Like any endeavor worth pursuing in life, it takes careful preparation to become an optometrist.
Students are at the heart of our mission.
Get involved in our thriving alumni community.
SCO is one of the nation's leading optometry schools.
Take time to recognize these significant achievements.
Enter a search request and press enter. Press Esc or the X to close.
You have chosen to apply to one of the nation's leading optometry schools—alma mater to 14 American Optometric Association Presidents with almost 100 years of graduating the best clinicians in the field. Congratulations!
The Admissions Office provides outstanding service throughout the admissions process, prompt and courteous responses to your questions, and detailed literature that provides facts—not just fluff. We truly are committed to recruiting and retaining the best optometry school applicants in the world.
Take some time to learn about our admissions process and how you can become a stronger applicant.
SCO’s application process operates within OptomCAS, a centralized service that begins accepting applications June 30. Because of our rolling admissions infrastructure, SCO encourages interested students to apply early.
There are numerous, detailed steps to follow when applying to SCO. Before receiving consideration, the following must be submitted to SCO:
OptomCAS Application and All Supporting Documents
SCO’s Supplemental Application
Optometry Admission Test (OAT) Scores
For detailed information on each step of the process, please visit our How to Apply page.
Enrollment at Southern College of Optometry requires at least 90 semester hours -- or 135 quarter hours -- at an accredited undergraduate institution. At least 30 semester hours must have been earned at a four-year college or university.
Additionally, candidates are required to complete all prerequisite courses before enrolling. Note that you can apply before all prerequisite courses are completed; those courses simply need to be completed before enrollment.
If your prerequisite courses include classes taken online—or credits via AP/CLEP courses—we encourage you to contact the Admissions Office to further discuss your course history. We do accept specific online and AP/CLEP courses with official documentation but may recommend or require additional coursework.
For more information on academic information, prerequisite courses and more, please visit below.
The SCO Admissions Office has remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are happy to answer any questions you may have about COVID-19’s impact on the admissions process. It’s best to send an email to [email protected], or call 901-722-3224, and we will respond as soon as possible. If your situation is unique or complex, please include your phone number in your email communication or voice mail message, and we will contact you personally.
Due to COVID-19 disruptions, we are now accepting Pass/Fail grades for prerequisites taken during Winter, Spring and Summer 2020 and 2021. We prefer a letter grade if the student has a choice, but Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit will be accepted.
Concerning shadowing hours: more and more healthcare providers are permitting candidates to shadow in-person, so we encourage you to reach out to ODs in your area. We realize that some offices still consider shadowing to be off-limits, and if you encounter this, we strongly recommend that you set up interviews with as many different ODs as possible and even consider shadowing in a different city. If you have any questions regarding SCO’s policy around shadowing, please email [email protected].
For current updates regarding optometry admissions processes covering all optometry schools, the best site to check is the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry. Stay safe!
Prospective SCO students submit applications on a rolling basis during the application cycle, so it is critical to provide a detailed, competitive application in order to be considered for admission to the program.
When our team reviews applications, we want to see how your experiences, education and knowledge stand apart from others in the highly competitive pool of candidates. In addition to providing all relevant and required documentation, the following factors may affect your candidacy:
Note that the items listed above are not the only considerations for admission. SCO examines the entire scope of each prospective student’s application in order to best understand the strength and well-roundedness of each candidate.
For more information, visit below.