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Doctor of Optometry: Application Instructions

Applications may be filed after July 1 of the year preceding a candidate’s planned matriculation date. Our application deadline is March 15. NECO’s admissions review and selection process is on a rolling basis. Available seats in each entering class are filled throughout the year, so early application is strongly encouraged.

There are two parts to your application for admission to NECO:

  1. The OptomCAS Application
  2. The Optometry Admissions Test

1. OptomCAS Application

The OptomCAS application, administered by a central application management service, is an essential part of your application. Interested candidates must create an account with OptomCAS in order to submit an application to NECO. The OptomCAS application contains questions regarding your personal and educational background, essays, self-reported OAT scores, transcripts, and references.

During the fall, when application volume is hightest, it may take 4-6 weeks for your application to be processed by OptomCAS. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to initiate and submit your portion of the application in a timely fashion and no later than mid-February, so that your file can become complete by mid-March.

Academic Transcripts

Academic transcripts represent an important history of your academic work, achievement, and level of preparation for the rigors of the study of optometry. Official transcripts from each college and university you attended should be sent directly to OptomCAS for evaluation. These must be mailed directly from each institution’s registrar’s office to:

PO Box 9119
Watertown, MA 02471

Please note that some Advanced Placement credits granted by undergraduate institutions may satisfy prerequisites. Only scores of 4 or 5 will be considered and an AP report from the College Board must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions at the New England College of Optometry.

Letters of Recommendation

These letters provide important insights into each candidate as a student, employee, and person.

In OptomCAS, you will be directed to request recommendations from one science professor familiar with your academic work; one optometrist you have shadowed, and a third reference of your choice. This can be from anyone who can speak to your strengths in an academic, professional, or community setting. Recommendations from teaching assistants or lab supervisors must be cosigned by a professor. One comprehensive recommendation from a university health professions committee may substitute the two professor recommendations.

2. The Optometry Admissions Test (OAT)

The Optometry Admissions Test is required and should be taken as early as possible in the application cycle. You must elect to have your scores reported to NECO in order for us to consider your application.

Often candidates seek to re-take the OAT and must wait 90 days to do so. It is advisable to plan for a possible re-take of the OAT within the calendar of the application process.