As you become an optometrist, you'll play a major role in an individual’s overall health and well-being as the primary eye and vision care provider. Through academic and clinical training you will aquire the skills needed to perform eye examinations, vision tests, and detect medical eye care conditions or systemic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension.
Why Consider Optometry?
Did you know that according to the World Health Organization, 1 billion people (globally) have a vision impairment that could have been prevented or has yet to be addressed? You'll play a major role in an individual’s overall health and well-being by detecting systemic diseases to prevent this impairment and care for their overall vision.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of optometrist is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
- Vision Researcher
- Ophthalmic Medical Personnel
- Pediatric Optometrist
- Pharma Consultant
- Private Hospital Optometrist
- Doctors’ offices
- Optical Goods Stores
Explore: Optometry Pathways
Become a student at USM and obtain the necessary requirements to apply to optometry programs, with the guidance of our pathways expert!
|Undergraduate Credit Required||90 hours or Bachelor’s degree (Preferred)|
|Exam Prep||Optometry Admissions Test (OAT)|
|Professional Schooling Required||3-4 years of professional school; Doctor of Optometry|
|Professional Organization Websites||Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry|
Did you know there are only 23 accredited Optometry schools/colleges in the United States? Here are some of the programs that actively recruit qualified students from USM:
- University of Alabama at Birmingham (Birmingham, AL)
- Southern College of Optometry (Memphis, TN)
- University of Houston (Houston, TX)
- University of the Incarnate Word (San Antonio, TX)
Navigating the Application Process
Beginning early with the application process allows students to structure an academic plan of study. Optometry programs do not admit based on course prerequisites and GPA alone. Most programs also have a series of additional requirements, including competitive scores and high GPA (overall and prerequisite), preparing for the Optometry Admission Test (OAT), providing evidence of care for people through service and shadowing experiences, leadership roles, and more!
We encourage you to contact our pathways expert to support you in your professional development endeavors.
Strategies for Success
- Find the curriculum, timeline, and requirements suggested and explained by our pathway expert.
- Prepare for and take the OAT using an online guide.
What Should I Major In?
Optometry schools do not require a particular major—pursue a major in which you feel the most comfortable with!
Not interested in the sciences? Explore Schools that have compatible majors, so you pursue a degree that fits your abilities and passions!