Admissions Requirements (Optometry)

3+4 Accelerated Program in Optometry

Please note that because of circumstances prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Penn State has adopted a test-optional admission policy for the 2023 application cycle. While test scores will not be required for general admission, they will be a required application component for phase I of the 3+4 Accelerated Programs (Optometry and Pharmacy) and Penn State College of Medicine Early Assurance Program.

Phase I - Penn State Behrend

Students will be admitted, on a competitive basis, to the Penn State Behrend phase of the program based upon the following minimum criteria:

  • SAT combined math and verbal score of 1200
  • High school GPA of 3.5 and high school rank in top 25% of class
  • Additional evidence of scholarly and professional potential and desire to become an optometrist
  • Preference given to Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, and southwestern New York residents from rural areas, but highly qualified applicants from other geographic locations also will be considered

Application Process

  1. To begin the application process, apply to Penn State University. Please indicate Penn State Behrend as your first choice for Campus Location and Biology as your choice of major.
    • Applying for the Accelerated Program is a separate application, as this Accelerated program is only offered at the Erie campus.
    • Accelerated Program applications are due no later than January 15, 2023, for the Fall 2023 academic year.
  2. Next, apply for Phase I of the 3+4 Accelerated Program in Optometry by completing this Application Form.

  3. Admission into Phase I of the accelerated program is granted on a competitive basis. Following the January deadline for application submission, the Pre-Health Committee will meet to determine which applicants will be offered admission into Phase I of the program. All applicants will be contacted to inform them of the committee’s decision regarding their application.

If you have any questions, you may contact the Pre-Health Committee at [email protected].

Please note, admission into Phase I of the program grants the successful applicant conditional acceptance into Phase II. However, acceptance into Phase II is based on the conditions outlined herein and is administered by Ohio State University.

Phase II - Ohio State University

Final acceptance of candidates to Phase II of the program will be determined by the Ohio State University College of Optometry.

An automatic invitation to interview at the College of Optometry will be granted if the student participating in the Accelerated Program meets the following criteria while attending Penn State Behrend:

  • A minimal overall grade point average at Penn State Behrend of 3.5 and a minimum GPA of 3.5 in science courses;
  • The Optometry Admission Test (“OAT") taken no later than the end of October of the student’s junior year and earned minimum scores of 320 science, 320 academic average, and above 300 in each subcategory.
  • Observed at least two optometric practices.
  • Received a favorable letter of recommendation from the Penn State Behrend Pre-Health Committee.
  • Submit an application through the Optometry Central Application Service (OptomCAS) by the end of the Fall semester of the student's junior year (before the application deadline of March 1).

See the Ohio State University College of Optometry Admissions Requirements​​​​​.