Doctor of Optometry

After graduating from UAH, the average optometry school takes 4 years. After passing the national examination, some professionals may go on to complete 1-2 more years of training for a specific specialty through a residency.


Medical Schools in Alabama

Recommended Courses & GPA Requirements


At UAH, we can help you become a competitive applicant for your future professional school. These courses support required and suggested coursework for Alabama schools. The combination of courses are guidelines. Specific requirements may vary among schools.

Entrance Exam



The OAT is the entrance exam required for admission to Optometry school. The OAT measures four areas:

  • Natural Sciences (Biology, General Chemistry, & Organic Chemistry)
  • Physics
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Quantitative Reasoning

The exam runs at about 4.5 hours including breaks. 


Courses in biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics are needed prior to taking the OAT. Most students elect to complete more upper level science courses prior to taking the exam.


The OAT is not offered often, so be prepared and organized to register for this exam.

Practice tests allow for analysis of strengths and weaknesses. Take official practice tests to improve one's skills.

Many programs begin to fill their class as soon as their application cycle opens. It is crucial to apply early.


Making an appointment with your Pre-Health Professions Advisor is crucial before taking the OAT.

Book an appointment

Outside the Classroom


Health Care Experience

What better way to make sure you want to be in healthcare than by shadowing? Gain experience and possible references. Shadowing will go a long way in, not only making you a mature applicant, but making sure others see you as prepared.

Keep a Journal

Use a journal to record thoughts on your experiences. Activities come to life with reflection. Topics to consider writing about may include: Why one chose their profession, shadowing, or volunteering. This journal may be helpful when writing your personal statement.

Community Service and Volunteering

Working in healthcare means having a heart of service. This means wanting to give back to the community. Find something enjoyable and go forth!


Research experience can provide you with opportunities to work with faculty, learn skills beyond the classroom, use research methods, and engage in critical analysis. Research allows a better understanding between theory and practice using innovative and creative thinking.