Optometry Program Admission
AZCOPT considers for admission those students who possess the academic, professional, and personal qualities necessary for development as exemplary optometrists. AZCOPT uses multiple criteria to select the most qualified candidates including cumulative and prerequisite grade point average (GPAs), Admission Test scores, personal experiences and character, ability to communicate, familiarity with the profession, volunteer/community involvement, research experience, and other considerations. AZCOPT uses a competitive rolling admissions process.
Students seeking admission to AZCOPT must submit the following documented evidence:
- Possess a minimum cumulative GPA and science coursework GPA of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale.
- Complete a baccalaureate degree from regionally accredited institutions. A BA degree is acceptable, but a BS degree is preferred.
- Submit the results of one of the following entrance examinations: Optometry Admissions Test (OAT), Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), Dental Aptitude Test (DAT), Pharmacy College Admissions 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 entrance examination 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.
- Complete the necessary course prerequisites. All prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of C or better. Only courses designed for science majors or pre-professional students are acceptable for the science prerequisites.
- Provide two letters of recommendation. One letter must be from a practicing optometrist. The other letter must be from a prehealth advisor, a science professor, an employer or extracurricular activity advisor.
- Have a good understanding of optometric medicine. Candidates are strongly encouraged to shadow and observe a practicing optometrist in the clinical setting.
- Participate in extracurricular and/or community activities that indicate a well-rounded background and demonstrate a service orientation.
- Have interpersonal and communication skills necessary to relate effectively with others.
- Pass the Midwestern University criminal background check.
- Have 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
*AZCOPT strongly recommends 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.
- Academic Average and Total Science OAT scores below 300.
- 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 must be in the sciences, six hours in non-remedial English composition, and three hours in speech/public speaking.
- Education Credential Evaluators (ECE): 414/289-3400 or fax 414/289-3411 (www.ece.org; e-mail: email@example.com)
- World Education Service (WES): 212/966-6311 or fax 212/739-6100 (www.wes.org; email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Josef Silny & Associates International Education Consultants: 305/273-1616 or fax 305/273-1338 (www.jsilny.com; email: email@example.com)
International applicants who do not provide documentation of acceptable US 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 Midwestern University Office of Admissions
Click here for more information on International Student Financial Services
Technical Standards for Admission
A candidate for the degree of Doctor of Optometry must have abilities and skills in five areas: 1) observation; 2) communication; 3) motor; 4) intellectual, conceptual, integrative, and quantitative; and 5) behavioral and social. Technological compensation can be made for some limitation in certain of these areas, but a candidate should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner.
I. 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 and sense of touch and is enhanced by the functional use of all of the other senses.
II. 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.
III. Motor: Candidates must be able to coordinate both gross and fine muscular movements, maintain equilibrium, and have functional use of the senses of touch and vision. The candidate must possess sufficient postural control, neuromuscular control, and eye-to-hand coordination to perform profession-specific skills and tasks.
IV. Intellectual/Cognitive, 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.
V. Behavioral and Social Attributes: The candidate must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities; the exercise of good judgment and 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 certify that they understand and meet these Technical Standards. Candidates must provide such certification prior to matriculation. Candidates who may not meet the Technical Standards must inform the Director of Admissions, who will then contact the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students, in consultation with the academic dean, will identify and discuss what accommodations, if any, the College would need to make that would allow the candidate to complete the curriculum. 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 in their professional program.