Professional Optometry Degree Program (OD)

Preoptometry Requirements

A total of 90 semester hours of college credit is required as a minimum for admission to the School of Optometry; however, a bachelor’s degree is strongly recommended. Preoptometry requirements must be completed by the time the student enters the School of Optometry. Students who already have a bachelor’s degree with a major in a science field are often fully prepared for admission to the School of Optometry. Those with degrees in nonscience fields may find additional course work required. Students must take their preoptometry course work from an accredited institution. Grades lower than a C in any preoptometry requirement will not be accepted. Each course meets just one requirement. All preoptometry requirements must have been completed within 10 years from the time when the student hopes to start the Doctor of Optometry program.

Students entering with a bachelor’s degree must have completed the following courses:

Subject Area Min. sem. cr.
hrs. req'd.
Comparable IU courses
  • Introductory, with lab
4 L 112 and L 113
  • Advanced (animal or developmental)
3 see recommended list below
  • Microbiology, with lab
4 M 250 and M 255
  • Organic, 2 courses
4 C 341, C 342 and/or C 343
  • Inorganic, with labs
8 C 117 and N 330 or C 118

  • Calculus
M 211 or M 119-120 or M 119 and X 201
  • General
8 P 201 and P 202
Statistical Techniques and/or
Experimental Design
3 STAT S 300, PSY K 300 or K 310 SPEA K 300 or Econ E 370 or Math K310
Psychology, Introductory 3 P 101
Writing Skills - two courses; English Composition
W131 or 132 and an additional course with a
strong writing component2
6 W 131 or 132 and the Intensive Writing Requirement

Students entering the Indiana University School of Optometry without a bachelor’s degree must have completed the following courses in addition to the above:

Subject Area Min. sem. cr.
hrs. req'd.
Arts and Humanities1 6
Foreign Language3 6
Social and Historical Studies4 6
Additional Credits as needed
Total Credits 90

Of the 90 credit hours, at least 20 must be at the 300-400 level. A maximum of 60 semester hours may be taken at a junior college.

Credit Hours Required IU Courses
Advanced Biology:
Vertebrate or Human Anatomy with lab 5 ANAT-A 215
Physiology with lab 5 PHSL-P 215
Biochemistry (300+ level if possible) 3 BIOL-M 350/CHEM-C 483
Other Recommended Elective Courses:
Anatomy and Physiology of the Eye 3 OPT-V 201
Small Business Management 3 BUS-X 100
Explore Entrepreneurship 3 BUS-W 212
Medical Terminology 2 CLAS-C 209
Histology 4 ANAT-A 464
Ethics 3 PHIL-P 140
Independent Research
1-3 490 Series
1 Chem C105/C125 may be substituted for C117; however, students with C105/125 credit who are planning to take C341 on the IU Bloomington campus are strongly encouraged to take C243 (“Supplemental General Chemistry”) before taking C341.
2 Chem C106/C126 may be substituted for N330.
3 A minimum SAT Verbal score of 670 or ACT English score of 32 will exempt the student (without credit) from the requirement. Other means of completing the composition requirement exist. Consult the IU College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin for details on these options.
4 Specific Arts & Humanities and Social & Historical Studies courses may count toward both the distribution requirements and the intensive writing requirement.
5 A minimum of two courses is required.
6 A minimum of two courses is required. This requirement for an IU Bachelor of Science in Optometry may be met by placement examination. Students who have completed two or more years of a single foreign language in high school with an average grade of C or above, or have completed a bachelor’s degree at another institution, are exempt from this requirement. (Note: Variation exists among academic divisions of the university in basic foreign language requirements and exemption policies. For a bachelor’s degree from the IU College of Arts and Sciences, or from another division of the university, consult the appropriate bulletin for foreign language requirements.)
7 A minimum of two courses is required. For departments in this area, consult the IU College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin.

None of the specified courses may be taken on a Pass/Fail basis. The credit hours required in the individual subjects are considered absolute minimums, which must be met or exceeded. If the credit hours in any subject total fewer than the minimum specified, the student should complete the next higher course in that subject. Quarter hours convert to semester hours by the following scale:

3 quarter hours = 2 semester hours

4 quarter hours = 3 semester hours

5 quarter hours = 3.33 semester hours

6 quarter hours = 4 semester hours

For further information, contact the Office of Student Administration, School of Optometry, Indiana University, 800 E. Atwater Avenue, Bloomington, IN 474053680; (812) 855-1917; e-mail iubopt [at] indiana [dot] edu.

Academic Bulletins

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