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Tips for Applicants

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  1. Applications

    • Complete both the OptomCAS Application and the SCO Supplemental Application.  Both must be received to be considered for an interview.

    • Submit both applications as early in the application cycle as possible. This maximizes your opportunity for acceptance.

    • Applications can be submitted without all of the supporting documents. You can add those as they become available.

    • Remember that OptomCAS has to verify (i.e. audit) your application before you are eligible for an interview invitation.  This process can take anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks.


  1. Essay

    • Don’t let your Personal Statement delay your application.

    • Don’t regurgitate what is listed in your experiences section of the application; let us know about you and your personal journey to optometry. Questions to consider:

      1. How does optometry match your career goals & interests?

      2. Why optometry and not another health profession?

  1. Use good grammar and proofread/edit thoroughly. Have another person read your essay to catch mistakes you may miss.

  2. Recommended maximum of 4,500 characters.


  1. Letters of Recommendation

    • Required: one letter from an OD with whom you have worked or shadowed but are not related.

    • Required: one letter from either a health professions advisor or a natural science professor.  Committee letters are acceptable for this recommendation requirement.

    • Meet with those writing your letters of recommendation before you start your OptomCAS application. You will need their contact information to include in OptomCAS, and they will receive an email with instructions on how to submit the letter. Follow up with them after you submit the application so they know to look for that email.


  1. Transcripts

    • Official transcripts must be sent to OptomCAS.

    • Official transcripts must be sent by all schools you attended. Courses from previous schools may appear on your current transcript, but we will still need official transcripts from the schools that originally awarded those credits.  

    • Refer to a copy of your transcript as you enter your coursework into OptomCAS. Use appropriate attention to detail. 

    • Transcript information will be audited by the OptomCAS team in order for your application to be verified.


  1. Test Scores

    • Optometry Admissions Test (OAT) is the preferred test.  It is recommended that anyone scoring below 310 on the Academic Average should retake the test. For applicants with multiple test scores, the set of scores with the highest Academic Average will be used in evaluation for admission.

    • SCO will also consider either MCAT or GRE scores in lieu of the OAT. Please contact the admissions office to discuss alternative standardized tests. Though you are not eligible for an interview without a competitive test score, you can submit your application prior to taking any of the tests.

  • If you take the OAT after having started your applications, send a copy of the unofficial score report you receive on the test day to the admissions office.


  1. Experiences Section of OptomCAS

    • Complete each section.

    • Include all experience with optometry, both paid and volunteer.

    • Include all extracurriculars and service activities since high school. Do not include activities completed during high school.

    • Shadow multiple optometrists in a variety of practice modes.


  1. Maintain Appropriate Communication

    • The admissions office will communicate with you about your application via email.  Check your inbox often and respond to all emails promptly and professionally.

    • Utilize the information available on the admissions website, but contact the admissions office in the event you have more specific questions.