Important Resources

OptomCAS Application Deadline

February 13, 2015

-must be e-submitted by this date

OptomCAS Website

Supplemental Application Deadline

February 13, 2015
-must be submitted by this date

Supplemental Application Link

OAT Deadline

February 1, 2015

-must be taken by this date

OAT Website


September through April

Interview Dates

Start of Program

Orientation and Courses start at the end of August

College of Optometry Student Resources

*If you are having any technical difficulties with our Supplemental Application, please contact CollegeNET at 503-973-5213.





    • Verified OptomCAS Application


    • Pacific University Supplemental Application
    • Official OAT scores taken on or before February 1, 2015

Both applications and official OAT scores must be received in the Office of Graduate Admissions before your application moves forward for review by the Optometry Admissions Committee. Please note: it can take 4-6 weeks to receive supporting documents and test scores. Submit your application items early! Pacific University assumes no responsibility for materials not received by the application deadlines. The accuracy and completeness of your applications for admission are determining factors in our admissions decision. Failure to submit a complete or accurate application may result in disqualification for admission, or dismissal from the program. The Optometry Admissions Committee will not evaluate an incomplete application. 


PART ONE: OptomCAS Application

Your primary application will be submitted to OptomCAS (Optometry Central Application Service). The OptomCAS web site address is:

  • Letters of Recommendation (LOR)Two are required. Within the LOR’s submitted to OptomCAS, one must be from a non-relative optometrist.  A second must be from a professor with faculty rank who has taught you in college, preferably one who can speak to your ability to be successful in optometry school. Designate your recommenders early in the application process to avoid delays.
  • Essay – This essay should not be repeated or rephrased within the Pacific University Supplemental Application required essays. The essay for OptomCAS is “Please describe what inspires your decision for becoming an optometrist, including your preparation for training in this profession, your aptitude and motivation, the basis for your interest in optometry, and your future career goals.”
  • Official College and University Transcripts -- Official transcripts from every college and university you have attended must be sent directly to OptomCAS. Review the instructions in the applicant portal link carefully before requesting your transcripts. Request transcripts early and check your account frequently to ensure your information has been received.
  • The OAT – OAT scores should be self-reported (if possible) on the OptomCAS Application.  Request that your official test results be released to Pacific University. 
  • The TOEFL Exam -- A satisfactory command of the English language is required for admission. All students whose first language is not English must meet the English language proficiency requirement prior to admission. This requirement applies to all applicants, including resident aliens and citizens. The optometry program requires a minimum TOEFL score of: 600 paper-based, 250 computer-based or 100 internet-based, with minimum sub-section scores.  More information about the English Proficiency Policy can be found within the Pacific University Supplemental Application. 


PART TWO: Pacific University Supplemental Application


  • Fee A non-refundable supplemental application fee of $25 (US) must be paid at the time you submit the online 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, email, and phone number. The sponsoring optometrist does not have to reimburse Pacific University for this application fee. Applicants can also submit a request for a hardship fee waiver by writing a short statement.
  • Applicant Information and Signature Page You must complete all information and electronically sign the signature line.
  • Optometry Observation Hours – Applicants must have a minimum of 30 hours of unpaid, direct patient observation with a non-relative optometrist prior to submitting the supplemental application.  These hours do not include paid employment as an optician or as part of an optometrist’s office. Hours of observation with an ophthalmologist does not qualify for this requirement.  Hours of observation in a variety of settings is strongly encouraged. Applicants will document how they met the 30 hours of observation requirement by entering this information on the application. The Optometry Admissions Committee reserves the right to contact optometrists listed within an application to confirm documented hours of observation.
  • Essays – The Optometry Admissions Committee is trying to learn something about you through the essay questions, so respond carefully and thoughtfully to each essay within the application. The optional essay is an opportunity to provide additional information for consideration relevant to your applicant. No character or word limits have been placed on essay length to allow for individual choice. Do not repeat or rephrase your essay from the OptomCAS application. Reapplicants are strongly encouraged to submit new essays.
    • Re-applicants - Please note the additional required essay question specifically for re-applicants to Pacific University College of Optometry. 
  • Prerequisite Worksheet - Enter coursework you have completed or plan to complete by the start of the program in August 2015. You must have a plan to complete all prerequisite coursework. A maximum of 8 semester credits of AP or IB credit can be used toward the prerequisite requirements for applicants with qualifying scores. Pacific University College of Optometry accepts online prerequisite coursework for no more than 8 semester credits or two courses; whichever is less.  If taking online science prerequisite courses, it is required that labs are physical, not virtual. Online prerequisite courses will only be considered from regionally accredited colleges or universities. The following prerequisite courses must have been completed within the last seven (7) years:  Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry (if applicable) and General Physics.  In-depth experience in the sciences within the last seven (7) years may be substitutable for expired coursework on a case-by-case basis. Optometric or ophthalmic experience may not be substituted for expired courses.
  • English Language Proficiency – All applicants whose first language is not English must meet the English language proficiency requirement prior to admission by one of the following options:
    • Achieving the minimum required official score on the International Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the Pacific Institutional TOEFL, or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam
    • Completion of a bachelor's, master, doctoral, or professional degree at an accredited college or university where English is the only language of instruction. Individuals who are in the process of earning a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution can be admitted.
  • 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, 2015.


PART THREE: Optometry Admissions Test (OAT)
  • The OAT – The OAT is required for all applicants.  Applicants must take the OAT on or before February 1, 2015 to be considered for fall entry. OAT scores should be self-reported (if possible) within the OptomCAS Application. Request that your official test results be released to Pacific University. Applications will not be reviewed by the Optometry Admissions Committee unless an official OAT score as been received by Pacific University. 


 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.

  • Begin identifying 2-4 references for your letters of reccomendation.

(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). 

  • 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.)

  • 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.)

  • Ensure that your coursework is on track with PUCO's prerequisite requirements.

(We advise students to fill out an unofficial prerequisite worksheet prior to the application process. This allows us to catch any prerequisite discrepancies, or problems you may run into if you are not meeting our minimum requirements. For a listing of prerequisite courses, refer to the unofficial prerequisite worksheet found here)

  • 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) 

  • Begin thinking about when you will submit your OptomCAS application.                

(The OptomCAS application opens on Monday, July 1, 2014.  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 - All Pacific University re-applicants must fully complete both the OptomCAS Application and the Pacific University Supplemental Application. All official transcripts should be resent to OptomCAS. Please note the required re-applicant essay question in the Pacific University supplemental application.
  • Interviews - On-campus interviews are by invitation only. Interview days are full-day events set up specifically for optometry candidates. Invited applicants must attend an Optometry Interview Day event to move forward in the admissions process.
  • Criminal Background Check - Upon acceptance and prior to matriculation, students will undergo a criminal background check (CBC).  A criminal background check is a condition of matriculation into the program.  Legal offenses that are reflected in a criminal background check may preclude a student’s ability to enroll in the program or to participate in a rotation which would be a prerequisite to completion of the program.  Because each jurisdiction has control over licensure of optometrists, Pacific University is unable to provide its students with legal advice concerning license restrictions for any given jurisdiction related to results of a criminal background check. Thus, mere admission into Pacific University’s College of Optometry is not to be interpreted as assurance of acceptance into a required clinical rotation or likelihood of subsequent licensure.  For this reason, students who have been convicted of legal offenses are advised to obtain independent legal advice concerning related licensing issues.


Important Web Sites:

OptomCAS –

Pacific University Supplemental Application -




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