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Once applications are received, it is SCCO’s responsibility to select those applicants who are best qualified to make a contribution to the public and profession and who will benefit most from the optometric education program. The decision for admission is based on the applicant’s ability, scholarship, character and motivation.

Approximately four weeks after the completed application has been submitted to OptomCAS, SCCO will begin the process of evaluation. Though not a mandatory requirement, letters of recommendation will be available to SCCO through OptomCAS. OAT scores are automatically processed and become available from the testing center within two weeks after the exam.

The admissions procedure begins with a screening of each applicant’s scholastic qualifications including the college record and the OAT scores. The goal is to select students who are academically capable of completing the Doctor of Optometry program.

Next, the applicant’s personal qualifications are reviewed, since the study and practice of optometry requires great responsibility, maturity, ethics, devotion, intellectual curiosity and social commitment. Letters of recommendation, essays and extracurricular activities are evaluated.

Candidates will be invited to campus for interviews dependent upon their academic and professional potential credentials. Interviews will begin in the fall and will be completed early in the spring. The interview enables SCCO and the applicant to learn more about each other. Additionally, the interview process endeavors to appraise such personal qualities as responsiveness, warmth, social situation adjustment, the communication of clear and concise ideas, maturity and career motivation. Should an applicant successfully interview, a provisional acceptance is offered pending successful completion of a routine criminal background check.

Combined Program

A combined Doctor of Optometry and Master of Science in Vision Science program is also available. Students admitted into the combined program are chosen from those accepted into the regular four-year Doctor of Optometry program. Students may apply for admission into the two programs concurrently or OD students may apply as late as the end of Winter of their first professional year.

Transfer Applications

The Southern California College of Optometry does not accept transfer students or offer advanced standing under any circumstances. All applicants to our program must apply through OptomCAS and complete the entire four-year program.