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Thank you for your interest in the UAB School of Optometry. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early in the admissions cycle because we use a rolling admissions process. The deadline for applications for the class entering fall 2024 is April 1, 2024. A specific major is not required for admission to the UAB School of Optometry, but specific prerequisite courses must be completed prior to matriculation. Applicants must also complete the Optometry Admissions Test (or a comparable exam), submit letters of recommendation, forward academic transcripts and be interviewed at the UAB School of Optometry.

The Admissions Committee is keenly aware of your concerns during these uncertain times of COVID-19. We want to assure you we will show flexibility when accessing your academic record during the semesters effected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The Pass/Fail grading scale used for courses, including prerequisite courses, will be accepted whether the grading scale decisions were made by the institution or the student. Ultimately the committee remains committed to admitting the best and brightest students using a holistic assessment process.


  • Major and Credit Hour Requirements

    A specific major is not required for admission to the UAB School of Optometry, but applicants should be completing or have completed a bachelor’s degree. Applicants scheduled to have a bachelor’s degree at the time of matriculation are given preferential consideration over those who will not have their degree prior to matriculation.

    Applicants must have completed a minimum of 90 semester hours or 135 quarter hours, which is 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 toward the credit hour requirement.

  • College-level Prerequisite Courses

    Certain courses or their equivalents must be completed prior to matriculation. Applicants can submit an application before all prerequisite courses are completed. Candidates must complete all of the courses listed below with a grade of C or better prior to the summer term of the matriculation year.

    Prerequisite Courses:

    • 1 year of general biology with labs
    • 1 course of microbiology1
    • 1 course of biochemistry2
    • 1 year of general chemistry with labs
    • 1 course of organic chemistry with lab
    • 1 year of general physics with labs
    • 1 course of calculus
    • 1 course of statistics3
    • 1 year of English
    • 1 course of general psychology3
    • 1 year of social science4

    One year is equal to two semesters or three quarters.

    1. Bacteriology and virology are accepted as substitute courses for microbiology.
    2. Molecular/cell biology is accepted as a substitute course for biochemistry.
    3. A statistics course taken in a psychology department will not be counted for fulfillment of both the psychology prerequisite and the statistics prerequisite.
    4. Any combination of two semesters or two quarters in sociology, economics, anthropology, history, political science or additional psychology courses.

    Online and AP/CLEP Courses

    We will accept prerequisite courses taken online or credits via AP/CLEP courses provided they are offered by an accredited college or university. Documentation of AP/CLEP courses should appear on the undergraduate transcript or through official score reports.

  • Optometry Admissions Test (OAT)

    Applicants are encouraged to take the Optometry Admissions Test, which is offered online. We suggest taking the exam during the spring/early summer of the year preceding anticipated application. If the results of the exam are considered to be unsatisfactory, you then have the opportunity to repeat the exam during the summer/early fall of the application year. The exam can be retaken 90 days after the first test date. Other professional school entrance exams may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    For more information and to register online for the OAT, visit the Optometry Admissions Test website.

    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 OAT scores.

    For information about testing times and locations, visit the visit the Optometry Admissions Test website, or contact the Optometry Admissions Testing Program by writing to 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611, or calling 312-440-2693.

  • Letters of Recommendation or Composite Evaluation

    If available at the applicant's undergraduate institution, a composite evaluation by a pre-health professions advisory committee is preferred. If you are unable to get an HPA composite letter, the three individual letters should come from two faculty members who are knowledgeable about your scholastic abilities and personal character and one optometrist with whom you have shadowed and/or worked.

  • Transcripts

    Official and complete transcripts of all work attempted at colleges and universities must be forwarded to OptomCAS by the institutions attended. Supplementary transcripts must be forwarded to OptomCAS following completion of courses not included on the original transcripts.

  • Interview Process

    All admitted candidates must have been interviewed at the UAB School of Optometry. Applicants may be invited for an interview any time during a period beginning in September and ending as late as April.

  • Additional Factors Considered by the Admissions Committee
    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 UAB School of Optometry Admissions Committee considers whether students maintain or improve their performances as they progress to more advanced courses in their undergraduate curriculum.

    Extracurricular Activities

    Reasonable involvement in extracurricular activities is considered important. Community service and leadership qualities are also desirable.

    Optometry-Related Experience

    Applicants are required to explore the optometry field either by employment or in a volunteer/job shadow capacity for at least 40 hours.

    Personality, Character and Motivation

    The personal and social traits and other non-intellectual characteristics important for the future optometrist are very difficult to measure objectively. The committee relies heavily on the letters of recommendation and/or composite college evaluation, character recommendations and the interview for this information.

  • Selection Process

    The UAB School of Optometry admits a target class size of 50 highly qualified students each year. The number of positions available for Alabama residents, Southern Regional Education Board state residents and non-resident applicants may vary from year to year.

    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 May. Applicants who are not accepted for one of the 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.

  • Information for Non-resident and International Students

    To be considered for admission, international students must have the academic, linguistic, and financial abilities to successfully complete the professional program. Specific requirements are as follows:

    Academic Requirements
    International applicants must fulfill the same undergraduate academic requirements as United States applicants.

    Foreign Transcripts
    International applicants are required to submit official foreign transcripts to an approved foreign transcript evaluation service for a course-by-course U.S. equivalency report. The official evaluation should then be sent to OptomCAS. We highly recommend that you contact the foreign transcript evaluation service as early as possible. The service may take several weeks to process your foreign transcript once it is received. Below is a list of commonly used and accepted evaluation services.

    Testing and Interview Requirements

    • All applicants must take the Optometry Admission Test (OAT). Other accepted entrance exams includes the MCAT, DAT and PCAT.
    • If English is not the primary language, the student will be required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

    Visa Information
    Students who are outside the US and admitted to the UAB School of Optometry must generally obtain an F-1 or J-1 student visa to enter the US to begin classes. The UAB Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) will assist you and provide the information necessary to obtain a visa after admission. Specific information on sponsorship and financial requirements can be obtained from:

    International Student and Scholar Services
    Melvin H. Sterne Library
    917 13th Street South
    Birmingham, AL 35294
    Telephone (205) 934-3328
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

How to Apply

The UAB School of Optometry utilizes OptomCAS and requires a supplemental application.


The UAB School of Optometry is part of OptomCAS, the centralized application service for all schools and colleges of optometry in the US and Puerto Rico. Submit transcripts, essays and letters of recommendation/composite evaluation through OptomCAS. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully.

Start your OptomCAS Application

Supplemental Application

In addition to completing the OptomCAS online application, all applicants must submit a supplemental application to the UAB School of Optometry.

Start your Supplemental Application

Contact Us

Gerald Simon, OD

Associate Dean,
Student Affairs

(205) 996-4923

Connie Wright

Director, Student Affairs
(205) 975-0739