Summer Optometry Institute

Summer Optometry Institute (SOI)

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, UIW Rosenberg School of Optometry (UIWRSO) is forced to suspend the SOI program for Summer 2020. We fully expect that SOI will be back and better than ever for Summer 2021. In the meantime, we are re-inventing the SOI program to accommodate social distancing. Be on the lookout for information regarding two new dynamic virtual series. Applications are not required but you will need to register to participate. The programs include:

  • Optometry Admissions Prep Program (OptAPP) - this virtual series is already underway and focuses on the admissions process, offering unique insight from admissions administrators and current optometry students. A different admissions topic is discussed each episode including but not limited to the OptomCAS Application, OAT, and the Interview Process. Visit the link above to register for our next OptAPP virtual session!
  • Summer Optometry Experience (SOE) - this new virtual series is an opportunity to explore the optometric profession and learn more about the academic and clinical experiences at UIWRSO from the comfort of your own home. SOE is currently under development but will consist of a variety of topics and will integrate insight and presentations from faculty, administration and current students. Planned topics include but are not limited to: The Future of Optometry, UIWRSO Student Life, Academic Prep for the Professional Program, and the UIWRSO Clinical Experience. Dates are to be determined but be on the lookout for SOE to start in late June or July.  

The SOI is a program designed to familiarize Pre-Health and Pre-Optometry students with the professional surroundings of optometry school. The special focus is on preparing and strengthening the student's application portfolio for admission, as well as developing the necessary skills to be successful in optometry school. Additional emphasis is placed on fostering mentorship opportunities that can contribute to student success in the health professions.

Program Objectives

  • Focus on career exploration within the field of Optometry to include optometric modes of practice, future trends in optometry, basic clinical skills development and clinical observation.
  • Provide overview of academic experience for students enrolling in an optometry program including course preparation, attending optometry class, and participating in interactive lab activities.
  • Offer pre-admissions workshops on OptomCAS preparation, interview skills, writing skills for personal statement and individualized counseling in preparation for the admissions process.

The Summer Optometry Institute will be hosted at the UIW Rosenberg School of Optometry Summer 2021. A total number of 10-15 students will be selected through a competitive application process. As an institution dedicated to creating opportunities for access to both healthcare and education, special consideration will be given to first generation and underrepresented minority applicants.

SOI admissions criteria include:

  • Submission of a complete SOI Application 
  • Required minimum of 45 credit hours completed
  • Recommended minimum GPA of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Provide a copy of unofficial transcripts from primary undergraduate institution.
  • Submit a personal statement emphasizing applicant’s interest in an Optometry career.

In anticipation of a competitive applicant pool, we encourage you to apply as soon as the application opens. However, please note selections will not be made until after the final deadline.

You may submit your completed application and supplemental documentation by mail, fax or email.

There is no application or registration costs. During the program, meals and housing will be provided. The only expense each participant will be responsible for includes travel arrangements to and from San Antonio.

Participants can either arrange for their own accommodations in the San Antonio area or utilize access to accommodations through UIWRSO. We typically house our SOI students in a hotel near the UIWRSO campus. Check-in for the hotel is typically the Monday prior to the start of the program. We will provide transportation to UIWRSO and back to the hotel each day of the program, Tuesday - Friday.

More information on housing will be shared once final participants have been selected.

Feedback From Previous Attendees

  • This program was outstanding and surpassed all my expectations. It greatly increased all my interest in UIWRSO. I'm very grateful.
  • The program exceeded my expectations and was extremely helpful.
  • Great experience, extremely beneficial to students considering optometry as a profession. The mock interviews were a great practice and allowed for feedback on a personal level.
  • This program was very fun and informative, I really enjoyed it. Thank you so much for putting it all together.
  • Everything was amazing! I enjoyed auditing the class and shadowing the students in clinic.
  • The program exceeded my expectations. I was blown away by the knowledge, information and exposure that was put into SOI for us. I feel like I belong here! This place feels like home.