Application Process and Requirements
Below you will find all the requirements for applying to the OD program. The admission cycle begins on July 1.
We strongly encourage you to apply as early as possible. You do not need to have completed all requirements to submit your application. Prerequisite courses for admissions can be finished before enrolling at the SUNY College of Optometry in August. Keep in mind that providing your OAT scores, at least two out of the three required letters of recommendation and having most of your prerequisite work finished at the time of application will avoid delays in the processing of your application.
The SUNY College of Optometry participates in OptomCAS, the centralized application system for all schools and colleges of optometry in the United States and Puerto Rico. All application materials must be submitted through OptomCAS’ Common Application found at OptomCAS.
Official transcripts of all college courses taken to date must be submitted by the institutions through OptomCAS.
Although SUNY Optometry does not have a minimum GPA requirement, competitive students will have a GPA of at least 3.2.
Letters of recommendation
A letter of recommendation must be prepared and sent by the pre-professional committee at the undergraduate school where you completed the majority of your pre-professional courses through OptomCAS. If a committee exists and cannot submit a letter of recommendation, a letter from that committee indicating why they cannot provide the information is required.
If there is no such committee at your undergraduate institution, you must submit three letters of recommendation of your choice. Two of the three must assess academic performance in the sciences.
The Optometry Admissions Test (OAT) is an assessment of your academic ability and knowledge in six sections: biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, math (quantitative) and reading comprehension. The OAT is offered throughout the year at Prometric Testing Centers. You should plan ahead for taking the OAT and schedule a testing date several weeks in advance. Information about registering for the test can be found at: ADA.org.
We strongly recommend that applicants take the OAT before sending their applications. Ideally, applicants should take the OAT in July, August or September of the application year. OATs taken after February 28 of the calendar year you wish to enroll will not be accepted. Please request that OAT scores be sent directly to the SUNY College of Optometry. The OAT must have been taken no earlier than two years (24 months) prior to the opening of the current OptomCAS session. For example, if you are applying for the 2014-15 application cycle, you must have taken the OAT after July 1, 2012.
An official report of all scores achieved on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or American College Test (ACT), if taken in high school, should be submitted to the College. Canadian or International students who have not taken the SAT or ACT are not required to submit it. Please either submit a high school transcript with the scores included on them or have the scores sent to you from the College Board or ACT and then forward the score report to us. All documents can be mailed to:
SUNY College of Optometry
Office of Student Affairs
33 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
Supplemental Questions and Fee
Once you have designated SUNY Optometry as a school you are applying to within OptomCAS, you will be able to access the Supplemental Questions.
This will appear under the "School Designations" section within your Application Checklist. Once you have submitted both the regular OptomCAS application and SUNY Optometry supplemental questions, please pay your $40 Supplemental Fee.
After your application has been submitted through OptomCAS, it takes four to five weeks for your application to be reviewed by the SUNY Optometry Admissions Committee. Applicants who meet our admissions requirements will be invited for an interview on our campus. On the day of the interview you will be required to write a short essay about a topic that will be disclosed to you on that day. The interview is conducted by three members of the Admissions Committee and is an opportunity for us to get to know you better as well as to further learn about your academic and personal achievements, your leadership potential and guage your communication skills.
SUNY Optometry requires background checks for all accepted professional OD applicants prior to enrollment. All students admitted into the program are conditionally accepted until CBC results are obtained and cleared.
All conditionally accepted applicants must consent to, submit to and successfully complete a criminal background check through Certiphi Screening, Inc. Failure to do so will constitute failure to meet the pre-matriculation requirements established by SUNY Optometry and will result in the withdrawal of a conditionally accepted offer. It is the student’s responsibility to successfully apply for the criminal background check prior to enrollment. Note: An email from Certiphi will be sent to all admitted students informing them that they should initiate the CBC process. Students SHOULD NOT directly request a Personal Background check through Certiphi. SUNY Optometry does not have access to personal background checks.
Results of the CBC by Certiphi will be made available to the applicant and to SUNY Optometry. Results yielded from the CBC will be kept confidential and will be used for admissions purposes only. Applicants will receive an email from Certiphi informing them when their CBC is ready for review. Applicants have a 10-calendar-day period to review and dispute the results of the CBC before the results are released to SUNY Optometry. The CBC will not be released to SUNY Optometry until all disputes have been solved.
Applicants who have prior criminal offenses of any nature are required to disclose these offenses as part of the application process in OptomCAS. Offenses disclosed by the Certiphi Background Check that are not disclosed in the application materials may result in the withdrawal of the student’s acceptance.