Application Period: June 27, 2020 to Jan 18, 2021
The Class of 2025 is filling quickly. As a result, January 18, 2021 will be the last application cycle.

Standardized Test Now Optional

OD applicants, we understand that there is a lot of uncertainty due to COVID-19. As a result, submission of standardized test scores will be optional for those applying for Fall 2021. We hope this new change will provide applicants with the opportunity to submit materials that they believe best illustrates their candidacy. Please contact us at optometry-admissions@berkeley.edu if you have questions.

Welcome!

The Admissions Committee of the School of Optometry strives to admit students who will be successful both in the academic program and in the practice of optometry. Our goal each year is to bring in a class of approximately 65 students. We welcome your application!

Selection Criteria

Selection is based on holistic review of the entire application, including previous college-level academic achievement, standardized test scores, and qualitative factors such as biographical information, assessment of suitability for performing clinical work, letters of recommendation, interview performance, and life experience.

Rolling Admissions

We conduct a rolling admissions process which begins in June, at the start of the OptomCAS cycle. Update: The Class of 2025 is filling quickly. As a result, January 18, 2021 will be the last application cycle for Fall 2021 entrance. As completed applications are received, applicants will be contacted about invitations to interview. Applicants may expect to receive their admissions decision within three weeks of completing the interview process.

To be considered complete, an application must have:

  • Transcripts and application verified by OptomCAS
  • Three individual Letters of recommendation received by OptomCAS
  • UC Berkeley Supplemental Fee paid via the UC Berkeley Admissions Portal (Slate)

Note For Standardized Tests: If you would like your scores to be part of your application review, please contact us at optometry-admissions@berkeley.edu as soon as possible so that your application will be held for review. We hope this new change will provide applicants with the opportunity to submit materials that they believe best illustrate their candidacy.

Invitations to Interview

Invitations to interview will be released on a monthly basis (see schedule below). The Admissions and Student Affairs Office will provide the applicant with available dates to participate in the interview process. All completed applications received by the deadlines indicated below will receive notification by the specified date. Applicants will have one week from the date of notification to accept the invitation to interview.

Interview Notification Dates

Apply by July 27, 2020
Interview Notification Date August 10, 2020

Apply by August 31, 2020
Interview Notification Date September 14, 2020

Apply by September 28, 2020
Interview Notification Date October 12, 2020

Apply by October 26, 2020
Interview Notification Date November 9, 2020

Apply by November 30, 2020 
Interview Notification Date December 14, 2020

Apply by January 18, 2021
Interview Notification Date February 1, 2021

Note: the Class of 2025 is filling quickly. As a result, January 18, 2021 will be the last application cycle, and we will not be holding the February 15 and March 15 cycles. Please make sure you apply by January 18th!

Interviews of applicants by invitation only. Applicants will be contacted by our Admissions Office to set up an interview time with a current student and faculty. As part of the assessment, you will have the opportunity to speak with current students. These interviews will currently be held in a virtual format due to COVID-19 social distancing practices.

After You Receive an Offer of Admission

Students who have been admitted into an entering class are required to take certain steps to secure their seats in that class. The deadline to complete these steps will be provided by the Admissions and Student Affairs Office following their completed application and interview.

  1. Accept the offer.
  2. Pay deposit. Berkeley Optometry requires a non-refundable $750 enrollment deposit to secure your seat in the class of 2025. This $750 will be applied to your first semester of tuition.
  3. Complete background check. Berkeley Optometry requires a criminal background check (CBC) for all newly-admitted applicants prior to matriculation into the program. All admitted applicants are “Provisionally Accepted” until CBC results are obtained and cleared.</li

Transfer Students

The Faculty believes that differences in educational philosophy and practice among the schools and colleges of optometry make the completion of a single uninterrupted curriculum in the best interests of both students and the profession. Accordingly, it is the policy of the Faculty to discourage optometry students from other institutions from seeking to transfer to Berkeley Optometry.

The Faculty believes that differences in educational philosophy and practice among the schools and colleges of optometry make the completion of a single uninterrupted curriculum in the best interests of both students and the profession. Accordingly, it is the policy of the Faculty to discourage optometry students from other institutions from seeking to transfer to Berkeley Optometry. However, the Faculty recognize that truly extraordinary circumstances may compel a student to request to transfer, even though doing so would result in a significant extension of the student's professional program beyond the usual 4 years. Optometry students who believe they are in such an extraordinary situation may contact the Admissions and Student Affairs Office for further information on the school’s procedures for reviewing applications for admission from transfer students.

Admission of students to Berkeley Optometry's professional program is the responsibility of the Academic Senate Faculty (Faculty). The Faculty appreciates and endorses the value of continuity in an optometric professional program expressed in the revised Recommended Guidelines and Practices for the Admission of Transfer Students approved by the Board of Directors of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) in 2015.

Disclosure

After a student has accepted admission, disclosure of information from his or her student records is governed by the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974. While FERPA does not pertain to applicants who have not accepted admission, it is Berkeley Optometry’s policy to not release applicant information to third parties (e.g., parents, pre-health advisors, spouses) unless there has been prior written consent from the applicant.

The US Department of Education has issued regulations requiring higher education programs that are intended to meet professional licensure and certification requirements to disclose to students whether the program meets licensure and certification requirements in individual states. The required disclosure is posted on the website of the Institutional Research and Academic Planning (IRAP) department at UC Office of the President at this URL as of July 1, 2020.

https://www.ucop.edu/institutional-research-academic-planning/content-analysis/academic-planning/licensure-and-certification-disclosures.html

UC Berkeley Supplemental Fee

All graduate students applying to Berkeley need to pay a supplemental fee. Once you submit your OptomCas application, you will receive an email from UC Berkeley’s Graduate Division prompting you how to pay the fee. The fee is $66 for both domestic and international students.

Access to your supplemental fee portal will begin September 1. If you submit your application before this date, you may still be extended an invitation to interview; however, you will be required to complete the supplemental fee before receiving notification of Berkeley Optometry’s admissions decision. After September 1, the supplemental fee will be required for a completed application.