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Care Harbor LA 2017 Care Harbor LA 2017 College of Optometry third-year student Evan Goldman examines the eyes of patient Paula Robinson of Los Angeles - Western University of Health Sciences is playing a key role in delivering services to Care Harbor patients during the event at The REEF Exposition Hall in Los Angeles

Advanced Standing

The Doctor of Optometry International Advanced-Standing pathway allows candidates who meet one of the below criteria to pursue an OD degree:

  • Applicant is currently enrolled, or has previously attended, an optometry program other than in the United States or Canada.
  • Applicant earned a terminal medical degree (such as a Bachelor’s in Medicine or Doctor of Medicine), or an optometry degree from outside the United States or Canada.

2025 Application

Application Opens: March 1, 2024
Application Closes: November 1, 2024 (11:59 PM EST)

Application Process

  • All application materials must be received on or before the deadline.
  • After submitting your application online, you will follow-up with the additional documentation outlined in the application checklist.
  • Application materials received after the deadline are considered late and may not be processed.
  • A non-refundable application fee of $200 must be paid online at the time you submit your application.
  • If the Admissions Committee determines you are eligible to interview, we will contact you to schedule an appointment.
  • We are happy to answer your questions as you navigate through the application process, so please do not hesitate to contact us if we can help.
  • Transcripts and Evaluations
    • A completed online application must be submitted on or before the application deadline.
    • A non-refundable application fee of $200 must be paid online at the time you submit your application.

    Transcripts and Evaluations

    • Official transcripts for all coursework completed outside the United States must be submitted to one of the approved services listed below.

    World Education Services (WES)
    P.O. Box 5087, Bowling Green Station
    New York, NY 10274-5087
    (212) 966-6311

    Josef Silny & Associates (JSA)
    7101 SW 102 Avenue
    Miami, FL 33173
    (305) 273-1616

    • All foreign transcripts must be evaluated course-by-course with letter grades, pass/fail, or credit/no credit, and must specify which courses are considered undergraduate, graduate and professional.
    • The evaluation service should send/release the official evaluation directly to WesternU.
    • Official transcripts for any courses completed at U.S. institutions must be submitted directly to WesternU.
  • English Language Proficiency

    All non-native English speakers must be proficient in English speaking and reading comprehension as verified by one of the following:

    • Official TOEFL internet-based test score report ETS TOEFL
      • A minimum score of 79 for the Internet-Based test must be submitted at the time of application.
      • Date of score report must be within two years of application.
      • Official score report should be sent/released directly to WesternU.
    • Official English3 (E3PT) score results.
      • An overall minimum score of 75 must be achieved.
      • Date of score report must be within two years of application.
      • Official score report should be sent/released directly to WesternU.
    • Waiver Requests
      • Waivers will be considered on a case-by-case basis for those who feel they are proficient in English speaking and reading comprehension.
      • If you wish to request a waiver, please email Nicole Gutzke a detailed explanation as to why you feel the TOEFL/E3PT test should be waived. Your request will then be forwarded to the Admissions Committee for consideration.

    NOTE: If, at the time of the interview, there are concerns about an applicant’s English proficiency, they may be asked to take, or re-take, the TOEFL or E3PT exam in order to complete the admissions process.

  • Optometry Admissions Test (OAT)-if applicable
    • If you have taken the OAT, please release your scores to Western University of Health Sciences.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    • We require three letters of recommendation. It is suggested that one letter be from an optometrist/clinical supervisor, and one from a faculty member, pre-health advisor, or employee who is familiar with the applicant’s work.
    • The request for a letter of recommendation will be sent electronically to your recommenders with the information you provide in your application.
  • Curriculum Vitae
    • A current curriculum vitae with details of your current and/or past professional experiences must be submitted with your application.
  • National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) Score Reports (if applicable)
    • As part of the placement decision, applicants may be requested to take and pass Parts I, II, or III of the NBEO examination testing sequence. Applicants are responsible for any score report fees through
    • All applicants who wish to be considered for placement into the 4th year curriculum will need to have passed all three parts of the NBEO examination before a final decision is made.
  • Interviews
    • An interview is required for admissions consideration. Competitive applicants will be invited for a virtual interview on Friday, November 15th, 2024.
    • Matriculating students accepted into the advanced standing program are expected to arrive 3 weeks prior to the start of the regular curriculum for AS orientation.
  • Proof of Funding
    • International students are required to provide proof of funding for one academic year before an I-20 will be issued.
  • Proof of Legal US Residency – If Required
    • International applicants, or any other applicants who are not U.S. citizens and who are living in the U.S., must provide proof of legal U.S. residency prior to matriculation.