Admissions Information

Prerequisite Courses

Course # of Hours
Biological Sciences with Labs a 8 Hours
Fundamentals of Chemistry with Labs a 8 Hours
General Physics with Labs a,b 8 Hours
Calculus c 3 Hours
Advanced Biology d 8 Hours
Organic Chemistry With Lab 4 Hours
Biochemistry 3 Hours
Microbiology With Lab a 4 Hours
Statistics 3 Hours
Psychology 3 Hours

a Courses should be equivalent to those required for biological science degree majors.

b Course should have an optics section dedicated to the study of wave theory and the propagation of light. Calculus based physics not required; trigonometry or algebra based physics is acceptable.

c It is recommended (but not required) that students take one or more courses in algebra, trigonometry, pre-calculus and/or analytical geometry.

d 8 hours of advanced biology courses are required. Anatomy and Advanced Physiology are recommended. Acceptance of other advanced biology courses to satisfy prerequisite requirements is at the discretion of the admissions committee. It is recommended that applicants receive prior approval from the Dean of Students for applicable courses. Courses such as genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, neuroscience, anatomy, physiology, advanced human physiology, mammalian physiology, immunology, and endocrinology will be acceptable. Courses such as plant physiology, ecology, biodiversity, biotechnology will not be accepted.

A Bachelor's degree is required prior to matriculation for admission to the professional program at the University of Houston College of Optometry.

Optometry Admissions Test (OAT)

The Optometry Admission Test (OAT) is a standardized examination designed to measure general academic ability and comprehension of scientific information. The OAT is sponsored by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) for applicants seeking admission to an optometry program. All schools and colleges of optometry in the United States, and the University of Waterloo, Canada require the OAT. The OAT consists of four tests: Survey of the Natural Sciences (Biology, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry), Reading Comprehension, Physics and Quantitative Reasoning. At least one year of college education, which should include courses in biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics, is required prior to taking the OAT. Most students, however, elect to complete two or more years of college prior to taking the exam. The OAT exam is computerized and examinees are allowed to take the OAT an unlimited number of times but must wait at least 90 days between testing dates. However, only scores from the four most recent attempts and the total number of attempts will be reported. You can submit your application for the OAT examination and/or request additional copies of score reports online. For additional information on the OAT, please visit or call or write the Optometric Admission Testing Program, 800-232-2159; 211 East Chicago Avenue, Suite 600, Chicago, IL 60611-2678.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation must be requested through OptomCAS and sent directly to OptomCAS. UHCO requires three letters of recommendation but will accept a maximum of four letters. In addition, the UHCO requires that TWO of the three letters be academic letters of recommendation. That is, two letters must be from faculty who have directly taught the applicant. UHCO strongly recommends that the third letter of recommendation be from an optometrist with whom the applicant has trained and/or shadowed. Remember, letters of recommendation should be sent electronically directly to OptomCAS by the reviewer and not to UHCO or any other optometry school.

Supplemental Application

OptomCAS does not provide all of the information required by UHCO. Therefore, applicants will be required to fill out a UHCO Supplemental Application. The UHCO supplemental application will be available to applicants on our website ( as soon as the OptomCAS application is submitted and an OptomCAS ID is generated. The UHCO supplemental application ID will be the same as the OptomCAS ID. A fifty dollar ($50US), non-refundable application fee for the UHCO supplemental application is required. Students must complete the OptomCAS application by February 15 prior to the fall semester in which they expect to enter. All applications and supporting credentials must be received in the UHCO Student Affairs office by March 15 prior to the semester in which they expect to enter. It may take 4-6 weeks after submission for the OptomCAS application to be verified by OptomCAS. For more information, visit our website at


An interview is required for admission to UHCO. Applicants who are deemed to be competitive applicants will be invited for an interview until the class is filled. Not all applicants are interviewed. The interview is not an adversarial process but is designed for UHCO administrators and faculty to get to know the applicant and for the applicant to get to know more about UHCO.

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Prerequisite Equivalent Recommendations

The courses listed for each of the schools found below are RECOMMENDED courses to satisfy the prerequisite requirements at UHCO. Some substitutions will be allowed but it is at the discretion of the admissions committee. ** Please note: Currently we are in the process of updating all University/College Course Equivalency forms. Please use the Prerequisite Requirement information above; should you have specific questions please feel free to call 713-743-3792 for more detailed course information for a specific institution.