Skip to content

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 655 Systemic Disease I                1
OPT 656 Histology and Embryology 3
OPT 721 Visual Development 2
TOTAL   18

Year I - Spring

OPT 612 Ocular Biochemistry  2
OPT 613 Neuro Anatomy and Physiology   3
OPT 622
Visual Perception  3
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 657 Microbiology 1
OPT 709 Systemic Pharmacology I  2
TOTAL   18

Year I - Summer

OPT 632
Ophthalmic Optics I (w/lab)
OPT 640
Systems Based Physiology
OPT 653 Optometry Theory and Methods III 2
OPT 653L Optometry Theory and Methods III Lab 1
OPT 705
Visual Neurophysiology & Neuro-Diagnostics  1
OPT 710
Systemic Pharmacology II
OPT 711 Immunology 1
OPT 722 Oculomotor Function 2
TOTAL   17

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 766
OPT 770C Primary Care Clinic I 2
OPT 830 Professional Ethics  1
TOTAL   18

Year II - Spring

OPT 745 Systemic Disease II 2
OPT 752 Contact Lenses I  3
OPT 752L Contact Lenses I Laboratory
OPT 753 Posterior Segment Ocular Disease I 4
OPT 757 Clinical Binocular Vision I
OPT 771C Primary Care Clinic II 2
OPT 851 Glaucoma  2
TOTAL   18

Year II - Summer

OPT 758 Neuro Optometry   2
OPT 759 Anterior Segment Ocular Disease II 1
OPT 768 Ocular Surface Disorders (with lab) 1
OPT 772C
Primary Care Clinic III
OPT 810 Integrative Seminar 1
OPT 852 Clinical Binocular Vision II (with lab)
OPT 854 Ocular Manifestations of Systemic Disease  2
OPT 855 Contact Lenses II  1
OPT 859 Glaucoma II 2
TOTAL   15

Year III - Fall

OPT 691 Optometry and Public Health  1
OPT 754 Low Vision and Geriatrics (w/lab) 3
OPT 755
Pediatrics (with lab)
OPT 820 Cataract and Refractive Surgery 1
OPT 857 Posterior Segment Ocular Disease II 1
OPT 870C Primary and Specialty Care Optometry I 3
TOTAL   12

Year III - Spring

OPT 741 Practice and Business Management 2
OPT 840
Special Populations and Topics
OPT 845
Applied Optometric Theory and Methods
OPT 860 Research and Statistical Methods  1
OPT 879C
Primary and Specialty Care Optometry II
TOTAL   10

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

Total hours in program: 177

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.


Download the Program Fact Sheet

Find out what makes this program unique at MCPHS.


Optometry Alum Selected For Contact Lens Institute Honor

MCPHS Klaus Ito

Klaus Ito, OD '21, was selected as one of 13 U.S. eye care professionals for the Contact Lens Institute’s 2022 Visionaries.

Read more 

MCPHS School of Optometry


See how a family environment, external rotation opportunities, and devoted faculty in Worcester set students up for success.

Watch the video

How to Make the Most of Your Optometry Shadowing Experience

Optometrists performing eye test on patient

Read More