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UIWRSO has a policy of competitive admissions and expectation for academic excellence. In order to apply for admission, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Successful completion of a minimum of 90 semester hours of college coursework from an accredited institution of higher learning; a grade of C or better must be achieved in all prerequisite courses
- A recommended minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale
- A recommended minimum overall Optometry Admission Test score of 300
Applicants presenting with a cumulative GPA below 3.00 and an overall OAT score below 300 are less likely to be offered an interview and are not considered favorable candidates for admission.
Applicants will be considered for admission on the basis of academic performance as well as non-academic qualifications. Meeting the recommended minimum GPA and OAT criteria for application, and being invited for an interview, in no way guarantees the applicant admission. The following criteria will be used in the admissions selection process, in no particular order of preference or weight:
- Scholastic Aptitude and Academic Performance
- Overall undergraduate grade point average
- Prerequisite science and math cumulative grade point average
- Optometry Admission Test performance
- Written and oral communication skills
- Ability to handle a diverse and demanding course load
- Extracurricular Activities; Community Service; Volunteer Work; Leadership Positions; Optometry-Related Experience
- Evaluation of Character, Motivation, Initiative, Interpersonal Skills, and Awareness of the Optometric Profession
- Ability to meet the Functional Standards, as defined by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry.
Final consideration for admission takes into account the above academic and non-academic qualifications along with comments from personal interviews conducted by members of the Admissions Committee. The Admissions Committee reserves the right to interview, select and admit students on the basis of these academic and non-academic qualifications, to ensure a class that is inclusive and academically competitive.
UIWRSO supports the functional standards for didactic and clinical optometric education, established by the Association of Schools and College of Optometry (ASCO). The purpose of these standards is to identify candidates that possess the appropriate abilities necessary to provide quality comprehensive eye care services to the public. The functional standards represent a set of guidelines in the following areas: 1) observation; 2) communication; 3) sensory and motor coordination; 4) intellectual -conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities; and 5) behavioral and social attributes. UIWRSO will consider these functional standards, along with those items listed in the Admissions Selection Criteria section. UIWRSO incorporates these guidelines along with other established criteria, as standards for graduation from the four-year professional program.
In any case where a student’s abilities in one of these areas are compromised, he or she must demonstrate alternative means and/or abilities to meet the functional requirements. It is expected that seeking and using such alternative means and/or abilities shall be the responsibility of the student. Upon receipt of the appropriate documentation, the school or college will be expected to provide reasonable assistance and accommodation to the student.
Certain chronic or recurrent illnesses, including infectious, psychiatric or substance abuse problems that interfere with patient care or safety are not compatible with optometric practice or training. Other illnesses, such as immune disorders, may lead to a high likelihood of student illness and should be carefully considered. Candidates with questions or concerns about how their own conditions or disabilities might affect their ability to meet these functional standards are encouraged to meet with an optometry school counselor prior to submitting an application.
These standards are as follows: