Candidates must complete all of the courses listed below with a grade of C or better prior to matriculation into the professional program. All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to the summer term of the matriculation year.
- One year of Biology with labs
- One course of Microbiology
- One course of Biochemistry
- One year of General Chemistry with labs
- One half year of Organic Chemistry with a lab
- One year of Physics with labs
- One course of Calculus
- One course of Statistics
- One year of English
- One course of Psychology *
- One year of Social and Behavioral Science**
One year is equal to two semesters or three quarters. One half year is equal to one semester or two quarters.
* A statistics course taken in a psychology department may not be counted for fulfillment of both the psychology prerequisite and the statistics prerequisite.
**Any combination of two semesters or two quarters in sociology, economics, anthropology, history, political science or additional psychology.
Applicants must have completed a minimum of 90 semester hours or 135 quarter hours, the equivalent of three years of college education, prior to matriculation. All courses must be taken at a fully accredited institution and must be acceptable to that institution for degree credit and major requirements. No more than 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours earned at a two-year institution may be applied to the credit hour requirement.
All applicants are required to take the Optometry Admissions Test. This exam is offered online. The exam can be taken as many times as needed with 90 day intervals between exam dates. Applicants are encouraged to take the exam during the spring of the year preceding anticipated application. If the results of the exam are considered to be unsatisfactory, the applicant then has the opportunity to repeat the exam during the summer of the application year.
For more information and to register online for the OAT, please visit here.
IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO TAKE THE OAT BEFORE APPLYING. INTERVIEW INVITATIONS ARE EXTENDED TO COMPETITIVE APPLICANTS WITHOUT OAT SCORES. HOWEVER, ADMISSIONS DECISIONS CANNOT BE MADE WITHOUT THE OAT SCORES.
For information about testing times and locations, please write the Optometry Admissions Testing Program, 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611 (Telephone: 312-440-2693).
A composite evaluation by a pre-health professions advisory committee is required if available at the applicant's undergraduate institution. If the composite cannot be provided, then four individual letters of evaluation are required. If possible, these letters should be from faculty members who are knowledgeable about the applicant's scholastic abilities and personal characteristics and optometrists with whom the applicant has shadowed and/or worked.
Official and complete transcripts of all work attempted at colleges and universities must be forwarded by the institutions attended. Supplementary transcripts must be forwarded to the same office following completion of courses not included on the original transcripts. An interview offer can not be extended until all official transcripts have been received.
All admitted candidates must have been interviewed at the School of Optometry. Applicants may be invited for an interview any time during a period beginning in September and ending as late as March.
Scholastic Aptitude and Performance
Successful completion of the optometry curriculum requires that a student be able to acquire a large amount of material in a limited time and have the ability to apply this material. In addition to the OAT scores and the overall college record, the Admissions Committee considers whether students maintain or improve their performances as they progress to more advanced courses in their undergraduate curriculum.
Reasonable involvement in extracurricular activities is considered important. Community service and leadership qualities are also desirable.
Personality, Character and Motivation
The personal and social traits and other nonintellectual characteristics important for the future optometrist are very difficult to measure objectively. The committee relies heavily on the composite college evaluation, character recommendations, and the interview for this information.
The committee considers work experience in the optometry field to be highly desirable. Applicants are required to explore the optometry field either by employment or in a volunteer capacity.
The Admissions Committee has the responsibility of reviewing and evaluating all applications and selecting those who are the best qualified. Notices of acceptance may be received as early as September and as late as March. Applicants who are not accepted for one of the 40-45 regular class positions may be accepted for an alternate position. Those holding alternate positions may receive notification of admission to the class as late as the middle of August, should a regular position become available.
Acceptances may be designated as conditional upon successful completion of requirements. All students admitted must maintain the level of academic performance consistent with that previously demonstrated. The Admissions Committee reserves the right to deny admission to an already admitted student whose academic performance falls below standards deemed appropriate for acceptance.
Following notification of admission, the applicants are required to post a $700, nonrefundable deposit within four weeks of being notified. This deposit is credited toward tuition upon matriculation.
The UAB School of Optometry admits 40-45 highly qualified students each year. Although each entering class is limited to 40-45 students, the number of positions available for Alabama residents, SREB state residents, and non resident applicants may vary from year to year.
Specific requirements are as follows:
- International applicants must fulfill the same undergraduate academic requirements as United States applicants.
- All official college and university transcripts (in English) must be forwarded to the Optometry Admissions Office by the institutions attended. International students will be required to have a course-by-course evaluation of his or her academic credentials by one of the two companies listed below. (Canadian applicants need to contact the Office of Student Affairs regarding the need for evaluation.) These are the only academic evaluation services of foreign education that are acceptable. An application for evaluation of foreign educational credentials can be obtained from:
- All applicants must take the Optometry Admission Test (OAT).
- If English is not the primary language, the student will be required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
- Be available for a personal interview at the School of Optometry.
UAB Center for International Programs
318 Hill University Center
1400 University Blvd.
Birmingham, AL 35294-1150
Telephone (205) 934-3328
Transcripts from foreign colleges or universities (outside the United States or Canada) must have a course by- course evaluation. There are two academic evaluation services that are acceptable. An application for evaluation of foreign educational credentials can be obtained from:
PO Box 514070
Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470
Phone: (414) 289-3400
Fax: (414) 289-3411
World Education Services
P.O. Box 5087, Bowling Green Station
New York, NY 10274-5087
Phone: (212) 966-6311
Fax: (212) 739-6120