Being an eye specialist is a great career path that can lead to a bright future as an adult. However, what are the best optometry schools to join?
Learning optometry can be interesting and fun. As an optometrist, you will have the chance to cure patients with eye defects and disabilities and they will be able to get an effective treatment and see clearly again.
In this article, we will go through the best optometry schools to join, explain everything to know about optometry and these particular schools, and give you great reasons to join an optometry school.
What is Optometry?
Optometry is a branch of medical care that includes examining the eyes and visual frameworks for deformities or anomalies.
Essentially, an optometrist is any health care worker involved with eye care, from post-graduate training to medical practitioners with a doctoral degree.
Optometrists are trained to examine the eye and its problems and provide appropriate treatment.
The most common conditions optometrists deal with are ocular disease, neuro-optometry, and eye therapy.
Generally speaking, an optometry degree lasts 4 years and, in order to become an eye doctor, students need to study between 7 and 8 years depending on the course.
Are Optometry Schools Competitive?
A common question most students have before joining a school is to know whether optometry schools are competitive or not.
Also, it is important to consider that students need to study a total of 4 years at an optometry school.
But are optometry schools worth it? Absolutely. According to a report by USA Today, the unemployment rate for optometrists in 2019 was 01%. This doesn’t only mean that all optometrists have a job but also that the demand is continuously growing.
For this reason, choosing optometry as a career path is a great choice that we can only recommend.
Simply put, optometry schools can be very competitive and sometimes require lots of semester hours as well as a higher-than-average GPA. That being said, let’s explore this point a little more here below.
What GPA Do You Need To Get Into Optometry School?
Optometry schools aren’t the most simple kind of schools that students can attend for the complicated level, the challenging acceptance rates, and the complex application process.
Optometry schools certainly consider the GPA and the prerequisite science GPA of their applicants. For this reason, it is important for students to get and maintain a competitive GPA to stand out at university.
Most optometry schools require a GPA of at least 3.0, however, the average cumulative GPA for accepted students is 3.5.
What Is The Easiest Optometry School?
As mentioned previously, optometry schools aren’t the most simple to get into, and studying there requires a lot of hard work put into it. For this reason, getting into an easier yet professional and high-quality optometry is often preferred by students, and this school is the International American University in Puerto Rico, USA.
University of Missouri at St. Louis
Average GPA: 3.04
- A minimum of 90 semester hours or 135 quarter hours is required
- Applicants with a bachelor’s degree will have more chances to get matriculated
The University of Missouri at St. Louis Optometry offers a large number of degree programs. If you are thinking to join an easier-than-average optometric school, this would be a good option.
Note: While it’s not among the best optometry schools to join, their lower requirements allow all applicants to have a chance to get into, and that is certainly something to consider.
Best Optometry Schools To Join
Now that we’ve been through the easiest school to join, let’s discover the best optometry schools to join.
1. University of Alabama At Birmingham School of Optometry
- All applicants are required to have a Bachelor’s degree
- Optometry Admissions Test is required in order to apply
- Three individual recommendation letter from 2 faculty members
- All prerequisite courses must be completed before matriculation. Among them, 1 year of general biology, 1 course of microbiology, 1 course of biochemistry, 1 year of English, 1 course of general psychology, 1 year of social science, and more.
The University of Alabama is one of the best optometry schools that will give you the education you need for a promising career in optometry.
This university offers a high-quality education in optometry that will give you the ability to study everything about the human eye, its surgery, the anomalies, and much more, as they’re very well equipped.
2. University of Houston College of Optometry
- A GPA of 3.5 is required to be competitive
- 3 recommendation letters
- 1 letter from a licensed optometrist following a shadowing is required
The College of Optometry at the University of Houston enrolls students who want to be committed to an optometric degree program that offers a solid foundation in multiple subjects.
The University of Houston College of Optometry’s undergraduate degree program consists of thirteen courses and requires that students declare their major by the end of their sophomore year.
3. Michigan College of Optometry
- Complete all prerequisite courses – A grade of C or higher is required
- 3 recommendation letters
- A completed Optometry Admission Test (OAT)
The Michigan College of Optometry offers students a variety of Doctorate degrees including a Doctorate in Optometry, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Eye Surgery.
Earning your degree at the Michigan College of optometry will give you the ability to become a doctor which means that you will be qualified to treat, diagnose, and consult with individuals who need vision correction.
The total cost to attend the Michigan College of Optometry is $34,744 for each 10-semester completed year.
4. Oklahoma College of Optometry
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited high school
- All applicants need a minimum GPA of 2.70 and needed to be in the upper 50% of their graduating class
- Prerequisite courses at high school including English, laboratory science, math, and history.
The Oklahoma College of Optometry is one of the best schools to become a full time practicing optometrist.
The Oklahoma College of Optometry offers many types of degree programs to its students including Bachelors’s degrees, master’s, and doctoral degrees. In addition to their associate degree courses, they also have several certificate programs as well.
The Oklahoma College of Optometry’s faculty is composed of professionals in the fields of optometry and ophthalmology with specific clinical experience. Upon enrollment into the Oklahoma College of Optometry, you will immediately become an undergraduate member.
Studying at the Oklahoma College of Optometry will cost you $107,752.8 if you are a resident and $194,574.8 if you’re not a resident.
5. Indiana University School of Optometry
- A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.6
- To get into Indiana School of Optometry, you will need at least 90 credit hours from the required courses.
- All applicants must have completed all the required courses within the last 10 years.
The Indiana University School of Optometry offers a four-year full-time degree program for students seeking a promising future profession in the eye care field as an optometrist.
Students who will be pursuing this degree will partake in courses in subjects like optics, eye disorders, human kinetics, corneal topography, refractive analysis, medical physiology, visual psychology, and more.
Furthermore, Indiana University’s school of optometry will cost you $242,519 for all 4 years as a resident. However, as a non-resident, you’ll be paying $292,690.
6. Southern College Of Optometry
- 2 recommendation letters
- A completed Optometry Admission Test (OAT)
- A minimum of 90 completed semester hours or 135 quarter hours
Southern College of Optometry is an accredited private school of optometry located in Memphis, Tennessee. It was founded in 1970 and has been offering professional education in vision care and eye health for more than forty years.
The Southern College of Optometry has one of the largest facilities of its kind in the United States. The school’s ambulatory surgical center has been certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties and is the only one in the state of Tennessee that is accredited with that prestigious organization.
Additionally, and talking about the tuition fee, the Southern College of Optometry will cost you $38,292 for your first year as non-regional tuition and from $19,092 to $26,782 for regional ones depending on the State.
Is Optometry School Easier Than Medical School?
In optometry school, you will take a considerable lot of similar classes as in medical schools. For instance, you will spend a lot of time studying Biochemistry, anatomy, and psychology.
The basics for optometry schools and medical schools are similar and both of them require a solid chemistry and math foundation.
However, in optometry school, you will only study and learn about the human eye. On the other hand, in medical school, you will learn about the entire body, which, needless to say, makes a big difference.
That being said, is optometry school easier than medical school? Simply put, in general, yes it is. But, a lot of hard work needs to be invested in both medical and optometry schools and this is certainly a point to consider.
14 Easiest Medical Schools to Get Into
Now that you know more about optometry schools and what the best to join are, you should check that you have what they’re looking for, that you have the requirements they need and make sure to prepare the application well.
Of course, becoming an optometrist isn’t easy. However, studying in one of these best schools will definitely make things easier and will look better on your resume.
To conclude, if you want to become an eye care specialist and don’t know where to start, these are the best optometry schools to join