Maryville University provides pre-optometry training to prepare students to enter a four-year program in optometry at the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry.  Students in the pre-optometry program apply to UMSL during the fall of their third year at Maryville.  If accepted, they will begin their optometry program in the fall of their fourth year.  At the completion of two years of the O.D. program, students are awarded the B.S. degree from Maryville.  As a result, both the B.S. and the O.D. degrees may be earned in seven, as opposed to eight, years.

Program Features

During the first three years, students will actively participate in the pre-optometry club at the University of Missouri-St. Louis as a way of increasing their understanding of optometry as a career and to develop relationships with the admissions staff at the School of Optometry.  Students will take the Optometry Admission Test (OAT) and apply for admission to UMSL in the fall semester of their junior year at Maryville.

Pre-optometry students are encouraged to participate in the Pre-Health professions club. The Pre-health professions advisor and committee will help them with:

  • Information about optometry colleges and careers
  • Introduction to admissions requirements for optometry schools
  • The opportunity to conduct undergraduate research in the sciences
  • Assistance identifying shadowing and volunteer opportunities
  • Evaluation of whether your course mix, GPA, and MCAT scores are competitive for schools you’re considering
  • Letters of recommendation to optometry schools
  • Help preparing for admissions interviews

For more information

Dr. Jason R. Telford
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Office: 3208 ABAC
Phone: 314-529-9432

Professional/Career Opportunities

Optometrists have the satisfaction of helping their patients care for the most highly valued human sense – sight. Doctors of Optometry are recognized as leaders in their communities. Most are self-employed, receive relatively few emergency calls, and can establish a flexible working schedule, which allows them the luxury of combining a prestigious professional career with a very satisfying personal life. According to the 2007 American Optometric Association Economic Survey, the average net income for optometrists was $175,329.

Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry

Degree Offerings

Students in the pre-optometry program will have the option of enrolling in one of three programs: Biology, Biology/Biotechnology, or Biomedical Science.  Students will complete their general education requirements, the pre-requisites for the University of Missouri-St. Louis optometry program, and most of the requirements for the bachelor degree at Maryville.  Basic science courses taken at University of Missouri-St. Louis will fulfill the requirements for the B.S. degree.  The biology major (courses in biology, chemistry, physics) at Maryville totals 73 hours. The 3+4 program will count the 33 credits completed at University of Missouri-St. Louis toward the Maryville major.  At least half of the required credits for the biology major must be completed at Maryville.  The biology major does not require a minor.

Admission Requirements

If you’re interested in joining our pre-medicine program, you need to meet the general admissions requirements for the University.  Specific requirements will be defined by the major you choose.

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