Optometrist

Optometrists are the primary health professionals for the eyes. They examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the entire visual system. Optometrists, licensed as Doctors of Optometry (O.D. degree) can prescribe ocular medications and participate in vision rehabilitation, vision therapy, spectacle lenses, contact lenses, and perform certain limited surgical procedures. Optometrists counsel their patients regarding eye care options that meet their visual needs related to their occupations, avocations, and lifestyle.

Biola offers an excellent educational foundation, and individualized advising/preparation, for any student interested in becoming an optometrist. The two Biola majors ideally suited for students interested in a future career in the optometry field are the:

Biological Sciences (BS) major, and the

Human Biology (BS) major

Either major will provide an excellent foundation for a future career as an optometrist. Biola’s excellent science curricula and faculty equip each student with the knowledge base necessary for a future medical career, as evidenced by Optometry Admission Test (OAT) scores significantly above the national average. Furthermore, all the science instruction and teaching at Biola is always implemented in the context of the sovereignty of God, and as a tool to further explore and appreciate His creation. A distinctive of the pre-optometry program at Biola University is that it offers excellent preparation for optometry school as an integrated part of the much larger on-campus Christian community.

Over the years, Biola has had many graduates gain admission to respected optometry schools (that confer the O.D. degree) both locally and around the country. To support students throughout the undergraduate curriculum and also with the admissions/application process, every pre-optometry student has access to personal advising from BOHPA, the Biola Office of Health Professions Advising. Specifically, every pre-optometry student has the opportunity for multiple advising appointments with the chief advisor (himself an MD degree graduate from UCLA med) who is familiar with the optometry field and the requirements/prerequisites for admission to optometry school.

Every pre-optometry student is eligible to enroll in the upper division clinical shadowing program (BIOS460) at Biola University. This semester-long experience for juniors and seniors provides weekly or semi-monthly opportunities to observe and interact directly with an optometrist seeing patients in clinical practice. Clinical shadowing allows students to explore the field of optometry, gain valuable clinical experience, provide sources for letters of recommendation, and make decisions about future career paths.

Biola has a wonderful peer-to-peer community for pre-health students in the Health Careers Club (HCC). The HCC provides opportunities for like-minded students to gather, fellowship, learn, and share the pre-health career journey together. Student officers of the HCC plan monthly activities and presentations directly related to the medical field. Speakers from various specialties are brought in to discuss their clinical work and topics in their field. Christian professionals and sponsoring missions organizations are also scheduled for students interested in short-term and long-term missions. Unlike some of the larger state schools, the Health Careers Club at Biola University ensures that no student has to undertake the challenging pre-health career journey alone.

Additional Career Info

To learn more about a career as an optometrist, explore the “Optometry” tab at http://www.explorehealthcareers.org