Chicago College of Optometry Admission
CCO considers for admission those students who possess the academic, professional, and personal qualities necessary for development as exemplary optometrists. CCO uses multiple criteria to select the most qualified candidates including cumulative and science grade point averages (GPAs), entrance exam scores (e.g. OAT), personal experiences and character, ability to communicate, familiarity with the profession, volunteer/community involvement, research experience, and other considerations. CCO uses a rolling admissions process.
Students seeking admission to CCO must submit the following documented evidence:
- A minimum cumulative GPA and science coursework GPA of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale.
- A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution. A B.A. degree is acceptable, but a B.S. degree is preferred.
- Results of one of the following admission tests. Applicants must submit scores from one of the following admission tests: Optometry Admission Test (OAT), Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), Dental Aptitude Test (DAT), Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT), or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). A competitive test score (at least at or above the mean score for each exam) is recommended of all applicants. In order to be considered for the class to be admitted in the Fall of each academic year, the admission test must be taken and results submitted by April 30th of the year of matriculation. Entrance exam scores must be earned no more than five years prior to the planned enrollment year.
- Necessary course prerequisites. All prerequisite courses must be completed with grades of C or better prior to matriculation. Only courses designed for science majors or pre-professional students are acceptable for the science prerequisites.
- Two letters of recommendation. One letter must be from a practicing optometrist. The other letter must be from a prehealth advisor, a professor, an employer or an extracurricular activity advisor. Letters of recommendation from relatives, personal and/or family friends are not acceptable.
- A good understanding of optometric medicine. Candidates are strongly encouraged to shadow and observe a number of practicing optometrists in the clinical setting.
- Extracurricular and/or community activities that indicate a well-rounded background and demonstrate a commitment to service.
- Interpersonal and communication skills necessary to relate effectively with others.
- Passage of criminal background check.
- A commitment to abide by the Midwestern University Drug-Free Workplace and Substance Abuse Policy.
|Biology with lab
|General/Inorganic Chemistry with lab
|Organic Chemistry with lab
Note: CCO strongly recommends the following courses: Anatomy, Physiology, and Biochemistry.
The Doctor of Optometry degree program is rigorous and challenging. The Admissions Committee will therefore assess the quality and rigor of the pre-optometry academic records presented by applicants. When assessing an application, the Admissions Committee will view with concern applicants with:
- Cumulative and science grade point averages below 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.
- Admission test scores below the mean for each exam.
- Prerequisite science coursework completed more than 10 years ago. More recent (within five years) math and science coursework is preferred.
An international student must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of coursework from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States, or from a recognized post-secondary Canadian institution that uses English as its primary language of instruction and documentation. Of the 30 semester hours, 15 hours must be in the sciences, 6 hours in non-remedial English composition, and 3 hours in speech/public speaking.
Applicants who wish to receive credit for prerequisite coursework completed outside the U.S. or at a Canadian institution that does not use English as its primary language of instruction and documentation must submit an official, detailed, course-by-course evaluation obtained from one of the following evaluation services:
International applicants who do not provide documentation of acceptable U.S. or Canadian course/degree equivalency will not receive credit, and will be required to complete all prerequisite courses at an accredited college or university in the United States, or at a recognized post-secondary institution in Canada that uses English as its primary language of instruction and documentation.
For clarification about recognized post-secondary institutions in Canada that use English as a primary language of instruction and documentation, international applicants should contact the Midwestern University Office of Admissions.
Technical Standards for Admission
The Technical Standards set forth the nonacademic abilities considered essential for students to achieve the level of competence required by the faculty to obtain the academic degree awarded by the College. The health care provider must be able to perform tasks in an efficient and timely manner to diagnose, treat, and manage patients.
Therefore, the following abilities and expectations must be met by all students admitted to the College with reasonable accommodation. Candidates must have abilities and skills in five areas: 1) observation; 2) communication; 3) motor; 4) intellectual, conceptual, integrative, quantitative; 5) behavioral and social. Technological compensation can be made for some limitation in certain of these areas but the candidates must be able to perform in a reasonably independent, timely manner.
- Observation: The candidate must be able to accurately make observations at a distance and close at hand. Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision, hearing and sense of touch and is enhanced by the functional use of all of the other senses.
- Communication: The candidate must be able to communicate effectively, efficiently and sensitively in both oral and written form and be able to perceive nonverbal communication.
- Motor: Candidates must be able to coordinate both gross and fine muscular movements, maintain equilibrium and have functional use of the senses of hearing, touch and vision. The candidate must possess sufficient postural control, neuromuscular control and eye-to-hand coordination to perform profession-specific skills and tasks.
- Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: The candidate must be able to problem solve, measure, calculate, reason, analyze, record and synthesize large amounts of information in a timely manner. The candidate must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand spatial relationships.
- Behavioral and Social Attributes: The candidate must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of the candidate's intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the consistent, prompt completion of all responsibilities, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships. Candidates must be able to tolerate physically, mentally and emotionally taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. The candidate must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, effective interpersonal skills, willingness and ability to function as an effective team player, and interest and motivation to learn are all personal qualities required during the educational process.
Candidates are required to verify the ability to meet these Technical Standards at least 4 weeks prior to matriculation (or if admitted later, within 1 week of deposit). Candidates who may only meet Technical Standards with accommodation, must contact the Office of Student Services to make a formal request for accommodation. The Dean of Students, in consultation with the College Dean/Program Director, will determine what reasonable accommodations can be provided. The College is not able to grant accommodations that alter the educational standards of the curriculum.
Students must meet the Technical Standards for the duration of enrollment at the College. After matriculation, if a student fails to continue to meet the Technical Standards during subsequent enrollment, the student may apply for accommodation by contacting the Office of Student Services. If the accommodation needed to meet the Technical Standards alters the educational standards of the curriculum, the student's ability to satisfactorily progress in the curriculum will be evaluated by the appropriate College's Student Graduation and Promotion Committee.