PreOptometry Professional Program students must declare a primary major

Students are dual advised to ensure timely completion of both primary major and prehealth professions concentration coursework as of the date of their matriculation at SUNY Oneonta and should confer with advisors for their Primary Major and specific PreHealth Concentration, beginning at the time of admission to SUNY Oneonta.

  • The Primary Major Faculty Advisor assists with selection of courses for the Primary Major Requirements
    • Students can review their individual degree progress via DegreeWorks.
  • The PreHealth Advisor guides the student through the PreOptometry Concentration, listed below.
    • Students are encouraged to declare their intended PreHealth Profession for effective prehealth advisement.

Pre-Optometry Concentration

The PreOptometry Concentration coursework will provide a strong foundation for OAT preparation and satisfies the course requirements for admission at most optometry schools.

  • Additional elective courses are recommended but not required.
  • Students should review information regarding the schools to which they intend to apply for further information regarding recommended electives.

Students must consult the SUNY Oneonta's current undergraduate catalog for descriptions of courses, course prerequisites, and time of year when courses are offered in order to plan properly in advance.

Students have the responsibility to check entrance requirements for schools to which they intend to apply.

Required Coursework
TOTAL: 56-60 sh
BIOL 180, 181, 201, 362 16 sh
CHEM 111-112, 221-322 or 226-330 16 sh
COMP 100 3 sh
LITR selection 3 sh
PHYS 103-104 or 203-204 (Calc I & II are co-/pre-requisites for PHYS 203-304) 8 sh
MATH 223 (173) [224 (174)as advised] 4-8 sh
STAT 101 3 sh
PSYC 100 or SOC 101 (SOCL 100) 3 sh

Suggested Course Sequencing

The recommended course sequence is based on a student taking the GRE (if necessary) and applying to Physician Assistant 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 "growth 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 physical therapy school and what primary major is chosen, therefore each student should work with their primary major advisor and their prehealth advisor to establish their own personalized schedule.

NOTE: Many pre-professional students are choosing to take at least one year off after they graduate. Having a “Growth Year” between undergraduate studies and beginning professional school is often beneficial for applicants and does not hurt your chances of admission as long as you continue to strengthen your application. It allows time to gain additional life experiences, continue volunteering, or pursue non-academic interests.

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 (as advised) or other course 3 sh
STAT 101 3 sh upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective or Gen Ed 1-4 sh


CHEM 221 or 226 4 sh CHEM 322 or 330 4 sh
MATH 223 (173) (Calculus I) 4 sh MATH 224 (174) (if necessary) 4 sh
BIOL 201 (Cell & Molec. Biology) 4 sh PSYC 100 or SOC 101 (SOCL 100) 3 sh
upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective or Gen Ed 1-4 sh upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective or Gen Ed 1-4 sh


PHYS 103 or 203 4 sh PHYS 104 or 204 4 sh
BIOL 362 4 sh LITR selection 4 sh
upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective 6-8 sh upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective 6-8 sh


YEAR 4 * additional experiences to enhance undergraduate experience*
upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective 12-16 sh upper division courses or research or immersion experience or elective 12-16 sh


Applying to Optometry School

Application to Optometry School is made via the centralized application OptomCAS

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


Entrance Exams

Preparation for the OAT should begin once students choose the Optometry career path.

OAT exams are ongoing throughout the year (FAQs)


Requirements for Optometry School

Many Optometry Schools require 2 letters of recommendation

  • Optometrist
  • Professor (science)

Most optometry schools will accept a committee letter in addition to the Optometrist & Professor recommendations; SUNY College of Optometry requires a composite letter; therefore all PreOptometry Students requesting a HPAC interview will be expected to request full letters from their evaluators. (see below for details re: the committee letter).

Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC)

Students desiring a Committee Recommendation Letter for their Optometry School applications should plan to request a committee interview in the spring semester prior to application to medical school or the spring semester prior to graduation from SUNY Oneonta.

The following requirements have been established to be eligible for HPAC internviews & letters:

  • Notification of intent must be submitted to the HPAC Chair by January 30, 2018, to inlcude:
    • names of individuals completing HPAC evaluation form (3-5 persons)
    • class standing (Student must be of junior or senior standing)
    • GPA (Student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0)
  • The following documents must be received via email by the HPAC Chair no later than 5:00pm on March 30, 2018
    1. Personal Essay
    2. CV (resume)
    3. Evaluation form
    4. NEW for 2018: FULL recommendatoin letters, on Official Letterhead, from 3-5 references must be submitted to the HPAC Chair. Letters MUST include each of the following:
      a) Optometrist
      b) Science Faculty
      c) employer or other professional reference

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.

Admission to SUNY Optometry's 3+4 program is not guaranteed and is highly competitive.

The 3 + 4 program requires three years & a bachelors degree at SUNY Oneonta followed by four years of graduate study at SUNY Optometry. Students should review prerequisite coursework for completion prior to applying to SUNY Optometry.


PreHealth related questions should be directed to Ms. Tami LaPilusa, PreHealth Professions Program Coordinator.


last update4 October 2017 (TLL Webmaster)