational and experiential background, your communication skills, how you cope with change, stress, or conflict, and your decision-making and problem-solving skills. Prior to your interview, take time to review your application, research the school, and practice interviewing.
Interviewing for Health Professions offers some tips and suggestions to help you prepare for your interviews.