Pennsylvania College of Optometry
Doctor of Optometry

Scholars Program

Interview Process

Invited applicants will participate in a unique interview process in optometry designed specifically for the Scholars Program. Unlike the traditional one-on-one interview, applicants will participate in six to eight multiple mini-interviews (MMI), each lasting five to eight minutes.

Conducted by program faculty mentors, College administrators, as well as members of the Salus community, each mini-interview presents the applicant with a scenario aimed at assessing one or more attributes deemed to be essential for success in the Scholars Program. (For more information on MMI: New York Times article and an overall description of the process of the MMI).

The Scholars Program multiple mini-interviews are designed to assess critical thinking skills, diversity and cultural sensitivity, collaboration and communication skills, as well as time management. Collaboration and team building are key features of the Scholars Program. For this reason applicants also take part in a group exercise to further evaluate the applicant’s abilities in these areas. The invited applicant’s participation in the MMI process does not require that an applicant have specific scientific knowledge on a particular topic to be successful during the interview process.

Mentorship is another important feature of the Scholars Program. Students in the program will work closely with carefully selected faculty mentors who will supervise the program’s students through each aspect of this curriculum; as group discussion leaders, clinical problem solving coaches, and supervisors of the intense and diverse patient care experiences Scholars Program students will encounter. Throughout the interview day, applicants will be interacting with the dean of PCO and the associate dean for the Scholars Program, as well as the core faculty members who will serve as mentors to the Scholars Program students.

During the interview process each applicant has multiple opportunities to fully demonstrate his/her suitability, as well as his/her willingness, to participate in the Scholars Program. Additionally, during the invited applicant’s day on campus, each applicant learns about the program and has the opportunity to reflect and assess his/her own abilities in relation to the program’s demands. As with the traditional four-year program, Scholars Program applicants also have the opportunity to tour the Elkins Park campus and The Eye Institute, meet current PCO students, as well as obtain information about the University, housing opportunities, and financial aid.