Professional Optometry Degree Program (OD)

Preoptometry Requirements

Students must take their pre-optometry course work at an accredited institution and earn a grade of C or higher. All pre-optometry requirements must have been completed within 10 years from the time when the student hopes to begin the Doctor of Optometry program. Each course, with one exception meets just one requirement. Pre-optometry 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 non-science fields may find additional course work required. A competitive applicant will have a GPA of 3.2 or higher. 

A maximum of 60 semester hours may be taken at a community/junior/technical college. None of the specified courses may be taken on a pass/fail basis. Up to three on-line courses may be taken with ALL labs completed in a classroom setting. The Semesters-Quarters required in the individual subjects are considered absolute minimums, which must be met or exceeded.

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

Subject Area Minimum Semesters or Quarters Required Comparable IU courses
  • Introductory, with lab
One Semester– 1 Quarter BIOL 112 and L 113
  • Advanced (animal or developmental, 200+ level)
One Semester– 1 Quarter ANAT-A 215 or PHSL-P 215
  • Microbiology, with lab
One Semester– 1 Quarter BIOL-M 250/M 315 or M 380/M 315
  • Organic (lab recommended.
One Semester– 1 Quarter C 341. C 342 also recommended
  • General/Inorganic, with labs
Two Semesters– 3 Quarters

CHEM-C 1171 /C 127 and N 331 and N3372 or C 118

  • Biochemistry (can be listed under Biology)
One Semester– 1 Quarter

CHEM-C 383, 483 (484 for Biochem majors) or BIOL-M 350 (for Microbiology majors only)

Mathematics (one course) One Semester–1 Quarter Any course or courses fulfilling IU Math Modeling Requirements3
Physics–General Two Semesters– 3 Quarters

PHYS-P 201 and P 202

Statistical Techniques One Semester– 1 Quarter

STAT-S 300, or S303; PSY-K 300 or K 310; SPEA-K 300;  ECON-E 370;  MATH-K 310; SPH-Q381

Psychology–Introductory One Semester– 1 Quarter PSY-P 101 or P 106
Writing Skills
English Composition4 One Semester– 1 Quarter

ENG-W 131 or W 132

Additional intensive writing course5 One Semester– 1 Quarter Intensive Writing Requirement
Early Admission Option 

A total of 90 semester hours of college credit is required as a minimum for ‘Early Admission’ to the School of Optometry; however, a bachelor’s degree is strongly recommended. Of the 90 credit hours, at least 12 must be at the 300–400 level.* 

To qualify without a bachelor’s degree and apply as an ‘early admission’ candidate, you must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.6. 

*In addition to the above courses, students entering the Indiana University School of Optometry without a bachelor’s degree must have completed the following courses:

Subject Area Minimum Semesters or Quarters Required
Arts and Humanities6 Two Semesters - 2 Quarters
Social and Historical Studies6 Two Semesters - 2 Quarters
Foreign Language7 Two Semesters - 2 Quarters
Additional Credits as needed
Total Credits 90
Strongly Recommended
Subject Area Comparable IU Courses
Advanced Biology
  • Vertebrate or Human Anatomy with lab/Histology
ANAT-A 215 or A 464
  • Physiology with lab
PHSL-P 215
Other Recommended Elective Courses
Subject Area Comparable IU Courses
Anatomy & Physiology of the Eye TOPT-V 201
Cell Biology BIOL-L 31
Neuroscience PSY-P 337 or PSY-P 346
Sensation and Perception PSY-P 329
Sensory Processes PSY-P 329
Immunology BIOL-L 321
Genetics BIOL-L 331
Intro Business Administration BUS-X 100
Small Business Management BUS-W 300 (P: BUS-A 200)
Medical Terminology CLAS-C 209
Ethics PHIL-P 140
Independent Research 490 series
Introduction to Anatomy & Physiology MSCI-M115

1Chem C105/C125 may be substituted for C117/C127; however, students with C105/125 credit who are planning to take C341 on the IU Bloomington campus are strongly encouraged to take C117/C127 before taking C341.

2Chem C106/C126 may be substituted for C118 but not for N331/337.

3Any math course(s) that fulfill(s) the Math Modeling requirement for IUB’s General Education Program will be accepted; see

4A minimum SAT Critical Reading 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 IUB College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin for details on these options.

5Specific Arts & Humanities and Social & Historical Studies courses may count toward both the distribution requirements and the intensive writing requirement.

6A minimum of two courses is required for each. For departments in this area, consult the IUB College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin at

7This 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. Consult the appropriate bulletin for foreign language requirements.)

Additional Information

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 47405-3680; (812) 855-1917; e-mail iubopt [at] indiana [dot] edu

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

Click here for the PDF version.