10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2000
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I was curious about the optometry admissions process and figured this would be a good place to ask a few questions.

In comparison to fields such as medicine, do optometry admissions committees look mainly at grades and OAT scores or do they look for diverse applications? Would a student with a 4.0 and high OAT be guaranteed a spot in optometry school if they interview well or do people with 3.3's and mediocre test scores get in based on their "experiences"?

Any responses are greatly appreciated.


7+ Year Member
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Jun 8, 2001
Indianapolis, IN
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I have talked to many an admission counselor about this subject. They look at a variety of factors and rate you upon those. You get points based upon your grades, OAT, leadership, and experience.

So if you have ok grades..maybe a B average, and decent OATs you can still get in if you have some stronger areas as well. Like if you worked while going to school...even better you worked in the optical industry. You did volunteer work. You showed an increase in GPA the last few years when you got serious about school etc...

While having the best OAT and GPA scores is a good way to guarantee interviews and probably acceptance, they look at the whole app.

I am a single mom, who graduated with a degree in Law and Society. There were times in my school career that between work and family I thought "D was for diploma". I had a few A's in there as well and have a 3.1 GPA all around. Yes I could have done better, but the people I talked with were impressed that I could juggle all that I was carrying. Combine that with the fact I have been working in the optical industry for 7 years now, and I had two counsellors who told me all I needed to do was apply and finish my prereqs and I could get into their respective schools. I had two more that said my experience and references would go a long way to making my dream of opt school a reality.

I am still in contact with them. Since I could not afford to finish my three classes I still need to get into opt school. Gotta take physics and organic Chem...I cried the day I received a letter from one school granting me an extension on my app if I wanted to try and finish. Then later when I taked to them, they said I would have been accepted if I could have completed them in time...talking about frustration...

But the point of it is, if you are concerned about your chances, visit the websites of the schools you are interested in. Most of them have email links to their admissions department. Tell them the situation and ask for advice. That is what they are there for. If you keep in contact with them and follow their guidence, it will also give you an edge, cause they know how serious you are about it.

Good Luck!



It's a boy !!!
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Apr 25, 2001
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  1. Optometrist
I agree 100% with everything Cassandra said. :) Since you're in Texas.. I'm assuming you're shooting for UHCO as your first choice school. I'd call Roger Boykins.. he's our admissions couselor. Once you get through the automatic system leave him a message (he's hardly ever at his desk) and he'll get right back to you. You could even schedule an appointment with him to go over your transcripts, OAT scores, and experiences.. he'll tell you straight up where you stand and what your chances are. Don't let the ladies at the front desk deter you.. they're rather um... rude (for lack of a better word) ;) Don't worry about your grades as long as you've shown improvement over the last year or two. I graduated from UT three years ago with a 3.1 .. then I went back to school at night to finish pre-reqs.. got a 4.0 and worked for a year for an optometrist. Those experiences, plus my good letters of req, and OAT scores got me in.
Good luck.. and if you have any UHCO specific questions.. don't hesitate to ask. :)
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