Why Choose Optometry? - Program Spotlight
Doctors of optometry offer services including the medical treatment of eye diseases such as glaucoma, management of the ocular consequences of diabetes, refractive care for myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia with contact lenses and eyeglasses, and rehabilitation for visual disorders caused by brain injury or developmental disorders. Optometrists are valued members of the health care team who own private practices throughout the United States and Canada and also work in interdisciplinary settings such as hospitals, veterans' health facilities, community health centers, and military bases.
The curriculum at the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University is designed to produce doctors of optometry who are qualified to practice full-scope optometric care in any state and practice setting. This includes classroom, laboratory, and clinical training under the supervision of an outstanding, nationally recognized faculty. The college, which is a member institution of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry and is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education and the Higher Learning Commission, offers its four-year, doctoral level professional education program in an outstanding, modern facility that includes an on-campus clinic which serves patients from the community and around the state. Off-campus facilities also are used to assure a full-scope clinical education.
The Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University was established in 1975 and remains the only institution in Michigan (one of only 21 fully accredited in the United States) to offer a doctor of optometry program. The profession is one of the top five income-earning professions in the country and is dedicated to maximizing the visual efficiency, ocular and overall health, and quality of life of patients. It encompasses the prevention and remediation of disorders of the eyes and visual systems through the examination, diagnosis, treatment and management of visual problems and eye diseases.
Doctors of Optometry are primary health care providers who enjoy favorable working conditions, regular hours, and a minimum of emergency calls. The profession offers many career options and great freedom in choosing a location to live and practice. Career options include private practice, group practice or institutional practice in hospitals, health centers, health maintenance organizations or corporate offices. Career options may also include one-year post-graduate residency training in various optometric specialties. Graduates of the program report a high level of satisfaction with the career choice, income, and lifestyle.
Applicants to the Michigan College of Optometry (MCO) must complete a minimum of three years (90 semester hours or 135 quarter term hours) of college or university education or have earned a baccalaureate degree prior to admission. An application may be submitted while the minimum requirements are being completed. The baccalaureate degree is preferred for applicants entering MCO unless the student is part of our 3+4 program.
Pre-professional college/university courses must include the following: general biology (one year with lab); inorganic chemistry (one year with lab); organic chemistry (one year with lab); biochemistry (one course); general physics (one year with lab); microbiology (one course with lab); calculus (one course); statistics (one course); general psychology (one course).
Additional required courses for individuals entering without a baccalaureate degree include: English/composition (one year); humanities, 9 semester hours; behavioral science, 6 semester hours in addition to the required general psychology course.
- In addition to the general pre-optometry admission requirements, those lacking a bachelor's degree but wishing to seek the B.S. in Vision Science degree offered by the MCO as an interim degree will be required to complete an Advanced English / Writing course (ENG 321), a 200 level or higher course as a part of the 6 semester hours in behavioral science and a 200 level or higher course as a part of the 9 semester hours in humanities.
Courses which are recommended but not required include business management or accounting, genetics, physiology, anatomy, speech, embryology or developmental biology and speech.
All applicants to the Michigan College of Optometry are required to complete the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT), which is designed to measure general academic ability and scientific knowledge. Applications through the common application service, OptomCAS, are reviewed beginning July 1 and any application must be completed by February 1st.
ASCO (Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry) functional guidelines link will assist you in verifying required abilities and attributes of the optometry program.
The Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University grants the doctor of optometry degree. Graduation requirements for the optometry degree include completion of all courses outlined in the optometry curriculum, a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 and recommendations for the degree by the dean and by the faculty based on academic performance and ethical and professional standards.
Ferris State University
Michigan College of Optometry
1124 S. State Street
Big Rapids, MI 49307