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Graduating senior needs Optometry advice

Discussion in 'Pre-Optometry' started by Akki6, May 15, 2012.

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  1. Akki6

    Akki6

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    Hello guys! I recently ran across this site and I found it very useful. Right now, I am a high school senior about to graduate in 3 days and my major is kind of undecided. But Optometry is something that I want to do and I am really interested in it. My problem is that I don't know where to start from like what kind of college I need to go to and type of classes I need. I have researched a lot since past few days and I got an idea about the profession and what it is like. Right now, I am enrolled at a community college since I was taking some college classes while in high school so I decided I will be going there for my first year. Can anyone give me an advice on what my major should be like Pre-Optometry or Biology etc...? I don't think the university that I am planning to go to offers Pre-Optometry program. Can I still get the classes that I need in this major finished at an university before applying to school later on? I don't know if this is the right place to post this or not, but any help would be appreciated. Thank you!
  2. hiddenf

    hiddenf

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    I don't think the major really matters that much as long as you can finish all the prereqs. I was a human biology major and alot of the classes I took for my major was needed for prereqs so that worked out pretty well for me.
  3. Akki6

    Akki6

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    So as long as I major in Biology or anything like that, I will get my PreReqs done? Actually, I am interested in going to Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, TN. Do I need to go by their Prerequisites to get my classes done? My plan is to go to community college for 1st year and then transfer out to University to get my Bachelor's before I apply for Optom School. Thank you for your reply!
  4. MidnightOil

    MidnightOil

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    Whatever school you choose to transfer to you need to make sure that their Biology curriculum lines up with the pre-reqs for SCO. It should cover most if not all. You don't have to go by the schedule posted on SCO's website.
  5. Akki6

    Akki6

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    Well my community college that I am planning to go to has all Pre-Professional programs such as Optometry, Dental, Pre-Med, Pre-Vet Med...I followed their curriculum and most of the classes I need to take are required at SCO. I am gonna transfer out to University of Tennessee next year for my Bachelor's in Pre-Optom and then SCO.
  6. MidnightOil

    MidnightOil

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    Sounds like you have done your homework.

    Just for future reference there is no Bachelor's in pre-optometry. It is a concentration.
  7. Akki6

    Akki6

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    Lol, I forgot about that. But my problem is that my university doesn't have Pre-Optometry as a concentration...It has all others such as Med, Vet Med, Pharm, Dental under the Majors category...How will I know what classes I will need to take after I leave comm college? Will I need to keep following their curriculum of 2 years in the university as well? I know I am asking lot of questions, but I want to know everything before I take the first step. Thanks once again!

    Here is the link of the majors at the university of tenn: http://catalog.utk.edu/content.php?catoid=11&navoid=960#O
  8. opto2

    opto2

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    Honestly you can major in anything you'd like! It doesn't necessarily have to be biology, (that's what I came into college thinking since I was interested in something medical related), but it is helpful because the necessary pre-requisites are already incorporated in a biology major, such as general chemistry's, organic chemistry's, biology, etc. You can major in political sciences or art and still get into Optometry school, as long as you follow up with the pre-requisites! In fact, a lot of the Optometry schools prefer a diverse background of degrees, not just biology. That shows that the student is open minded, has other interests, and can handle taking courses outside his or her general science degree.

    Here is a link of all of the Optometry schools and their general requirements. You can scroll down to SCO's and take a look at what you need for that school!

    http://www.opted.org/files/public/ASCO_Admissions_Requirements_2011-2012.pdf

    As for where to take classes, it is acceptable to take them at a community college as well as a university. But you should try to take some at a university as well, so that they see you worked hard and earned the grade. You can always call or email the admissions department of your future Optometry school of choice to make sure that they accept community college credits, just to be on the safe side!

    Hope this helped!
  9. Akki6

    Akki6

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    Thanks for the reply! Well I am going to university anyways next year and I just thought that I will get some classes done at comm college first so thats why. What types of majors are helpful to get into Optometry school? Biology is what I am interested in, but would love to learn about others as well. Can you tell me what did you do to get into Optom school?
  10. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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    If you want the path that will help you the most in Optometry school then I'd take all the pre-med cirriculum plus the extra courses that most schools require such as Psychology, Microbiology, and statistics or whatever they are. Try to take as many as you can in your first 2 years of college and apply to optometry school in the summer between sofomore year and junior year. Some schools will let you in after 3 years of undergrad but it is getting increasingly rarer. If you don't like OD school you can always go back and finish that last year of undergrad and still have a bachelor's.
  11. Akki6

    Akki6

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    So you are suggesting to take Pre-Med classes at comm college and university for first 2 years? Heres what Southern college of Optom requires:


    • English — composition and/or literature (one year1) - Already finished them through Dual Enrollment program
    • General Psychology (one course)
    • Social Science2 (one year1)
    • Statistics (one course)
    • Calculus (one course)
    • General Biology with labs (one year1)
    • Microbiology with lab3 (one course)
    • General Physics with labs (one year1)
    • General Chemistry with labs (one year1)
    • Organic Chemistry with lab (one course)
    • Biochemistry4 (one course)
    I am planning to take Gen Chem 1 and 2, Gen Bio 1 and 2, Calculus, Statistics, and General Psychology at a comm college starting in Fall. Will take others at an university next year and continue on in my studies.
  12. optoapp2012

    optoapp2012

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    Most requirements are very similar at various optometry schools. Some will require labs in classes like microbiology and biochemistry, while others do not. Some will require more higher level biology courses, although most do not. For example, University of Houston requires 8 or so credits of non-intro biology (can't count microbio, since that's a separate requirement they have), and Berkeley is starting to require Immunology. For the non-science classes and what varies school to school, you will usually cover those in any major you have because they are just core classes (calculus, psychology, etc) you often have to take anyway...or at least are among the options to fulfill your basic requirements.

    There's no particular major that you have to have. I majored in sociology. I know someone who was a Spanish major, plenty who were psychology majors. That really doesn't matter. Because the biology major requires pretty much the exact classes needed for your pre-reqs, lots of people do that major. But if you DO have another passion, don't feel like you have to ignore that in order to go to opt school.

    I think it's good to pick at least 5 optometry schools that you might be interested in going to and take the classes required by them (like I said, most will significantly overlap). That leaves your options open. The worst thing that could happen is that you end up deciding in your senior year not to attend SCO, but rather some other school that requires a 1 credit hour lab that you didn't take and isn't offered during your last semester of college. That would totally screw you over! I actually knew that could be the case for me about 1 year ahead. I planned NOT to take microbiology lab, because my 1st choice school didn't require it so I didn't want to pay to take it, plus the timing of the course would've really screwed up my schedule. All the other schools I was applying to were requiring it, and I didn't find out that I was admitted to my #1 choice until this spring...so had I not gotten in, I don't think there was anyone offering that lab in my area during the summer months. Just plan for some flexibility so that your options are open and you'll be fine!
  13. opto2

    opto2

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    You're welcome! Well I actually just finished my third year of undergrad, so I am applying to schools/ taking the OAT's this year! So I am still in the process. I'v switched my major multiple times (and that's typically normal, especially if you are not sure what you want to do) and now I am majoring in Psychology, which I have always been interested in and love learning about! I am still finishing up some of my pre-requisites along the way since I'v taken a diverse amount of classes throughout my college career. Honestly, if you enjoy Biology, go for it! It will be easier on you because the pre-reqs are already embedded in it and you can take the other courses within the major such as genetics (which isn't required for opto) if you enjoy those classes as well. You posted a link of your schools majors, maybe you should check them out and see what you like if you are thinking about majoring in something other than biology. I think it's great that you have done some research and are thinking ahead; if you are sure about Optometry and keep doing your research and browse this forum (it is extremely helpful!) you will be on your way :) Aside from taking the required courses for Optometry school, you need to shadow a few doctors so that you get the feel for how the profession is, and whether you like it or not. Volunteering, and extracurricular's are always a good thing to have to be a competitive applicant, so maybe look into that in the near future as well. The last thing is taking the OAT and applying, which, you still have plenty of time for, but I just wanted to put it out there so you know what to expect!

    Good luck!
  14. Akki6

    Akki6

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    Thanks again for the replies! Would making an appointment with the advisor help me out? Like I want to tell them of my future plans and course sequences that I would like to take and what major I am interested in. You guys are teaching me alot, thank you!
  15. Akki6

    Akki6

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    Hey guys, I have another question. Can I take only Gen Chemistry 1 and 2 at Comm. College and not take any other science classes until I go to university? or I can also just take Chem 1 in spring and take chem 2, phy 1 and 2, and bio 1 and 2 and other upper level science courses at an University...Will that help me when I apply for Optom. school later on after few years? Since you guys said, it will be better if I take courses at an University so thats why...Thank you!
  16. optoapp2012

    optoapp2012

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    I can't imagine a school having a problem with you taking both gen chems at a community college, but you might call a couple you want to apply to just to ask and make sure. One thing to watch is that a lot of classes are only offered particular semesters, so take that into account when planning your courses. Chem 1 might be available only in the fall, and Chem 2 only in the spring (same with Bio 1/2 and Physics 1/2). It usually depends on the size of the university/college, but also the availability of professors to teach particular courses. The higher the level of the class, the more likely it's only offered during one semester.

    Ultimately, it will come down to balancing your GPA and the number of classes you take at the college vs. university. The more classes you can take and do *well* in at the university, the stronger your application will be. However, if you think there are subjects that will be particularly challenging for you, and might lower your GPA, if taken at a university, then it'd be good to take those at the community college. I agree with just sticking to lower level classes at the community college. And when applying to opt school, pitch it as a way to save money and be smart financially, or trying to get a smaller class size with more professor interaction.
  17. Akki6

    Akki6

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    Thanks! Well, my university that I am gonna transfer to next year has a major called Biological Sciences which includes Microbiology/Ecology and etc...Isn't that pretty much the same thing as Biology because I have to take those courses anyways...

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