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WesternU / College of Optometry / Doctor of Optometry / Application Requirements

Application Requirements

Please note that many of our programs have made exceptions to the application process and admissions requirements due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic response. Additionally, references to in-person campus visits, events, lab work, or classroom interactions should be read in light of current campus health and safety guidelines, which continue to evolve in response to changing conditions. More information can be found on WesternU’s COVID-19 Information page.  Please contact us if you have any questions or need further information.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you navigate through the application process, and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have additional questions.

  • Application Process

    Step 1: Prerequisites and Application Requirement

    The first step in the admissions process is to ensure you are on track to complete both the course prerequisites and application requirements in time to apply for your preferred year of entry.

    International Students: We do not require a separate application or fee, and you should be prepared to meet all of the prerequisite and application requirements as outlined. If you need assistance with immigration (I-20 form, F-1 visa, SEVIS, etc.), our International Student Services (ISS) staff are available to help you.Visit the ISS website to learn more.

    Step 2: Make Yourself a Competitive Candidate

    Admission to the program is competitive so you should strive to not only meet, but exceed the minimum requirements. To get a feel for the competitiveness of the applicant pool we recommend that you view our class statistics page, review the national statistics for Optometry and read what the admissions committee recommends you do to maximize your candidacy.

    Step 3: Preparing and Submitting your Application

    Visit the apply now page for details on how to submit your application and what to expect next.

  • Prerequisite Courses

    Prerequisite Courses for 2022 Entering Class

    Minimum of 8 Semester Units or 12 Quarter Units (Must be full-year course sequence)
    • General Biology or Zoology with lab– may not be an introductory course
    • General (Inorganic) Chemistry with lab – may not be an introductory course
    • General Physics with lab -may not be an introductory course
    Required: 3 semester or 4 quarter units
    • Organic Chemistry with lab– may not be an introductory course
    • General Microbiology or Bacteriology with lab
    • Human Anatomy
      • If Anatomy and Physiology are combined, must be a minimum of 4 semester or 6 quarter units
      • Must be taken out of the Anatomy, Physiology, Biology or Zoology Department
      • Human Anatomy and Physiology are preferred but a Vertebrate A&P course that also includes Human A&P will be accepted.
      • A lab is not required
    • Human Physiology
      • If Anatomy and Physiology are combined, must be a minimum of 4 semester or 6 quarter units.
      • Must be taken out of the Anatomy, Physiology, Biology or Zoology Department
      • Human Anatomy and Physiology are preferred but a Vertebrate A&P course that also includes Human A&P will be accepted.
      • A lab is not required
    • Biochemistry
    • Statistics
    • Calculus
    • Psychology – may be an introductory, general or human development course
    Required: 6 semester or 8 quarter units
    • English
      • May be an English Composition, English Literature, Writing or Critical Thinking course
      • May not be an English as a Second Language (ESL) course
      • May not be a Speech or Communication course
    All ​Prerequisites:
    • Must be completed at a regionally accredited U.S. or Canadian institution (exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis) or its equivalent abroad
    • Must be completed with a grade of “C” or better (a grade of “C-” or lower is not acceptable)
    • One course cannot be used to satisfy more than one prerequisite
    • Must be completed by June 30, 2022
    • Online labs are NOT accepted – Due to COVID-19, online prerequisite labs completed in the spring 2020 through fall 2021 semesters will be accepted.
    • English and Calculus may be taken on an advanced-placement basis. All other AP courses will be considered on a case-by-case basis
    • Pass/No Pass will not satisfy the prerequisite courses – Due to COVID-19, online prerequisite labs completed in the spring 2020 through summer 2021 semesters will be accepted.
    • All coursework taken from non-US institutions (excluding Canada) must be submitted to an approved service for evaluation