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FAQs - OD

General Questions

SCCO currently offers these programs:
OD – Doctor of Optometry
MS – Masters of Science in Vision Science

Information about tuition cost and financial aid can be found here.  

Yes. MBKU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and SCCO by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) of the American Optometric Association (AOA).

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We don’t accept transfer students.

Foreign students may apply as long as all prerequisite courses are completed at a regionally accredited institution in either the United States or Canada. For more information regarding admission of foreign students or those who have studied abroad, please click here.    

The current class size averages 100 students.

There is no officially accepted program or algorithm for ranking U.S. optometry programs. If there were, it would be endorsed and published by the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) — the official academic leadership organization that represents all accredited schools and colleges of optometry in the 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Applicants may encounter for-profit websites that claim to "rank" U.S. optometry programs. Please be aware that neither ASCO nor The Southern California College of Optometry contributes data to or in any way endorses these unofficial websites. As a result, the data they report are flawed and/or incomplete, and the comparisons they make are invalid. It is our strong belief that applicants should place absolutely no value on these unofficial rankings of optometry programs.

In gathering information for use in making legitimate comparisons among U.S. optometry programs, prospective applicants are urged to visit official websites for the individual schools and colleges, and for ASCO, where they will find valid information.

About Applying & Interviews

There are several things we look for in competitive applicants, including strong academics, leadership skills, and more. Click here for more information.

SCCO’s admissions cycle runs from July 1 through April 1 of any given year. The deadline for submitting your application through OptomCAS is April 1. Due to limited testing site availability because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline to take the OAT and still be eligible for the current 20-21 admission cycle is extended to May 1, 2021.  

To be considered for admission to the professional OD program, a four-year baccalaureate degree is recommended; however, applicants who complete a minimum of 90 semester or 135 quarter units of undergraduate study will qualify for admission. To be eligible, you must be on track to complete the required units through the summer term that precedes fall matriculation.  

No. 

The most competitive applicants should possess an overall GPA of 3.0 and a Science GPA of 3.0, but all applications will be fully reviewed and considered.

Yes. Given that minimum scores are met, SCCO accepts the GRE, MCAT, DAT, and PCAT in place of the OAT. Click here for additional information.

No, prerequisite courses do not expire.

SCCO recommends but does not require Letters of Recommendation. When deciding whom to ask, a LOR must be written by a professional, and it’s best to choose those who know you best. 

The application to OptomCAS includes the personal statement as well as SCCO’s Supplemental Application. Click here for the essay questions for both.

Yes.  AP credits are acceptable for all prerequisite coursework.

Yes, coursework may be completed at a community college or online as long as the school is regionally accredited and the courses do not require a lab (labs must be completed in a classroom setting).  Virtual labs are not acceptable.

Check our pre-approved coursework here first. If you don’t see the course listed there, please email the Admissions Office with the school's name, course title, course number and description, and we will review for acceptability.

From the time you apply, it takes three to four weeks before SCCO receives your verified application from OptomCAS. 
After SCCO receives your application, you will then be prompted via email to pay SCCO’s secondary application fee of $75.00 and the review of your application by SCCO Admissions will begin. 

Yes. To learn more about this practice, including why you should apply early, check our Rolling Admissions Info Sheet

No. MBKU only conducts interviews in person, on campus.

Interviews are typically held monthly on Fridays or Saturdays from September through May. 

No, however it is advised that you have sufficient shadowing to confidently answer the question, “Why do you want to be an optometrist?” Learn more about shadowing.

SCCO’s standard policy requires prerequisite coursework to be completed for a letter grade and that labs be completed in the classroom. Our policy has temporarily changed to accept Pass/No Pass grading and virtual labs for prerequisite coursework for only those academic terms effected by COVID-19. This temporary change to our prerequisites completion policy applies to any coursework/labs completed in the Winter, Spring and Summer 2020 terms, and may be extended to the Fall 2020 term should the threat still be present.

For the 2020-21 cycle, some applicants may experience difficulties in getting official transcripts submitted from their colleges/universities to OptomCAS. As a work-around, there will now be a COVID-19 Transcript Hardship section included as part of your OptomCAS application.  Applicants who have been affected and therefore are not able to get official transcripts submitted will complete this optional questionnaire, which will authorize the use of unofficial transcripts to be used in lieu of official ones. 

FAQs for Accepted Students

To learn about these subjects, visit our Academics page or download our latest SCCO Admissions brochure.

MBKU has full-time library staff that’s ready to assist you. Visit the Ketchum Library website for complete information.

Yes. The Fitness Center is located on the main campus next to the parking structure.  It features locker rooms, showers, cardio equipment, free weights, weight machines and flat-screen TVs. Use of all fitness center amenities is free for all enrolled MBKU students. Prefer to exercise outdoors?  You can take advantage of the many hiking and biking trails nearby, as well as several beautiful regional parks nearby.

Area Around the Campus

Our main campus is located in a suburban neighborhood. Our seven-acre campus borders Cal State Fullerton, residential communities, and a greenbelt with a stream. It is common to see MBKU and Cal State students walking or riding their bikes home from campus in the evening. Campus security guards monitor the grounds 24/7 to provide an extra measure of safety.

Of course, it’s Southern California!  Living in or around Fullerton gives you access to all the attractions that draw people to this part of the country, including:

  • Beaches
  • Amusement and Theme Parks
  • Sporting Events
  • Arts and Entertainment
  • Nightlife
  • Mountains

MBKU is located in an affordable, safe, residential area where pedestrian traffic is common. Within a mile or two of the main campus there are grocery stores, pharmacies, department stores, and countless places to eat. Most everything you need to be comfortable is within walking distance, and there is some public transportation. However, to get to the beach, the mountains, theme parks, LA nightlife and other local attractions, you will need a car or know someone who has one.

Fullerton is known as a college town with many amenities for its many students, including student-friendly housing that’s close to the campus. Currently, more than half of those who attend MBKU live within a mile of the main campus. There are many housing options and costs do vary.