Attend a FALL or SPRING Workshops on the application process. This is mandatory for ALL students planning to go through the FIU PPAEC Interview process for the Optometry School Admissions cycle and expect to be entering optometry school the Fall of the following year.

Watch for notices of workshop dates or contact the Office of Pre-Health Professions Advising for information on these workshops. Announcements are posted on the Upcoming Events section of the Homepage and on our Facebook page.

By the end of the SPRING Term (for the class starting Fall of the following year): Submit ALL required materials to the Office of Pre-Health Advising in order to qualify for PPAEC Interviews.

Carefully READ the requirements for Interviews by the PPAEC Committee and adhere to the required DATES set out below. No interviews will occur after October 15th for the application cycle.

The OptomCAS Application opens in May/June. Do Not Submit an Application to OptomCAS UNTIL you have received a viable OAT Score (see minimum scores below). For information about the OptomCAS Fees Click Here. The central application can be submitted without Letters of Recommendation.

Note: All transcripts must be submitted to your central application service in advance of the application and must be completely up to date, i.e. have the Spring semester grades posted. (Read and Follow the OptomCAS Application Instructions for the printable transcript request form on the application webpage.)

Application Timeline Details - Optometry

March 1st: Finish your Personal Statement:

Writing a Personal Statement is a demanding exercise. For OptomCAS, the Personal Statement must be no longer than 4500 characters, including spaces. Errors in grammar or spelling will be fatal to your application. Have your personal statement read by several people who have an excellent command of the English language, a good first stop would be the FIU Center for Excellence in Writing. The Office of Pre-Health Advisors will read your statement if you submit it, in FINAL FORM prior to March 1st. Anticipate extensive comments and a need to revise.

April 1st: Submit your completed FIU Personal History Questionnaire:

The Personal History Questionnaire is required by the PPAEC and is an excellent tool to help you organize the information you will need to submit on your OptomCAS Application.

June 1st: Evaluation Forms/Letters of Recommendations:

6 PPAEC Evaluation Forms

  • 4 Completed by Full-Time, Permanent Science Faculty members
  • 2 Completed by Full-Time, Permanent Social Sciences/Humanities Faculty members (at minimum 1)

Evaluation Form Copies

3 Faculty Letters of Evaluation/Recommendation

  • 2 Letters from Full-Time, Permanent Science Faculty members
  • 1 Letter from a Full-Time, Permanent Social Science or Humanities Faculty members
  • 1 Letter from an Optometrist (Optional but some programs specifically require a Optometrist's letter: this Optometrist should know the student well and have a thorough knowledge of the student's shadowing experiences.)

Ideally students will ask the letter writers to submit these well in advance of the end of the Spring term since many faculty members travel extensively in the summer and are not available to write letters. We have compiled some useful information about letters of recommendation.

June 30th - OAT:

Plan to take the OAT no later than June 30th in order to be able to submit a timely application and schedule a timely PPAEC Interview. The minimum OAT score for a PPAEC Interview is 300. DO NOT APPLY TO OPTOMETRY SCHOOL UNTIL YOU KNOW YOUR OAT SCORE! A score that is below 300 is not a competitive score for Optometry programs, the application process is expensive, and you may prejudice programs against a future application.

June 1st - October 15th: Interview with the PPAEC

Once you have completed the PPAEC requirements and your file in the Office of Pre-Health Advising is complete, you will be able to schedule a Committee interview. Anticipate at least a one week period after your file is complete to enable us to schedule your interview. It is each student's responsibility to be in contact with the Office Graduate Assistants about the status of their file and their Interview day/time. October 15th is the latest date to interview with the PPAEC. Later dates do not leave adequate time for your letters to reach all schools prior to their application deadlines and success rates among late applicants are very low. A late application by an applicant is looked upon unfavorably by Optometry Schools because it indicates a inability of the applicant to organize and accomplish goals in a timely fashion.

Take a look at our PPAEC Interviews FAQs and PPAEC Guidelines FAQs for more information!