Applicant/Student Profile and Prerequisites

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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 2018-2019 for admission to optometry school in Fall 2019:

  • There were 2,472 individuals who applied for admission to the schools and colleges of optometry in the United States with a total number of 11,746 applications processed. The average number of applications per applicant was 4.75.
  • The median age of applicants was 22 years old, with 70% female and 29% male. Less than one percent did not report gender.
  • The ethnicity breakdown for applicants was 46% White, 32% Asian, 11% Spanish/Hispanic/Latino/Latina, 5% Black/African-American, 3% Two or More Races, and less than 1% American Indian/Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander. Three 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 2018-2019 applicant pool, please review the OptomCAS Applicant Data Report – National Snapshot at www.optomcas.org.

Prerequisites

School-Specific Prerequisites of our Member Schools and Colleges

Enrollment

Profiles of the Entering Classes

  • At the schools and colleges of optometry in the United States, there were a total of 7,244 students enrolled in the full-time regular professional OD program during the 2019-2020 academic year, and another 165 enrolled in part-time, alternate and special programs leading to the OD degree.
  • For the 2019-2020 academic year, 68.3% of the full-time student body was female and 31.7% was male. In addition, the full-time student body was 49.2% White, 30.1% Asian, 7.2% Hispanic or Latino, 3.2% Black or African American, 0.6% American Indian or Alaskan Native, 0.2% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, 2.4% two or more races and 7.2% unknown.
  • The average GPA of the 2020 entering class was 3.46.
  • First year tuition and fees range from $24,594 to $55,044.

Graduates

  • In 2019, there were a total of 1,722 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 3.3% over the number of 2018 graduates. The number of Doctor of Optometry students who received OD degrees through only regular OD programs rose from 1,640 in 2018 to 1,678 in 2019, an increase of 2.3%.
  • Of the Doctor of Optometry students receiving OD degrees through both regular and special programs in 2019, 68.8% were female and 31.2% were male. In addition, 53.5% were White, 29.0% were Asian, 6.2% were Hispanic or Latino, 2.0% were Black or African American, 0.6% were American Indian or Alaskan Native, 0.2% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, 1.7% were two or more races and 6.9% were Unknown.
  • For graduates of both regular and special OD programs in 2019, the permanent residence of 92.0% was the U.S. or U.S. territories, 7.1% was Canada and 0.9% was other countries.