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Residency GPA


Full Member
2+ Year Member
Oct 1, 2018
  1. Optometry Student
I know that GPA doesn't matter in optometry school, but some even say that technically it won't for residency either. Is that true? What GPA should I aim for to be competitive? Also, do classes get relatively easier in the last 2 years, and if so, does GPA usually go up then? What are other factors that go into getting into a residency program? I have very little knowledge of this area, but I want to look into it.

Thanks in advance!


Full Member
2+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2016
  1. Optometrist
I think GPA is school-dependent. I would aim for 3.5 and up for residency GPA though, and remember that your board scores are also taken into consideration.
I would focus on getting good letters of recommendation and really researching the programs you're interested in.
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Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 24, 2005
Unless you are going into academia, the lecture circuit, journal publishing, research or just wanna have that piece of paper on your wall I find that a residency has limited value.

The reason why I feel this way is that you typically max out on any particular subject after 6 months and then the incremental learning after that is lifelong. Unless you are going to enter a specialty that required a long amount of time to reach 80% mastery.

I would rather work for free with a well known mentor for 4-6 months, quit and then move on and continue learning on your own for the rest of your career.

The thing that students lack the most is basic business logic and the ability to adapt to challenging situations that are outside of their comfort zone.
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Full Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 14, 2015
  1. Optometrist
I am a current resident in ocular disease at a VA - feel free to message / DM ; to an extent yes and no - it depends on what residency you want, how competitive it is, where the location is etc. I can say though having over a 3.2 would make you more competitive at a VA or specialty CL program, but I have friends with 3.0s who got into programs. I've found in the 6 months I have been in residency that is has opened a lot more doors than my classmates (2020) - and the ability to slightly negotiate more than a starting first year OD - however, I would caution to not do a residency if you aren't interested in teaching, research, VA/IHS / university related job, etc. - it's a tough year at low pay and if you are wanting to solely focus on private practice it might not be worth while to one!
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