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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. 
  • Deadline for OAT and other standardized tests for those applying to Enter Fall 2022: The OAT and other standardized tests must be taken by 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 and other standardized tests: The OAT is the preferred test; however, the MCAT, DAT, GRE, and PCAT may be substituted. To submit your application through OptomCAS, it is not necessary to have taken the OAT or other standardized tests; however, to advance in the process onto the interview phase, official test scores must be received. In short, you may apply ahead of taking one of these tests, but will not advance in the process until official scores are assessed. Applicants are advised to complete one of these tests before or soon after applying.
  • 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.
  • 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, visit SCCO’s Admissions Blog.

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.

1st Round: The first is an academic qualification, which is based largely on the strength of your GPAs and OAT or other standardized test 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. 

2nd Round: If you meet the academic qualification, you will be invited for an interview. It is through this process that we assess your personal and professional potential. Interviewers prepare by reviewing your entire application, including your grades, test scores, essays submitted with your application, your curriculum vitae (CV), and optional letters of recommendation.

Interview & Acceptance

Though we would prefer meeting you in person for your interview and because COVID is still lingering, SCCO will conduct all interviews virtually for the entire 2021-22 admissions cycle. This ensures all applicants are evaluated equitably regardless of travel limitations due to restrictions, financial hardship, health, and safety concerns, etc.

Interviews are conducted 1 week per month from September through May. Sessions #1 and #2 are required, in-person tours are optional. 

  • Session #1: one-on-one Zoom interview with a faculty member that takes place Wednesday or Thursday
  • Session #2: to learn more about SCCO’s program, group Zoom information session with the Dean, Admissions Officers, and Student Ambassadors that takes place Thursday evening
  • Optional main campus and clinic tours are available on the Saturday morning immediately following the interview

Decisions regarding acceptance are communicated 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).