DARA WEGMAN-GEEDEY, Professor (Biology)
B.S., Mount Union; Ph.D., Delaware
Admission to any of the 20 optometry schools in the United States requires completion of at least three years of undergraduate coursework. Some schools give preference to applicants with a bachelor's degree. Acceptance is dependent upon undergraduate performance, Optometry Admission Test (OAT) scores, letters of evaluation, interview results and successful completion of all entrance requirements.
While requirements vary among different schools, Augustana's pre-optometry program satisfies the pre-requisites of nearly all optometry schools in the country. The program requirements include BIOL-200, BIOL-210, BIOL-343, BIOL-362, BIOL-370; CHEM-121, CHEM-122, CHEM-123, CHEM-311; PHYS-101, PHYS-102, PHYS-103; PSYC-100, PSYC-240; and MATH-219. Recommended supporting courses include advanced communication courses and additional social science coursework.
Augustana's optometry program is not a graduation major, so a departmental major must be completed if the student intends to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree. The choice of major is not critical for acceptance by a school of optometry, though nationwide approximately 80 percent of all matriculating students major in the biological sciences.
Augustana College has an articulation agreement with Illinois College of Optometry. Students may be accepted to the program during spring of their first year at Augustana and must then maintain a minimum grade-point average and score above the average Optometry Admission Test (OAT) score of the prior year's incoming ICO class. Our agreement with ICO is a 3:4 program, meaning students can enter ICO following their third year at Augustana. After their first year at ICO, they return for graduation ceremonies from Augustana, then finish the remaining three years of optometry school (seven years total). The 3:4 program is not restricted to Illinois residents.
Students interested in optometry should confer with the advisor early in the first year of study. Please see the page dedicated to Coordinated Degree Programs for more information.