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Doctor of Optometry

Location: Worcester
Start Term: Fall
Application Deadline: May 1

As an optometrist, you have the power to help patients improve their vision and see the world through a brighter lens. This innovative program helps you provide comprehensive eye care and promote healthy vision to patients of all ages in diverse settings. Through cutting-edge instructional technologies in both classroom and clinical environments, you will learn how to diagnose and manage a wide range of ocular and systemic conditions.

In this four-year, full-time program, you will begin seeing patients in the first year and progressively increase your time in clinic for four straight years, including summers. Our expert and dedicated faculty will work with you individually as you engage in more challenging and frequent patient exposure. You will graduate with the requisite skills, experience, and confidence to practice and advance as a professional optometrist in a wide variety of clinical settings.

Gain Hands-on Experience

The fourth year of the program is exclusively clinical, and is designed to expose students to a variety of patient care experiences, as well as to provide a platform in which to explore specialty opportunities.

Our external clinical affiliations are located in over 30 states, from Maine to Alaska, and include a variety of settings, including community health centers, hospitals, military bases, multidisciplinary practices, and private practices. Consisting of three, 16-week rotations, the fourth year is designed to expose students to a multitude of patient care experiences, as well as to provide a platform in which to explore specialty opportunities.

Please note: if you are still in high school or have not yet earned a bachelor's degree, learn more about our Bachelor of Science in Premedical and Health Studies/Optometry pathway program. 

We prioritize the review and admission of applications submitted earlier in our rolling admission process, so it is to your advantage to submit your application as soon as possible. All applicants are automatically considered for scholarship with their application. We have a rolling admission process, and the sooner you submit your application, the more favorably you will be considered both for admission and scholarship.

How to Apply

MCPHS participates in the Optometry Centralized Application Service (OptomCAS). This is the only application MCPHS accepts for the Doctor of Optometry program.

In addition to a completed OptomCAS application, applicants must submit:

  • A recommended minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Official college or university transcripts from all institutions attended (submitted directly to OptomCAS)*
  • While there is no requirement that a student must major in a specific area or complete an undergraduate degree, the completion of an undergraduate degree is strongly recommended. In order to be qualified for admission to the Doctor of Optometry program, applicants must have completed a minimum of 90 semester hours or 135 quarter hours—the equivalent of three years of college education—prior to matriculation.
  • Two letters of recommendation (submitted directly to OptomCAS).
  • Official OAT Score Report OR Official GRE Score Report (submitted directly to OptomCAS). Please note that during the COVID-19 pandemic, ETS is temporarily offering a GRE General Test at home option.
  • Resume (optional, may be submitted directly to
  • Official AP or CLEP Scores if applicable (transfer credit granted for AP Scores of 4 or 5 and CLEP Score of 50 or higher)
  • Proof of English language proficiency if English is not your first language. Language proficiency may be submitted with a score report from the TOEFL, IELTS, or iTEP. For more information on our language proficiency requirements, visit our International Applicants page.

 *Official transcripts from non-U.S. secondary schools, colleges, or universities must also be sent to World Education Services ( or Education Credential Evaluators ( for a course-by-course evaluation.

**Canadian students applying through the OPTOM.CAS do not need a foreign credential evaluation.

Prerequisite Requirements:

The following prerequisite courses are required prior to entry at MCPHS. These courses do not need to be completed at the time of application. All courses must be completed by Aug. 1st prior to enrollment in the Doctor of Optometry program at MCPHS. Prerequisite courses must have been completed at a regionally accredited college or university with a grade of C or better. Math and science courses taken more than ten years prior to the anticipated date of matriculation to MCPHS must be approved by MCPHS faculty.

Linked courses are available through the MCPHS School of Professional Studies. 

Students with international coursework must submit a course-by-course evaluation from the World Education Service (WES). Please note that a WES evaluation is not required for applicants for coursework from English-Speaking Canadian universities and colleges.

Application Requirements for Transfer Students

MCPHS University School of Optometry accepts applications from transfer students currently in good academic and disciplinary standing at another optometric institution. Students must submit an OptomCAS application, state a compelling reason for transfer, and present a letter from the Dean of their current program confirming good standing and acknowledging the transfer request. Placement within the program is contingent upon satisfactory completion of courses equivalent to those at MCPHS School of Optometry. MCPHS University School of Optometry does not accept applications for transfer from students who have been dismissed from another program.

Year I - Fall

OPT 610 Clinical Anatomy (with lab)  4
OPT 630 Geometrical and Physical Optics (with lab) 5
OPT 650 Optometry Theory and Methods I  2
OPT 650L Optometry Theory and Methods I Lab   1
OPT 651 Optometry and Health Care     1
OPT 656 Histology and Embryology 3
OPT 721 Visual Development 2
TOTAL   18

Year I - Spring

OPT 612 Ocular Biochemistry  2
OPT 631 Visual Optics (with lab)  4
OPT 652 Optometry Theory and Methods II 2
OPT 652L Optometry Theory and Methods II Lab   1
OPT 622 Visual Perception 3
OPT 613 Neuro Anatomy and Physiology   3
TOTAL   15

Year I - Summer

OPT 653 Optometry Theory and Methods III 2
OPT 653L Optometry Theory and Methods III Lab 1
OPT 711 Immunology and Microbiology 2
OPT 722 Oculomotor Function 2
OPT 632 Ophthalmic Optics I (w/lab) 4
OPT 710 Systemic Pharmacology   4
OPT 640 Systems Based Physiology  3
TOTAL   18

Year II - Fall

OPT 712 Ocular Pharmacology 3
OPT 750 Anterior Segment Ocular Disease I     4
OPT 751 Optometry Theory and Methods IV 2
OPT 751L Optometry Theory and Methods IV Lab 1
OPT 756 Foundations of Binocular Vision  2
OPT 770C Primary Care Clinic I 1
OPT 766 Pathophysiology  3
OPT 732 Ophthalmic Optics II (w/lab)  3
TOTAL   19

Year II - Spring

OPT 757 Clinical Binocular Vision 4
OPT 854 Ocular Manifestations of Systemic Disease 2
OPT 854 Introduction to Practice Management 2
OPT 753 Posterior Segment Ocular Disease I 4
OPT 771C Primary Care Clinic II 1
OPT 853 Optometry Theory and Methods V  2
OPT 853L Optometry Theory and Methods V Lab   1
TOTAL   16

Year II - Summer

OPT 759 Anterior Segment Ocular Disease II 1
OPT 752 Contact Lens I (with lab) 4
OPT 851 Glaucoma I 2
OPT 852 Vision Therapy (with lab) 3
OPT 758 Neuro Optometry  2
OPT 772C Primary Care Clinic III  2
TOTAL   14

Year III - Fall

OPT 754 Low Vision and Geriatrics (w/lab) 3
OPT 855 Contact Lens II 1
OPT 857 Posterior Segment Ocular Disease II 1
OPT 859 Glaucoma II 1
OPT 755 Pediatrics (with lab) 3
OPT 870C Primary and Specialty Care Optometry I 3
TOTAL   12

Year III - Spring

OPT 853 Optometry Theory and Methods V 2
OPT 853L Optometry Theory and Methods V Lab 1
OPT 691 Optometry and Public Health 1
OPT 741 Practice and Business Management 2
OPT 879C Primary and Specialty Care Optometry II 3
OPT 860 Research and Statistical Methods  1
OPT 845 Applied Optometric Theory  2
OPT 840 Special Populations and Topics  2
OPT 830 Professional Ethics  1
TOTAL   15

Year III - Summer
Year IV - Spring/Fall

OPT 951 Online Clinical Seminar 3
OPT 971 Externship Rotation I 16
OPT 972 Externship Rotation II 16
OPT 973 Externship Rotation III 16
 TOTAL    51

Our students learn from faculty who are leaders in their fields and are committed to the success of each student. Discover our full list of Optometry faculty

Students accepted into the Doctor of Optometry (OD) program at MCPHS are eligible to apply to the online Master of Public Health in the spring of their first year of the OD program. If accepted, the MPH coursework will begin that summer.

Students in the OD/MPH program will complete a total of 210 credits to earn the dual degree; 180 credits for the OD program and 42 credits for the MPH program. The MPH program consists of a Community Health concentration with an overview of the five core disciplines of public health:

  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Environmental Health Science
  • Health Policy and Management
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences

As an optometrist with training and experience in public health, you will be fully equipped to assess community needs for eye and vision care services. Optometrists with an MPH could develop, administer, and evaluate eye and vision health programs and participate in and provide leadership to health-related agencies that foster public awareness of the need for eye and vision care.


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Find out what makes this program unique at MCPHS.


MCPHS School of Optometry


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