There are 3 general steps to the optometry school application process. See the tabs below to view the steps and more information on financial aid resources.
3 general steps in applying to optometry schools: the primary application, the secondary application, and the interview.
1. Primary applications
- Optometry Centralized Application Service (OptomCAS)
- Opens in late June
- Includes biographical data, academic history, a personal statement (4500 characters), work experience, extracurricular experience, and letters of recommendation
- Application fee: $180 for the first school, $70 for each additional school
Once the application is complete, OptomCAS forwards it to the schools selected by the student. For schools with rolling admission, submit your primary application as early as possible.
2. Secondary applications or supplementary forms are specific to individual optometry schools. Schools may include these applications in the OptomCAS application. Other schools may send these after they have received the OptomCAS application. Both frequently request additional information, essays, letters of recommendation, and/or fees. Some schools screen applicants before the applications or forms are sent out.
3. Interviews: After reviewing the primary and secondary applications (or supplementary forms), optometry schools invite promising applicants to interview. Applicants are responsible for all costs incurred while interviewing, including airfare, lodging, ground transportation, professional attire, and meals.
- Interview Information
- Sample Interview Questions
- Health Professional School Interview Room Reservation Request: During the COVID-19 pandemic, many health professional schools are conducting their interviews online. Applicants can submit a reservation request for a private space with wifi access on-campus.
For Hawaiʻi Residents Only: Apply to the Hawaiʻi WICHE Professional School Exchange Program. PSEP enables residents from WICHE participating states affordable access to enroll in out of state professional healthcare programs, at participating WICHE institutions, when those programs are not available at a public institution in their home state. Applications open on August 1.
Background Check: Prior to official acceptance, schools usually contact a background check on accepted students. Thus, please ensure that you conduct yourself professionally at all times. A record of misconduct may result in the residence of acceptance by schools.
Re-applicants: Many applicants may not be admitted to the professional school that they desire on their first try. However, if an when you choose to re-apply, there are many things to consider before re-submitting another application the following cycle.
- The more you know about the school, the better your chances of being accepted.
- Most application questions can be answered by reading the SCOAR.
- Visit program admission websites for information on how they handle the following items:
- Advanced Placement (AP) credits
- International Baccalaureate (IB) credits
- College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits
- Military credits
- Community college courses
- Non-US coursework
- Courses taken for credit/no credit
- Prerequisite science course time limits
Please note that if you are retaking courses because optometry schools may not accept Advanced Placement (AP), online, or community college credit, your financial aid and/or scholarship status may be affected.