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How to Apply to SCCO

Applying to SCCO is easier than you might expect. But it is still a process, which means there are important dates to remember and specific steps you must take. It’s also good to know how you’ll be evaluated.

Step 1: OptomCAS

To apply, you’ll log on to OptomCAS, a centralized application service used by all schools and colleges of optometry. 

Begin the application process with your OptomCAS username and password, or create a new OptomCAS account

Step 2: Supplemental Application

As part of of your OptomCAS online application, you will also complete a secondary or ‘supplemental’ application that helps us learn a little more about your background, goals, interests, and professional potential. 

It takes about four weeks for OptomCAS to verify your application and release it to SCCO. After your application is received by SCCO, you will be prompted to pay a $75 fee online, then SCCO Admissions will begin the review process.  

Step 3: Letters of Recommendation (LORs)

You will simply enter the ‘recommenders’’ email addresses, and the system will contact them electronically and step them through the letter upload. LORs are optional and not required. 

Note: If you are provisionally accepted into the program, a criminal background check is required. See our Criminal Background Check info sheet to learn more.

Feel free to call Admissions at 714.992.7827 or email us if you have questions.  Or use these handy quick-links to find the information you need: (these will link as indicated; could be a copy section or a page).

Have all the information you need to move forward? 

Apply now for classes beginning Fall 2019. And remember to complete the required supplemental application.

Dates to Remember 

  • Admissions Cycle: July 1 through April 1 of any given year
  • Application Deadline: April 1 at 9:00 p.m. PST. To meet this deadline, thoroughly review and comply with the OptomCAS deadlines for submission of all requirements, including undergraduate transcripts.
  • OAT Deadline. The last date to take the Optometry Admission Test (OAT) and be eligible for the 2018-19 admissions cycle is April 1, 2019.

General Eligibility

As you fill out your OptomCAS application, remember that is not necessary to have completed all prerequisite coursework or the OAT at the time you submit your application. 

However, to be eligible for admission, you must take the OAT by April 1, and finish all prerequisites by the end of summer term, just prior to beginning Fall classes. We use  rolling admissions, so apply early.

Limited Space. SCCO accepts 100 students each year, applying early may increase your chances for entry.

How You’ll Be Evaluated 

1) Academics. Our admissions process consists of two serial “qualifying rounds.” The first is an academic qualification, which is based largely on the strength of your GPAs and OAT scores. Competitive applicants are advised to have an overall GPA of at least  3.00 and OAT section scores of at least 300. 

2) Interview. If you meet the academic qualification and as part of the second round, you will be invited to interview. It is through this process that we assess your personal and professional potential . Interviewers prepare by reviewing your entire application, including your grades, OAT scores, essays submitted with your application, your curriculum vitae (CV), and optional letters of recommendation.

Reminder: We only conduct a limited number of interviews each admissions cycle, therefore if you meet the academic criteria but apply late, there may not be remaining  interview slots. This is one more reason to apply early.

Other Important Application and Eligibility Information

OAT and Your Interview. You need not have taken the OAT to submit your application, however you will not be able to advance to the interview round of the process  until we receive your OAT scores. It is therefore recommended that you take the OAT before or soon after you apply. Remember, when prompted, to grant SCCO/MBKU permission to access your scores. 

Retaking the OAT. If you retake the OAT prior after submitting your application and prior to April 1 your application will be updated with your new scores and reviewed again by our staff. You may go here to follow-up and ensure that your OAT scores are reported to OptomCAS. 

Updating Your Application. After the Fall term is completed and grades are posted on your transcripts, you are allowed one opportunity to update your OptomCAS application with grades from completed coursework from the fall term. It’s called an ‘academic update,’ and this action will prompt a secondary review of your application at SCCO. Entering winter or spring quarter grades will not be allowed.