Optometrists are doctors who perform eye exams, check for vision problems and diseases and prescribe corrective lenses and contacts. According to The Princeton Review, pre-optometry is not a major at most universities. It is, rather, a concentration that provides the necessary foundation for admission to optometry school. These programs are Bachelor of Science degrees in the biological sciences with an emphasis in optometry. In addition to completing one of these programs, students must pass the Optometry Admissions Test before continuing on to a Doctor of Optometry program. After graduation of a doctoral program, students are eligible to apply for a state license.
Indiana University’s School of Optometry awards associate and bachelor's degrees in optometry in preparation for the Doctor of Optometry program. The bachelor's degree programs available are the Bachelor of Arts, special Bachelor of Science in Biology for three-year pre-optometry students, and a Bachelor of Science in Optometry. The Bachelor of Arts program requires all pre-optometry courses to be taken as electives. The Bachelor of Science in Biology provides all foundational courses required for entry into the Doctor of Optometry program. The Bachelor of Science in Optometry allows students to begin graduate work in optometry as part the undergraduate program.
Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern University offers a dual admission Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Optometry program. This program requires a seven-year commitment, which consists of a three-year prescribed course of study as an undergraduate biology major and an additional four years to complete the Doctor of Optometry degree. The Bachelor of Science in biology degree is awarded after successful completion of the first year of professional education training at the college of optometry. Research opportunities, study abroad options and career preparation are also available to all students.
Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, offers a pre-optometry and vision science program consisting of a Bachelor of Science in biology leading to the Doctor of Optometry program. Select students may apply to the D.O. program in their third year of the B.S. in biology program and be awarded a B.S. in vision science after completion of their first year. Students in the B.S. program may work with faculty on nationally recognized research projects. Internship opportunities in the optometry field may also be available.
Ohio State University
Ohio State University’s College of the Arts and Sciences offers a Bachelor of Science in biology program, which leads to one of Ohio State University’s College of Optometry’s graduate programs. The B.S. in Biology is a standard premed program and focuses on biology and mathematics to provide a solid foundation for the optometry program. This program provides extensive experience to students through hands-on research opportunities, academic clubs and laboratory work within their chosen field. Scholarships, internships and work study opportunities exist for select students. Traditional financial aid is also available to eligible students.