Optometrists specialize in assessing, enhancing and preserving vision. They diagnose and manage various eye conditions and diseases while prescribing medications, visual exercises or corrective lenses as needed.

Through comprehensive examinations, optometrists analyze both internal and external eye structure and recommend appropriate eyewear solutions.

Contact Health Professions Advising

Pre- Optometry Advising Guide

While there is no "pre-optometry major" at the College of Charleston, the following guide and consultation with your Pre-Health Professions Advisor can help prepare you for your application and potential admission to optometry school.
  • Undergraduate Preparation/Prerequisites

    The requirements for admission to the schools and colleges of optometry vary, but students wishing to study optometry should consider these general requirements:

    • Biology with labs (8 semester hours)
    • Microbiology
    • Biochemistry
    • General Chemistry with labs (8 semester hours)
    • Organic Chemistry with labs (4 semester hours)
    • General Physics with labs (8 semester hours)
    • Calculus (3 hours)
    • Statistics (3 hours)
    • General Psychology (3 hours)
    • English (6 hours)
    • Social Science (6 semester hours) (Any combination of two semesters in sociology, economics, anthropology, history, political science of additional psychology courses.)
    View Catalog Course Descriptions
  • Optometry Admission Test (OAT)

    The Optometry Admission Test (OAT) is the exam schools and colleges of optometry education use to assess your skills, knowledge and potential for success in an optometry program.

    The OAT consists of four tests:

    • Survey of the Natural Sciences (Biology, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry)
    • Reading Comprehension
    • Physics
    • Quantitative Reasoning Tests

    The test is offered year round and accepted at all 23 optmentry schools in the U.S. and 2 in Canada.

    Learn More on the OAT
  • Timeline

    First Year

    • Declare a major. Identify yourself as a pre-health profession student on the major declaration form.
    • Make an appointment/get to know your Health Professions Advisors. Discuss your academic game plan. Check in regularly to discuss your academic progress.
    • Begin taking your basic science courses.
    • Get involved with volunteer and service opportunities (campus and community).
    • Look into oppoprtunities for undergraduate research.
    • Begin to shadow an optometrist.

    Sophomore Year

    • Continue with your sequence of courses.
    • Stay involved in extracurricular activities (shadowing, service, volunteer). Consider leadership positions in these groups.
    • Visit your professors during office hours (You will need letters of recommendation).
    • Visit Health Professions Advising to begin to assess competitiveness.
    • Identify the optometry programs that you want to apply to. Develop your OAT preparation plan.
    • Apply for summer research programs or jobs to gain career insights.

    Junior Year

    • Talk to your advisors about competitiveness.
    • Register, study, and take the OAT (Don't miss the deadlines).
    • Work on your personal statement.
    • Obtain three to five Letters of Recommendation (Spring).
    • Complete and submit your application OPTOMCAS (Optometry Centralized Application Service) (Summer).
    • Continue engaging in activities.

    Senior Year

    • Meet with your advisor.
    • Get a degree audit and apply for graduation.
    • Ensure your Health Professions Committee Field is complete and all letters of evaluation have been submitted.
    • Respond promptly to requests for secondary applications.
    • Send updated transcripts directly to the schools to which you applied (Spring).
    • Wait to be contacted for interviews from optometry schools.
    • Explore sources for financial aid.
    • Discuss alternative plans with your adivor if necessary.
    • Finish your degree requirements and graduate.