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Doctor of Optometry · OD

Residential | Full-Time | 11 Semesters


Yes, we do have a rolling admissions cycle. This means the program reviews applications, interviews, and accepts applicants during the full course of the admissions cycle each year. Essentially, the earlier your application is submitted, the earlier it will be reviewed and possibly accepted. It’s important to remember that the most well-rounded, complete application is always preferred over a rushed application.

You can apply to the Doctor of Optometry Program at Rocky Mountain University through OptomCAS at .  The 2024 Cycle begins June 29, 2023.  Applying early gives you the best chance of being accepted into the program.

You’ll start gaining clinical experience in your first semester in our program and gradually build until you are a full-time clinician. In year three, around 25% of your learning will occur in clinical settings; and your fourth year will be fully devoted to clinical practice. RMU optometry students will experience a higher volume of diverse patient encounters in both our onsite clinic and affiliated clinics both within our community and around the country.

As a private institution, our program accepts students without regard to state residency status.  Our diverse student body reflects our equal consideration of a nationwide pool of candidates. Our tuition is the same for both in-state and out-of-state students.

By completing this program, you will earn a Doctor of Optometry degree that is recognized by the Department of Education and the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education. This program qualifies you to take the National Board certification examination for the optometry profession. Once you’ve taken and passed your national board exam, you’ll be in a position to begin your career as a licensed optometrist.

Yes, most of our faculty continue to practice on a weekly basis. This keeps their perspective and practice fresh, as they are always fine-tuning their own skills and gaining knowledge to increase their clinical expertise.

We would like our students to be able to learn the material at a comfortable pace that is conducive to maximum learning.. While other programs may have as many as 25-credits per semester, our year-long program is paced so you’ll complete a very reasonable 16-17 credit hours each semester.

We have a nationwide network of clinical affiliates along with our in-house clinic and outside providers within our community. We do have many local partnerships, but we want our students to get the best experience nationwide, so our nationwide network of clinical sites is always expanding.

This is a great question, and we understand your interest in this process. Although rotations will ultimately be assigned by the clinical education team, student input is certainly considered. You can request clinical sites based on desired geographical location, area of interest, or specific clinical setting, and we’ll do our best to consider your preferences as we determine clinical placements. You may also have the opportunity of starting your own clinical rotation site if it can match our educational requirements.

We run one cohort per year of roughly 60 students. Students come on campus to start their program in early May, at the beginning of our Summer semester.

Letter of recommendations, test scores, and some prerequisites can be pending or in progress when you submit your application.

If you have sent out your Letter of Recommendation requests, you can submit your application. For the standardized test scores, use our school code so your scores are submitted directly to the university. Test scores and letters of recommendation get attached to your application once they are received. The program will allow up to 12 credits pending or in-progress when the application is submitted.  The more complete your application is at the time of submission, the better your chances of being accepted.

Yes, as long as they satisfy our specific prerequisite requirements, you can take these courses at any regionally accredited institution. Both in-person and online courses are acceptable. Some prerequisites may require labs which may not be available online. For any questions regarding prerequisite courses, please fill out the Prereq Form.

You will have access to cadavers as part of lab learning experiences during the Medical Anatomy Course. We maintain a state-of-the-art on-campus cadaver laboratory curated by a full-time anatomist to ensure that our students receive the most effective training. We also offer an interactive 3-D and virtual anatomy training lab for all of our students. Any student may request an exemption from the cadaver lab for religious or personal reasons.

We understand that some of our students are interested in working while they move through the program. It’s important to understand that this is a rigorous program that will require your full-time attention. Therefore, we do not recommend full-time employment and suggest that, if you do get a job, it involves the optometry field and takes very little of your valuable time. Students who desire to work must request a waiver from the College of Optometry. Students may have opportunities for paid employment at the university in labs or as tutors.

The program is eleven semesters long and stretches over a 4-year span. It is a year-round program with breaks of two to two-and-a-half weeks in between each semester. This year-round model allows students to graduate slightly faster than other optometry schools without getting overworked.

Program Accreditation

The Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) has granted Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions the preaccreditation status of Preliminary Approval. Preliminary Approval status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation. Achieving Preliminary Approval status is not a guarantee that the ACOE will grant Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions an accreditation status. Participants who graduate from a program in Preliminary Approval status are not deemed to have completed an accredited program. For more information, see the ACOE’s website at