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Optometry Schools Comparison

Compare Optometry Schools in the USA

The following table gives you a breakdown of performance and cost related to optometry schools in the USA. Use these numbers to compare the performance of each program and where you'd like to attend. Tuition and fees are also a major decision-making factor. Comparitively, Southern College of Optometry produces some of the best performing students and at a lower cost than most schools.

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NOTE: The following data is from a 2020 profile for the entering classes at each optometry school.

Private Schools:

School Tuition/Fees
Average GPA Average OAT Apply/Admit
Southern College of Optometry $19,497 $38,697 3.61 336 762 / 135
International American University $28,768 $28,768 3.04 284 174 / 54
Nova Southeastern University $35,194 $39,558 3.43 323 890 / 94
Western University of Health Sciences $40,890 $40,890 3.17 300 414 / 69
University of the Incarnate Word $41,235 $41,235 3.34 308 460 / 69
Pennsylvania College of Optometry $41,860 $41,860 3.36 305 973 / 149
Pacific University $42,024 $42,024 3.51 327 520 / 94
University of Pikeville $42,200 $42,200 3.31 296 457 / 62
New England College of Optometry  $42,592 $42,592 3.37 326 815 / 138
Illinois College of Optometry $42,870 $42,870 3.42 326 935 / 124
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences $43,950 $43,950 3.22 307 568 / 59
Southern California College of Optometry $47,432 $47,432 3.32 334 483 / 104
Midwestern University $48,529 $48,529 3.41 319 558 / 57
Chicago College of Optometry $48,627 $48,627 3.21 296 536 / 61


Public Schools:

School Tuition/Fees
Average GPA Average OAT Apply/Admit
Northeastern State University  $20,394 $39,094 3.72 317 242 / 28
University of Houston $24,897 $44,982 3.59 340 568 / 103
University of Missouri at St. Louis $26,200 $42,587 3.42 314 280 / 46
The Ohio State University $27,800 $48,856 3.65 339 503 / 68
University of Alabama at Birmingham $28,034 $55,007
3.66 321 354 / 45
Indiana University $29,890 $42,426 3.58 317 462 / 85
State University of New York $30,490 $51,820 3.59 346 425 / 98
Michigan College of Optometry $30,704 $30,704 3.75 339 221 / 38
University of California at Berkeley  $38,573 $50,260 3.42 355 184 / 68

* Non-resident with a merit scholarship

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Questions About Optometry School: 

Q: Which courses are prerequisites for optometry school? 

A: Expect to complete the following: English (one year), general psychology (one course), social science (one year), statistics (one course), calculus (one course), general biology with labs (one year), and more - you can find a full list of prerequisite courses here

Q: What is involved in the application process? 

A: To apply to Southern College of Optometry, you must complete the OptomCAS application and all supporting documents, SCO's supplemental application and fee, and take the Optometry Admission Test (OAT). If you want to learn more about the application process please visit here

Q: When should I take the Optometry Admission Test (OAT)? 

A: At SCO, we accept applications July 1-March 1 each year and applicants are required to take the OAT before the March 1 deadline. We strongly recommend you do not wait to take the OAT and submit your application late in the process. Take the test and apply as early as you can. Sitting for the test during the summer a year before entering optometry school is encouraged because this could accelerate the processing of the application. 

Q: Is there a minimum OAT score or grade point average for optometry school?

A: SCO does not have a minimum OAT score or grade point average for acceptance. The average GPA of an entering class is typically around 3.50 and the average OAT score is around 330. If you score below 310, you are encouraged to retake the OAT before applying. 

Q: Does it matter what my major is currently?

A: SCO does not have a preference in academic majors as long as you complete the prerequisite courses and OAT before you apply for optometry school. SCO accepts students from various academic backgrounds each year. 

Q: Beyond tuition, what other costs can I expect for optometry school? 

A: Expect to pay approximately $1,266 for textbooks, $2,954 for equipment, and$395 in fees for your first year. Cost of living varies in Memphis based on your needs, but the area is also one of the most affordable compared to other metropolitan areas. 

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Explore What SCO Offers:


Learn how SCO reviews academic information and the application process required for attendance. We want to provide you with quality information to guide you through the application process. Learn more on the Admissions page:

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Student Life

We want to maximize the opportunities you have in school and around the Memphis community while you're here. We believe we have one of the best optometry student life experiences to offer in the entire country. 

From activities and events organized by SCO to attractions and restaurants throughout the Memphis area, students can always find their niche in the Memphis community.

Watch videos from other optometry students, find things to do in Memphis and much more:

Experience Student Life

Financial Aid

The SCO Financial Aid office works to help students receive necessary funds to attend optometry school without accruing a large sum of debt. We want optometry school to be available to all qualified students. 

View the Financial Aid page to learn more about the possibilities, deadlines and other information to acquire as much aid as possible:

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The Quick Facts

Before applying to SCO, you deserve to know the quick facts about SCO’s tuition, its National Board passage rates, its entering class statistics and more. Get a quick overview about our optometry school, what we offer and how you can become part of the SCO family:

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