Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Planning for graduate & professional schools



Minimum requirements for doctoral program

Note: Advanced Placement/IB credit in some areas may allow for more flexibility.

Major: There is no preferred or required pre-optometry major. Optometry colleges are interested in students from different educational backgrounds. Optometry schools know the importance of a broad liberal arts education that includes a solid foundation in the sciences (biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics) as well as coursework in the social sciences and humanities. Students interested in the health professions should choose a major based on their academic interests and abilities. High grades in a well-rounded curriculum are more important than a student’s major.

Pass/Fail: Required premedical courses should never be taken pass/fail.

Study Abroad: Premedical courses should not be taken during study abroad. Most medical schools will not accept premedical requirements taken at a for­eign institution.

Prerequisites:The below courses represent the requirements of the majority of the 20 optometry colleges. There may be requirements at some optometry colleges that do not include a specific course(s) or require other specific ones.


BIO 112 Cells and Genes
BIO 221 Microbiology OR

One other course from the Cells and Molecules and/or Organisms areas of biology.

Other Biology course requirements to consider:
BIO 305 Biochemistry - Eight programs require one semester of biochemistry; all others “recommend” or “strongly recommend” it

BIO 244 Introductory Physiology - Five programs require one semester of physiology; all others “recommend” or “strongly recommend” it.

Four programs require one semester of anatomy; all others “recommend” or “strongly recommend” it.


3 Semesters of Chemistry

CHEM 153 Chemical Principles
CHEM 253 Organic Chemistry I
CHEM 232 Aqueous Equilibria

Other Chemistry course requirement to consider:
CHEM 254 Organic Chemistry II- Four programs require a second semester of organic chemistry


1 Year of Physics

PHYS 170 or PHYS 180 Introductory Physics I (Enhanced)
PHYS 171 or PHYS 181 Introductory Physics II (Enhanced)


2 Semesters of Mathematics

MATH 101 Calculus I
MATH 141 or MATH 151 Accelerated Statistics


2 Semesters of English

ENG 101 Writing
One class in English literature


1 Semester of Psychology

PSY 101 Introductory Psychology


Optometry Dual Degree Program

Wheaton also offers a dual degree program in optometry with the New England College of Optometry.

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