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How to Apply to SCCO

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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.


SCCO uses Rolling Admissions so it is best to apply early.

  • Admissions Cycle for Entering Fall 2022: July 1, 2021 through April 1, 2022
  • Application Deadline: April 1, 2022 at 9:00 p.m. PST. To meet this deadline, comply with the OptomCAS deadlines for submission of all requirements including undergraduate transcripts. 
  • OAT Deadline for those applying to Enter Fall 2022: The deadline to take the OAT this cycle is April 1, 2022. The earliest test date accepted is July 1, 2019.
  • Final Coursework Deadline: it is not necessary to have completed all prerequisite requirements before you apply. Applying with missing prerequisite requirements will not affect your competitiveness as long as you are on track to complete all requirements no later than August 15, 2022, for Fall 2022 matriculation.

Application & Admissions Process Overview

  • OptomCAS Application: SCCO utilizes OptomCAS, the centralized application service for all optometry programs in the US and Puerto Rico.
  • Supplemental Application: SCCO requires a supplemental application in addition to the centralized application. The supplemental essay questions are included in the OptomCAS application; therefore, when you have completed the OptomCAS application you have also completed the supplemental application.
  • Transcripts: Centralized application requires all official transcripts to be submitted to OptomCAS for every college, university, or professional school attended. If you have foreign transcripts, they will need to be evaluated before you have them sent to OptomCAS.
  • Letters of Recommendation (LORs): LORs are recommended but optional. LORs are submitted by the recommender directly to OptomCAS.
  • OAT: To submit your application through OptomCAS, it is not necessary to have taken the OAT; however, to advance in the process onto the interview phase, official OAT scores must be received. In short, you may apply ahead of taking the OAT but will not advance in the process until OAT scores are assessed; therefore, applicants are advised to take the OAT before or soon after applying. The OAT must be taken no later than the deadline of the current OptomCAS cycle, but no earlier than 24 months prior to the opening of the current cycle. Visit the OAT website. MCAT, DAT, GRE, and PCAT may be submitted in lieu of the OAT and taken no earlier than 24 months prior to the opening of the current cycle. Use this link for complete information and the minimum scoring criteria required for each test.
  • Shadowing and Experiences: There is no minimum number of shadowing hours. For more information regarding shadowing objectives and our Alumni Shadowing Program, visit the shadowing section of our Admissions blog by clicking here.
  • SCCO Supplemental Fee: From the time an applicant hits “submit” on their application, it can take up to four weeks before SCCO receives the verified application from OptomCAS. After SCCO receives your application, you will be prompted via email to pay SCCO’s secondary, non-refundable application fee of $75.00. Payment of this fee initiates the review process.
  • For a comprehensive article that includes tips, timelines and recommendations regarding the application, please visit SCCO’s Admissions Blog by clicking here.

How You’ll Be Evaluated 

Our admissions process consists of two serial “qualifying rounds.” Once both rounds are successfully completed, an applicant is offered a seat in the incoming class of approximately 100 students.

  1. Academics: 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, however, all applications will be reviewed. 
  2. Interview: If you meet the academic qualification, you will be invited for an in-person 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.

Interview & Acceptance

COVID-19 Accommodation: To avoid complications with travel restrictions and to comply with social distancing recommendations, SCCO will conduct virtual interviews at the start of the 2020-21 cycle. Applicants who are offered interviews this Fall will be given further instructions regarding this process. Once restrictions adjust we will cease virtual interviews and resume our standard on-campus interviews as follows:

Interviews are conducted 1-2 times per month from September-May. Your interview day will include:

  • One on one interview with a faculty member that lasts approximately 40 minutes (click here for interviewing tips)
  • Meeting with Assistant Dean of Admissions to review any unmet prerequisite requirements
  • Tours:
    • Tour of main campus including classrooms, labs, library, gym, and student center
    • Tour of or virtual learning lab, VRmagic BIO simulation lab
    • Offsite tour of Ketchum Health, our main clinical facility
  • Lunch with Student Ambassadors
  • Presentation about SCCO’s program, its features and benefits

Decisions regarding acceptance are made the Monday following each interview day. To secure their seat in the incoming class, accepted applicants have 2 weeks from the date of acceptance to submit the following 3 requirements:

  1. Submit a signed Matriculation Agreement stating your intent to matriculate
  2. Initiate a Criminal Background Check (CBC). Click here for more information about the CBC.
  3. Pay a non-refundable $750 deposit. (A second non-refundable $750 deposit is due by May 15 to finalize acceptance, and the full $1500 is credited towards fall tuition).