Ferris State University Big Rapids MI College

Regular Admissions Program

For the Regular Admissions Program, the applicant must have earned a baccalaureate degree prior to the start date at the Michigan College of Optometry. An application may be submitted while the individual is still obtaining the baccalaureate degree and fulfilling the minimum requirements. A baccalaureate degree is required. About 75%-85% of the MCO students are accepted under this program. For the MCO Regular Admissions Program, an applicant would apply for the program through the Optometry Centralized Application Service (OptomCAS) in July 1, 2013 through February 15, 2014 for the class that starts in the fall of 2014. This applicant will have a baccalaureate degree by the start date of classes.

Pre-professional college/university courses must include completion of the pre-requisite courses listed below with a grade of C or better. Science courses should be courses designed for science majors or health professional students. As a guide, the appropriate Ferris State University course is provided in parentheses beside each requirement. Go to the on-line Ferris State University Catalog, type in the course ID number (example: BIOL 122) to obtain the course description. Additionally, individual college transfer guides for Michigan Community Colleges, Michigan Universities and State Colleges are available on the Michigan College of Optometry web site.

For applicants at other out-of-state institutions, this web page may assist you in determining the "equivalent" courses at your institution: http://catalog.ferris.edu/courses.

Pre-requisite courses for the Regular Admissions Program:

  • General Biology one year with laboratory (BIOL 121, 122)
  • Inorganic Chemistry, one year with laboratory (CHEM 121, 122)
  • Organic Chemistry, one year with laboratory (CHEM 321, 322)
  • General Physics, one year with laboratory (PHYS 211, 212)
  • Microbiology one course with laboratory (BIOL 286)
  • Calculus, one course (MATH 220)
  • Statistics, one course (MATH 251 or STQM 260 or PSYC 210)
  • Speech, one course (COMM 121)
  • General psychology, one course (PSYC 150)

The following courses are strongly recommended but not required:

In order of importance:
Physiology (BIOL 205 or BIOL 321/322)
Biochemistry (CHEM 324 or CHEM 364)
Genetics (BIOL 375)
Cell Biology (BIOL 373)
Anatomy (BIOL 205)
Embryology/Developmental Biology(BIOL 370)
Business Management or Accounting (MGMT 310 or ACCT 201)

Process for the Regular Admissions Program

Complete and submit an OptomCAS (Optometry Centralized Application Service) Application by February 15 for application into the next class at the MCO.

  • Enter into OptomCAS

    • Your optometric experience, employment, extracurricular activities, and honors/awards. 
    • Your OAT test Scores.
    • Your Colleges and  Universities attended.
    • Your Course work and grades – have your college transcripts available when accomplishing this.

  • Request through OptomCAS three letters of recommendation.

    • One letter must be submitted by a college professor,
    • a second letter from an optometrist and
    • a third letter from another individual of the applicant's choice who is neither a professor, optometrist, nor relative (suggestions would be a high school teacher, high school counselor, athletic coach, clergy, work supervisor, etc.).

  • Complete the free supplemental application through OptomCAS. See supplemental questions below:

    • What score did you receive on your American College Testing (ACT) and/or your Scholastic  Aptitude Test (SAT)  
    • How did you prepare for taking the Optometry Admission Test (OAT) exam?
    • If applicable, are you a member of your college's pre-optometry club and do you hold a leadership role?
    • Where do you see yourself in ten years?
    • How many other optometry schools have you applied to?
    • What other professional schools have you applied to (such as medical school, dental school, etc.)?
    • What interests you about the Michigan College of Optometry?
    • Why did you decide to attend your undergraduate college/university?

  • Submit in OptomCAS an essay-limit 4,500 characters. The topic is "Please describe what inspires your decision for becoming an optometrist, including your preparation for training in this profession, your aptitude and motivation, the basis for your interest in optometry, and your future career goals."

  • Designate the MCO as one of your schools that you are applying to.

Request that your Optometry Admission Test (OAT) results be sent to the MCO (if already taken). Please visit http://www.opted.org for OAT information.

Participate in the MCO Admissions Committee interview.


Your application to the MCO through OptomCAS must be submitted by February 15. Applicants, who are selected for an interview, will be contacted by telephone to schedule that interview. Any applicant who is not chosen for or who fails to complete the Regular Admissions Program is encouraged to participate in the Regular Admissions Program the next year.

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