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We invite all hard-working, conscientious students to apply to SCCO’s renowned Doctor of Optometry (OD) program. To be considered for admission, you must first satisfy certain eligibility and academic requirements (prerequisites). SCCO’s requirements are based on the high standards set by California Optometry Law, as well as professional accrediting bodies, and by the Admissions Policy Committee.

Academic Requirements

To be considered for admission to SCCO's professional OD program, you must satisfy two academic components: 1) bachelor’s degree or minimum units, and 2) prerequisite coursework.

A four-year baccalaureate degree is recommended, however, applicants who complete a minimum of 90 semester/135 quarter units of undergraduate study will qualify for admission.

Minimum prerequisite coursework as listed below is also required. These courses must be completed at a regionally accredited U.S. or Canadian institution with a grade of "C-" or better. Labs must be taken in person, virtual labs are not accepted.

These requirements need not be completed at the time your application is submitted; however, you must be on track to finish all requirements no later than the summer term that precedes SCCO's fall matriculation.

COVID-19 Accommodations: SCCO’s standard policy requires prerequisite coursework to be completed for a letter grade and that labs be completed in the classroom. For any coursework/labs completed between Winter 2020 through Spring 2022, Pass/No Pass grading and virtual labs for prerequisite coursework will be accepted.

Update posted September 21, 2022: SCCO will accept virtual microbiology labs taken at any time prior to or after 9/21/2022. Virtual labs will not be accepted for physics or chemistry other than during terms specified above.

Prerequisite Coursework


Semester Units

Quarter Units

Calculus (analytic geometry/calculus also acceptable)  3 4
General Biology or Zoology (one year sequence), no lab required 6 9
General Microbiology or Bacteriology, including lab 3 4
Human Anatomy, no lab required * 3 4
Human Physiology, no lab required * 3 4
General Physics (one year sequence), including lab 8 12
General Chemistry (one year sequence), including lab 8 12
Organic Chemistry, no lab required 3 4
Biochemistry, no lab required 3 4
Psychology  3 4
English Composition or Literature (writing intensive courses are also acceptable) 6 8
Statistics 3 4

* Human Anatomy and Physiology lecture series may be completed one of two ways: 1) Combined Human A&P (6 semester units or 8 quarter units) or 2) Separate Human Anatomy and Human Physiology (3 semester units or 4 quarter units each)

How to Verify Prerequisite Coursework & Pre-Approved Coursework

The Articulation Agreements posted below list specific courses at a college or university that will fulfill SCCO's prerequisite requirements. You may think of them as 'pre-approved’ coursework. There are many other schools and courses that are accepted, these are just the most frequently requested ones.

Course content and offerings continually change and therefore we cannot guarantee this information is always up-to-date. Ultimately, the responsibility for meeting SCCO’s prerequisite requirements is up to you.

If you are not sure whether a course will meet our requirements, please have it reviewed by an SCCO admissions adviser. This may be done by copying the course description from the school’s online catalog and emailing it to the SCCO Admissions Office. Be sure to include the school’s name and the number of quarter/semester units for the course.


Additional Information

For more information regarding AP credit, Online Course Policy, Advanced Placement credit, OAT preparation, Letters of Recommendation requirements, information for foreign doctors seeking licensure, and more, please visit the FAQ section of our website.