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Degree which can be earned: Doctor of Optometry (O.D.)

What does an Optometrist do?
An optometrist is an independent primary healthcare provider for the eye.  Optometrists examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the visual system, the eye, and associated structures as well as identify related systemic conditions affecting the eye.

What is the lifestyle and salary like?
Most optometrists are self-employed, receive relatively few emergency calls, and can establish a flexible working schedule, which allows them the luxury of combining a prestigious professional career with a very satisfying personal life.  The average net income for optometrists was $129,385, according to a recent A)A survey of member optometrists.  

Are there any major exams required?
Yes, the Optometry Admission Test (OAT) is a standardized test that is required for admission to all optometry schools in the United States.  Students should take the OAT at least one year before they plan to begin optometry school.

Additional Resources:
Is a career in optometry right for you?
Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry
OptomCAS Application Service
The O.A.T. Exam

Regional Institutions:
Chicago College of Optometry
Illinois College of Optometry
Indiana University School of Optometry
University of Missouri St. Louis College of Optometry


What should I major in if I want to go to optometry school?
You can choose any major that interests you as long as you fulfill the prerequisites for your chosen program.  A major in the Sciences is recommended, but not required.

CAS Advising recommends the following courses to take:
BIOL 150: Introduction to Biological Sciences I
BIOL 151: Introduction to Biological Sciences II
BIOL 220: Genetics
BIOL 240 A/B:Human Anatomy & Physiology
BIOL 350: Microbiology
CHEM 121A: General Chemistry I
CHEM 121B: General Chemistry II
CHEM 241A: Organic Chemistry I
CHEM 241B: Organic Chemistry II
CHEM 351: Basic Biochemistry I
PSYC 111: Foundations of Psychology

The average cumulative GPA for students matriculating in Fall 2013 ranged from 3.14 to 3.76, depending on the institution.

Consider joining these student organizations:
Optical Society, SIUE Student Chapter (SIUE OSA Student Chapter)
Pre-Optometry Association

Find more student organizations HERE!

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