Pre-Optometry Pathway

Information and resources for pre-optometry students.

Pre-Optometry Timeline:

First and Second Year

  1. Download our Pre-Optometry Guide below and subscribe to the HPOInfo emails.
  2. Get to know your professors.
    • You will need faculty evaluations when you apply to optometry schools. Two from science faculty are recommended.
  3. Meet with a pre-health professions coach.
    • Coaches explore health professions and to discuss your goals and preparation, especially how to make the most out of your first two years.
  4. Declare a major by your second year on campus.
  5. Non-College of Natural Sciences students are highly encouraged to add the Pre-Health Professions Certificate. Learn more about the certificate here.
  6. Get involved in extracurricular activities (e.g. student organizations, volunteering, and shadowing in medical settings, community service).
  7. English proficiency: international students whose native language is not English must also submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
  8. Attend the Health Professions Fair each year, generally held in February or March, to visit with representatives from optometry schools and other health professions programs.
  9. Keep viable career alternatives open.

Third Year:

  1. Complete pre-optometry requirements by May of your third year.
  2. Prepare for and take the OAT, ideally no later than the end of your third year.
  3. Visit optometry school websites; decide where you will apply.
  4. Ask faculty who know you well if they will write evaluations in support of your optometry school applications; you will need two faculty evaluations. Science faculty letters are recommended.
  5. Attend the Health Professions Fair, generally held in February or March, to visit with representatives from optometry schools and other health professions programs.
  6. Complete and submit optometry school primary and secondary applications in the summer, after your 3rd year.

Fourth Year:

  1. Most optometry school interviews take place during the fall and spring semesters.
  2. Acceptance to optometry school begins during the fall semester.
  3. Complete UT Austin degree requirements necessary for graduation.
  4. Throughout your fourth year, continue in pre-optometry activities and additional courses to prepare for optometry school and to strengthen your application in case you need to apply again.

DIY Pre-Optometry Student Planning Guide

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Pre-Optometry Student Planning Guide & Self Assessment document provides important resources for UT Austin students planning on applying to Optometry School.