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WSU Health Professions Student Center Pre-Optometry

Gaining experience through job shadowing

Pre-Optometry specialist

Tina Krauss


There are many ways to prepare for a career in optometry and we are here to help you map out the path that is best for you.

We encourage students to meet with us at least once each semester. We advise and support students from all majors and continue to provide support to students after they complete their degree at Washington State University.

+Optometry School Requirements


The academic preparations that professional optometry schools require are meant to ensure that prospective students will be well prepared to successfully undertake the Doctor of Optometry curriculum.Academic Records

The average cumulative GPA is a 3.4. The GPAs and hours are summarized by academic year within undergraduate (freshman through senior year), post baccalaureate, and graduate work as well as summarized by area of study. There is a running total GPA for each academic year that adds all coursework together for an overall total GPA. The GPAs that are calculated are:
•By Term
•Post Baccalaureate
• GPAs by course subject
Area of Study:
•Biology/Life Science
•Inorganic Chemistry
• Organic Chemistry
• Biochemistry
• Physics
• BCP Totals
• Other Sciences
• Math
• English
• Psychology
• Other General

Standardized Testing

Applicants must have taken the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT) and have their scores submitted to the colleges of their choice by a certain deadline.

Letters of Recommendation

Prospective students must submit a minimum of 3 letters of recommendation. At least one of the letters submitted must be from an optometrist.

Shadowing Experiences

Quality hours spent shadowing in an optometrist’s office. Note that obtaining high quality shadowing experience is more important than merely accumulating hours; quality over quantity!

Volunteer and Community Service

A strong history of volunteer activity is an indication of the applicant’s desire to contribute to society; a major component of working in the health field. A good place to start looking for community service opportunities is at the Health Professions Student Center. We have an entire bulletin board dedicated to opportunities in the Pullman area.

On-site Interview

If offered an on-site interview, prospective students will participate in a panel interview consisting of faculty within the optometry school. Interviews for most optometry schools are scheduled for 30-60 minutes.

+Prerequisite Courses for Optometry School

+Helpful Links