Scholarships and Awards

Funding your future

Indiana University has a proud tradition of supporting student success—and scholarships are a huge part of that tradition. Are you an admitted Hoosier? Working toward admission? No matter what, we’re happy to help you find support. This page contains what scholarships and awards that are available through IUSO.

OD/MS Full-Tuition Scholarship

IUSO will provide a full-tuition, 4-year scholarship for up to two highly-qualified optometry school applicants who are committed to completing the demanding rigors of both the OD degree and the MS in Vision science. This scholarship is for incoming students and there will also be one scholarship available for current OD 1st year students.

To qualify, students must apply to both the OD program and the scholarship program. Student should indicate interest in the dual-program on the University Graduate School supplemental application.

Note: While standardized tests are not required for admission to the OD program, students will have to submit GRE score report to be considered for the Full-Tuition Scholarship.

Application deadline is January 31.

Apply today

IU School of Optometry OD/MS Full-Tuition Scholarship

IUSO will provide a full-tuition, 4-year scholarship for up to two highly-qualified optometry school applicants who are committed to completing the demanding rigors of both the OD degree and the MS in Vision science. This scholarship is for incoming students and there will also be one scholarship available for current OD 1st year students.

The scholarship application consists of:

  • General Bio/Demographic Information
  • Submission of Two Recommendation Letters
    • At least one letter must speak to the student’s research experience and/or potential
    • Letters submitted for the OD application can be reused
  • Submission of GRE Score Report
  • Submission of a Statement of Intent, describing your interest and experience (if any) in research, and how it applies to optometry and vision science (Approx. 250 words.)

Basic Requirements of the Program

Awardees will have an introduction to IU Optometry research remotely in the Spring before they begin at IUSO. In the summer before starting the program, students will participate in either:

  • An early orientation: student is expected to come to Bloomington several weeks before optometry classes begin.

Or

  • A full summer session prior to starting Optometry School, for students with an interest and ability to start research or research rotations.

There will also be either an early orientation, with the student expected to come to Bloomington several weeks before optometry classes begin, or for students with an interest and ability to start research or research rotations in the summer prior to entering Optometry.  

OD courses and specific graduate coursework will be completed over four calendar years, culminating with the submission of an MS research thesis. 

Maintenance of the scholarship will require a graduate/OD program 3.5 GPA and an annual review of performance and progress that meet faculty expectations. In the first year, this may involve defining an interest and topic area, providing a brief literature review, and preparing a preliminary research proposal.  In later years, actual research progress will be evaluated.  Failure to meet these expectations will result in partial or full loss of scholarship. 

The scholarship covers full tuition only. University and school lab fees, health insurance, as well as living expenses, are not included.

MyEyeDr. Fellowship: IUSO Business Management Certificate Scholarship

The Indiana University School of Optometry has partnered with MyEyeDr. and is proud to offer five $5000 scholarships to incoming Doctor of Optometry program students enrolled in Business Management Certificate for Eye Care Professionals program.

Note: We are accepting applications on a rolling basis, and the scholarships may be awarded before the deadline to qualified applicants. Apply as soon as possible.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Kevin Schmidt, Associate Director of Student Administration.

Application deadline is May 15.

Apply today

Incoming students are automatically considered for two merit-based scholarships: the Dean’s Academic Scholar Fellowship and the Faculty Fellowship.  

Merit-based scholarships for incoming students

Once matriculated, students are eligible for dozens of additional scholarships and other awards, including cash, plaques, equipment, expense-paid trips, and more. Current optometry students are notified of these opportunities as they arise by the Awards and Honors Committee.


Dean’s Academic Merit Scholar Program

The Dean’s Academic Merit Scholar Program is offered to the top 10 percent of the incoming Doctor of Optometry class.

  • Indiana residents receive $3,500 to $6,500 each year.
  • Nonresidents receive $9,500 to $15,000 each year.

To be eligible for the Dean’s Academic Merit Scholar Program, you must have:

  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.8 or higher
  • The top 10% of applicants will be considered

You will be automatically considered after admission, whether or not you have paid your deposit. The scholarship is renewable for all four years, depending on maintaining a GPA of 3.7 or higher.

Applicants meeting the minimum GPA requirements for IUSO scholarships will not automatically receive an award. Decisions on scholarships are made by committee and are based on a holistic review of the applicant. 

Faculty Fellowship Merit Scholar Program

The Faculty Fellowship Merit Scholar Program is offered to the top 20 percent of the incoming class.

  • Indiana residents receive $1,500 to $2,500 each year.
  • Nonresidents receive $3,500 to $8,500 each year.

To be eligible for the Faculty Fellowship Merit Scholar Program, you must have:

  • Undergraduate GPA or 3.6 or higher
  • The top 20% of the incoming class will be considered

You will be automatically considered after admission, whether or not you have paid your deposit. The scholarship is renewable for all four years, depending on maintaining a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Applicants meeting the minimum GPA requirements for IUSO scholarships will not automatically receive an award. Decisions on scholarships are made by committee and are based on a holistic review of the applicant. 

Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship Program

IUSO is committed to helping increase the number of underrepresented minority O.D.’s in the field. With increased representation, we know that our university, our communities, and individual patient care will greatly improve. Based on the application and Admission Day process, we award scholarships to underrepresented minority students upon acceptance to IUSO to help these aspiring O.D.’s realize their dreams and succeed at IUSO.

Discover how everyone is welcome at the IU School of Optometry.

There are several funding sources available. Learn more below:

IUSO will award one four-year, Full-Tuition Scholarship for an incoming African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino or Native American/Alaska Native student. First-generation college students will receive preferential consideration for this scholarship.

In the Admissions & Financial Aid evaluation process, IUSO seeks excellent students who exhibit grit, determination, collaboration, and compassion. We will utilize the same application evaluation and Admission Day processes to identify candidates for the full-tuition award.

No additional application necessary. IUSO will select the award-winner from the pool of admitted students and will aim to notify the recipient before or during the first week of March.

IUSO is proud to continue our DEI Scholarship Program, established in 2013–2014. We award up to $5,000/year in additional scholarships for incoming under-represented minority students.

No additional application necessary. IUSO will notify recipients of the scholarship at the same time as acceptance to the program

IUSO is excited to partner with the National Optometric Association and Black Eyecare Perspective. For any matriculating students receiving scholarships/grants from these organizations, we will match those funds up to the cost of tuition & fees.

To learn more and seek membership with these organizations, please check out these available resources:

  • National Optometric Association:
    • The National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) is an international service organization comprised of over 1,000 optometry students who are dedicated to increasing access to eyecare for minority and under-served communities
    • Black EyeCare Perspective
      • Black EyeCare Perspective has the first nationally recognized Pre-Optometry club established to ensure not a single, potential, future black student or optometrist is ignored, discouraged or disadvantaged. Interested in becoming a member of the Black EyeCare Perspective Pre-Optometry Club, complete a membership profile and an advisor will get in contact with you.

Generous IUSO alumni have committed over $200,000 in endowed scholarships to further support minority students at IUSO for years to come. No additional application necessary. IUSO will select award-winners from the pool of admitted students and will aim to notify each recipient in the Spring semester before matriculation.

List of Awards Available:

  • Dr. Edwin C. Marshall Diversity in Vision Scholarship
  • Spirit of Inclusivity
  • Dr. Jorge & Nancy Benavente Leaders in Optometry Scholarship:
  • Dr. Noah A Bixler Memorial Scholarship—Match 

Bring your vision into focus.

Contact the Office of Student Administration

For Doctor of Optometry program admission questions or to schedule an advising appointment, please contact:

Office of Student Administration
Indiana University School of Optometry
800 E. Atwater Avenue
Second Floor
Bloomington, IN 47405

Phone: 812-855-1917
Fax: 812-855-4389
Email: iubopt@indiana.edu

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