Prerequisites & Requirements

Requirements at NECO are designed to ensure students have the academic skills they need to succeed without slowing down the momentum of their career journey.

In many cases, a student can apply and be accepted to a program while in the process of fulfilling these requirements—just make sure these courses are completed before enrollment.

If you have any questions, contact the admissions office or send us your transcript for review.

Program Details

 Application Details by Program

4-year OD Requirements

Requirements for all other programs are listed in their respective program and application pages.

Prerequisite courses form the entering knowledge base for our optometry program. Therefore, to demonstrate mastery of this knowledge base, we require a grade no lower than C in these courses.

  • If a grade of less than C is attained in a prerequisite course, the requirement may be waived if the student has received a score of no lower than 300 on the corresponding section of the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT).
  • Prerequisite courses taken at a community college may be accepted; however, we strongly prefer courses taken at the college or university at which your degree will be conferred.
  • Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses may be used for prerequisites as long as the appropriate number of credit hours was received. These courses must appear on your official college transcript, in a letter from your university registrar’s office, or on an official score report.


  • Biology (with lab)  – 2 semesters or 3 quarters
  • Chemistry (with lab) – 2 semesters or 3 quarters
  • Physics (with lab) – 2 semesters or 3 quarters
  • Organic Chemistry (with lab) – 1 course
  • Biochemistry – 1 course
  • Microbiology – 1 course
  • Calculus – 1 course
  • Statistics – 1 course
  • Psychology – 1 course
  • English – 2 courses

Optometry Admission Test (OAT) or Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are required for admission, with the possibility of other graduate/professional school tests such as the MCAT or DAT in certain situations.

To be eligible for an open position at NECO, applicants must:

  • Be enrolled in another accredited school or college of optometry.
  • Have satisfactorily completed courses equivalent to those at NECO.
  • Provide a personal statement with supporting documentation demonstrating a compelling need to transfer in order to complete their optometric education.
  • Have an official acknowledgement of the transfer request by the dean at the applicant’s present optometry school.
  • Provide certification of good academic standing.
  • Apply through OptomCAS.

Transfer credit policy .

  • You can simultaneously participate in the four-year OD program (entering with 90 qualifying credit hours) and apply for a Bachelor of Science in Optometry from NECO.
  • Earn the latter by completing 12 semester hours of humanities and 12 semester hours of social sciences prior to entry and meeting other requirements. 
  • Contact the Admissions Office for more details.