North Park University’s pre-professional track for optometry is a sequence of courses and advising that will give you a solid foundation for your applications to competitive optometry schools around the country. The pre-optometry track should accompany a major—most often biology or chemistry—where you’ll gain a foundational knowledge of life sciences and the human body.


Pre-optometry students are advised by faculty in the Biology Department, often Dr. Jeff Nelson. Dr. Nelson is himself a North Park alum and received his MD from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1984. He’ll talk with you about your particular interests in optometry, and help you stay on track throughout your program at North Park. Our Pre-Professional Committee—a group of faculty in the science departments—will work with you to make sure you are prepared for your applications and interviews for optometry school.

Course Sequences and Activities

We recommend you take the following courses alongside your major and Core Curriculum requirements to prepare for optometry schools and a career in healthcare. Some courses may also meet major/Core Curriculum requirements.

Recommended Core Courses
  • Introduction to Human Anatomy
  • Introduction to Cell Biology
  • Introduction to Zoology
  • Introduction to Botany
  • Microbiology, Histology, or Embryology
  • Introductory Chemistry I and II
  • Advanced Human Physiology
  • Physics (often taken in the summer following second year)
  • Microbiology, Histology, or Embryology
  • Genetics or Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry I and II
Other Recommendations
  • You should complete your optometry school applications during the summer prior to your fourth year.
  • In the fourth year, students should re-take the OAT if necessary.
Download a PDF of recommended courses.
Pre-Optometry Program