Admissions Requirements

Important Note about Optometry School Rankings

A word of caution to prospective applicants about unauthorized attempts to rank the U.S. schools and colleges of optometry: There is no officially accepted program or algorithm for ranking U.S. optometry programs. If there were, it would be endorsed and published by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) — the official academic leadership organization that represents all accredited schools and colleges of optometry in the 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Applicants may encounter for-profit websites that claim to "rank" U.S. optometry programs. Please be aware that neither ASCO nor The Ohio State University College of Optometry contributes data to or in any way endorses these unofficial websites. As a result, the data they report are flawed and/or incomplete, and the comparisons they make are invalid. It is our strong belief that applicants should place absolutely no value on these unofficial rankings of optometry programs.

In gathering information for use in making legitimate comparisons among U.S. optometry programs, prospective applicants are urged to visit official websites for the individual schools and colleges, and for ASCO, where they will find valid information.


Requirements for Admission to the College of Optometry

  • Completion of three or more years of undergraduate work.  A bachelor's degree is encouraged.
  • Complete all stated prerequisite courses with a grade of C- or better.
  • Complete at least 10 hours of observation at a minimum of two different optometric practice settings.
  • Submit OptomCAS application between June 29 and March 1.
  • Submit official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended, via OptomCAS.
  • Submit a minimum of three letters of recommendation via OptomCAS. One must be from an optometrist, one must be from a professor, and the third letter is from someone of your choice.
  • Complete the Optometry Admission Test (OAT) by March 1. Be sure to notify our office if you have retaken the test.
  • Submit The Ohio State Optometry Supplemental Application. An invitation for this application will be sent by e-mail after we receive your OptomCAS application.
  • Complete an in-person interview with the College of Optometry Admissions Committee.
  • To ensure that you have satisfactory functional skills to provide optometric care, you must meet functional guidelines established by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO). The ASCO functional guidelines statement is available online at (PDF - 25KB)

Prerequisite Courses for the College of Optometry

Admission to The Ohio State University College of Optometry requires completion of the prerequisites listed below or their equivalents from any accredited college or university. At least one year of this preparatory work should be completed at a baccalaureate degree-granting institution. Students are encouraged to complete a bachelor’s degree prior to matriculation in our program. However, some high-achieving students are admitted with three years (90 semester hours) of undergraduate coursework. The number of courses listed below is provided as a guideline. In assessing course content for equivalency, actual numbers of courses may vary for your institution. In some cases multiple courses may be needed to fulfill prerequisite coursework.

Prerequisite Courses

# of

Current Ohio State Course Numbers

English Composition


ENGL 1110

Inorganic Chemistry, with laboratory


CHEM 1210 & 1220

Organic Chemistry, no laboratory required


CHEM 2510


1 or 2


If your institution divides biochemistry into a two series course, you need to take both courses to meet our course content requirements.    
Physics, with laboratory


PHY 1200 & 1201

Physics course work should cover mechanics, heat, light, sound, electricity, magnetism and modern physics.    
Mathematics - Calculus


MATH 1151

Biology, with laboratory


BIO 1113 & 1114


1 or 2

EEOB 2520 or PHYSIO 3200

Physiology course work must cover all of the systems of the body. Unless you took physiology at Ohio State, you must send your physiology course syllabus materials to our office for evaluation at    
Microbiology, with laboratory


MICRO 4000

Introductory Psychology


PSYCH 1100




Social Sciences





Prerequisite Evaluation

The Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions at Ohio State offers free coursework evaluations for students attending other institutions to provide assistance in selecting and taking coursework that meets our prerequisite requirements. For more information, visit or call 614-292-9444.

AP Credit and Online Courses

Ohio State Optometry accepts Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) credit as long as those credits were accepted at your undergraduate institution. All laboratory coursework must be completed in person. We do not accept online laboratory coursework. The lecture portion of coursework can be completed online and is considered on a case by case basis.

Ten Year Course Work Rule

Due to continuous advances in the scientific field, the Admissions Committee requires you to demonstrate recent competence in science prerequisites. Therefore, if any of your science prerequisites are older than ten years, you must either repeat course work in that specific area or submit convincing evidence of current mastery in the appropriate science to the Admissions Committee.

Additional Recommended Courses

Additional courses in physiology and anatomy are highly recommended. Other beneficial electives may include: introductory statistics, ethics, histology, sociology, scientific terminology, and small business management.