What Makes It So Difficult To Get Into Optometry School?

Getting high OAT scores, getting interviews and getting accepted into Optometry School is no easy goal. Of course, you already know that!

In order to be considered for a Doctor of Optometry program at most Optometry schools you must have:

  • at least 3 to 4 years of Undergraduate studies for you to be eligible to apply to a Doctor of Optometry Program.
  • at least a year of Biology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, General Physics, Microbiology, English, Mathematics, and other Social Science and Humanities courses.
  • a competitive academic GPA.
  • high scores on the Optometry Admission Test (OAT).
  • extra curricular and community service activities.
  • potential to be a professional Optometrist. (This is determined through a personal interview at Optometry Schools. The admissions committee looks for qualities such as leadership qualities, dedication, persistence, and empathy.)

The following is a list of Average GPA, AA Averages and TS Averages on the OAT from Fall 2011 Entering Class of Optometry Schools in the United States:

Please click on “Full Screen View” to view the spreadsheet in full size. 

Source: Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

The numbers in the chart above should give you a very good idea about what you’re up against in terms of the average competition. Keep in mind that these are only average GPA and average OAT scores of the students accepted in Fall 2011 Doctor of Optometry.

In 2011 cycle, when the numbers were reported, there were a total of 12,835 applications processed at optometry schools.

There are a total of 19 Optometry schools in the United States, and the number of applications to Doctor of Optometry programs is increasing every cycle. For the Fall 2012 cycle, the number of applications will most likely be above 13,000. So in order to guarantee admission at the school of your choice, the higher your undergraduate GPA and OAT scores, the more likelihood of you receiving interviews from Optometry schools. On top of everything, you also have to make sure you are participating in extracurricular activities, job shadow Optometrists and have a stellar Optometry School Application. It’s competitive… for good reasons, so work hard and we wish you the best!