What is Optometry?

Optometrists examine eyes for both vision and health problems, and correct refractive errors by prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses. Some optometrists also provide low vision care and vision therapy. Optometrists in the United States also are licensed to prescribe medications to treat certain eye problems and diseases. Optometrists also may participate in your pre- and post-operative care if you have eye surgery performed by an ophthalmologist.

An optometrist is an eye doctor who has earned the Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. An optometrist generally must complete a four-year college degree program with specific pre-requisite courses, plus four years of post-graduate professional training in optometry school. Admission to schools of optometry is competitive. Admissions teams look for candidates who demonstrate an understanding of the profession and community engagement.

What should my major be?

While optometry schools do not typically require a specific major, many students find our BS in Health Science or BS in Biology to match well with the pre-requisite courses needed to gain entry. Other majors work as well, and we recommend your finding one that suits your persional interests. At Benedictine, you will have an academic advisor for your major, and still be guided by a separate expert pre-health professions advisor to ensure that you are getting all pre-requisites and extracurricular activities you will need.

We recommend that you prepare for and take the Optometry College Admissions Test (OAT) during the spring semester of your junior year at Benedictine University. Interviews by, and recommendation letters from, the Health Science Recommendations Committee should be arranged for during the spring or fall semesters of the junior or senior years respectively.

Why Benedictine?

The Benedictine Benefit

Birck Hall of Science
Benedictine University has a tradition of excellence in science programs. The College of Science at Benedictine offers specialized advising for all students interested in a healthcare profession, regardless of their major. Our nationally-recognized faculty enjoy engaging students at all levels in investigative research in their laboratories, often presenting their work at national, professional conferences.Our students are active in the many student organizations on campus, athletics, and campus ministries, all of which contribute to a broadly fulfilling college experience.

Dual Acceptance Agreement with The Chicago College of Optometry (CCO) at Midwestern University


The Chicago College of Optometry (CCO) at Midwestern University has a Dual Acceptance Program for high school seniors and BenU undergraduate students. Under the provisions of the agreement, selected students who successfully complete the specified coursework at BenU will be granted an early acceptance to CCO.   Click for more information on qualifications for high school and Undergraduate students.

Visit Midwestern University’s College of Optometry website to learn more.
Go to the Application to the College of Optometry Dual acceptance prgram with Benedicitne university here.
For more detailed application instructions, visit www.midwestern.edu/CCOBenedictineDAP


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William R. Law, Ph.D.
Dean of the College of Science

Tonia Rucker, Assistant to the Dean
Email: trucker@ben.edu
Phone: (630) 829-6187
Fax: (630) 829-6186

Dean's Office Hours:
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Dean's Office Location:
Birck Hall Room 119