Optometrists are professionals that specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the eye, in addition to providing primary vision care. They are licensed to prescribe medications or corrective lenses to patients to manage conditions or conditions that impact eyesight or ocular health. Optometrists' potential work environments include offices and optical goods stores. Optometrists can specialize in primary care, cornea and contact lenses, or ocular disease. 

Professional Degree Required to Practice

Doctor of Optometry (DO)

Optometrists are...
passionate, confident, motivated, collaborative, and communicative

Requirements Vary by Program

General Requirements for Graduate Admission

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above
  • Specific prerequisites as dictated by individual programs. This may include: 
    • Specific undergraduate coursework
    • Standardized admission exam such as the Optometry Admission Test (OAT) or Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
    • Professional observation and/or experience
    • Academic and/or professional letters of reference
    • Admission interview typically required

Additional requirements vary by state

Preparation to Practice

  • Pass national board exam through the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) to become professionally credentialed
  • Obtain state-awarded professional license 


Common Pre-Optometry Requirements


Number of Courses

English/Writing Composition Two courses
General Biology or Zoology (with lab) Two courses
Anatomy (with lab) One course
General Chemistry (with lab) One course
Organic Chemistry (with lab) Two courses
Biochemistry (with lab) One course
Introductory/General Psychology One course
General Physics (with lab) One course
Microbiology (with lab)

One course

Organic Chemistry (with lab)

One course


One course


One course

*Requirements vary by university. Review requirements on programs' dedicated sites. 

MSU Equivalent Courses MSU Transfer Equivalencies