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Pre-Optometry Track at Hope College

What is Optometry and is it for me?

Optometry is a dynamic and amazing profession. The best way to learn about optometry is: True Stories - What do Doctors of Optometry Do?

What classes do I need to take? Courses Required or Recommended

Optometry School admission requirements are determined by each Optometry school. Since a optometry school can add additional courses to its requirements at anytime, it is essential that you look up the most up-to-date information directly from the optometry schools directory - Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO).

Courses Required at the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University, Midwestern College of Optometry, and Illinois College of Optometry:

    • General Biology I + lab (Biol 105 + Biol 107) [formerly Biol 260]
    • General Biology II + lab (Biol 106 + Biol 108) [formerly Biol 240]
    • Human Anatomy + lab (Biol 222)
    • Human Physiology + lab (Biol 221)
    • Microbiology + lab (Biol 231 or 301)
    • General Chemistry I (Chem 125) + Gen Chem Lab I (Chem 127)
    • General Chemistry II (Chem 126) + Gen Chem Lab II (Chem 128)
    • [or another option for General Chemistry is:]
    • Accelerated General Chemistry (Chem 131) + Accel Gen Chem Lab (Chem 132)
    • Organic Chemistry I (Chem 221) + Org Chem Lab I (Chem 255)
    • Organic Chemistry II (Chem 231) + Org Chem Lab IIA (Chem 256)
    • Biochemistry I (Chem 311)
    • [you can take either one; depends on your major!]
    • College Physics I (Phys 105) + Physics Lab I (Phys 141)
    • College Physics II (Phys 106)+ Physics Lab II (Phys 142)
    • or
    • General Physics I (Phys 121) + Physics Lab I (Phys 141)
    • General Physics II (Phys 122) + Physics Lab I (Phys 142)
  • MATH
    • Calculus (Math 131)
    • Statistics (Math 210 or Math 311/312)
    • Psychology (Psy 100) + Sociology (Soc 101)
    • Communication (Comm 140)
    • English (Engl 113 & 1 upper level English: Engl 213 or Engl 214)

Courses for other Optometry Schools may be looked at Optometry School directory, ASCO. Recommended courses or courses required by some Optometry Schools:

  • Genetics (Biol 356) [lab course is optional]
  • Cell Biology (Biol 348 + 349)
  • Developmental Biology (Biol 355)
  • Economics (Econ 211)


You should complete the above required courses to prepare for the Optometry Admission Test (OAT), which is typically taken in the summer after junior year. The OAT is required by most optometry schools. The OAT comprises four major sections: survey of the natural sciences (Biology, General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry), Reading Comprehension, Physics and Quantative Reasoning Tests. Read the OAT Guide for more details.

What do I major in? Choice of academic major.

Optometry schools seek students with diverse and broad academic backgrounds. Students should select a major area of study that is of interest and that will provide a foundation of knowledge necessary for the pursuit of several career alternatives. Optometry schools are most concerned with the overall quality and scope of undergraduate work and level of rigor; not with the specific academic major. While many students who are pursuing a career in optometry are interested in the sciences and major in one of the sciences, others with interests in the social sciences, humanities, or the arts, may major in one of those areas.

Do I need to shadow or know the optometry profession?

The short is YES!

Students should be aware that optometry school admission committees want to see that a student has learned about the optometry profession through first-hand experience. This experience should include a job or volunteer work in a optometry office. It should also include job shadowing one or more optometrists in different job environments. Optometry school admission committees also look at a student's experiences for evidence that the student is committed to serving others and that the student is able to work effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and of different ages.

Useful Web Links to Optometry Information

Links to General Information


For current Hope students, advising & questions related to the pre-dental track at Hope College, please contact HPA Professor T Prokopow.

For all others, please contact, Hope College Admissions Office.