Admissions FAQ

What is your class size? 38 (range in class size nationally for optometry is “28-169”)

When can I start applying and what is the application deadline? You can submit your application anytime after July 1st. Application files must be completed by February 15th of the year which admission is being sought. (Does not apply to MCO's Early Admission Program)

Would it be beneficial to apply early before the February 15th deadline? Yes; MCO has a “rolling admissions program”, which means that seats will be offered throughout the admissions cycle.

What is considered "a complete application"?
See OptomCAS Website

How soon will I receive a response to my submitted application? The MCO Associate Dean's office will send a confirmation letter or email two weeks after we receive the application from OptomCAS.

What is the application fee? See OptomCAS Website

Are there any other fees involved? Yes. We require a $500 nonrefundable deposit that holds your place in the class, as limited seats are available. This is applied to your tuition once you begin classes in August. 

What happens to my tuition money if I decide to withdraw from the University? Depending on when you withdraw from the University, a refund will be given based on the following refund schedule.

If I am already a Ferris student, do I need to fill out the OptomCAS online application? Yes.

How many applications are received for each available seat? For the entering class of 2015, there were approximately 7 applications for each accepted student.

I heard that I could finish my bachelors degree while in optometry. Is that true? If accepted without a Bachelor of Science degree you would be eligible for the Bachelor of Science in Vision Science after completion of the first year of the optometry curriculum, and an advanced English composition course.

What is the MCO Early Admission Program, and where can I get more information about it? The Early Admission Program is intended to identify and acknowledge qualified candidates who early in their college education are committed to optometry as their chosen profession and to attending MCO as their chosen professional school. MCO will offer to any applicant who meets the published requirements, an opportunity to complete their application and participate in the interview process in the year prior to the regular admission cycle. Although most of the positions within any given class will be filled as a result of the regular admission process, a limited number of positions will be offered in advance as a result of being chosen in this early admission process. Complete information is available here MCO Early Admissions.

What is the lowest grade you will accept for a pre-optometry course? C (2.0)

Is there a penalty for repeating classes? There is no penalty for repeating classes; however, if invited for an interview, you will be asked to explain the reason for repeating the class.

Can Advanced Placement (AP) credits be applied to meet the pre-optometry admission requirements? MCO accepts AP credits for non-science courses and math, general biology and general chemistry courses with a score of 4 or 5. General biology and general chemistry AP courses must include labs.

If I am not a Ferris student, how can I obtain information about academic courses at other institutions that will meet the pre-optometry admission requirements? Visit the Transfer Guides on our web pages (Colleges and Universities, Community Colleges). Schedule an appointment with our MCO faculty advisors to discuss course equivalencies. Or, write to Amy Parks at

Do you look at grades from other courses besides the Pre-Optometry required courses? Yes. We consider both overall GPA and Pre-Opt GPA.

What part or parts of the application do you place the most emphasis on? All parts contribute to the admission committee's ability to evaluate the applicant's clinical and academic potential. The committee balances the strength of the applicants overall GPA, Pre-Opt GPA and OAT results with the qualitative merit of the letters of recommendation, the applicants letter of intent and the applicant's communication and discussion skills as demonstrated during the Admissions interview.

What advice do you normally give students to strengthen their applications if they do not get accepted? Make an appointment with an MCO Pre-Optometry advisor (call Amy Parks at 231-591-3703) to evaluate strengths and concerns, and discuss your potential for admission in the future

Will a positive response to the misconduct disclosure questions on the application automatically result in denial of my application? No; however, if you answer yes to a misconduct or disclosure question on the OptomCAS MCO application, you will need to provide an explanation.

When will the applicant learn if they are on the alternate or “waitlist”? Each year we rank applicants and assign each one a priority alternate number. The applicants on the alternate or waitlist are notified as soon as possible after the initial class is accepted by the end of May. The alternate list remains active until just before classes begin near the end of August as some successful applicants have personal reasons for declining admission even up to the first day of classes.

When will the applicant learn that they are accepted? MCO has a “rolling admissions process”, which means that seats are offered throughout the admissions cycle. So some applicants may learn within three weeks of their interview, and others not until the end of May.

Are there restrictions on how many non-Michigan applicants you admit? No, there are not restrictions on non-Michigan applicants. Numerous students from across the United States, Canada, and other countries chose to come to MCO because of the many advantages it has to offer.

What is your tuition for Michigan residents and non Michigan Residents? The annual average rate for the 2015-2016 year is $27,168 for residents and $40,775 average annual rate for non-resident students. The program is 10 semesters in length.

What is the policy at FSU for establishing residency for non-Michigan residents? Information regarding residency rules and policies can be found on the Residency Requirements for Tuition Purposes webpage. Specific questions may be addressed to Elise Gramza at the Office of Admissions and Records, Ferris State University, Phone 231-591-2805; E-mail

Are there restrictions on how many non-Ferris applicants you will take? No, in the past five years, MCO has accepted individuals from 44 different colleges and universities across the United States, Canada, and from other countries across the world.

When should letters of recommendation be received? See OptomCAS Website

Are committee letters of recommendation accepted by MCO? Yes, follow instructions provided by OptomCAS.

Must all required pre-optometry academic courses be completed as of the date I apply? No. You do not need to have completed all academic requirements for admission at the time of application. However, all academic pre-optometry requirements for admission must be successfully completed prior to entrance into the program.

How long are the prerequisite courses good for? All prerequisites must be completed within 10 years prior to matriculation at MCO.

Do I need a bachelor's degree before I go to optometry school? No, but a bachelor's degree is strongly recommended and preferred.

Does it matter what my major is? No.

Is there any preference for FSU pre-optometry applicants? No; however, at FSU you will have many resources available to you including the Honors Program, convenient pre-optometry advising from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Michigan College of Optometry, and an active Pre-Optometry Club.

Is there a minimum required OAT score or grade point average? No; however, we recommend applicants score at least 300 average on the OAT and have an overall GPA of at least a 3.0. To see the academic profile of the recent entering class, click here 2015 Profile.

How long are the OAT scores valid? Only OAT scores reported within the last two years are acceptable.

How many times can I take the OAT? Unlimited. An applicant must wait at least 90 days to be eligible to apply to retake the OAT.

What non-required courses are most recommended for Pre-Optometry students? Genetics, Cell Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Embryology, Biochemistry and Accounting and Management.

How important is “job shadowing” of optometrists? The best opportunity to learn about optometry and the day-to-day life of those in the field is to “job shadow” several optometrists. MCO encourages all prospective students to contact and spend time with a Doctor of Optometry practicing in their area. This may be possible in the form of observation, volunteer work, internships, or employment. This experience will help you decide whether you can see yourself as an optometrist in the future.

MCO does not require applicants to log a specific number of shadowing or observation hours unless you are applying for the MCO Early Admission Program. The primary goal is to guarantee that you are confident in your career choice and to assure the Admissions Committee that you are making an informed decision.