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Canadian 4th Year looking to apply to Optometry School in US

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eye_spy

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Hi guys, kinda nervous to be positing on here but i really need some advice.

I'm currently a 4th year Canadian student studying in a science background and I've only recently realized I wanted to pursue optometry so I'm a bit behind compared to most pre-opt people. I had a bit of a difficult first few years of undergrad making my cgpa drop really low (like a 2.3.. ) before I realized I wanted to try optometry so I've worked on raising my grades for the past year and am now currently at a cgpa of 3.2ish. I'm hoping to take an extra year to fix some of my prereq grades and to graduate and hope to be around a 3.4 by graduation. I'm also hoping to study for the OAT this summer so I can hopefully (?) apply for the upcoming cycle.

As for extracurriculars, I only really joined one ethnic/Science club of which I'm co-president, and other than that only have some annual volunteer experience and one job experience (Starbucks). Because I'm late to the party, I only have ~10 hours of shadowing experience as well. Another thing is that I was never really the type to visit profs at office hours, so I kinda feel lost in how to go about asking for letters of rec.

I know that was a long intro but my questions are:
- what are my chances at applying to NECO, MCPHS, Western, ICO next cycle?
- how should I go about asking for letters of rec?
- what kind of scores on the OAT should I need to have a chance?
- any suggestions for getting extracurriculars/shadowing hours during COVID?

Thanks so much everyone :')
 

freeapple123

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I think you would have a great chance with those schools with a GPA of 3.2 and a decent OAT score (320 or higher). The schools you have listed view you as a whole individual. I believe MCPHS and Western have lower stats, but NECO and ICO are still doable. For LORs, I would ask a prof who you have a relationship with. I know it may be hard with the pandemic, but start by emailing them questions - show that you are interested in their class. I would also ask an OD who you have a good relationship with and have shadowed. Shadow a bunch of places - get experience in private practice, corporate, MD/OD practices, etc.
 
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eye_spy

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I think you would have a great chance with those schools with a GPA of 3.2 and a decent OAT score (320 or higher). The schools you have listed view you as a whole individual. I believe MCPHS and Western have lower stats, but NECO and ICO are still doable. For LORs, I would ask a prof who you have a relationship with. I know it may be hard with the pandemic, but start by emailing them questions - show that you are interested in their class. I would also ask an OD who you have a good relationship with and have shadowed. Shadow a bunch of places - get experience in private practice, corporate, MD/OD practices, etc.
thanks so much for the response :love: i've been feeling really lost especially with this whole pandemic so you saying that gives me some hope!
another thing I've been concerned with is that I've been taking 4 courses a semester, and don't know if those schools require 15 to 18 credit hours per semester.. do you know by any chance?
 

freeapple123

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thanks so much for the response :love: i've been feeling really lost especially with this whole pandemic so you saying that gives me some hope!
another thing I've been concerned with is that I've been taking 4 courses a semester, and don't know if those schools require 15 to 18 credit hours per semester.. do you know by any chance?
No worries! I'm not too sure of schools being picky about that. I just know they want the pre-reqs completed. Best advice I would give to us is to call or email the school!
 
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