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An Optometrist specializes in eye care and visual health. They are dedicated to preserving and improving patients’ eye health and overall quality of life through thorough examinations, corrective measures, and preventive care.

From the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry; Doctors of Optometry are the primary care doctors of the eye and the frontline protectors of vision—our most valued sense. As primary-care providers, doctors of optometry are educated, just as other physicians are, in general health and systemic disease. Optometrists are often the first to detect critical health issues—from diabetes to hypertension, from stroke to cancer—and refer their patients for timely treatment. Optometrists therefore enjoy the dual satisfaction of having the specialized knowledge to manage their patients’ eye health as well as the medical education to protect their overall wellness.


Most optometry schools require the Optometry Admissions Test, OAT. The usual time to take it is in the spring semester, February. Students should prepare for this test.


Applications are submitted through OptomCAS. The time to start is in the summer with the application opening in July.


There are no colleges of optometry in North Carolina (yet!). The following link will take you to a website that summarizes the requirements for all the various optometry schools across the country: Optometry School College Prerequisites.

Information on the schools can be found here: ASCO Member Schools and Colleges and Optometry Programs Admissions Directory

Extracurricular Activities

Optometry schools are looking for “well-rounded” candidates who have achieved not only in the classroom but also in other areas. Leadership ability, a disposition to serve others, and a work ethic characterized by dedication and persistence are just a few of the qualities that impress most admission committees.

Each institution has its own criteria; therefore, you should contact the school(s) or college(s) of your choice for specific application guidelines.

Optometry Frequently Asked Questions

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