BGSU offers the pre-optometry courses needed by students wishing to pursue a career as an optometrist. Many optometry alumni have earned optometry degrees from the Ohio State University, Illinois College of Optometry, the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and Southern College of Optometry, as well as others.


Students who have completed a minimum of three years of pre-optometry studies will be considered for optometry school admission, but most admitted students have completed a four-year undergraduate degree. Pre-optometry coursework at BGSU is extremely demanding and requires two years of chemistry, three semesters of biology, a year of physics, mathematics through the first semester of calculus, freshman English and a semester of psychology.

Applying to Optometry School

Students who decide to apply for admission to an optometry school will take the Optometry Admission Test. This test is usually taken in the year when applying for admission. Optometry colleges will not only examine grades but also look for evidence of maturity and the ability to work well with others.

Some students have taken advantage of opportunities to become acquainted with a current practicing optometrist to gain insight into the field. Students should also examine copies of professional journals and news magazines.

Although the College of Optometry at the Ohio State University is the least expensive for an Ohio resident, there are many other colleges of optometry in the United States. Several of these are not state supported and are equally accessible to residents of all states.

Additional optometry information can be obtained by writing for the booklet Admission to Schools and Colleges of Optometry at: American Optometric Association, 243 North Lindbergh Boulevard, St. Louis, Mo. 53141.

Career Opportunities

Some students who start college with an interest in optometry have changed their focus to pre-medicine and attend medical school with the intent of becoming an opthamologist.

Admission to optometry school is highly competitive and not everyone who meets the requirements is admitted. Therefore, students who plan on applying should have an alternate career goal.

Most pre-optometry students who seek a bachelor’s degree major in biology or chemistry. Students may decide to work elsewhere in the health care field as a chemist or biologist in industry, governmental agency or nonprofit organization. Others attend graduate school or seek certification as a science teacher.


The biology and chemistry departments each have a faculty member who specializes in advising pre-optometry students as well as those specializing in other health care fields including medicine. In addition there are active undergraduate societies in biology, chemistry and pre-health professions that offer excellent opportunities to become acquainted with other students having similar interests.

Preparation for College

Completing the requirements for high school graduation is necessary for admission to BGSU, but only finishing the minimum coursework will leave you unprepared for college. Consider taking four years of mathematics instead of the three that are required. Two, three or even four years of the same foreign language is excellent preparation for college. You will also benefit from competency in computer use. Courses that provide exposure to or training in the visual and performing arts are excellent choices.

For Further Information

Internet Access

BGSU's website for future students contains University highlights, admissions procedures, financial aid information and many department profiles. It can be accessed at

The University

Bowling Green State University is a vibrant university that engages, challenges and prepares students for meaningful futures. At BGSU, students enjoy an education that integrates personal growth, academic excellence and an environment that expands their thinking and potential. A mid-size residential university, BGSU has an enrollment of approximately 20,000 and a full-time faculty of more than 900 on its main campus. More than 200 undergraduate majors and programs are offered as well as master's and doctoral level programs.

NOTE: Information in this guide is subject to change without notice. To learn more about the official program of study for Pre-Optometry, please check the undergraduate catalog online at: