Master's Degree in Economics, want to shift gears and go to Optometry school

Oct 14, 2014
Hi all!

I need some advice please.

Here's my particular situation. I recently moved to the USA in March 2014 and got married to my American fiance of years and shortly after that, I have applied for my Green Card. I am still waiting for that but in the meantime I got my Work Permit and started working as an Accounts Payable Representative for a company here, in Maryland.

I am European (Romanian) and have completed my graduate education at a university in my home country, graduated with a Master's degree in Economics and International Affairs in 2012. My BA was also in Economics and International Business, also from a Romanian university. I have all my transcripts and degrees in both Romanian as well as English. The university that I attended released them in both languages. I have a perfect 4.00 GPA.

I now regret my choice for undegraduate and graduate school because I realised a while ago that it's not something I'm particularly passionate about or interested in. Science and anything related to the medical field, on the other hand, has been sparkling a lot of interest in me for the past 3 years or so to the point that I started SERIOUSLY regretting not having gone to Medical School to begin with. But now it's too late for that and so I figured that I should probably try Optometry. From my research, it seems like something I'd really enjoy doing, I think it might be the perfect job that suits my personality and interests best.

I am, however, HIGHLY concerned about my chances of getting in, given my circumstances. Like, for example, in university I have not taken any of the pre-requisite classes needed for Optometry School. Except for math and statistics but I dont know if Optometry Schools here would even recongnize my graduate diploma from abroad. Do I need to go to undergrad school all over again or would it suffice to just take those pre requisite classes at a community college in Maryland, where I currently live?

The last time I took any Chemistry, Bio or Physics classes was in High School and eventhough the classes taken were at a VERY advanced level compared to the US, I hardly remember anything of what I've learned, except for Physics which I mastered relatively well.

That being said, what do you guys think, what advice/suggestions would you give me? The thing that concerns me the most to be honest, is the astronomical, INSANE debt that I would create for myself by attending Optometry School.. Coming from Europe where higher education is VERY affordable (I didnt pay a dime for undergrad and grad school because I got great grades but even if I had had to pay for it, it would have been NOTHING compared to universities here), as it should be, in all honesty, the USA student/university loan problem is a BIG concern...

Also, I'm 26 at this moment, going on 27 this December.. If I were to take those pre requisite classes, it would take me what, 1-2 years, maybe more (I'd have to go part time because I'd also have a full time job) to finish so I'd be around 30 by the time I'd go to Optometry school.

Any advice, experiences, thoughts would be highly appreciated.

Thank you and best regards to you all,