Pre-Optometry Course Requirements

Course Requirements Overview

This is a guide to common pre-optometry course requirements.

Professional schools have a variety of prerequisites required for admission to their programs. On this page, we include information about timelines for pre-optometry  requirements and the options available. 

  • Many programs prefer in person coursework, and some programs may not allow online coursework. See individual schools for policies.
  • Individual schools may require or recommend additional courses.
  • All Prerequisites must be completed with a letter grade of C or higher.
  • Schools vary on Credit-By-Exam (AP/IB/CLEP) policies and preferences for prerequisites. Please see "Can I Claim AP/IB Credit?"

School requirements can change. See individual school websites and admissions guides under “Research Optometry Schools Before You Apply.” We always recommend checking for any updates.

Recommended Pre-Optometry Courses

See the Optometry Schools Prerequisite Courses Timelines below.

Some optometry schools require humanities and social/behavioral science courses.  We strongly recommend taking courses in the following areas. 

  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Ethics
  • Analytical problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Writing, interpersonal communications, and presentation skills
  • Cultural studies
  • Spanish and other language studies relevant to your career goals

UT Austin courses are typically taken to fulfill requirements.

Subject Lecture Lab
  • BIO 311C + BIO 311D + BIO 325* + UD BIO/INB/MBS Elective 3 hrs OR
  • [BIO 315H + BIO 325H] (honors) + UD BIO/INB/MBS Elective 3 hrs + UD BIO/INB/MBS Elective 3 hrs



*BIO 325 is not specifically required, but it is a UT Austin prerequisite for other required upper-division Biology courses and therefore recommended.)


  • BIO 206L



See individual school requirements for Biology lab.

  • BIO / MBS 326R



UT Austin prerequisite for this course: BIO 325 or BIO 325H AND CH 302 or CH 302H.

  • BIO / MBS 226L



UT Austin prerequisite for this course: BIO 325 or BIO 325H AND CH 302 or CH 302H.


(recommended UD Bio)

  • BIO / INB 446L




(recommended UD Bio)

  • BIO / INB 365S


  • BIO / INB 165U
  • CH 301 + CH 302 OR
  • CH 301H + CH 302H (honors) OR
  • CH 301C + CH 302C (for Chemistry majors)
  • CH 204 OR
  • CH 104M + CH 104N

Organic Chemistry


*Most schools require only one semester with lab. CH 320N is corequisite for CH 220C. Some out-of-state schools may require 2 semesters.


  • CH 320M + CH 320N OR
  • CH 328M + CH 328N (for Chemistry majors)
  • CH 120K  (may not be available until Spring 2025) OR
  • CH 220C (registration for CH 320N required for this lab)   OR
  • CH 128K [+ CH 128L]    (for Chemistry majors)  
  • BCH 369 OR
  • BCH 399F (for Biochemistry majors)

UT Austin offers 4 accepted lecture/lab sequences. 

  • PHY 317K + PHY 317L  OR
  • PHY 302K PHY 302L  OR
  • PHY 303K PHY 303L  (for Engineering majors)  OR
  • PHY 301 + PHY 316  (for some Science and Engineering majors)

Starting FALL 2021, PHY 105M/N will replace lab numbers PHY 102M/N, PHY 103M/N, and 117M/N.

  • If PHY 317K + PHY 317L
    • PHY 105M + PHY 105N OR
    • PHY 117M + PHY 117N
  • If PHY 302K + PHY 302L
    • PHY 105M + PHY 105N OR
    • PHY 102M + PHY 102N
  • If PHY 303K + PHY 303L
    • PHY 105M + PHY 105N OR
    • PHY 103M + PHY 103N (for Engineering majors)
  • If PHY 301 + PHY 316
    • PHY 101L + 116L (for some Science and Engineering majors)

Optometry programs may differ in which courses will meet the calculus requirement. Please contact the school for verification.

  • M 408 N OR
  • M 408 K OR
  • M 408 C



M 408Q is only accepted by a few optometry institutions.


  • SDS 302F OR
  • SDS 320E OR
  • SDS 325H (honors)
Not all courses listed include both descriptive stats and ANOVA stats, which some schools may require. Check schools and course syllabi.
Rhetoric (Composition)
  • RHE 306 OR
  • RHE 309K OR
  • Any Writing Flag course in RHE Dept.
Check school websites.
  • E 316L OR
  • E 316M OR
  • E 316N OR
  • E 316P OR 
  • Any Literature course in English Dept.
  • PSY 301

Check school admissions websites. Some schools require and some recommend additional science and non-science courses.

Optometry School Prerequisite Course Timelines 

This timeline includes pre-optometry course requirements for admission to most Texas and U. S. optometry schools. 

Completing the pre-optometry courses and extra-curricular activities generally requires six semesters or longer, regardless of the student’s age or year in college. Your personal timeline may differ from this sample. Work with your academic advisor to incorporate these courses into your degree plan.

Important Note: 

Timelines do not include all course options and details.

To be sure that you are fulfilling all requirements, see individual school websites. Research optometry schools before you apply!


Additional Course Information