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Premedical-Professions Advising Home > Optometry - Curriculum
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Optometry - Curriculum

Optometry is a career dedicated to the care of vision. Doctors of Optometry (O.D.) are trained in vision analysis, prescribing and adapting lenses or other optical aids, and detecting and recognizing eye diseases. Representatives of optometry refer to the profession as an "emerging" one which has undergone profound changes in recent years. They also stress that there is a severe shortage of optometrists. At present there are fourteen colleges of optometry in the U.S. and two in Canada, but 6 more schools are in the planning stages. All colleges have a six-year program: two years of preoptometry and a four-year professional degree program. Some colleges have graduate programs at the masters and/or doctoral level in physiological optics and other areas of specialization.

Each college has different requirements for prerequisite courses that students must complete before entry into optometry, therefore it is critical that you check with the schools in which you are interested during your first year of undergraduate study.

Generally-Required Courses:
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • General Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biology
Often-Required Courses:
  • Psychology
  • Social Sciences
  • Literature
  • Philosophy
  • Foreign Languages
  • Biology

As with other areas of health care, the trend is towards only accepting students who have completed a baccalaureate degree program. The University of Hartford's joint BS/OD program with the New England College of Optometry is an exception to this rule. Please visit the Joint B.S./O.D. page for details about the program and the curriculum. Students enter New England College of Optometry in their fourth year of undergraduate study. Brochures entitled Information for Applicants to Colleges of Optometry and Your Future in Optometry are available.

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