Degree type(s): Pre-Professional Concentration
Degree field(s): Healthcare; Sciences; Pre-Optometry; Biology
Location(s): Bismarck, ND
Program offerings by location and modality are subject to change.

Pre-Optometry Program Concentration Overview

If you are interested in a career in optometry, the Pre-Optometry program concentration at the University of Mary is an excellent way to prepare for optometry school and beyond.

The rigorous 10-course Pre-Optometry curriculum, which can be taken within any major, includes a strong background in biology and the sciences, as well as exciting leadership and service opportunities in and out of the classroom. At the same time, you gain valuable pre-professional preparation while working toward your bachelor’s degree at one of the most affordable private universities in the United States.  

Pre-Optometry Concentration: Program Highlights

  1. Designed with the future in mind

    Complete a challenging pre-professional curriculum designed to prepare you for optometry school while working toward the bachelor’s degree of your choice.

  2. Opportunities beyond the classroom

    Take part in independent research projects as well as seminars, panel discussions, and practice interviews with a focus in optometry. You will also develop a strong sense of ethics in a bachelor’s degree and pre-professional program concentration that is firmly grounded in the Christian, Catholic, Benedictine values of the university. 

  3. Learn from the best

    Learn from caring and experienced faculty who bring a real-world perspective to your classes at the University of Mary.

Career Outlook for Optometrists

Optometrists perform a wide range of healthcare activities, such as performing eye examinations and prescribing glasses and contact lenses. As the need and demand for optometrists continues to grow, the long-term outlook for a career in optometry is strong:

A growing profession

Employment of optometrists is projected to grow 27% from 2014 to 2024, more than twice the national average for all occupations.

In high demand

An aging population is expected to drive the need for optometrists, as vision problems typically occur later in life. CareerCast, a job search site, ranked optometry the number four career in healthcare in 2013.

Earning potential

The median annual salary for optometrists in 2016 was $106,140.


+ Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2016-17 Edition

Applying for Optometry School

Optometrists must complete a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree program and obtain a license to practice in a particular state. Doctor of Optometry programs take 4 years to complete, and most students have a bachelor’s degree before entering an O.D. program.

Students are encouraged to contact the optometry school they wish to attend to ensure all program requirements are met, as admission requirements tend to vary from school to school. 

In addition to the Pre-Optometry concentration, you can also add the following concentrations to your bachelor’s degree program at the University of Mary:

Depending on your needs, the University of Mary offers a number of alternatives for pursuing your bachelor’s degree, including programs at our main campus in Bismarck, North Dakota, as well as selected undergraduate programs available online and via convenient evening classes that meet one night per week.

The Pre-Optometry program concentration at the University of Mary requires the following courses:

  • BIO 103, 106, 311
  • CHE 111, 112, 217, 318
  • MAT 103 (or higher)
  • PHY 203, 304

These courses are strongly recommended:

  • BIO 207, 208
  • CHE 310
  • ENG 302

Scholarships/Financial Aid

Admission Requirements