Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Pre-Optometry 2010-2014

Degree: Doctor of Optometry

Printable version

American Optometric Association


Required Courses

University Requirement PCC Equivalent Credits
Biological Sciences: Microbiology & Human Anatomy and Physiology

BI 231, 232, & 233 Anatomy & Physiology- 12cr.


BI 234 Microbiology- 5cr.

Pacific is not as concerned with the number of credits in the Biological Science area as they are with the required coursework.
Chemistry: One year of General Chemistry and a standard one year course with labs in organic chemistry or 1 semester of organic chemistry and 1 semester of biochemistry

CH 221, 222, & 223 General Chemistry- 15cr.


Take either:                    

CH 241 Organic Chemistry-5cr. and CH 211 Intro. to Biochemistry- 4 cr.


*CH 241, 242, & 243 Organic Chemistry-15cr.







MTH 251 Calculus I


MTH 243 Statistics I

One year course in Physics (it does not need to be Calculus based)

PHY 201, 202, 203 General Physics - 12cr.


PHY 211, 212, 213 General Physics - 15cr.

12 or 15
General Psychology

PSY 201A General Psychology

English: Must include 2 courses in Writing Composition (Expository, Technical, and Scientific Writing courses are recommended)

WR 121 English Composition- 4cr.


WR 122 English Composition- 4cr.


additional 4 credits of ENG or WR courses (WR 227 is strongly recommended)
12 or more

*By completing the 241-243 series, students will be better prepared for optometry school and the OAT exam.

It is also highly recommended that students take courses in biochemistry.

It is highly recommended that you contact Pacific University for additional requirements.

Contact: Andrea Lybarger - Phone: (503) 352-7217  andrealybarger@pacificu.edu

Abby Boardman - Phone: (503) 352-7229 abbyboardman@pacificu.edu

Admissions Criteria

Enrollment is limited and admission is selective. The Optometry Admissions Committee highly encourages early application. In making admission decisions, the Optometry Admissions Committee considers many factors:

  • Strength and breadth of academic record.
  • Optometry Admission Test scores. The Admissions Committee strongly encourages applicants to take the October OAT and apply by the preferred application deadline in early January. Regular application deadline is in March. Well qualified applicants who apply early are more likely to gain admission to Pacific University College of Optometry. The February OAT scores are also accepted for the following year’s application period.
  • Essay responses.
  • Applicants are required to have a minimum of 30 hours of observation with an optometrist prior to application. We encourage the observation be completed within a diversity of optometry settings.
  • Strength of letters of evaluation.
  • Content of application forms and the care with which they have been prepared.
  • Extracurricular and community activities.


This is a Graduate Degree. Students do not major in Pre-Optometry but may qualify to major in Visual Science at Pacific University (see above contact information). In addition to the departmental prerequisites listed above, students must also complete general education requirements and have received a bachelor's degree before applying to the School of Optometry. Meet with a PCC Academic Advisor to develop an effective transfer plan that will meet your individual needs.

PCC endeavors to create accurate transfer guides for students; however, requirements may change without notice. Students are responsible for working with PCC advisors and their transfer institution to ensure that their academic plan will meet requirements and timelines.

Last updated: September 2013