Pre-Optometry

    • Gannon University offers a diverse group of competitive affiliation programs with professional schools to provide qualified students with an advantage over students at other colleges at the time of application. A number of these programs allow the student to complete the undergraduate phase of the program in three years rather than four, although the majority of students choose to complete a bachelor’s degree prior to attending professional school.
    • Gannon offers an optometry affiliation program with Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry (SALUS/PCO).
    • Gannon graduates have pursued optometry degrees at the following institutions: University of California, Ohio State University, State University of New York, Nova Southeastern University, Salus University, Southern College of Optometry and Illinois College of Optometry.

    You Will Learn

    Optometrists provide primary vision care. They perform eye exams and vision tests, prescribe and dispense corrective lenses, detect eye abnormalities and prescribe medications for eye diseases. Our small class sizes, high-quality academics and customized curricula collectively create a strong foundation for students preparing to apply to optometry school. Students are able to complete the necessary prerequisite coursework and major in a degree of their choosing (most commonly biology, chemistry or biochemistry). Students are provided with expert advising and numerous resources as they work toward becoming a competitive professional school applicant.

    You Will Experience

    Gannon University’s pre-optometry students have the opportunity to become well-rounded leaders both in and out of the classroom. Their involvement in service and scholarship activities helps to prepare them for a career in the health professions. Pre-optometry students are eligible to participate in:

    • Gannon faculty-led research.
    • Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), a program sponsored by the NSF.
    • shadowing opportunities coordinated by the Career Exploration and Development Office.
    • workshops reviewing the application process, personal statements, interviewing, etc.
    • Community Health Coaches, a course and internship led by a team of medical professionals from Saint Vincent Hospital in Erie.
    • Health Professions Theme Community, a residency enrichment program located in North Hall.

    You Will Achieve

    There are many specific career paths stemming from optometry. Such opportunities include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • low vision
    • pediatric optometry
    • sports vision
    • vision science
    • vision therapy

    You will Study

    Gannon University has a long history of helping a number of qualified and motivated students successfully achieve acceptance into optometry school. Students may pursue a major of their choice in which they will receive expert advising. They take a balanced and rigorous course load that includes the fundamental science and math courses optometry schools require as prerequisite coursework.

    Curriculum highlights include hands-on laboratory experiences for most biology and chemistry courses, which are conducted in small interactive group settings of 20-30 students. Some of these courses include:

    BIOL 368 and BIOL 369: Animal Physiology and Lab 

    This course deals with the normal functioning of the body (primarily human body) and its component parts. The course focuses on physiological mechanisms involved in neuronal and chemical signaling, movement, metabolism, respiration, circulation, excretion, etc. The principles and concepts learned in the lecture class are reinforced through hands-on experience in the lab.

    BIOL 365 and BIOL 366: Human Gross Anatomy and Lab 

    The Human Gross Anatomy course is lecture-based and uses a regional approach to study the human body. It is taken simultaneously with Human Gross Anatomy Lab. Dissection of human cadavers by students is a key component of the lab. In addition, learning is facilitated through the use of anatomical models.

    CHEM 366: Structural Biochemistry  

    This course focuses on a systematic study of the biologically important compounds including the amino acids, proteins, nucleic acids, enzymes, carbohydrates and lipids. Emphasis is placed upon the structure, properties, syntheses, reactions and functions of these compounds.

    Liberal Studies Core

    The Liberal Studies Core Curriculum is one reflection of Gannon University's commitment to its Catholic identity. The Core's design offers students a defined, integrated, shared experience as the foundation for their undergraduate program.

    You Will Earn

    Estimates show that the job outlook will continue to increase much faster than average for optometrists (27-percent growth) through 2024. The median annual salary for these healthcare professionals in 2015 was.

    • Optometrist: $103,900
    All salary information is compiled from data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) and/or PayScale (payscale.com).