MCO Early Admissions Program
The Early Admissions Program allows students to apply one year early to the Michigan
College of Optometry. The applicant will know one year in advance that they have a
seat reserved for them at the MCO. For example, an applicant would apply for Early
Admissions Program in the spring by April 1, 2015 for the class that starts in the
fall of 2016. The applicant would be notified 16 months prior to the class start date
in the fall of 2016 that they have a seat in that class. About 5%-10% of the MCO students
are accepted under this program. Students that use this option for admissions will
still need to accomplish an OptomCAS application for the year that they enter optometry
Pre-requisite Courses and Other Requirements for Early Admissions
- Commit to Optometry as the chosen profession.
- Commit to the Michigan College of Optometry as the chosen professional school.
- Spend at least a total of 20 hours working, visiting or volunteering in the office
of an optometrist. (one or more)
- Complete 32 semester credit hours of the required math/science pre-professional courses
and 12 semester credit hours of the non-math/science pre-professional courses. Below
are the required pre-professional courses:
- General Biology one year with laboratory (BIOL 121, 122)
- Inorganic Chemistry, one year with laboratory (CHEM 121, 122)
- Organic Chemistry, one year with laboratory (CHEM 321, 322)
- General Physics, one year with laboratory (PHYS 211, 212)
- Microbiology one course with laboratory (BIOL 286)
- Calculus, one course (MATH 220)
- Statistics, one course (MATH 251 or STQM 260 or PSYC 210)
- Speech, one course (COMM 121)
- General psychology, one course (PSYC 150)
- English/Composition, one year (ENGL 150, ENGL 250)
- Humanities/Cultural Enrichment, 9 semester hours (Humanities includes: Cultural Enrichment
, Art, Drama, Foreign Language, History, Literature, Music, Philosophy, and Theology)
- Behavioral Science/Social Awareness, 6 semester hours in addition to the general psychology
course above. Behavioral Sciences include: Anthropology, Economics, Geography, Political Science,
Psychology, Social Science, Sociology. Courses can be located at: http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/academics/gened/courses.html
- 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 the MCO as an
interim degree will be required to complete an Advanced English / Writing course (ENG
321) and a 200 level or higher course as a part of the 6 semester hours in behavioral
- Possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5.
- Complete Optometry Admission Test (OAT) by April 1.
- Obtain OAT composite (Academic Average) score of at least 320.
Process for Early Admissions Program
- Complete and submit an Early Admissions Application to the MCO by April 1 of the year prior to the year for which you are seeking admission.
- Request that your OAT results be sent to the MCO (if already taken). Please visit
www.opted.org for OAT information.
- Submit official college transcripts from each institution attended. Request that your
Registrar’s office send all official college transcripts directly to the Michigan
College of Optometry, Office of Admissions, 1124 S. State Street, Room 236, Big Rapids,
- Submit official high school transcripts. Request that your high school send the official
high school transcript directly to the Michigan College of Optometry, Office of Admissions,
1124 S. State Street, Room 236, Big Rapids, MI 49307.
- Request three letters of recommendation. One letter must be submitted by a college
professor, a second from an optometrist and a third from another individual of the
applicant’s choice who is neither a professor, optometrist, nor relative. Suggestions
would be a high school teacher, high school counselor, athletic coach, clergy, or
work supervisor, etc. The three letters of recommendation should be submitted on official
letterhead and mailed directly to the MCO.
- Submit an essay. The topic is "Please describe what inspires your decision for becoming
an optometrist, including your preparation for training in this profession, your aptitude
and motivation, the basis for your interest in optometry, and your future career goals."
The essay should be no longer than 4,500 characters.
- Participate in a MCO Admissions Committee interview.
Application files must be completed and received with the above required items by
April 1. Applicants who are chosen for Early Admissions will be notified by May 1st. If accepted, they will then be required to sign a "letter of intent" to be a member
of the specified MCO class. The following year, they will be required to complete
an application through the Optometry Centralized Application Service (OptomCAS). Students
accepted into the Early Admissions Program will then be required to maintain at least
a 3.5 GPA while in their undergraduate program as they complete all remaining pre-requisites
with a grade of C or better. Any applicant who is not chosen for or who fails to complete
the Early Admissions Program is still encouraged to participate in the 3+4 Admissions
Program or the Regular Admissions Program without penalty.