Applicants to the Michigan College of Optometry must complete a minimum of three years (90 semester hours or 135 quarter term hours) of college or university education or have earned a baccalaureate degree prior to admission. An earned baccalaureate degree is preferred. An application may be submitted while the minimum requirements are being completed.
Pre-professional college/university courses must include completion of the following with a grade of C or better. Science courses should be courses designed for science majors or health professional students. As a guide, the appropriate Ferris State University course is provided in parentheses beside each requirement. Go to the on-line Ferris State University Catalog, type in the course ID number (example: BIOL 122) to obtain the course description. This may assist you in determining the "equivalent" courses at other out-of-state institutions. http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/fsucatlg/coursecatalog/courses.cfm
Additional required courses for individuals entering without a baccalaureate degree:
The following courses are strongly recommended but not required:
In order of importance:
Physiology (BIOL 205 or BIOL 321/322)
Biochemistry (CHEM 324 or CHEM 364)
Genetics (BIOL 375)
Cell Biology (BIOL 373)
Anatomy (BIOL 205)
Embryology/Developmental Biology(BIOL 370)
Business management or accounting (MGMT 310 or ACCT 201)
Applicants should recognize that every applicant will have met the minimum requirements. The Admissions Committee will be looking for additional information that will help them determine the strongest applicants with evidence that they will be able to succeed in a very heavy and challenging curriculum. Applicants will need a minimum number of 300 (junior) level and above courses to enable the Admissions Committee to adequately determine the applicant's academic ability. The recommended courses can serve as such an indicator, especially for those applicants entering without a bachelor's degree. The bachelor in applied biology (121 credit minimum) would be the appropriate major for undergraduate students at Ferris State University to complete the suggested preferred bachelor degree.
In addition to the general pre-optometry admission requirements, those lacking a bachelor's degree but wishing to seek the B.S. in Vision Science degree offered by MCO as an interim degree will be required to complete an Advanced English / Writing course http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/academics/gened/bscomm.html and a 200 level or higher course as a part of the 6 semester hours in behavioral science http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/academics/gened/soccourses.html.
All applicants to the Michigan College of Optometry are required to sit for the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT), which is designed to measure general academic ability and scientific knowledge. The OAT test is available in computerized version only. The computer version is given continuously on an individually arranged basis. The OAT must be taken by February 15.
For additional information on the OAT, contact them via the ASCO website (www.opted.org) or contact your college advisor or write:
Optometry Admission Test Program
211 East Chicago Avenue, Suite 1846
Chicago, IL 60611-2678
The MCO Admissions Committee prefers scores of 300 or higher in each of the categories on the OAT examination, unless there are extenuating circumstances that apply to scores less than 300. It is possible that the examination will be taken prior to the time when all the courses related to examination are yet to be completed (see recommended OAT schedule). The Admissions Committee takes that fact into consideration during their evaluation.
While academics are a very important part of being accepted into the College of Optometry, MCO is not simply looking for academic performance alone. In addition to the academic requirements, all applicants will be evaluated on the communication, writing and inter-personal skills that are necessary to practice optometry. Included in this category of evaluation are the applicant's own letter, letters of reference OptomCAS essay and the interview itself. Also, the preference is for a well-rounded applicant who has been involved in a variety of extracurricular activities while continuing to perform well academically. Following is a list of some suggested extracurricular activities; however, this is not an all-inclusive list. One should chose those activities that are best suited to one's personality and interests. If there are extenuating circumstances that preclude significant involvement in outside activities, the Admissions Committee will be understanding of those situations.
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All applicants need to be aware that the Admissions Committee also views one's knowledge of the profession of optometry to be of vital importance. This is best achieved by visiting one or more optometrists on several occasions to observe patient care on a first-hand basis. Seeking to volunteer or working in an optometrist's office is a certain way to gain understanding of and appreciation for the profession.