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DOCTORATE

Doctor of Optometry · OD

Residential | Full-Time | 11 Semesters

Admissions

Now Enrolling International Students

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To be eligible for the optometry program at RMU, an applicant must demonstrate a previous record of successful academic achievement, clinical experience, and the motivation to pursue graduate-level education.

Applicants must meet the following required criteria:

  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institution before matriculation into the program
  • An overall cumulative GPA above 3.0 with a Cumulative Science GPA above 3.0 is highly recommended.
  • Minimum of 3 references: (at least one from an OD is strongly recommended)
  • Personal Essay
  • Complete the prerequisite courses listed below.
  • Aggregate scores must be from the same test and be from one of the following admission tests:
    • Optometry Admission Test (OAT) – Recommended overall score of 300 or higher.
    • Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) – Recommended overall score of 500 or higher.
    • Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT) – Recommended overall score of 400 or higher.
    • Dental Admissions Test (DAT) – Recommended overall score of 17.5 or higher.
    • GRE – Recommended overall score of Aggregate Verbal and Quantitative (V+Q) Reasoning ≥ 298, Analytical Writing ≥ 3.5
    • *Admission Test Scores: The highest score will be accepted if a test is taken multiple times.

Strongly Recommended:

  • Strongly recommended shadowing an optometrist
  • strongly recommended to get > 100 hours of direct patient contact experience
  • Strongly recommended to include volunteer/service experience

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Course

Credits

Human anatomy course covering all body regions and systems designed for Biology or Physiology majors.  Taking the lab for this course is highly recommended.
NOTE: a two-semester combined Human Anatomy and Physiology course series is acceptable.

Course covering human physiologic processes designed for Biology or Physiology majors.  Taking the lab for this course is highly recommended.
NOTE: a two-semester combined Human Anatomy and Physiology course series is acceptable

General biology course designed for Biology or Physiology majors. Taking a lab for this course is highly recommended.
NOTE: if the course and lab does not equate to 4 or more semester credits, a molecular or cellular biology course must also be completed.

This course does not have to be one designed for Microbiology majors.

Eight credits of chemistry. Taking a lab for these courses is highly recommended.

100-level or higher course covering the foundations of Algebra. A calculus course fulfills this requirement. AP credit or ACT/SAT scores (ACT 28 or SAT 680 on the math portion) may also count toward this requirement.

Additional Recommended Courses

A 100-level or higher introductory or abnormal psychology course. Both are highly recommended.

NOTE: Human Lifespan and Development will NOT count as the Psychology prerequisite.

This course does not have to be one designed for Physics majors.  Taking this course is highly recommended.

NOTE: though not mandatory, application scoring will improve with successful completion and high performance more importantly, these courses help better prepare students for the rigors of the optometry program coursework.

100-level or higher medical terminology course. An upper-level version is recommended.

Though not required, taking at least one of these courses is highly recommended.

NOTE: though not mandatory, application scoring will improve with successful completion and high performance more importantly, these courses help better prepare students for the rigors of the optometry program coursework.

Though not required, taking at least one of these courses is highly recommended.

NOTE: though not mandatory, application scoring will improve with successful completion and high performance more importantly, these courses help better prepare students for the rigors of the optometry program coursework.

Prerequisite Performance

Prerequisite courses must be successfully completed with a grade of C or better. In plus-minus grading systems, a grade of C- does not qualify as a C. Applicants offered seats contingent upon successful completion of outstanding prerequisites must complete each remaining course with a grade of B or better (earning a grade of B- does not qualify as a B).

Prerequisite Timeline Requirements

To be considered for the RMU optometry program, each prerequisite course must have been completed within ten years of the cohort start date. Additionally, credits must have been earned from a regionally accredited institution and be verifiable through official transcripts.

Required Bachelor Degree

Applicants must demonstrate completion of a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institution prior to matriculation into the optometry program.

Check Prerequisites

Please use the following link to check if your course meets our prerequisite requirements.
To check previously approved/denied courses on our prerequisite checklist, visit the link below. (If you do not see your specific course, please fill out the prerequisite check form and the program will get back to you as soon as they can).

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To be eligible for the Doctor of Optometry program, students must be able to:

  • Attend and participate in classes for 30 or more hours per week during each academic semester.  Classes consist of a combination of lecture, discussion, laboratory, and clinical activities.
  • Use auditory, tactile, and visual senses to receive classroom instruction and to evaluate and treat patients.
  • Read, write, speak, and understand English at a level consistent with successful course completion and development of positive patient-therapist relationships.
  • Complete readings, assignments, and other activities outside of class hours.
  • Apply critical thinking processes to their work in the classroom and the clinic.
  • Exercise sound judgment in class and in the clinic.
  • Participate in Clinical Experiences which typically require students to be present 40 or more hours per week on a schedule that corresponds to the operating hours of the clinic.
  • Gather decision-making pieces of information during patient assessment activities in class or in the clinical setting without the use of an intermediary (classmate, aide, etc.).
  • Perform treatment activities in class or in the clinical setting by direct performance or by instruction and supervision of intermediaries.
  • Sit for two to 10 hours daily, stand for one to two hours daily, and walk or travel for two hours daily. In clinical situations, alternately sit, stand, and walk up to 10 hours daily.
  • Frequently lift weights less than 10 pounds and occasionally lift weights between 10 and 25 pounds.
  • Be able to accommodate the full use of a table-mounted slit-lamp device and a binocular indirect microscope on a patient.
  • Frequently twist, bend and stoop.
  • Occasionally squat, crawl, climb stools, reach above shoulder level, and kneel.
  • Frequently move from place to place and position to position at a speed that permits safe handling of classmates and patients.
  • Frequently stand and walk while providing support to a classmate simulating a disability or while supporting a patient with a disability.
  • Occasionally climb stairs and negotiate uneven terrain.

Admissions Disclosure

1. Admission is limited and selective. All completed applications will be considered for admission.  All applicants must demonstrate a previous record of successful academic achievement, clinical experience, and the motivation to pursue graduate-level education.

2. Full Disclosure Requirement: Incomplete or falsified admission information constitutes grounds for a refusal to admit or immediate dismissal, loss of credit, and forfeiture of all tuition and fees paid.

3. Confidentiality: Admissions materials received by the University are kept in strict confidence. Once the application materials are received, these materials are the property of the University and will not be returned to the applicant. All applicant materials are kept for one year following receipt if the applicant does not enroll.

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 www.theACOE.org.