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.
- Gain conditional acceptance into the College of Optometry
- Option to participate in the Advantage Scholars program
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.
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 3.50 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 3.50. 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 320 academic average on the OAT.
- 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.
- Observe a minimum of thirty hours with a doctor of optometry. The student is encourage to observe several optometrists in various practice modalities. The student is encouraged to arrange observation time in one of the College's six clinics, and will be allowed to count these observational hours as part of the total 30 hours required prior to application.
- 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.
- Prior to granting guaranteed admission to the College, students must complete a successful interview with the College of Optometry Admissions Committee.
- 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 and Pacific University Supplemental 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 prior to entry into the College of Optometry must maintain a 3.50 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 and may request an expedited review (including a guaranteed interview) through the College of Optometry's Admissions Committee.