Optometrists perform examinations of both the internal and external structures of the eye, conduct vision tests, analyze findings, and diagnosis and treat eye-related ailments including glaucoma, nearsightedness, and eye injury. Many diseases manifest themselves first in the eye, and optometrists may play a role in diagnosing diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Optometrists may provide pre- and post-surgical care for cataracts and laser surgery. Optometrists can prescribe drugs and contact lenses.
Undergraduate preparation for the study of optometry requires a strong foundation in science and mathematics and a background in the humanities and social sciences. UWM offers all of the prerequisites needed to apply to one of the 19 accredited optometry programs in the United States. There are no optometry programs in Wisconsin; the closest one is in Chicago. Although it is possible to enter an optometry program after completing the necessary science and math courses but before earning the bachelor's degree, it is a highly rare situation. The majority of students accepted into optometry programs have completed their bachelor's degree.
Please review the Pre-Optometry Fact Sheet (PDF) for information about suggested undergraduate courses to prepare for optometry school, experiential opportunities available to UWM students, career outlook for optometrists, and options for your major.
A suggested timeline is also available to help you plan preparatory activities throughout your four years in college.
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