Pre-Optometry – Program Features

Project-Based Learning

Maryville’s pre-optometry students enroll in one of three programs: Biology, Biology/Biotechnology, or Biomedical Science. Students will be assigned a pre-health professions advisor and a special committee that will help students with: opportunities to conduct undergraduate research in the sciences, assist in identifying shadowing and volunteer opportunities, preparing for the Optometry Admission Test and admissions interviews.

During the first three years, student actively participate in the pre-optometry club at UMSL’s College of Optometry to increase their understanding of optometry as a career and develop relationships with the UMSL admissions staff.

Most optometrists are self-employed, receive relatively few emergency calls and can establish a flexible working schedule. According to a 2012 American Optometric Association survey, AOA members reported a net income of $156,550 for optometrists who owned their own practices.

Professional Partnerships

Maryville is proud to work with numerous corporate and civic organizations in St. Louis and beyond through partnerships created in support of our academic programs and student opportunities. The list of the University's partners is long, impressive, and ever expanding: Rawlings, Mercy, St. Louis Public Schools, Parkway School District, Edward Jones, Northwestern Mutual, RGA, St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues, and Maritz, just to name a few. Our partners provide students with opportunities to experience hands-on involvement in real-world projects, requiring them to hone market-ready skills even before they graduate. Students also experience a variety of work environments and develop a network of industry contacts through these partnerships, so Maryville graduates often have a competitive edge in the job market. In fact, many of our partners provide valuable internships—which can lead to full-time jobs with the firm or agency.