If you’re fascinated by eyes, and their incredible ability to transmit visual information to our brain, you may be considering a career as an optometrist. In this role, you’ll examine eyes for defects and abnormalities, prescribe correctional lenses, and diagnose and treat eye diseases. Wheaton’s pre-optometry academic track provides foundational courses in biology, chemistry, psychology, math, physics, English and more to prepare you for graduate programs in optometry. Wheaton also offers a dual degree program with The New England College of Optometry (NECO), through which you can complete your Wheaton bachelor’s degree and optometry doctorate in seven years.

See Pre-Health Faculty Adviser about the Dual Degree with the NECO in the first semester. For the dual degree, all of the below courses and Wheaton requirements must be completed in three years.

All of the courses below are required before applying to optometry schools. Keep in mind that these courses represent the general requirements for the majority of optometry schools. Depending on the school, there may be additional requirements, such as anatomy and physiology. Check with specific optometry schools and the Wheaton Pre-Health Adviser. There are 21 colleges of optometry in the US.

Courses required by the majority of optometry schools:

Three biology courses

Bio 114: Introduction to Biological Sciences
Bio 221: Microbiology
Bio 305: Biochemistry*
*Course prerequisites for Bio 305: Biochemistry that must be completed before taking the course: Chem 253, Chem 254, and Bio 221.

Three chemistry courses

Chem 153: Chemical Principles
Chem 253: Organic Chemistry I
Chem 232: Aqueous Equilibria

Two physics courses

Phys 170: Introductory Physics I
Phys 171: Introductory Physics II

Two mathematics courses

Math 101: Calculus I
Math 141: Statistics

One psychology course

Psy 101: Introductory Psychology

Two English courses

Eng 101: Writing
One English literature class: 200-level or above

Optometry (OD) Curricular Path (pdf)

Pre-Health Faculty Advising

Working with a dedicated Pre-Health Faculty Advisor, students interested in pre-health can expect individualized curricular sequencing guidance, career advice and coaching, and pre-application support for graduate and medical schools. Pre-health career students can also access a wide array of internship and shadowing opportunities that are regularly shared by the Pre-Health Faculty Advisor.

Students applying to pre-health graduate programs receive graduate school selection guidance and support, personal statement guidance, interview preparation, feedback on application materials, and testing guidance and testing preparation for GRE/MCAT/DAT/PCAT.

Medical school applicants are supported at Wheaton College through the Pre-Health Advisor and the work of an interdisciplinary committee of staff and faculty. Wheaton College’s Pre-Health Advisor is Hilary Gaudet, Ph.D.