It is well-known that going to graduate education in health sciences can be difficult, and for a good reason. Whatever field of medicine the future doctor is trained in, we want only the top of the most talented to be able to practice. There is no room for mistakes when it comes to human health.
However, the medical school rankings don’t always concentrate on passing rates despite this fact. The high quality of alumni and research endowments and the famed alumni also matter. So do the student’s GPAs and test scores. But at the end of the day, patients are more concerned about fundamental questions like did the person who performed a procedure graduated from medical school.
With this in mind, College Gazette presents this list of the top 10 American optometry colleges, ranked following “ultimate passing rates” of the optometry exam according to the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry. Our list is restricted to the fifty U.S. states, not including territories.
The result is the list of options that includes private institutions and R1 state universities you would expect that have optometry courses in the medical faculties. However, there are smaller schools that are devoted to studying human vision. By presenting such a wide variety of options, College Gazette’s list will aid future eye doctors in making their plans in line with the factors that matter.
What to Look for in Optometry Schools
If you’re interested in becoming an optometrist, you should know the top optometry schools. The best optometry schools usually have:
- Highly distinguished faculty
- Cutting-edge facilities
- High-caliber research programs
- High rates of pass rates for students
Optometry schools are available across the United States. It’s some effort to be accepted into one, then study there, and finally complete the course. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be among numerous vision health professionals helping people to see clearly throughout their lives.
10 Best American Optometry Schools
What are the top optometry colleges selected? The pass rate is one of the best indicators. But, there are many other aspects to take into consideration. You can search for numerous things on your own. College Gazette did just that. Here are the optometry schools that we think are worthy of reference to be among the top of all optometry schools.
Arizona College of Optometry at Midwestern University
It is located in Glendale, Arizona town of Glendale. The college has earned the top ranking in optometry schools since its pupils have a 98 percent graduation rate. Averaging a GPA of 3.53 and an OAT score of 624, the students are highly successful, but not by themselves, given the prestigious faculty and world-class equipment and research resources. Faculty members include American Academy of Optometry fellows and the top journal contributors. They recently received an award of $100,000. Students can take part in clinical rotations with faculty from the community. They also have preclinical simulations to help students prepare for professional life. The highest grades in the undergraduate science classes help applicants be accepted; however, experiences with working optometrists are also helpful.
Acceptance Rate: 10 percent
Average Undergrad GPA: 3.41
OAT Average: 319
Illinois College of Optometry
It is known as the Windy City home. This school is among the ranks of optometry schools constantly on the top lists of school rankings in optometry. Also called ICO, The school boasts one notable graduate named Otto Frederick Rohwedder. He was the one who invented the idea for the bread-slicing machines. The school can graduate around 160 students per year with a 92 percent success rate. Students can learn hands-on through the Illinois Eye Institute. At the same time, ICO provides various residency programs, such as Ocular disease and rehabilitation. Students who are accepted into the optometry school’s acceptance rate study on a beautiful campus within Chicago to enjoy a supportive and challenging atmosphere. ICO is among the optometry schools that produce the Midwest’s top eye care specialists.
Acceptance Rate: 13 percent
Average Undergrad GPA: 3.42
OAT Average: 326
Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry
The school has earned its place in the rankings of optometry schools because students can share their studies. They complete two years of studying science. However, they also complete two years of solely clinical research. No matter where the pupils are in their education, they receive assistance no other optometry school can provide. Students have access to anything from the latest technology to mission trips to foreign countries. The faculty comprises field leaders in ocular testing and fellows members of the American Academy of Optometry and Leaders. The College of Optometry at NSU has a nearly 98 percent success rate, aligning with its stated mission of educating, training, and informing future optometric doctors to perform their jobs professionally, efficiently, and respect the profession. There are only 94 students who go to school each year, yet they’re at the top.
Acceptance Rate: 11 percent
Average Undergrad GPA: 3.43
OAT Average: 323
Ohio State University College of Optometry
The campus is located in Columbus, Ohio. This school is considered one of the top institutions run by an education department in the state. The optometry school is not an exception, as it is ranked in the top optometry school rankings. The faculty here includes innovative researchers in optical technology and contributors to medical journals and top-ranked members of essential faculties. Students and faculty have been awarded several prestigious prizes, such as The Low Vision Educational Grant and the Prentice Medal Award honoring distinguished scientists. A mere 64 students are allowed to benefit from an extremely friendly faculty and the most cutting-edge facilities. The passing rate of 100% is focused on students and research.
Acceptance Rate: 14 percent
Average Undergrad GPA: 3.72
OAT Average: 317
Southern College of Optometry
The oldest optometry school in the United States focuses on the latest technology. It is located in Memphis, Tennessee, and this school was founded in 1932. In 2013 the school completed an expansion of nearly $10 million that upgraded the facilities with the latest technology. A portion of the campus is called The Eye Center, where thousands of patients come to receive treatment of their eyes by students who get direct and personal clinical experience. The school has an average of 136 students each year and more than 100% of graduates. The ratio of 9:1 students to faculty aids in establishing high school rankings for this school, and more than 60 endowed scholarships have been given out annually. Fourteen alumni have gone into presidents of the American Optometric Association.
Acceptance Rate: 18 percent
Average Undergrad GPA: 3.61
OAT Average: 336
SUNY College of Optometry
The acceptance rate of optometry schools in this particular school is only 23 percent. This makes it an optometry school that is among the best within the overall rankings of optometry schools. The most successful applicants usually have a 3.5 GPA on average and OAT scores of 345. The pass rate is close to 97 percent, which means that almost everyone who begins the process will finish. The program helps students by providing the annual funding of $4 million for research projects. The college has a 50-year tradition of doctors awarded in 2019, including the American Optometric Association Optometrist of the Year and the Johnson & Johnson Vision Award of Excellence for Contact Lens Care.
Acceptance Rate: 23 percent
Average Undergrad GPA: 3.59
OAT Average: 346
The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry
UAB is one of the optometry schools that have received NIH funding. However, they received a portion of $325 million from different research grants. The school is ranked very high in the rankings for optometry schools due to hands-on and in-person clinical education. A large portion of this is conducted in the top-quality Eye Care center on-campus. The vision health professionals of the future will acquire the abilities and know-how they’ll require to offer to the communities they end up working for. Nearly 98 percent of students complete the program before becoming professional professionals.
Acceptance rate: 13 percent
Average Undergrad GPA: 3.66
OAT Average: 321
UC Berkeley School of Optometry
This school has been operating in Berkeley, California, for more than 100 years. Only two optometry colleges were established before this one. This school’s numerous faculty and alumni have been heads of the American Academy of Optometry and the American Optometric Association. They rank high in the rankings of optometry schools due to their success rate of 93 percent or more. Whatever honors, this school receives the highest marks for its dedication to making its students successful. Students at this school receive top-quality instruction and work with patients beginning at the very beginning of their education. The students typically spend around 2500 hours working with patients when they complete the course. Students also can enhance their research goals with support systems, such as the well-known Clinical Research Center.
Acceptance Rate: 37 percent
Average Undergrad GPA: 3.42
OAT Average: 355
University of Missouri – St Louis
Suppose you’re looking to learn what it takes to become an optometrist. In that case, the UMass-SL School of Optometry may be something you’re looking for. The acceptance rate for optometry schools is 31 percent; however, their passing rate is more than 95 percent. These are a remarkable number among all optometry schools, which is why they’re included in the rankings of optometry schools. Students come from all over the nation and are well-supported throughout their studies. The school is awash with values of discovery, community accountability, growth, and responsibility. These aren’t just words on the wall since faculty and students alike are engaged in providing eye care to people in need through programs that focus on low-cost health care and inclusion and diversity. To be eligible, it is necessary to have a stellar GPA and high test scores, a strong letter of recommendation, and significant service hours.
Acceptance Rate: 31 percent
Average Undergrad GPA: 3.42
OAT Average: 314
University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Optometry
The school is located within Pikeville, Kentucky, and this school is situated close to Pikeville, Kentucky. It is located near the Appalachian Mountains; the school is known as UPIKE, Kentucky’s only optometry school. UPIKE doesn’t sit on its achievements, however. The school was established in 2016 but has already inaugurated a state-of-the-art $60 million training facility known as”the Health Professions Education Building. The facility is where they will teach future doctors in various areas of health care. They also aid prospective students with an award designed to assist them in paying for the costs associated with taking the Optometry Admissions Test. The optometry school’s acceptance rate is relatively high, at 38 percent. Their passing rate is better at almost 92. These add to an institution of learning that is regularly in the top 10 of the many rankings for optometry schools.
Acceptance Rate: 38 percent
Average Undergrad GPA: 3.31
OAT Average: 296
Why Be an Optometrist?
If someone comes to your optometry practice, You can alter their lives for the better. You can evaluate their vision, offer them prescriptions for glasses and contacts, diagnose the cause and treatment of eye injury, and even prevent and detect eye diseases.
As the population of the United States becomes older, there’s more demand for optometrists now than ever before. The growth of employment in the optometry industry is predicted to be greater than 4 percent in the next decade. The average annual net income is about $140,000 annually.
Optometrists are sought-after in urban and rural regions alike in the 50 states. They can also be employed in clinical settings, working with patients, educational institutions that teach others, and research labs. In this field, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a lot of professional freedom.
What are the top 10 optometry colleges within the United States? Knowing which optometry schools are at the top of the rankings lets you determine the best schools to choose from If you’re looking to get into this particular area of health healthcare.
The optometry schools accept the same number of students; however, there are ways to enhance your experience to increase your chances of obtaining a degree and being admitted to one of these elite institutions.
Getting Started in a Healthcare Career
Knowing the top optometry programs within the United States is a good starting point. However, enrolling in one is a different matter.
You’ll have to compete with lots of others who may have similar impressive credentials in addition to the scores you are. They could even be better.
If you’re looking to be ahead of the competition and stand out from the crowd, you must have something that sets you apart from others. Experience in the medical field can be the one thing that will make an admissions office take note of your application within the more excellent pile.
We offer opportunities like these to individuals who wish to travel internationally to areas like the Caribbean, South America, and Africa. Help those who require medical care while also enriching your travel skills by taking part in international trips. When you return home, you’ll have made a difference in the world, grown into more of a person, and gained advantages to highlight when applying for health-related colleges and even jobs.