Applicant/Student Profile and Prerequisites

Applicants

Profiles of Applicants to OD Programs

With 23 out of 23 schools and colleges of optometry in the United States reporting for the OptomCAS application cycle 2020-2021 for admission to optometry school in Fall 2021:

  • There were 2,684 individuals who applied for admission to the schools and colleges of optometry in the United States with a total number of 12,513. The average number of applications per applicant was 4.66.
  • The median age of applicants was 22 years old, with 72% female and 28% male. Less than one percent did not report gender.
  • The ethnicity breakdown for applicants was 45% White, 30% Asian, 13% Spanish/Hispanic/Latino/Latina, 6% Black/African-American, 4% Two or More Races, and less than 1% American Indian/Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander. Two percent of applicants did not report a race.
  • The average overall cumulative GPA for all applicants was 3.36.

For a complete report of the 2020-2021 applicant pool, please review the OptomCAS Applicant Data Report – National Snapshot at optomcas.org.

Prerequisites

Enrollment

Profiles of the Entering Classes

  • At the schools and colleges of optometry in the United States, there were a total of 7,284 students enrolled in the full-time regular professional OD program during the 2021-2022 academic year, and another 143 enrolled in part-time, alternate and special programs leading to the OD degree.
  • For the 2021-2022 academic year, 69.8% of the full-time student body was female and 30.2% was male. In addition, the full-time student body was 50.0% White, 29.9% Asian, 7.8% Hispanic or Latino, 4.0% Black or African American, 0.6% American Indian or Alaskan Native, 0.2% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, 3.5% two or more races and 4.0% unknown.
  • The average GPA of the 2021 entering class was 3.48.
  • First year tuition and fees range from $20,278 to $55,069.

2021 Matriculating Optometry Student Survey Report

Graduates

  • In 2021, there were a total of 1,807 students who received OD degrees through both regular and special programs at the schools and colleges of optometry in the United States, an increase of 4.8% over the number of 2020 graduates. The number of Doctor of Optometry students who received OD degrees through only regular OD programs rose from 1,689 in 2020 to 1,750 in 2021, an increase of 3.6%.
  • Of the Doctor of Optometry students receiving OD degrees through both regular and special programs in 2021, 65.9% were female and 34.1% were male. In addition, 52.6% were White, 30.0% were Asian, 7.5% were Hispanic or Latino, 3.0% were Black or African American, 0.4% were American Indian or Alaskan Native, 0.3% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, 2.2% were two or more races and 4.0% were Unknown.
  • For graduates of both regular and special OD programs in 2021, 92.8% had a permanent residence in the U.S. or U.S. territories, 6.6% in Canada and 0.6% in other countries.