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

  • Students are dual advised to ensure timely completion of both major and prehealth professions concentration coursework as of the date of their matriculation.
  • The Primary Major Faculty Advisor assists with selection of courses for the Primary Major Requirements.
  • The PreHealth Advisor guides the student through the PreMedicine 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.
  • The PreOptometry Concentration coursework will satisfy the course requirements for admission at most American Optometry schools, but not necessarily all schools.
  • Students have the responsibility to check entrance requirements for schools to which they intend to apply.

Pre-Optometry Concentration*

Required Coursework
TOTAL: 56-60 sh
BIOL 180, 181, 201, 362 16 sh
CHEM 111, 112, and 221-322 or 226-330 16 sh
COMP 100 3 sh
LITR selection 3 sh
PHYS 203, 204* (Calculus I & II are pre-/co-requisite for PHYS 203/204) 8 sh
MATH 173, (174 if needed) 4-8 sh
STAT 101 3 sh
PSYC 100 or SOC 101 (SOCL 100) 3 sh

*Electives & Optometry School Selection: The courses listed above satisfy the courses required for admission by the great majority of Optometry schools and will provide a strong foundation for entrance exam preparation. Additional courses are recommended but not required, and depend on specific Optometry program prerequisites. Students should review information regarding the Optometry schools to which they intend to apply for further information regarded recommended electives.

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

*PreOptometry Student Advising: Students in the PreHealth Professional Program should confer with advisors for their Primary Major and specific PreHealth Concentration, beginning at the time of admission to SUNY Oneonta. PreHealth related questions should be directed to Ms. Tami LaPilusa, PreHealth Professions Program Coordinator at SUNY Oneonta. email:

Suggested Course Sequencing:

BIOL 180 (Biology I) 4 sh BIOL 181 (Biology II) 4 sh
CHEM 111 (General Chemistry I) 4 sh CHEM 112 (General Chemistry II) 4 sh
COMP 100 3 sh *MATH 105 3 sh
STAT 101 3 sh    
CHEM 221 or 226 4 sh CHEM 322 or 330 4 sh
MATH 173 (Calculus I) 4 sh MATH 174 (if necessary) 4 sh
BIOL 201 (Cell & Molec. Biology) 4 sh PSYC 100 or SOC 101 (SOCL 100) 3 sh
PHYS 103 or 203 4 sh PHYS 104 or 204 4 sh
BIOL 362 4 sh LITR selection 4 sh

*Please note: The recommended sequence is based on a student taking the OAT and applying to Optometry School the summer BEFORE their final year at SUNY Oneonta, and that the student will graduate in four years. If a student wishes to take a bridge year, or take a different undergraduate path, coursework plans can change accordingly. Individual student plans may vary depending on when the student hopes to enter optometry school and what primary major is chosen. As a result, each student should work with their primary major advisor and their prehealth advisor to establish their own personalized schedule.

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

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).

3+4 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.


last update 23 December 2016 (TLL Webmaster)