- Take the OAT - preferably in summer of the year prior to your matriculation (summer 2015 for fall 2016). It is best to have your scores sent to each of the schools you are even considering applying to. Official scores from the Optometry Admission Testing Program take up to 3 weeks to arrive. Talk to your pre-optometry advisor and admissions staff at the optometry schools about your scores and decide if you need to retake the test. A student must wait 90 days before attempting a retake.
- There is a centralized application service for optometry schools (OptomCAS). The application fee is $160 (for 1 school) and an additional $60 for each additional school. Apply as early as you can to receive full consideration.
- Check with each school for the details of the application process and specific prerequisites. This can most easily be done on-line.
- Apply Early - Most schools accept applications any time after August 1 (12 months prior to starting school). By the end of October, well in advance of deadlines, schools have already received a hundred or more applications. Don't wait until the deadline!!
- Print and complete your Application for Committee Evaluation and give a copy to your faculty evaluators.
- The application includes a personal statement (essay). Don't procrastinate writing your personal statement. You should begin before you take the OAT over the summer. Have peers and faculty proofread and criticize.
- Have transcripts sent to each school. WKU has an online request form at http://www.wku.edu/registrar/transcript_request.php
- After receipt of materials each Optometry School will notify the applicant directly for the need of any additional materials ("secondaries"). Return the secondaries promptly, this shows motivation and genuine interest in that school.
- Schedule appointments with your pre-optometry committee (your advisor and 2 other faculty from the Pre-Health Advisory Committee) to interview you about optometry school. After all 3 interviews, the committee members will assemble, compare notes and the chair (your academic advisor) will compose the letter of evaluation. Most schools also require a letter of recommendation from a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.).
- The interview - If chosen, you will be asked to come to campus for an interview. While a good sign, an interview does not guarantee acceptance.
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