University of California, Berkeley, Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry and Vision Science

School Details

School Id:
School Name: University of California, Berkeley, Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry and Vision Science
School Address: 380 Minor Hall
MC 2020
Berkeley, California 94720-2020
For more information, contact:

Admissions and Student Affairs Office
Phone: 5106429537
Accreditation Status: Accredited

Click here for more information about accreditation of professional optometric degree programs.

OD/Combined OD Degrees Offered


General Information

The University of California is at the forefront of modern optometric education. The training at Berkeley Optometry prepares students for professional practice in the community. The curriculum is designed to develop independent professional judgment and is continuously updated to reflect the latest in clinical and vision science research. Class size is small, with enrollment limited to 70 students. During their second and third years of the professional curriculum, Berkeley Optometry students obtain extensive clinical experience, both on campus in the 85,000 patient visit per year Meredith W. Morgan University Eye Center in Minor Hall and the Tang Student Health Center, and at a number of satellite clinics in the Bay Area. During their fourthyear of the curriculum, students also participate in external rotations, both in California and throughout the United States. These rotations are at Veteran’s hospitals, the Indian Health Service, military bases, HMOs, and other optometric facilities.

Selection Factors

The Admissions Committee considers quantitative factors, such as OAT or other standardized test scores and the grade point average of the applicant in Biology, Chemistry and Physics courses, “BCP GPA,” as calculated by OptomCAS. However, qualitative factors, such as the personal statements, letters of recommendation, optometric familiarity, and extracurricular/ community service activities are strongly weighed as well. Finally, for those candidates who are being moved forward in the review process, an in-person interview is required for admission. The Admissions Committee also considers economic, social, cultural and/or educational disadvantage applicants have had to overcome.

Information on Special Applicants


Admission Requirements

Please refer to our website:


OptomCAS Application Deadline
November 30
Supplemental Application Deadline
November 30
Last OAT Test Date Accepted
November 30


Admissions Deposit

Is a deposit required?
Deadline for Deposit
Indicated in Admissions Packet
Deposit Refundable?
Additional Information

Profile of Entering Class, 2021

Number of first-year slots (no transfer or repeat)
Number of Matriculants (regular only – no transfer or repeat)
Average GPA (Decimal)
Average Score of Academic Average OAT
Average Score of Total Science OAT
% with Bachelor’s Degree
# In-State
# Out-of-State
# Foreign Country
# States Represented

NBEO Passage Rate for First Time Test Takers

For Year
Part I(%)
Part II(%)
Part III(%)


Characteristics of OD Program

Optometry Degree O.D. Optometry Curriculum The optometry curriculum is a four-year graduate level professional program. By requiring applicants to complete courses in human anatomy, human physiology, microbiology, immunology, organic chemistry and biochemistry prior to admission, Berkeley Optometry begins its instruction in optometry at a more advanced level than other programs. The first two years are divided between vision science and optometry courses, and the preclinical laboratory, where students receive a total of 240 hours of hands-on instruction in patient examination during the first year, and another 428 hours in the second. As a result of this accelerated preclinical training program, Berkeley Optometry students begin providing full vision care for their first patients in the Meredith W. Morgan University Eye Center during the first semester of the second year, and they spend the entire summer between the second and third year examining an average of 70 patients in the clinic. Approximately 75% of the third year curriculum is comprised of providing patient care in the Morgan Eye Center and the school’s various satellite clinics around the Bay Area, with the remaining 25% taken up in advanced clinical optometry courses. The fourth year is spent entirely providing patient care, and includes three or four 8-10 week external rotations at sites in California and across the United States. The professional curriculum for Berkeley Optometry students includes over 3500 hours of clinical experience, and students average a minimum of 2000 patient encounters during their four-year professional curriculum.

Advanced Standing Programs

If yes, please explain


Summer Programs

If yes, please explain

Open to all, the goal of Berkeley Optometry’s Opto-Camp is to provide pre-health science/pre-optometry majors, especially those who are underrepresented in the profession and/or first-generation college students, with in-depth information about Optometry as a career track and to prepare attendees to be successful applicants to optometry school. We normally have about 40 Opto-Campers each summer. Applications open in late February. Objective The objective of Berkeley Optometry’s Opto-Camp is to present a five-day “in residence” experience that will provide participants with opportunities to learn about the profession of optometry and the process of becoming an optometrist. Who Can Participate? Preferential consideration will be given to those applicants who will be entering into their senior year of college in the fall semester after opto-camp, then to those who will be juniors, and then to those who will be sophomores. We will also consider applications from those who have already completed their undergraduate studies. Preferential consideration will be given to applicants who are the first in their family to pursue post-high school education. Preferential consideration will also be given to applicants who have a 3.0, or higher, cumulative GPA. A declared, or anticipated, major in the Sciences is preferred, but not required. Out-of-State prospective Opto-Campers are welcomed and encouraged to apply. We do not consider applications from high school students.

Online Courses Offered in the OD Curriculum

If yes, please explain

Tuition and Fees

for Academic Year

1. Out-of-state students, who are US Citizens/Permanent Residents, are eligible for in-state residency following one full year of residency in California. 2. Cost Reduction for Students In Absentia University of California academic and professional graduate students who undertake research or coursework related to their degree programs outside of California, or outside the seven Bay Area counties will receive an 85% reduction in the Educational and Registration fees for the semester while their are away. Students who quality for In Absentia status can reduce their University bill by approximately $6,000 for the semester.