Optometry Scholars Program

The Optometry Scholars program is an academically challenging program designed for incoming freshman and transfer students at Pacific University.

Program requirements include rigorous coursework and various co-curricular elements to develop academic and professional skills needed for graduate study. Students accepted into the Scholars program must maintain program standards and fulfill all of the admissions requirements for the College of Optometry Doctor of Optometry program. The program is designed to create a structured pathway to earning a Doctor of Optometry degree, including conditional acceptance into the College of Optometry.

Students in the Optometry Scholars program need to be mature, empathetic, motivated, high-performing, and professional. The Pacific Optometry Scholars program encourages applications from students of diverse populations and backgrounds.

Program Highlights


Students who are interested in the Optometry Scholars program should indicate so in their undergraduate application— once the student is admitted to Pacific University, they will receive additional information about the Optometry Scholars program.

Program Requirements

The information below outlines the minimum requirements that must be maintained by Optometry Scholars students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences to maintain conditional acceptance into the Doctor of Optometry program. Students accepted into the Optometry Scholars program must complete all the standard admissions requirements for the College of Optometry.

  • Students must maintain a minimum cumulative of 3.20 GPA in all undergraduate coursework at the time of OptomCAS submission. In addition, no individual semester GPA can fall below 3.00. Should a candidate fall below the required GPA, he/she will not automatically forfeit conditional admittance status, but will be placed in a probationary status and have one semester to bring the cumulative GPA back to a minimum 3.20. Any grade below a "C" will result in probationary status, and the student must bring the grade up to at least a "C" within one calendar year.
  • Scores at least a 310 academic average on the OAT or at least 153 on the verbal reasoning on the GRE.
  • Complete well-written essay that fully address the required questions asked in the application. Included in the assessment is the depth of the applicant's knowledge, interest, and passion for the profession of optometry.
  • Provide two letters of recommendation, one from an undergraduate professor and another from a currently licensed doctor of optometry, are required.
  • The student is strongly encouraged to complete 10 hours of direct observation with several optometrists in various practice modalities. 
  • As optometry is a profession dedicated to serving society, students are strongly encouraged to remain active in a broad range of community and university service.
  • Students are encouraged to participate in two screenings with the Pacific University College of Optometry Outreach program or another healthcare-related outreach experience (examples include, but are not limited to, volunteer activities at a Red Cross Blood Drive, school vision screening, health fair screening, assisted care facility volunteer work, Special Olympics, hospital volunteer, non-profit vision organization/support group volunteer, heathcare mission participation).
  • Complete and submit the OptomCAS application.
  • As long as the student maintains the above requirements, they are eligible to be enrolled in the optometry program by the end of the third undergraduate year as a Bachelor's of Science (BS) option candidate.

Those students interested in assured admittance into the optometry program, but who wish to complete their baccalaureate degree before entry into the College of Optometry must maintain a 3.20 GPA and meet all other requirements for admittance.

Students accepted into the Optometry Scholars program who do not maintain the above criteria are encouraged to apply for admission to the College of Optometry through the traditional admissions process through the College of Optometry's Admissions Committee.

Contact Us

Office of Admissions
1-800-677-6712 | admissions@pacificu.edu