Joint Degree

SUNY Optometry and 25 colleges and universities in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania offer an affiliation program to highly qualified students whereby students may complete a joint BS or BA degree and OD degree in just seven years instead of the usual eight.

How Does It Work?

Selected academically talented high school seniors and college freshman are admitted to an approved joint degree track at one of the 25 affiliate colleges and, simultaneously, to candidacy for admission to the professional OD program at SUNY Optometry. After three years of undergraduate work at one of the affiliate colleges, upon maintaining the required academic standing, the qualified student is admitted to the SUNY College of Optometry. After the first year at SUNY Optometry, the student receives his or her baccalaureate degree from the undergraduate college.  The OD degree is awarded after completing the four years at SUNY Optometry.

Benefits

A student saves one year in tuition, travel and books. In addition, students who are accepted into the program simultaneously establish a candidacy for admission to the professional program. The student also receives continuous guidance from both institutions throughout the seven-year program.

College Major

Most of the students in the Joint Degree Program are biology, chemistry or psychology undergraduate majors. However, many different majors may be accepted as long as the prerequisites for the optometry program are met.

Prerequisites

Prerequisites, to be met during the three years of undergraduate college, for the professional optometry program are:

  • General Biology: 1 year*

  • General Chemistry: 1 year*

  • General Physics: 1 year*

  • Organic Chemistry: 1 year*

  • Calculus I: 1 semester

  • English Composition and Literature: 1 year

  • Social Science: 1 year

  • General Psychology: 1 semester

  • Statistics: 1 semester

  • Optometry Ad­mission Test (OAT)

*A laboratory course is required.

Affiliate Colleges

The 25 colleges and universities involved in the Joint Degree Program are listed below (additional colleges are under consideration.) More details are available from the Admission Offices and advisors at these colleges or you may call the Office of Student Affairs at SUNY State College of Optometry at (212) 938-5500 or (800) 291-3937 for more details.

  • Adelphi University
  • Canisius College
  • CUNY Brooklyn College
  • CUNY College of Staten Island
  • Ithaca College
  • Lehigh University (PA)
  • Muhlenberg College (PA)
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • Pace University
  • Ramapo College of New Jersey
  • St. John's University
  • Siena College
  • SUNY University Center at Albany
  • SUNY University Center at Binghamton
  • SUNY at Fredonia
  • SUNY at Geneseo
  • SUNY at New Paltz
  • SUNY at Oneonta
  • SUNY at Oswego
  • SUNY at Plattsburgh
  • SUNY at Potsdam
  • The College of New Jersey
  • Utica College of Syracuse University
  • Wagner College
  • Yeshiva University and Stern College
     

Requirements for the 3/4 Joint Degree Program with the SUNY College Of Optometry

All applicants must be interviewed when initially applying by a representative of the Office of Student Affairs of the SUNY College of Optometry.

To be considered when applying to undergraduate school directly from high school:

  1. Must be accepted into one of the 25 undergraduate colleges/universities, with which we have this program affiliation, as a freshman

  2. Must have total SATs of at least 1300 with the math score of at least 670, or 29 on the ACT

  3. Must have a high school grade average of at least 93 out of a 100

  4. Should be in the upper 10% of their high school class (depending on the reputation of the high school)

  5. Must have a definite interest in the profession of optometry and have explored it

  6. Must show evidence of community involvement

  7. Must have reasonable communication and interpersonal skills

  8. Must submit to an interview
     

To be considered once attending a college or university:

  1. Must have an overall GPA of at least 3.3

  2. Must have an overall GPA of at least 3.3 in all math and science prerequisites taken with no individual grade below a C

  3. Same as numbers above  

If admitted into the 3/4 program, the following are required while attending the undergraduate college/university:

  1. Maintain at least a 3.3 overall GPA

  2. Maintain at least a 3.3 overall GPA in the math and science prerequisites with no individual grade below a C

  3. Take the Optometric Admission Test in the third undergraduate year and attain all scores of 330 or greater

  4. Have submitted the required letters of recommendation (must be positive)

  5. Submit all transcripts of academic work

  6. Show evidence of community involvement

  7. Explore the profession extensively by visiting several optometric practices

  8. Submit the routine application required of all students during your third undergraduate year

  9. Submit to a final interview at the SUNY College of Optometry during your third undergraduate year

  10. Meet all the requirements of graduation for the undergraduate college/university attended      

Apply Now!