Requirements & Involvement for Optometry

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Pre-requisite course requirements vary widely by individual school. You should determine specific requirements for programs of choice using:

We encourage you to begin researching individual program requirements as early as possible. If you are a resident of a particular state, you should start with those public institutions.

The summary below is a list of the most common pre-optometry requirements.

Course Amount Required for Schools
Introductory Biology 2 lectures, 2 labs Yes
General Chemistry 2 lectures, 2 labs Yes
Organic Chemistry I 1 lecture, 1 lab Yes
General Physics 2 lectures, 2 labs Yes
Calculus 1 course Yes
English / Writing Composition 2 courses Yes
Organic Chemistry II 1 lecture, 1 lab Some
Anatomy and Physiology 1 - 2 courses Some
Biochemistry 1 course Some
Microbiology 1 course Most
Statistics 1 course Most
Psychology 1 course Most

Dependent upon your academic home at UVA (College or School), specific course options to fulfill these requirements vary.

Self Assessment

AP Credit

Programs vary on whether they accept Advanced Placement (AP) credit as completion of a prerequisite requirement.

  • You should complete lab courses for science coursework if UVA did not award lab credit for your AP science coursework.
  • Many programs that accept AP credit require you to supplement that credit by completing an equal number of hours in the same discipline at the university level.
  • Some students choose to retake science coursework they received AP credit for to prepare them for upper level coursework, as well as for entrance exams.

Dual Enrollment

Provided you earn a C or better in your dual enrollment coursework, you can receive credit for the purpose of health professional program admission requirements. We encourage you to complete upper level coursework in the science disciplines to supplement your dual enrollment credit.

Extracurricular Activities

Student Organizations

Getting involved in a student organization is a great way to network with peers who have similar interests, access resources such as programs, speakers, and shadowing opportunities, as well as gain leadership and teamwork skills. Whether you select an organization directly related to optometry or not, we encourage you to review these organizations and participate.

Find additional health-related UVA student organizations on the clinical opportunities page.

*Although this organization has members who are University of Virginia students and may have University employees associated or engaged in its activities and affairs, this organization is not a part of or an agency of the University. It is a separate and independent organization, which is responsible for and manage its own activities and affairs. The University does not direct, supervise, or control this organization and is not responsible for the organization's contracts, acts, or omissions.

Opportunities for Engagement

Engagement within the field of optometry will not only help you continue to explore and confirm your interest in the profession, but also demonstrate a commitment to serving others. We encourage you to review the sampling of opportunities below, as well as self-initiate opportunities of your own!

Find additional health-related opportunities for engagement on the clinical opportunities page.

More to Explore

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Learn more about Pre-Law events, courses, and opportunities available!