Doctor of Optometry

How to apply to the Doctor of Optometry program

You can apply to the Doctor of Optometry program before or after finishing your bachelor’s degree. In some cases, students gain early admission to the program before finishing their undergraduate career.

If you are an international applicant, you may apply to the Doctor of Optometry program during your final year of undergraduate study, or after receiving a U.S. bachelor’s degree (or its recognized equivalent).

All applicants are required to follow the steps outlined below. International applicants also must follow the international application process and admission standards of the Office of International Services.

Step 1: Review the prerequisites

Students who already have a bachelor’s degree with a major in a science field are often fully prepared for admission to the Doctor of Optometry program. Those with degrees in non-science fields may find that additional coursework is needed. Check the prerequisites before you apply.

See all prerequisites

Step 2: Take the Optometry Admission Test (OAT)

The Optometry Admission Test (OAT) is designed to measure general academic ability and scientific knowledge. All candidates must take the OAT for the first time before the February of the year they wish to enter the program, and provide an official score report by February 15.

We recommend taking the OAT by November 30. OAT scores are valid for three years; however, there is no limit to the amount of times you may take the test.

Step 3: Submit your OptomCAS application

OptomCAS is a centralized application service that allows you to file one application and send it to multiple optometry programs.

You will submit a web-based application that includes biographical information, the colleges and universities you have attended, your academic course history, up to four letters of recommendation, work experience, extracurricular activities, honors, and a personal essay.

Step 4: Submit supporting documents

All supporting documents, including Optometry Admission Test scores are due by February 15 of the year you apply.

After submitting the OptomCAS application, all candidates must complete the University Graduate School supplemental application. The application fee for the 2019–2020 application cycle is $70.

This application will put you in consideration for admission to the Doctor of Optometry program and also for financial aid, including scholarships, fellowships, and student loans.

Apply to the University Graduate School

Complete the short essay and prerequisites worksheet. Note: there is no confirmation notification after you submit the departmental questions. You may submit updated versions at any time.

Please Note: The departmental question worksheet can be either completed within the University Graduate School Application on tab four or be accessed directly through the link below.

Complete the departmental worksheet

You will submit your official academic transcript through the OptomCAS application.

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

Advanced Placement (AP) courses need to appear on your official college transcript and show that you received college credit for the courses. If your college or university does not show this information on the official transcript, you will need to provide a letter, sent directly to us from the registrar’s office of that school, documenting the credit awarded for the AP courses.

Degree equivalencies for international applicants

The Office of International Services reviews all international graduate applications and academic records for U.S. bachelor’s degree equivalency, then sends application packets and an initial evaluation to the appropriate graduate programs for consideration.

We require a median score of 300 in each of the six categories of the Optometry Admission Test. For early admission, we require a score of 320 or higher on the Quantitative Reasoning and Total Science category, and a minimum 300 in all other categories.

Submit your OAT scores no later than February 15.

If you did not receive an OAT brochure with your application, you may request one by mail:

Optometry Admission Testing Program
211 E. Chicago Avenue, Suite 1846
Chicago, IL 60611

We require three letters of recommendation, filed with your OptomCAS application.

The recommendation letters can be written by any number of individuals that can provide an overall honest assessment of your abilities and your character. We prefer one from a science professor you have had. Others can be from an additional professor, a work supervisor, a professional optometrist, or a college athletics coach.

* International applicants only

All international applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

* International applicants only

As an international student at IU Bloomington, you are required to submit documents to the Office of International Services proving you have the financial means to support yourself for a full calendar year, including tuition, fees, and living expenses.

Applicants to graduate programs must submit this information before admission can be finalized and before visa documents can be issued. We encourage you to submit your financial documents as soon as possible.

The deadline to apply to the Doctor of Optometry program is
January 15, 2020.

Apply now