Pre-Optometry is not a major, but rather a compilation of courses and experiences to prepare students for next steps. Professional schools evaluate achievement in required prerequisites, regardless of major. We recommend for students to choose a major they enjoy and in which they can excel.

For Pre-Health inquiries, students are encouraged to contact us to receive assistance in planning when to take these prerequisite courses. Students will receive academic advisement for their chosen degree program with their assigned Academic Advisor.

A competitive GPA is essential when considering a career in the health field. Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA to remain in the Pre-Optometry Program. Our experience is that students with a GPA below 3.0 are, unfortunately, not competitive.

 The courses listed below are generally required for optometry schools in our region, in addition to the courses necessary for Optometry Admission Test (OAT) preparation. We encourage students to seek out and familiarize themselves with the prerequisite and admission test requirements of their intended optometry school(s), as requirements may vary.

Biology Courses

  • BIOL 1107/1107L: Principles of Biology I/Lab (4)
  • BIOL 1108/1108L: Principles of Biology II/Lab (4)
  • BIOL 4240: Biology of Microorganisms (3)


Chemistry Courses

  • CHEM 1211K: Principles of Chemistry I/Lab (4)
  • CHEM 1212K: Principles of Chemistry II/Lab (4)
  • CHEM 3401: Organic Chemistry I/Lab (4)
  • CHEM 3402: Organic Chemistry II/Lab (4)
  • CHEM 5201: Biochemistry I/Lab (4), or CHEM 3200: Principles of Biochemistry (3)


Mathematics and Physics Courses

  • MATH 1112: Trigonometry (3)
  • MATH 1441: Calculus I (4)
  • STAT 2231: Intro to Statistics (3)
  • PHYS 2211K: Principles of Physics I/Lab (4)
  • PHYS 2212K: Principles of Physics II/Lab (4)


Non-Science Courses

  • PSYC 1101: Intro to Psychology (3)
  • SOCI 1101: Intro to Sociology (3)
  • ANTH 1101: Intro to Anthropology (3)


Additional courses to consider

  • BIOL 3134: Cell and Molecular Biology (3)
  • BIOL 3131: Principles of Physiology (3)
  • BIOL 4130: Genetics (3)
  • BIOL 5230/5210: Comp Animal Physiology/Lab (4)
  • BIOL 5241: Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (4)
  • BIOL 5242: Developmental Biology (4)
  • BIOL 5148: Human Genetics (4)

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Make it official. Add your Pre-Professional Program: myGeorgiaSouthern > Change Your Major/Add a Minor > Pre-Professional drop down menu > Pre-Optometry Program. This step will ensure that you receive up-to-date information from Mrs. Payne regarding Pre-Health Professional Programs.

Learn + Subscribe. Subscribe to the Pre-Health listserv to receive important information from Mr. Braselton. How to subscribe: send an email (from your Georgia Southern email account) to and leave the subject line blank. On the first line in the body of the message, type: subscribe PREPROF-L FirstName LastName (see below for example). Type nothing else in the message and press send. You will receive an email confirming that you have been added to the listserv.


Study + Excel. A competitive GPA is essential when considering a career in the health field. You must have a minimum of a 3.0 to remain in the Pre-Optometry Program at Georgia Southern University. Talk with your Academic Advisor, professors and Academic Success Center for help with study skills through various workshops and tutoring.

Resume + Interviews. Create and/or improve your resume at the Office of Career Services. You can also gain confidence and develop your interview skills with a video-taped mock interview.

Job Shadow. We recommend that you gain experience by shadowing general practice optometrists and specialists of your choosing, as well as at least one ophthalmologist. Document your experiences in a physical or digital format, and obtain at least one letter of reference from a dentist you have shadowed.

Volunteer + Lead. We recommend that you participate in volunteer activities that benefit others. Contact the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement for more information about volunteering with local weekly trips, Alternative Break Trips, and more. We also recommend that you participate in leadership seminars, workshops, retreats and LEAD courses. Get involved and join a student club or organization, such as the Association of Pre-Health Professionals.

Connect + Explore. Get to know your professors and local health care professionals. These individuals are valuable resources for research experience, volunteering, shadowing and letters of recommendation. Consider Study Abroad programs through the Office of International Programs and Services.

Research. Talk with your professors and peers who are involved with undergraduate research and consider opportunities within the College of Science and Mathematics.

Prepare for the Optometry Admission Test (OAT). This test requires substantial amounts of preparation and study time, so it is never too early to begin. Typically, students prepare to take the OAT in the spring of their junior year, so it is important that necessary coursework be completed by this time.

Degree: OD. A Doctor of Optometry provides general eye and vision care concentrating on the structure, function and disorders of the eye. An optometrist receives a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree, while an ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (MD) who specializes in all aspects of eye care.

Entrance Exam: Optometry Admission Test (OAT)

Optometry Programs in US: Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO)

Last updated: 8/6/2018

Medical Professions Advising • (912) 478-7472 •