Individuals who have received a BOptom or an equivalent degree from an institution outside of the United States may apply for “admission with advanced standing” to the Michigan College of Optometry (MCO).
All students admitted with advanced standing will commence the optometry program at the Michigan College of Optometry beginning in the first semester (Summer) of the third academic year.
Admission will be contingent upon successfully completing all of the requirements outlined below and will occur only if space is available in the class due to attrition of previously admitted students. Successful applicants will be placed on a “wait list” [if necessary] for available space in any given class.
In order to initiate the advanced standing admission process, an individual must send the following three items to the office of the Associate Dean for Student and Academic Affairs at MCO:
The address is:
Office of the Associate Dean for Student and Academic Affairs
Michigan College of Optometry
1124 S. State Street, MCO 231
Big Rapids, MI. 49307
Once an applicant has received confirmation from the Associate Dean that his/her request
for admission has been received, he/she must fulfill the following requirements for
1. Transcripts of prior post-secondary course work leading to the BOptom or equivalent degree must be submitted to the Admissions Committee of the Michigan College of Optometry for consideration after a “course by course” evaluation by the following agency:
Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
P.O. Box 92970
Milwaukee, WI. 53202-0970
Phone (414) 289-3400
Inform the above agency that you want the results of the evaluation sent to the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University. The institutional code for Ferris State University is 002260.
In addition, information from the institution granting the BOptom regarding specific course content of all of the courses must be sent to the Office of the Associate Dean for Student and Academic Affairs at MCO.
The transcripts will be reviewed by the Associate Dean and the Admissions Committee. The applicant will be notified after a decision is made relative to the suitability of the transcripts for advanced standing admission.
2. All applicants for admission to the Michigan College of Optometry, including those applying for advanced standing, are required to take the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT). This test is designed to evaluate the general academic ability and the acquired scientific knowledge necessary for success in optometry school. The OAT examination must be taken on-line and is available on an individual, continuous basis. Applicants should request that the test scores be sent to the Associate Dean’s office at MCO. Additional information is available at the following address.
Optometry Admission Test Program
211 East Chicago Avenue, Suite 1846
Chicago, IL. 60611-2678
The MCO Admissions Committee prefers scores of 300 or higher in each of the categories on the OAT examination but will review each result and each applicant on an individual basis.
3. Three letters of recommendation are required for admission. These letters should be from professional individuals who have known the applicant for a considerable period of time. One must be from a practicing optometrist and one must be from an optometry college professor who has had the applicant as a student.
4. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for all students for whom English is not a native language. A minimum passing score is considered to be 550. The TOEFL is not required for applicants who have taken and passed an intensive English language course. TOEFL can be contacted at the following telephone number:
Applicants who have completed an intensive English language course should have their transcripts sent to the Associate Dean at MCO along with a letter from one of their instructors in this course confirming their competence in the English language.
5. All applicants for advanced standing must have completed at least 2 years of optometric practice within the past 4 years and/or completed an advanced degree (M.S. or Ph.D.) in a related discipline.
6. If the above requirements are completed and meet or exceed the expectations of the Associate Dean and the Admissions Committee, applicants for advanced standing must then complete either an on-campus interview or phone interview with the faculty and the MCO admissions committee prior to any offer of admission. An on-campus interview may include clinical skill proficiency demonstrations.
7. After an offer of admission, the applicant must sign a letter of understanding which will detail the requirements necessary to complete the O.D. degree at MCO.