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Optometry (O.D.)


Optometry is a specialized healthcare profession that involves examining the eyes and related structures for defects or abnormalities. Optometrists are health care professionals who typically provide comprehensive primary eye care. They are licensed to practice optometry, which includes giving eye exams, writing prescriptions for contact lenses and glasses, finding abnormalities in the eye, and treating certain eye diseases.

Optometry Prerequisites

NOTE: Specific prerequisite courses can vary by school--always double-check the website of each optometry school you are applying to for specific requirements. Please review the CSUSB Catalog as a guide to completing the CSUSB prerequisites.

Required Common Prerequisites
Prerequisites CSUSB Courses


One year or two semesters of General Chemistry with lab.

One semester of Organic Chemistry with lab.

One semester of Biochemistry, lab recommended but not required.


CHEM 2100 & 2100L and CHEM 2200 & 2200L

CHEM 2400 & 2400L OR CHEM 3400

CHEM 4100 & 4100L


One year or two semesters of General Biology with lab.

One semester of Microbiology with lab.

One year or two semesters of Anatomy and Physiology.


BIOL 2010 and BIOL 2020 (labs included)

BIOL 2200 OR BIOL 3200

BIOL 2230 and BIOL 2240


One year or two semesters of General Physics with lab.

(Check institution requirements as some institutions will require General Physics.)


PHYS 2500 & 2500L and PHYS 2510 & 2510L

(Needs a co-requisite of MATH 2210 for 2500 and MATH 2220 for 2510)


Course must contain descriptive and inferential Statistics topics.


MATH 1201 OR MATH 1202 and MATH 1203


Most optometry schools require one semester/course of Calculus (MATH 2210). Be aware that at CSUSB students must take MATH 1401 before MATH 2210.


MATH 2210 OR MATH 1401*

*Some optometry schools may or may not count MATH 1401 as a semester of calculus. Consult with your desired institution for clarification.


One semester of Psychology, ether Introduction to Psychology or Developmental Psychology.


PSYC 1100 OR PSYC 2201

Explore the optometry schools and prerequisites for each one you plan to apply.
Do I need to take an exam before applying?

Yes, you will need to take an admission exam. It is common for schools to request you take the Optometry Admission Test (OAT) or the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is also accepted. 

Confirm with the schools you are interested in applying to verify any updates.

Learn more about the Optometry Admission Test here!

OptomCAS Optometry College Application Service

The Optometry College Application Service (OptomCAS) is a centralized application service to apply to multiple Doctor of Optometry degree programs offered by schools and colleges of optometry. OptomCAS is designed for first-year professional programs. High school students and current student optometrists who wish to transfer to another optometry degree program should contact institutions directly for instructions.

  • Optometry schools utilize a centralized application system called OptomCAS
  • OptomCAS Application Preperartion and Applying
  • You will need to create a personal statement that highlights your interest in optometry
  • You will need letters of recommendation, commonly from a science faculty, optometrist, any healthcare practitioner, and/or advisor
  • You will need to create a personal statement that highlights your interest in optometry