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Regular Admissions Program

For the Regular Admissions Program, the applicant must have earned a baccalaureate degree prior to the start date at the Michigan College of Optometry. An application may be submitted while the individual is still obtaining the baccalaureate degree and fulfilling the minimum requirements. A baccalaureate degree is required. About 75%-85% of the MCO students are accepted under this program. For the MCO Regular Admissions Program, an applicant would apply for the program through the Optometry Centralized Application Service (OptomCAS) from July 1, 2023 through February 1, 2024 for the class that starts in the fall of 2024. This applicant will have a baccalaureate degree by the start date of classes.

Pre-professional college/university courses must include completion of the pre-requisite courses listed below with a grade of C or better. Science courses should be courses designed for science majors or health professional students. As a guide, the appropriate Ferris State University course is provided in parentheses beside each requirement. Go to the on-line Ferris State University Catalog, type in the course ID number (example: BIOL 122) to obtain the course description. Additionally, individual college transfer guides for Michigan Community Colleges, Michigan Universities and State Colleges are available on the Michigan College of Optometry web site.

For applicants at other out-of-state institutions, this web page may assist you in determining the "equivalent" courses at your institution: Ferris State University Course Catalog.

Pre-requisite Courses for the Regular Admissions Program

The following courses are strongly recommended but not required. In order of importance:

  • Organic Chemistry II (CHEM 322)
  • Anatomy & Physiology (BIOL 251/252 or BIOL 321/322)
  • Genetics (BIOL 375)
  • Cell Biology (BIOL 373)
  • Embryology/Developmental Biology (BIOL 370)
  • Business Management or Accounting (MGMT 310 or ACCT 201)
  • Speech (COMM 121)

Process for the Regular Admissions Program

Complete and submit an OptomCAS (Optometry Centralized Application Service) Application by February 1 for application into the next class at the MCO.

Enter into OptomCAS

  • Your optometric experience, employment, extracurricular activities, and honors/awards. 
  • Your OAT test Scores.
  • Your Colleges and  Universities attended.
  • Your Course work and grades – have your college transcripts available when accomplishing this.

Request through OptomCAS three letters of recommendation.

  • one letter must be submitted by a college professor,
  • a second letter from an optometrist and
  • a third letter from another individual of the applicant's choice who is neither a professor, optometrist, nor relative (suggestions would be a high school teacher, high school counselor, athletic coach, clergy, work supervisor, etc.).

Complete the free supplemental application through OptomCAS. See supplemental questions below:

  • What score did you receive on your American College Testing (ACT) and/or your Scholastic  Aptitude Test (SAT)  
  • How did you prepare for taking the Optometry Admission Test (OAT) exam?
  • If applicable, are you a member of your college's pre-optometry club and do you hold a leadership role?
  • Where do you see yourself in ten years?
  • How many other optometry schools have you applied to?
  • What other professional schools have you applied to (such as medical school, dental school, etc.)?
  • What interests you about the Michigan College of Optometry?

Submit in OptomCAS an essay-limit 4,500 characters.

The topic is "Please describe what inspires your decision for becoming an optometrist, including your preparation for training in this profession, your aptitude and motivation, the basis for your interest in optometry, and your future career goals."

Designate the MCO as one of your schools that you are applying to.

Request that your Optometry Admission Test (OAT) results be sent to the MCO (if already taken). Please visit the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) website for OAT information.

Participate in the MCO Admissions Committee interview.

Your application to the MCO through OptomCAS must be submitted by February 1.

Applicants, who are selected for an interview, will be contacted by phone or email to schedule that interview. Any applicant who is not chosen for or who fails to complete the Regular Admissions Program is encouraged to participate in the Regular Admissions Program the next year.