The course numbers listed below are for UC Berkeley courses. They are used as a point of comparison. Please review the descriptions carefully and note that these are minimum prerequisite course requirements. Completed courses must have been taken for letter grades. Courses for which AP credit was given are acceptable if listed on an official college transcript. Students who have completed a more difficult course are not required to enroll in the basic course. All prerequisite courses do not have to be completed at the point of application, but the probability of admission may be reduced if more than four prerequisite courses are outstanding.

Required Science Courses

General Chemistry (lab required)
Chemistry 1A-1B
2 semesters or 3 quarters

Organic Chemistry (lab required)
Chemistry 3A-3AL
1 semester or 1 quarter

1 semester or 1 quarter of General Chemistry with laboratory combined with 2 semesters or 3 quarters of Organic Chemistry with laboratories will also be accepted. (e.g., Chemistry 1A and Chemistry 3A-3AL and Chemistry 3B-3BL)

Biochemistry (lab optional)
MCB 100B or MCB 102 or UNEX X105 or X115A
1 semester or 1 quarter

General Biology (lab required)
Biology 1A-1AL-1B
2 semesters or 3 quarters

General Physics (lab required)
Physics 8A-8B (with lab)
2 semesters or 3 quarters

Required Advanced Science Courses

Human Anatomy (lab strongly recommended)
131-131L or UNEX X104 & X108*
1 semester or 1 quarter

Human Physiology (lab required)
IB 132-132L (preferred) or MCB 136-133L or UNEX X109-X406.1*
1 semester or 1 quarter

Microbiology (lab optional)
MCB C112 or Public Health 162A or UNEX X134*
1 semester or 1 quarter

Immunology (lab optional)
MCB 50 or MCB 150 or UNEX X110*
1 semester or 1 quarter

Required General Courses

Mathematics 16A or Mathematics 1A
1 semester or 1 quarter

Statistics 2 or Statistics 131A or Public Health 142
1 semester or 1 quarter

We will also accept Mathematics 10A and 10B to satisfy the calculus and statistics requirements.

Reading and Composition
English 1A-1B or equivalent
2 semesters or 3 quarters

Psychology 1 or Psychology 2
1 semester or 1 quarter

*Courses offered through UC Berkeley Extension

Pass or No Pass Courses

We accept Pass or No Pass courses and labs; however, we do not encourage prospective students to use more than one Pass/No Pass for prerequisite courses. Also, please note that Pass/No Pass courses do not increase or decrease grade point average.

Online & Extension Courses

We understand online and extension coursework may be more accessible for prospective students. We will consider online and extension prerequisite courses from the following subject areas: Biochemistry, Calculus/Advanced Mathematics, Human Anatomy, Immunology, Microbiology, Psychology, Reading/ Composition, and Statistics. Prerequisite courses that are fulfilled through online and/or extension courses must be from an accredited college or university and must include a final examination that is taken in person with proof of identity. Prerequisite science courses requiring a lab must be taken in a traditional in-class format (General Biology, General Chemistry, Human Physiology, Organic Chemistry, and Physics). Courses listed above as UNEX are from UC Extension. Click the button to learn more.

UC Extension

How We Determine Prerequisites

The courses required for admission to Berkeley Optometry are determined by the Faculty, who believe that basic and advanced science courses widely available at the undergraduate level ought to be taken at that level, not as part of the professional curriculum. This approach allows sufficient space in the first two years of Berkeley Optometry’s professional curriculum to provide students with the vision science and optometry courses the Faculty deems necessary before they can provide patient care. As a result, students assume responsibility for patient care at a much earlier stage in their training, and they examine a much higher number of patients by the time they graduate.


Please contact our office directly should you have a unique situation beyond the coursework listed. We can help to offer alternatives and provide additional flexibility as necessary.

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