Pre-Optometry

Introduction

Students interested in a career in Optometry may pursue any major along with completing specific prerequisites. Optometry schools typically require a minimum of 90 credit hours be completed at the undergraduate level and many prefer the bachelor degree be completed prior to enrolling. Students must gain a thorough understanding of the profession through a range of shadowing experiences and earn a competitive score on the Optometry Admission Test (OAT). Students should work with the Pre-Health Advisor beginning in the first college year to select appropriate coursework based on their schools of interest and plan appropriate co-curricular experiences. Students applying to optometry schools complete an in-house application process to receive a letter of evaluation from the Health Science Advisory and Recommendation Committee.  In addition to the information in this section, please check the general information at the pre-medical and pre-health section of the catalog.

Joint and Early Assurance Programs

Canisius College maintains a relationship with SUNY College of Optometry which allows students to gain early acceptance into optometry school. Highly qualified students may apply while in high school and be admitted into this 3+4 program upon enrolling at Canisius as first-year students. Students interested in this program should contact the Program Director for details. Current students may apply during during the first year or sophomore year. Students wishing to apply while in high school should contact the Program Director. Students in this program complete the Core Curriculum or the All College Honors Program and three years of the Chemistry Health Track major or a Biology major.

Recommended Pre-Optometry Courses

Academic admission requirements vary by optometry school, but usually include the following courses:

English

One year of English composition or the Honors Program equivalent:

Select one of the following:
Option 1:
ENG 111Academic Writing3
ENG 112Writing about Literature3
Option 2:
HON 101Honors English3
and an Honors Literature course3

Biology

At least one year of general biology with laboratory. Most schools also require a semester each of anatomy, physiology and microbiology:

One Year of General Biology
BIO 111
111L
Introductory Biology I
and Introductory Biology Laboratory I
4
BIO 112
112L
Introductory Biology II
and Introductory Biology Laboratory II
4
Physiology
BIO 114
114L
Human Biology: Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology
and Human Biology: Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory
4
BIO 115
115L
Musculoskeletal Anatomy and Physiology
and Musculoskeletal Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory
4
or
BIO 324
324L
Human Anatomy
and Human Anatomy Lab
4
BIO 340
340L
Physiology
and Physiology Laboratory
4
Microbiology
BIO 307
307L
Microbiology
and Microbiology Laboratory
4

Chemistry

One year of general chemistry and one year of organic chemistry with laboratories:

CHM 111
111L
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Laboratory 1
4
CHM 112
112L
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Laboratory
4
CHM 227
227L
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Laboratory
4
CHM 228
228L
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry II Laboratory
4
1

Students may take CHM 109, CHM 110, and CHM 111L to fulfill this requirement.

Biochemistry

One semester of biochemistry. A students major may dictate the option they should select:

Select one of the following:
Option 1:
BIO 211Biochemistry and Cell Biology I3
BIO 212Biochemistry and Cell Biology II3
Option 2:
BCH 301Introduction to Biochemistry3
BCH 302Cellular Biochemistry3
Students make take both BIO211/BIO212 or one or both courses of BCH301/BCH 302

Physics

One year of introductory physics with laboratory. A student's major may dictate the option they should select:

Select one of the following:
Option 1:
PHY 201
201L
College Physics I
and College Physics I Laboratory
4
PHY 202
202L
College Physics II
and College Physics II Laboratory
4
Option 2:
PHY 223
223L
General Physics for Physical Science Majors I
and General Physics for Physical Science Majors I Laboratory
4
PHY 224
224L
General Physics for Physical Science Majors II
and General Physics for Physical Science Majors I Laboratory
4

Mathematics

One semester of statistics and one semester of calculus. Chemistry majors must take MAT 141. Some optometry schools suggest one year of calculus (MAT 111-MAT 112):

Calculus
MAT 111Calculus I 14
Statistics
PSY 201Basic Statistics for Behavioral Sciences3 or 4
or MAT 141 Inferential Statistics and Computers for Science
1

MAT 109 and MAT 110 may be substituted for MAT 111

Psychology

One semester of psychology (PSY 101 or PSY 102 or PSY 203):

PSY 101Introduction to Psychology I 13
or PSY 102 Introduction to Psychology II
or PSY 203 Lifespan Developmental Psychology
1

Or an upper-level psychology course may be substituted

Additional Pre-Optometry Courses

Some schools recommend additional coursework. Two courses from sociology and/or the humanities are recommened. Sociology (SOC 110) is recommended.

Elective Courses

HRP 101 allows students to explore different health professions.

HRP 111 introduces students to medical terminology.

HRP 201 and HRP 202 allow students to explore areas of medicine in more depth.

HRP 498 is an internship in medical informatics. A medical scribe internship is also available.

HRP 498A is a medical (and vision) mission trip.