Apply to the Accelerated OD Program

The AODP program is an accelerated 36-month program designed for medical doctors and scientists who are interested in becoming doctors of optometry.

Program Details

AODP Application Information



Applicants for the AODP must hold a doctorate level degree in a science or medicine (or equivalent experience), demonstrate high scholarship in previous graduate study, and display a strong commitment to optometry.

Application Deadline

All application requirements (transcripts, test scores, etc.) should be completed and received by the Office of Admissions by September 15. Applications received after September 15 will be considered on a space-available basis.

Applicants will receive a decision letter by the end of January.

Application Instructions

1. Apply through GradCAS

  • The application can be found online at GradCAS.  GradCAS will list the application cycle as 2021-2022 (it won’t include the summer of 2023 as a start term, but continue anyway).
  • Create an account and login.
  • Select the “NECO Accelerated Optometric Degree Program (AODP)” from the plus sign next to the program name.
  • Complete the application’s four core sections: Personal Information, Academic History, Supporting Information, and Program Materials.
  • Finish essays and supplemental questions in the “Program” section.
  • A non-refundable $75 fee is required for the GradCAS application. Fee waivers are available on a case-by-case basis. Email [email protected] to request a one.

2. Send transcripts from each College or University you’ve attended

  • Official transcripts must be sent from the issuing institution directly to GradCAS.
  • If your transcripts don’t include the name of the degree received, dates of attendance, and the date that the degree was awarded (month, day, and year) a letter must be sent with the transcripts that include that information.
  • Any transcript(s) from a university outside the United States or Canada will need to be evaluated by WES US. A course-by-course evaluation is required, we strongly prefer the WES International Credential Advantage Package (ICAP) that includes official transcripts as part of the report. If the ICAP is not submitted, official transcripts from all schools should be sent to us before enrolling.

3. Language Testing Scores

  • Applicants whose native language is not English may take the online TOEFL exam (minimum score of 88 and 22 on the speaking section) or the IELTS exam (minimum total score of 6.5 and speaking score of 7).
  • Official TOEFL exam scores should be submitted directly to GradCAS with code B886, and official IELTS scores should be sent directly to New England College of Optometry.
  • Only one language test is required: either the TOEFL scores or the IELTS scores.
  • You may request to have this requirement waived if you attended an undergraduate institution where English is the instruction language.
  • The admissions committee reserves the right to require further language testing and instruction as necessary.

4. Submit 3 letters of recommendation 

  • The letters are submitted through the GradCAS application. Three letters are required.
  • First letter: from a non-relative optometrist (ideally one you have shadowed).
  • Second letter: from a faculty member (preferably in the sciences) who taught you in a college-level course or supervised you in a lab setting.
  • Third letter: from a person of your choosing. It can be an optometrist, ophthalmologist, professor, or supervisor familiar with your professional work.

5. Submit curriculum vitae (CV)

  • Submit a detailed CV through GradCAS and include any optometric experience, including shadowing or work.
  • We strongly recommend that you shadow an optometrist for at least 20 hours before applying to this program.

6. Take the OAT or GRE

  • Either the OAT or GRE is required as part of the application.
  • Please list NECO as the recipient of an official score report.
  • If you apply before taking the OAT or GRE, list the date you will take the exam on your application.
  • In some cases, we will may accept other graduate/professional school tests like the MCAT or DAT for admissions.
  • If you have questions about the acceptance of other tests, email [email protected] and include your resume/CV and unofficial transcripts.

7. Kira Video Assessment

  • All applicants are required to complete a video assessment.
  • More information will be provided by the Admissions Office.

Candidate Interviews

The admissions committee will notify you via email for an interview.  The interview is required for acceptance.

Support During the Application Process

Our admissions staff is committed to assisting anyone interested in our degree programs. Candidates will receive periodic updates on the status of their applications throughout the process. Please contact a member of our staff with any questions during the application process.