Admissions Criteria | Optometry

The Pacific University College of Optometry requires a supplemental application in addition to the OptomCAS application.

Note: Your application for admission to Pacific University College of Optometry will not be complete until we receive a verified OptomCAS application, Pacific University Supplemental Application and official OAT scores. 

Enrollment is limited and admission is selective. The Optometry Admissions Committee strongly encourages applicants to apply on or before the November 1 preferred deadline.

In making admission decisions, the Optometry Admissions Committee considers many factors:

  • Strength and breadth of academic record
  • Optometry Admission Test scores. The Admissions Committee strongly encourages applicants to take the OAT early. An applicant's most recent set of OAT scores must be no earlier than two years prior to the opening of the current OptomCAS session in order to be valid.
  • Essay responses
  • All applicants are strongly encouraged to complete 10 hours of paid or unpaid observation in multiple settings
  • Applicants must have a plan to complete all prerequisite coursework
  • Strength of letters of evaluation: one must be from a non-relative optometrist and one must be from a professor who has taught you in college
  • Content of application forms and the care with which they have been prepared
  • The quantity and quality of community service, honors and extracurricular activities
  • Demonstrated English proficiency (pdf) is required of all applicants whose first language is not English
  • Accepted students must meet and fulfill all essential functions for Pacific University College of Optometry as outlined in the document: Essential Functions for Pacific University College of Optometry, OD program (pdf)


Based on the criteria listed above, selected applicants are invited for the on-campus personal interview. The interview is required and is a contributing factor in the admissions decision. It allows the selection committee to assess essential skills and traits which may not be reflected in the application. Students admitted into the optometry program at Pacific University must satisfactorily complete a criminal background check prior to the start of classes in the first semester of the program.

2018-2019 Interview Days -

September 7, 2018
September 21, 2018
October 12, 2018
October 26, 2018
November 2, 2018
November 16, 2018
November 30, 2018
January 11, 2019
January 18, 2019
February 8, 2019
February 22, 2019
March 8, 2019
March 15, 2019
April 5, 2019

In the interview, consideration is given to knowledge of the profession, motivation toward a career in optometry, ability to think clearly and logically, poise, self-confidence, warmth and verbal expression of ideas. The interview is approximately 45 minutes with two representatives from the College of Optometry.

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.

Immunization Requirements for Admitted Students

Optometry students must be properly immunized in order to protect the health of themselves as well as their patients. Students will have contact with patients starting in the first year, therefore it is important to be current on all required immunizations. Some immunizations require multiple doses, and some require a titer to test for immunity; getting a head start on this process will make things easier as you start the program.