All students in the PreOptometry Program must declare a primary major.

  • The Primary Major Faculty Advisor assists with selection of courses for the Primary Major Requirements.
  • The PreHealth Advisor guides the student through the PreOptometry Concentration.
  • Students must consult SUNY Oneonta's current undergraduate catalog descriptions of courses regarding course prerequisites and time of year when offered in order to plan properly in advance.
  • Students are dual advised to ensure timely completion of both major and prehealth professions concentration coursework as of the date of their matriculation.

Pre-Optometry Concentration (suggested year)

First Year Second Year Third Year
BIOL 180-181
CHEM 111-112
MATH 173
COMP 100
BIOL 201
*CHEM 221-322 or CHEM 226-330
STAT 101
PSYC 100 or SOC 101 (SOCL 100)
PHYS 103-104 (algebra-based)
or 203-204 (calculus-based)
BIOL 362
a literature course
  • Completion of the courses listed above will satisfy the admission requirements at the three optometry schools in the northeastern states: SUNY-Optometry, Pennsylvania College of Optometry, and New England College of Optometry.
  • Many optometry schools including New England require only a one semester organic chemistry course with laboratory (CHEM 226) and a one semester biochemistry course with a laboratory (CHEM 330).
  • These courses will also satisfy the course admission requirements at the majority, but not all of the remaining optometry schools.

    View Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) General and School-Specific Prerequisites

Entrance Exams & Applying to Optometry School

  • Preparation for the OAT should begin once students choose the Optometrist path.
  • OAT exams are ongoing throughout the year (FAQs)
  • Application is made via the centralized application OptomCAS.
  • Many Optometry Schools minimally require of 2 letters of recommendation:
    • Optometrist
    • Professor (science)
    • none require a composite/committee letter, though schools will accept a committee letter in addition to the Optometrist & Professor recommendations (see below for details re: the committee letter).

4+3 in Optometry at The SUNY College of Optometry

SUNY Oneonta & SUNY Optometry have developed an articulated 3 + 4 agreement in Doctor of Optometry for qualified students applying for admission to SUNY College of Optometry in NY, NY. The 3 + 4 program requires three years & a bachelors degree at SUNY Oneonta followed by four years of graduate study at SUNY Optometry. Admission to SUNY Optometry's program is not guaranteed and is highly competitive.

The 3+4 program with SUNY Optometry and the Pennsylvania College of Optometry will accept a combination of one semester of organic chemistry (CHEM 226) and a semester of biochemistry (CHEM 330) as an alternative to the full year of organic chemistry.

Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC)

Students should plan to request a committee interview in the spring semester prior to application to optometry school or the spring semester prior to graduation from SUNY Oneonta. Students desiring a Committee Recommendation Letter for their Optometry School applications should be aware of the following guidelines:

  • Notification of intent must be submitted to the HPAC Chair by January 30, 2017
  • Student must be of junior or senior standing
  • Student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • To be eligible for an interview, the following documents must be received
    via email by the HPAC Chair by 5:00pm on March 30, 2017
    1) Personal Essay
    2) CV (resume)
    3) HPAC evaluation form from 3-5 references


  1. Students can apply to any Optometry program in which they meet the minimum requirements. The coursework listed above is designed to satisfy SUNY Oneonta's PreOptometry concentrations and requirements for admission at most Optometry graduate schools, but not necessarily all schools. Students have the responsibility to check entrance requirements for schools in which they intend to apply.

  2. It is essential that students in the PreHealth Professional program confer regularly with advisors for these concentrations, beginning at the time of admission to SUNY Oneonta, with questions directed to Ms. Tami LaPilusa, Coordinator of the PreHealth Professions Program SUNY Oneonta.

last update 27 June 2016 (TLL Webmaster)