What Does It Take To Become An Optometrist?

Optometry studies take a period of eight to nine years to complete. Optometrists just like other medical students, need to take a graduate training course in addition to their undergraduate coursework. If anyone is fascinated about studying optometry, need to be psychologically prepared for the task ahead of them.

Undergraduate Studies

As an aspirant of optometry, you are required to complete a four-year bachelors degree before commencing studies in optometry school. Different optometry schools have unique requirements, but students can devote most of their coursework in science subjects.  There is no specific major required to get a way through to optometry school, but students need to complete courses such as general chemistry, biology, organic chemistry, and physics.  Students are also encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities lie pre-medical societies or optometric organizations. Depending on your speed of working, it is possible for you to graduate sooner. This is possible if you can devote some credit hours or read through the summer. 

Admission Tests

Before admission to an optometry learning institution, it is a requirement by every optometry institution in the United States that every applicant takes an Optometry Admissions Test. Every elect student should take the exam at least a year before they plan on starting their graduate training. The test mainly covers four sections that cover the natural sciences, physics, reading comprehension, and quantitative reasoning. It is important that students plan out their coursework to meet the demands of the Optometry Admissions Test and take the exam only after they have completed the crucial courses. 

Optometry School

This is a four-year doctoral program that future optometrists take after completing their four-year bachelors degree.  The training features the continued coursework in anatomy and biochemistry, physiology, and the specialized training on the physical characteristics of the eye, general eye health, as well as the treatment of the eye ailments and diseases. The students are fed with knowledge in how to work with patients and assess general health. After the four years, students graduate with a doctorate in Optometry. 


While not a requirement, students might want to add one year to their eight years of study by signing up for an internship program. One such program is the residency. During the optometric residency, students work in practice closely with an experienced mentor. They gain the experience on the fr5the experience on the basics of operating a practice and also deepen their understanding of working with patients and learn how to use new techniques and tools.Optometrists that are planning on specializing are more likely to benefit from residency since they are in a position of developing a deeper understanding in such areas as pediatric optometry, ocular disease, or brain injury vision rehab. Students that opt to take up an internship program will take nine years to complete their optometry studies. 


Before you can start working, it is a requirement that you get licensed by your state.  You need proof to show that you graduated with a Doctor of Optometry Degree from an accredited institution. You will also be required to pass a state and national exam as well. The exam includes written and clinical tests to ensure that you know all the information pertaining the practice and that you can perform the procedures correctly.  You are also advised to continue with education to renew your license. 

Studying to become an optometrist takes the duration of eight to nine years. During this period, students are taught on various aspects relating to the eye health. The main skills that an optometrist needs to have include decision making, patience, communication ability, active listening, reading comprehension, and critical thinking.