Our timetable is meant as a general guide for undergraduate students who seek to attend Berkeley Optometry immediately after completing an undergraduate degree.

First Year of College

Fall Semester

  • Meet with the pre-health advisor.
  • Investigate health professions of interest.
  • Now is the time to ask about courses with enrollment limitations, especially those with labs.
  • Develop effective study skills to establish a competitive academic record.
  • Complete first semester coursework successfully. Most optometry schools will need an average GPA of “B” or better.

Spring Semester

  • Visit the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) website.
  • Search for summer employment or volunteer opportunities related to optometry. For any health profession, it is wise to shadow practioners in a variety of settings: private practice, non-profit, and corporate. This will help you narrow down health profession options as well as various modes of practice.
  • Become involved in various pre-health organizations and/or extracurricular groups.
  • Complete second semester coursework successfully.

Summer

  • Complete summer employment or volunteer experience.
  • Research paid or volunteer opportunities related to optometry for the upcoming academic school year.
  • If necessary, attend summer school to complete prerequisites.

Second Year of College

Fall Semester

  • Check in with the pre-health advisor.
  • Participate in pre-health activities with your organizations.
  • Begin to narrow down health professions.
  • Contact optometry schools regarding prerequisite requirements. The majority of schools will have information available on their website.
  • Complete first semester of second year coursework successfully.

Spring Semester

  • Continue to work or volunteer in a pre-health and/or optometry-related setting.
  • Research opportunities for the summer.
  • Complete second semester of second year coursework successfully.

Summer

  • Complete summer employment or volunteer experience.
  • Research employment or volunteer opportunities for the upcoming academic year.
  • Visit optometry schools, if possible, and
  • Schedule an advising session with a representative from optometry schools of interest. Phone appointments are often available.
  • If necessary, attend summer school to complete prerequisite coursework.

Third Year of College

Fall Semester

  • Check in with the pre-health advisor.
  • Participate in pre-optometry activities.
  • Continue to work or volunteer in an optometry-related setting.
  • Begin to research the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT) and prepare for spring or summer administration
  • One recommended source of OAT information is Top Score Pro by Scholarware. Local bookstores and online booksellers also sell OAT study guide materials.
  • Some students may benefit from taking a test preparation course taught by professional services. Others have found the MCAT and DAT practice and study guides beneficial.
  • Review required materials and fees for the Optometry Centralized Application Service.
  • Visit optometry schools or research when a school representative might be in your area.
  • Look into outreach programs at optometry schools.
  • Begin to reconnect with possible letter writers or continue to maintain relationships.
  • Consider participating in a mock interview with your career center.
  • Complete first semester year three coursework successfully.

Spring Semester

  • Continue to work or volunteer in an optometry-related setting.
  • Prepare for the OAT and take prior to our December deadline.
  • Continue to visit optometry schools and ask current optometry students about the program.
  • Review OptomCAS and supplemental application deadlines.
  • Maintain communication with letter writers.
  • Begin to work on drafts of essay(s) as needed.
  • Complete second semester year three coursework successfully.
  • Apply to summer optometry programs, such as Opto-Camp hosted at Berkeley Optometry

Summer

  • Participate in optometry-related programs.
  • Continue to work or volunteer in an optometric setting.
  • If necessary, attend summer school to complete prerequisites.
  • Visit schools and ask appropriate questions that will help you find the right fit.
  • Sit for the OAT.
  • Mock interview practice is encouraged.
  • In July the application portal OptomCAS and Berkeley Optometry’s supplemental application become available.
  • Provide ample planning time to your recommenders. Prepare materials for recommenders: your resume, deadlines, OptomCAS recommendation request form and letter.
  • Begin supplemental application.

Fourth Year of College

Fall Semester

  • Check in with the pre-health advisor to ensure you are on track to graduate.
  • Continue to work or volunteer in various optometry settings.
  • Take or re-take the OAT.
  • October: Register for Berkeley Optometry’s Fall Conference, usually scheduled in mid-October.
  • Complete supplemental application(s).
  • Early December: Berkeley Optometry’s deadline to submit via OptomCAS, last day to sit for the OAT and submit our supplemental application and fee. The first Monday in December is typically our overall and final deadline.
  • Complete first semester year four coursework successfully.
  • Berkeley Optometry does NOT operate on “rolling admissions.” Therefore, while there is no competitive advantage to submit an application early, we strongly encourage applicants to allow themselves a two-week lead time prior to our early December deadline to ensure all required materials have been received and processed.

Spring Semester

  • Mid-January: Berkeley Optometry interview invitations sent via email.
  • February: Interview Day at Berkeley Optometry by invitation only.
  • End of February: Admissions decisions made and applicants informed.
  • April: Admit Day for admitted students. Statement of Intent to Register due. Look at housing options.
  • Complete second semester of fourth year successfully.
  • GRADUATE!

Summer

  • Complete any outstanding prerequisites.
  • Attend mandatory orientation in August if admitted.

Taking a Gap Year

Many applicants to Berkeley Optometry choose to gain additional experience, both in optometry and life, by taking a year or more off following completion of their bachelor’s degree. Because the Admissions Committee recognizes the value of this “real world” experience, it can improve these individual’s competitive advantage for admission.