Pennsylvania College of Optometry accepts applications only through the Optometry Centralized Application Service (OptomCAS).

The processing of applications by OptomCAS begins the end of June, one year prior to the year of desired enrollment. Applications must be submitted on or before March 31 of the year of desired enrollment.

  • Student application reviews begin when an application is verified by OptomCAS
  • Interviews are scheduled and initiated, beginning in September 
  • Candidates meeting the requirements are admitted on a rolling basis until class capacity is reached 
See a profile of the most recent Entering Class (PDF)

It is to an applicant’s advantage to apply as early as possible to ensure priority consideration for admission. 


Apply at OptomCAS                                                                                                   

Criteria & Prerequisites

Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry actively seeks applicants from every state in the nation as well as worldwide. Students currently attending represent many states, as well as Canada and several other countries.

To be considered, an applicant must:

  • Submit a properly completed application to the Optometry Centralized Application Service (OptomCAS) at www.optomcas.org, beginning June 28. Detailed instructions regarding the completion of the application and the essay are provided on the OptomCAS website.
  • Submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (or currently attending) directly to OptomCAS.
  • Complete admissions prerequisites at the college level with a grade of ‘C-’ or better. Prerequisite courses must be completed prior to starting the program, not prior to application.
  • Arrange to take the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT) prior to June 1 of the desired entering year; taking the OAT between July and December of the application cycle is highly recommended.
    • Information and registration for online testing: www.opted.org
    • OAT exam must be taken within two years, prior to the start of the OptomCAS application cycle to which you are applying. Score reports past two years will not be considered. For example, if you are applying for the 2018-19 application cycle, you must have taken the OAT on or after June 28, 2016.
  • Three letters of evaluation are required and should be forwarded directly to OptomCAS. Any three of the following options will be accepted in order to fulfill the letter requirement:
    • a Pre-Professional Committee letter of evaluation (consult with your college/university pre-professional advisor regarding the policy for providing letters of recommendation for pre-professional applicants).
      • one committee letter will fulfill the entire letter requirement.
    • letter from a teaching faculty member who has taught you in a course (science teaching faculty letter is strongly recommended).
      • letter from a teaching assistant only accepted if co-signed by faculty member.
    • letter from your pre-professional or faculty advisor. 
    • letter from practicing optometrist for whom you have shadowed or worked.
    • letter from a healthcare professional or work supervisor who is able to assess your qualifications for professional education and future career in optometry. 
    • Additional letters outside of the above options will enhance the file but will not fulfill our required letters of evaluation.
  • It is highly recommended to shadow a practicing optometrist(s) in order to be familiar with the role of the optometrist as a member of the healthcare team. 
  • International Students, please review below for any additional requirements needed.
  • All credentials submitted on behalf of an applicant become a part of that applicant’s file with the University and cannot be returned.
It is recommended that applicants with less than a 2.5 (C+) overall grade point average should consult the Office of Admissions prior to applying.

Prerequisites

An applicant must have completed a minimum of 90 semester hours or 135 quarter hours of credit from an accredited undergraduate college or university. These credits must include the pre-optometry courses listed below completed with a 'C-' or better.

An applicant need not have completed all prerequisites prior to filing an application but must be able to complete all outstanding prerequisites prior to enrolling. 


Prerequisite credits completed ten or more years prior to the anticipated entrance date will be reviewed for approval on an individual basis.

 

  • General Biology or Zoology (with labs) - one year
  • General Chemistry (with labs) - one year
  • Organic Chemistry (with labs) - one year  or
    • ½ year Organic Chemistry plus ½ year of either Biochemistry or Molecular Biology (lab highly recommended)
  • General Physics (with labs) - one year
  • Microbiology or Bacteriology (with lab) - ½ year  
  • English Composition or English Literature - one year
  • Mathematics - one year
    • ( ½ year Calculus fulfills math requirement; however, one year Calculus highly recommended)
  • Psychology - ½ year  
  • Statistics (Math, Biology or Psychology) - ½ year

We encourage, but do not require, additional upper level science coursework in such areas as Biochemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, Histology, Cell Biology, Genetics and Experimental and Physiological Psychology.    
International Students & Practitioners

INTERNATIONAL TRANSCRIPTS

For international students and practitioners who have completed their college degree(s) outside of the U.S. or Canada, please provide the Office of Admissions with the following information:

  • A course-by-course credential review from an accredited agency, which evidences all post-secondary studies completed.  Please consult agency’s web site for requirements to complete the evaluation. 
  • An official evaluation must be sent from the agency directly to:
    • Salus University, Office of Admissions
      8360 Old York Road
      Elkins Park, PA  19027
  • These services are provided by various agencies including:  
    • World Education Services
      PO Box 5087, Bowling Green Station
      New York, NY 10274-5087
      Phone: 212-966-6311
      www.wes.org

ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY

Fluency in written and spoken English is essential for success in a Salus University academic program as well as to help ensure patient/client safety and/or effective communication with members of a healthcare team. Official results from the TOEFL (or IELTS) examination are required for all students for whom English is a second language (ESL).

Exceptions will be made for ESL applicants who hold degrees or diplomas from accredited post-secondary institutions in countries where English is the official language and in which English is the language of instruction (e.g. the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand).  

The TOEFL (or IELTS) examination must be taken within two years prior to the start date of the entering class to which an applicant seeks admission.         
Admissions Selection Process

The Admissions Committee has established policies that include the selection of applicants best qualified to serve the public and the profession in the years to come. Many factors are considered in selecting students for our program, including:

  • academic performance
  • motivation
  • extracurricular activities and interests
  • related and unrelated work experience
  • personal achievements
  • essays
  • letters of evaluation
  • communication skills, including a demonstrated command of the English language, both written and oral

When evaluating academic performance, the applicant’s grade point average, performance in prerequisite courses, number of college credits completed, degree status and results of the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT) are carefully considered.
 

Interview Process

Individuals successfully meeting the required admissions selection criteria may receive an invitation to visit our campus for an interview, which provides further insight into the applicant’s character and motivation, and allows an applicant the opportunity to meet with an Admissions staff member to discuss his or her application, tour our campus and meet with faculty and students.

Please note, it is an applicant's responsibility to respond promptly to an interview invitation, either to accept or to decline. Information will be shared with all schools and colleges of optometry if an applicant is a "no show" for a scheduled admissions interview. Please contact the Office of Admissions with any questions regarding the interview process.

Notification of Acceptance and Matriculation Fee

An applicant may be notified of his or her acceptance as early as October, prior to the desired year of enrollment. Upon receipt of acceptance, an applicant is required to pay a $1,000 matriculation fee to the University prior to the start of classes, payable as follows:
  • Return the matriculation form along with a $500 deposit within 14 days of the date of the acceptance letter.
  • The balance of $500 for the matriculation fee is due April 1.
  • All monies received above are non-refundable and will be applied toward first term fees.
Please note that all applicants are to respond promptly to all offers of admission. Once an applicant has accepted an offer, it is the applicant’s obligation to immediately notify and withdraw any outstanding applications or to decline offers of admission from other schools and colleges of optometry. Salus University participates in Shared Acceptance Reports during the OptomCAS cycle.

scholarships

Available internal Optometry Scholarships
Available external Optometry Scholarships

Policies and Procedures

Enrolled students who withdraw or are dismissed from the University will be responsible for the payment of tuition in accordance with the institutional refund schedule.