The Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University
Everything you need to know about applying to SCCO is right here. Just use the links below to find what you're looking for and if you have questions, please review our frequently asked questions or contact us. We're here to help.
- Admission for Fall 2017
- Overview of the Admissions Process
- Prerequisite Requirements for the OD Application
- Articulation Agreements
- Additional Information
- Admissions Policy
The 2016 – 2017 admissions cycle has begun. Students applying for seats in SCCO’s class beginning fall of 2017 should apply during this cycle. Visit the OptomCAS online application to apply.
For detailed information regarding the application process, please read our Optometry Admissions blog post "Applying through OptomCAS: Your Application Roadmap."
The admissions cycle runs from July 1 through March 15 of any given year. The deadline for submitting your application through OptomCAS is March 15 at 9:00 p.m. PST. To meet this deadline, thoroughly review and comply with the OptomCAS deadlines for submission of your undergrad transcripts.
From the time an applicant hits submit on their application, it takes three to four weeks before MBKU receives your verified application from OptomCAS. SCCO uses rolling admissions—check our Rolling Admissions Info Sheet for details on this process—so it is best to apply early. After SCCO receives your application, you will then be prompted via email to pay SCCO’s secondary application fee of $75.00.
SCCO requires a supplemental application in addition to the centralized application. This supplemental application is included when completing the OptomCAS application and will be submitted as part of your centralized application; therefore, when you have completed the OptomCAS application you have also completed the supplemental application.
You do not need to have taken the OAT to submit your application; however interviews will not be offered prior to receipt of OAT scores so applicants are advised to take the test before or soon after applying. The applicant must grant permission for SCCO/MBKU to access his or her OAT scores. Applicants will also self-report their OAT scores through OptomCAS. If you retake the OAT, you must follow the same steps again. The OAT must be taken by the March 1 deadline. If you retake the OAT prior to March 1 after submitting your application, it will be updated with the new scores and reviewed again.
As you complete the OptomCAS application, it is not necessary to have completed all prerequisite requirements such as prerequisite coursework and the OAT. To be eligible to apply, you must be on track to take the OAT by March 1 and to finish all prerequisites by the end of summer term just prior to beginning fall classes here.
After the fall term is completed and grades are posted on your transcripts, you are allowed one opportunity to update your application with grades from completed coursework. This is referred to by OptomCAS as an “academic update,” which prompts a secondary review of your application. You will not be permitted to enter winter or spring quarter grades.
The admissions process consists of two serial “qualifying rounds.” The first round consists of an academic qualification. Competitive applicants are advised to have:
- Overall GPA of at least a 3.00
- OAT section scores of at least 300
Once you meet the academic qualification in the first round (based largely on the strength of your GPAs and OAT scores), you then advance to the second round (the interview) where you are evaluated based on your personal and professional potential. Interviewers prepare by reviewing your entire application, including your grades, OAT scores, essays submitted with your application, letters of recommendation, and your curriculum vitae (CV).
If you are provisionally accepted into the program, a criminal background check is required. See our Criminal Background Check info sheet.
Prerequisite requirements for admission to SCCO are based on standards set by the California Optometry Law, the accrediting bodies and the judgment of the Admissions Policy Committee.
A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university is required for admission. A student may apply during his/her senior year of college and supply documentation certifying that they will be receiving their degree prior to the start of the first-year classes in August. Alternatively, students may apply during their junior year in college for as an Early Decision candidate. See more information regarding Early Decision.
The following courses must be completed at a regionally accredited institution, in the United States or Canada, with a grade of "C-" or better prior to enrollment and are the minimum requirements for all applicants.
|Calculus (Analytical Geometry/Calculus also acceptable)||3||4|
|General Biology or Zoology (the one year sequence of), no lab requirement||6||9|
|General Microbiology or Bacteriology, including laboratory
(No substitutions are allowed)
|Human Anatomy, including laboratory||3||4|
|Human Physiology, including laboratory||3||4|
|General Physics (the one year sequence of), including laboratory||8||12|
|General Chemistry (the one year sequence of), including laboratory||8||12|
|Organic Chemistry, no lab requirement||3||4|
|Biochemistry, no lab requirement||3||4|
|Psychology (Statistics will not meet this requirement)||3||4|
|English Composition or Literature||6||8|
For more information regarding Online Course Policy, Advanced Placement credit, Early Decision qualification, OAT preparation, Letters of Recommendation requirements, information for foreign doctors seeking licensure, and more, please visit the FAQ section of our website.
For further information on notice of non-discrimination, as well as the address and phone number of the office that serves your area, visit the Office for Civil Rights Contact Page or call 1.800.421.3481.
Disability Services & Policies
MBKU welcomes students with disabilities to apply to our health professional programs. Please view our Disability Services Information for Prospective Students.