Optometry Admissions Criteria

Pacific University College of Optometry does not have a minimum GPA or minimum test score requirement. If applicants have an Academic Average OAT score of lower than 300 or other standardized test equivalent, they are encouraged to consult with the Office of Admissions before applying. Applicants must meet the following criteria to be considered for admission:

  • Verified OptomCAS application with supporting letters of evaluation
    • One letter of evaluation from a non-relative optometrist
    • One letter of evaluation from an instructor who has taught you in a graded course at the college-level
    • Committee letters will be accepted as long as it includes the required letters of evaluation
    • Applicants who have been out of school for more than 2 years may submit a letter of evaluation from a direct supervisor or laboratory manager in lieu of a college instructor 
  • Demonstrated plan to complete all prerequisite requirements
  • Valid OAT or GRE scores. The DAT and MCAT are also accepted. 
    • Pacific University OptomCAS GRE Code: 4571
  • 10 hours of direct observation with an optometrist is strongly encouraged
  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree or fulfillment of prerequisite requirements for the bachelor’s degree completion option
  • Fulfillment of the English Proficiency Policy
  • Fulfillment of Essential Functions for Pacific University College of Optometry as outlined in the document: Essential Functions for Pacific University College of Optometry, OD program (pdf)
  • Participation in an interview day

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

  • Strength and breadth of the academic record
  • OAT or GRE Scores
  • Essay responses
  • Knowledge and motivation for the profession of optometry
  • Letters of recommendation
  • The quantity and quality of community service, honors, and extracurricular activities
  • The content of application forms and the care with which they have been prepared
  • Professionalism and communication demonstrated throughout the admissions process and interview


Based on the criteria listed above, selected applicants are invited for the an online interview. The interview 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. Applicants who are admitted are encouraged to then attend an on-campus welcome day to learn more about the program, meet current students and faculty, and see the campus and surrounding area. Students admitted into the optometry program at Pacific University must satisfactorily complete a criminal background check prior to the start of classes.

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 30 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.

Contact Us

Julie Carlson | Assistant Director of Graduate and Professional Admissions
503-352-7222 | optadmissions@pacificu.edu