Prerequisite Coursework | Optometry

Prerequisite Requirements

  • Microbiology with lab
  • Human or Vertebrate Anatomy with lab*
  • Human or Animal Physiology with lab*
  • Complete General Chemistry sequence with labs
  • Complete Organic Chemistry sequence with labs or combination of Organic Chemistry with lab and Biochemistry with lab
  • Complete General Physics sequence with labs
  • Calculus
  • Statistics
  • General Psychology
  • English
    • One course that has been taken from the Department of English or Writing is required. A course in writing composition, expository, technical or scientific writing is strongly recommended.

*All applicants are required to take a complete Human Anatomy and Physiology sequence with labs. This may be satisfied with either a combined series of Human Anatomy and Physiology with labs or separate semesters of Anatomy (lab required) and Physiology (lab required). Contact the Office of Graduate Admissions directly at if a lab is not offered at your institution.

Unofficial Prerequisite Worksheet

The Unofficial Prerequisite Worksheet (pdf) is to help you determine which prerequisites you have fulfilled and those which you have remaining to meet the prerequisite coursework for the Doctor of Optometry program.

The following prerequisite courses must have been completed within the last ten years: Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry (if applicable) and General Physics.

In-depth experience in the sciences within the last ten years may be able to be substituted for expired coursework on a case-by-case basis. Examples include applicants pursuing a doctorate degree in the sciences whose general science prerequisites were completed more than ten years ago. Optometric or ophthalmic experience may not be substituted for expired courses.

Credit will be accepted from any regionally accredited institution including universities and community colleges. The College of Optometry accepts online prerequisite coursework for no more than 12-semester credits or three courses; whichever is less. If taking online science prerequisite courses, it is required that labs are physical, not virtual. Prerequisite courses and labs that were conducted in an online format due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be accepted and will not count towards the 12 semester credit or three course online limit.

A maximum of 8-semester credits of AP or IB credit can be used toward the prerequisite requirements for applicants with qualifying scores.  A qualifying score is a 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement test or a 5 or higher on the IB examination. If using AP or IB credit you can list your test score in the grade section of the worksheet.

Admitted students must be able to provide a final official transcript showing all prerequisite courses completed with a grade of “C” or higher prior to the intended date of entry. Prerequisite courses must be taken on a graded basis unless the course was switched to pass-fail grading by an institution due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants can apply with prerequisites still in progress.

To submit the worksheet:

Email | Fax (503) 352-7290

Pacific University
Office of Graduate Admissions
190 SE 8th Ave
Hillsboro, OR 97123

Please allow three weeks to receive the evaluated worksheet back after you submit it.

Bachelor’s Degree Completion Option

Applicants can apply to Pacific University College of Optometry without earning a bachelor's degree prior to the intended year of entry. Applicants seeking admission under the bachelor's degree completion option must fulfill all of the prerequisite requirements, in addition to an overall total of at least 90-semester credits from a regionally accredited college or university. Coursework must include the following:

  • 12-semester credits in the humanities from at least two of the following disciplines: art, communications, English, history, humanities, languages, music, philosophy, religion, speech or theater
  • 12-semester credits in the social sciences from at least two of the following disciplines: anthropology, business, cultural studies, economics, geography, history, political science, psychology or sociology

If an applicant is admitted under the bachelor’s degree completion option, they will be awarded a Bachelor of Science in Vision Science degree from Pacific University College of Optometry after the successful completion of the first year OD curriculum.

There is no separate application process for applicants applying through the bachelor’s degree completion option. If you have any questions, please contact us at

Contact Us

Caitlin Biddulph | Assistant Director of Graduate and Professional Admissions
503-352-7222 |
Toll-free: 1-800-933-9308 | Fax: 503-352-7290