FALL 2013: TWO-PART APPLICATION PROCESS
OptomCAS Application + Pacific University
Supplemental Application + OAT Scores =
Fall 2013 Application Cycle – July 1, 2013 through February 13, 2014
Final Application Deadline: February 13, 2014
OptomCAS Application Process
Your primary application will be submitted to OptomCAS (Optometry Central Application Service). The OptomCAS web site address is: www.optomcas.org. We have listed below some of the elements of the OptomCAS application to help you prepare.
Evaluation Forms/References -- Within the references submitted to OptomCAS, one must be from an optometrist. A second must be from a professor who has taught you in college. No special form is required other than the OptomCAS reference form, which will automatically be sent to your references via the OptomCAS system.
The Personal Statement – This statement should not be repeated or rephrased within the Pacific University Supplemental Application essay questions.
Official College and University Transcripts -- Official transcripts from every institution you have attended should be submitted directly to OptomCAS.
The OAT – OAT scores should be self-reported (if possible) on the OptomCAS Application. Official scores must be released to Pacific University.
The TOEFL Exam -- (for applicants whose first language is other than English) Official Scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) are required to be submitted to OptomCAS. The College of Optometry requires a minimum TOEFL score of: 600 paper-based, 250 computer-based or 105 internet-based, with minimum sub-section scores. More information about the English Proficiency Policy can be found within Pacific University’s supplemental application.
Pacific University Supplemental Application Process
Fee -- A non-refundable supplemental application fee of $25 (US) must be submitted with the application. Any applicant can have his/her $25 supplemental application fee waived by a Pacific University College of Optometry alumnus. To waive the application fee, click "Request a Fee Waiver" at the end of the online supplemental application, and fill in the name of the alumnus, year of PUCO graduation, business address, email, and phone number. The sponsoring optometrist does not have to pay the $25.
Applicant Information and Signature Page -- You must complete all information and electronically sign the signature line.
Essays – Respond carefully to each essay as instructed in the application. Through the essay questions, we are trying to learn something about you. No limits have been placed on essay length to allow for individual choice. Your responses should not be a repeated or rephrased Personal Statement from the OptomCAS application. You may use the Optional Essay as an opportunity to provide any additional information about yourself for consideration.
Clinical Experience -- Pacific requires that you must have a minimum of 30 hours of unpaid, volunteer observation with an optometrist prior to application. These hours do not include paid hours employed as an optician or part of an optometrists office. All observation hours must be with an optometrist who is not related to you. A variety of settings is strongly encouraged. You will report these hours in Pacific's Supplemental Application however no formal documentation is required. We may contact the optometrists you observed to confirm the hours reported on your application.
Re-applicants - Please note the additional essay question specifically for re-applicants to the Pacific University Optometry program.
Prerequisite Worksheet - Enter coursework you have completed or plan to complete by the start of the program in August 2013. The following pre-requisite courses must have been completed within the last 7 years: Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry (if applicable) and General Physics.
In-depth experience in the sciences within the last 7 years may be able to be substituted for expired coursework on a case-by-case basis. Examples include applicants pursuing a doctorate degree in the sciences whose general science pre-requisites were completed more than 7 years ago. Optometric or ophthalmic experience may not be substituted for expired courses.
The Bachelor's Degree Completion Option Form -- The Bachelor’s Degree Option section is to be completed only by applicants who will not have a bachelor’s degree when they begin classes at Pacific University College of Optometry in August, 2013.
The OAT – The OAT is required. Applicants must take the OAT by February 13 in order for your application to be considered. OAT scores should be self-reported (if possible) on the OptomCAS Application. Official scores must be sent directly to Pacific University.
“Last 45” GPA Calculation Form - Calculate your most recent 45 semester credits (68 quarter credits) of coursework. This can include any coursework completed beyond a bachelor degree. Quarter hours must be converted to semester hours.
What should I be doing now to prepare to apply?
This list is designed to help you prepare for the application process. We recommend you begin working on these items now in order to ensure that you are able to apply early in the rolling application cycle.
1. Begin identifying 2-4 references for your letters of rec.
(please note that letters of rec will be submitted electronically to OptomCAS. You will provide OptomCAS with the contact information for your references, and OptomCAS will email them the form to fill out directly. Your reference will then fill out the form and submit it online to OptomCAS. Do not send letters of recommendation to Pacific University. Pacific requires 2 letters of rec- one reference MUST be from an optometrist, and one MUST be from a professor who has taught you in college. OptomCAS accepts up to 4 letters, and we will review all that you submit).
2. Make sure you are on track to have completed the minimum 30 hours of unpaid optometric observation required by Pacific. This observation must be completed before you apply.
(Official documentation of your hours, like a signature from the O.D., is not required. However, some optometrists may be contacted to confirm you were honest in your reporting.)
3. Order 1 copy of your unofficial transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.
(You will use this unofficial copy to fill out the OptomCAS course listing. You will also be required to send official transcripts to OptomCAS, however these transcripts must be sent directly from your Registrar's office to OptomCAS. When you begin your OptomCAS application, you will be provided a form with a unique barcode. You will provide this form to your Registrar's office, and they will complete it and mail it, with your official transcripts, to OptomCAS. OptomCAS will use the unique barcode to match the transcripts with your OptomCAS application.)
5. Schedule your OAT.
(Your application will not be reviewed until we receive your OAT scores. It takes about 14 days for us to receive your scores once you take the exam. Even if you don't plan on taking the OAT until late Fall or Spring, we recommend you schedule it now as testing centers can fill up quickly)
6. Begin thinking about when you will submit your OptomCAS application.
(The OptomCAS application opens on June 29. Due to Pacific's rolling admissions process, we recommend trying to submit your OptomCAS application by October 15, even if your OAT will not yet be taken. If you cannot apply before October 15, we encourage you to have the OptomCAS application submitted by the Preferred Application Deadline (November 1).
Re-Applicants - You must fully complete both the OptomCAS and the Pacific University applications. All official transcripts should be resent to OptomCAS . Please note the re-applicant essay question in the Pacific University application.
Important Web Sites:
OptomCAS – www.optomcas.org
Pacific University Supplemental Application -