Pre-Optometry

The Department of Biological Sciences offers outstanding preparation for a career in optometry. The suggested curriculum below fulfills the admission criteria for the Southern College of Optometry (Memphis), the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Indiana University School of Optometry. Always check current requirements and recommendations on the web page of the school(s) to which you plan to apply.

To be a competitive optometry school applicant, students should adhere closely to the suggested Pre-Optometry curriculum and earn an overall GPA of at least 3.3. A strong performance on the Optometry Admission Test (OAT) is crucial. The average OAT scores for students accepted into optometry school range from 320 to 360 on a scale that ranges from 200 to 400. An OAT score above 370 (95th percentile) will virtually guarantee acceptance to the best optometry schools if the student’s application is competitive in other areas (i.e., recommendation letters, shadowing, GPA, community service).


Suggested Curriculum Outline, B.S. in Pre-Optometry

Fall Year 1 (16 total hours)

  • BIO 100T Transitions (1 credit hour)

  • BIO 115 The Cellular Basis of Life (3 credit hours)

  • CHE 201 General College Chemistry (5 credit hours)

  • ENG 105 Critical Reading, Writing & Inquiry (4 credit hours)

  • XXX XXX Global Awareness Elective (3 credit hours)

Spring Year 1 (18 total hours)

  • BIO 216 Biological Inquiry & Analysis (4 credit hours)

  • CHE 202 General Chem & Quantitative Analysis (5 credit hours)

  • BIO 221 Zoology: Animal Form & Function (4 credit hours)

  • MAT 250 Calculus & Analytical Geometry (5 credit hours)

Fall Year 2 (16 total hours)

  • BIO 222 Botany: Plant Form & Function (4 credit hours)

  • CHE 312 Organic Chemistry I & Lab (5 credit hours)

  • STA 135 Intro to Probability & Statistics (4 credit hours)

  • CIV 201/202 World Civilization I or II (3 credit hours)

Spring Year 2 (14 total hours)

  • COM 161 Introduction to Public Speaking (3 credit hours)

  • BIO 300 Microbiology (4 credit hours)

  • CHE 320 Organic Chemistry II (3 credit hours)

  • PHY 130/131 General Physics I & Lab (4 credit hours)

Fall Year 3 (14-15 total hours)

  • BIO 321 Cell Biology: Mechanisms or BIO 333 Genetics (3-4 credit hours)

  • BIO 322 Animal Physiology (4 credit hours)

  • PHY 132/133 General Physics I & Lab (4 credit hours)

  • CHE 530 Fundamentals of Biochemistry I (3 credit hours)

Spring Year 3 (12-13 credit hours)

  • BIO 323 Cell Biology: Systems or BIO 333 Genetics (3-4 credit hours)

  • HUM 211 The Western Humanities Tradition (3 credit hours)

  • PSY 180 General Psychology (3 credit hours)

  • CHE 540 Fundamentals of Biochemistry II (3 credit hours)

Fall Year 4 (14 total hours)

  • ENG 204 Advanced Expository Writing (3 credit hours)

  • BIO XXX Upper Level Biology Elective (4 credit hours)

  • BIO XXX Upper Level Biology Elective (4 credit hours)

  • XXX XXX Ethics Elective (3 credit hours)

Spring Year 4 (15 total hours)

  • BIO 499 Senior Seminar (1 credit hour)

  • BIO 421 Vertebrate Histology (4 credit hours)

  • BIO XXX Upper Level Biology Elective (4 credit hours)

  • XXX XXX Unrestricted Elective (3 credit hours)

  • XXX XXX Unrestricted Elective (3 credit hours)

Fall Year 1 Post Associate's Degree

  • BIO 221 Zoology: Animal Form & Function (4 credit hours)

  • BIO 222 Botany: Plant Form & Function (4 credit hours)

  • CHE 312 Organic Chemistry I & Lab (5 credit hours)

  • PSY 300 Principles of Statistical Analysis (3 credit hours)

Spring Year 1 Post Associate's Degree

  • ENG 204 Advanced Expository Writing (3 credit hours)

  • CHE 320 Organic Chemistry II (3 credit hours)

  • MAT 250 Calculus & Analytical Geometry (5 credit hours)

  • PSY 180 General Psychology (3 credit hours)

  • XXX XXX Upper Level Electives (3 credit hours)

Fall Year 2 Post Associate's Degree (15 total hours)

  • BIO 333 Genetics (4 credit hours)

  • BIO 322 Animal Physiology (4 credit hours)

  • CHE 530 Fundamentals of Biochemistry I (3 credit hours)

  • PHY 130/131 General Physics & Lab (4 credit hours)

Spring Year 2 Post Associate's Degree (17 total hours)

  • BIO 300 Microbiology (4 credit hours)

  • BIO XXX Biology Elective (300+ level) (4 credit hours)

  • BIO XXX Biology Elective (300+ level) (4 credit hours)

  • BIO 421 Vertebrate Histology (4 credit hours)

  • BIO 499 Senior Seminar (1 credit hour)

Note: the transfer student pathway follows the pre-Biology Curriculum from WKCTC. It assumes that students have taken courses that will transfer as Murray State's BIO 115, BIO 216, CHE 201, CHE 202, MAT 150 and PHY 130/131. See Murray State Transfer Equivalency Tool to help you figure out how courses transfer from your current institution.

For More Information Please Contact:

Dr. Sterling Wright

Associate Professor, Chair
Department of Biological Sciences

2112 Biology Building

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