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Go To School For A 4 Year Pre-Optometry Program At UIWRSO

This is the only program in the country where undergraduate students spend a substantial amount of time learning under the guidance and supervision of clinical academic faculty and professional staff in both the classroom and out-patient clinical settings.  The Vision Science courses are conducted by Doctors of Optometry, many with Doctors of Philosophy in vision science and related fields as well as substantive research training.  Students are challenged and enlightened by unique insight and experiences, motivating each student to pursue rewarding careers. In addition they receive challenging, contemporary didactic courses in applied vision science, neuroscience of the visual system, physiology and anatomy of the eye, pharmacology, as well as optics.  This is also the only national preparatory vision science undergraduate degree program where students spend 3 rotations working with professional school interns in our outpatient facility.  This three-semester Clinical Internship combines basic training in optometric techniques with clinical observation and participation at the UIWRSO Eye Institute. Brief, informative seminar-lectures are followed by optometric skills training in the basic optometry lab, alternated with in-clinic observation and participation. Hence the student trains and then applies their skills and new-found knowledge in a clinical setting. The combination of professionally administered didactics, clinical training, and real-patient encounters is unique in the undergraduate setting making the UIWRSO Program ideal for rapid matriculation of motivated students to make substantive contributions to health care and research.  In addition, students will also have the opportunity to participate in outreach programs such as school vision screenings, health fairs, nursing home care and healthcare missions.


To assist in preparing for the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT), Vision Science Degree students have the opportunity to enroll in a six week program designed to familiarize them with the OAT and to help them with focusing on the skills and knowledge needed to obtain competitive scores on the exam.


The University of the Incarnate Word is grounded in the strengths of its heritage in health services and education and has been built on the tradition of serving the sick and the poor. The design, focus and spirit of the Vision Science Degree Program will produce graduates that are well-trained and prepared to pursue professional healthcare education/degrees, medical/vision research, and many other work opportunities in the healthcare and industrial arenas.


Educational/Career Paths and Opportunities

Employment of optometrists is expected to grow by 33 percent from 2010 to 2020.  Because vision problems tend to occur more frequently later in life, more optometrists will be needed to meet the health needs of an aging population. Also, the number of people with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, has increased in recent years. These diseases frequently cause vision problems and require treatment from optometrists. 


Students who complete a B.S. in Vision Science degree will be well prepared and well positioned to enter a number of areas, including the following:

  • Pursue a doctorate degree in optometry
  • Pursue a doctorate degree in medicine, dentistry, podiatry
  • Pursue degrees in health-related areas such as occupational therapy, speech pathology, and audiology
  • Pursue graduate degrees in vision science or other biomedical sciences Employment with contact lens companies and      corporations: sales, development, research
  • Employment with optical lens frames manufacturers: sales, development, research
  • Pharmaceutical sales representatives or pharmaceutical research
  • Research assistant in any biomedical or physical field
  • Low vision rehabilitation trainers and technicians
  • Research assistant in the field of optics and environmental vision
  • Research assistant in the field of visual ergonomics
  • Military vision/ophthalmic specialist
  • Vision insurance staff or auditors
  • Ophthalmic or vision therapy technician certification
  • Ophthalmic office manager or optician careers
  • Optical project managers

Minimum Scholastic Requirements for Application to the Rosenberg School of Optometry

Applicants from the Vision Science Degree Program (Pre-Optometry Pathway) may submit applications for consideration of admission to the Rosenberg School of Optometry upon completion of the following scholastic requirements:


  • A minimum of 90 undergraduate semester credit hours from an accredited college or university
  • A grade of C or higher earned in all prerequisite courses
  • Completion of The Optometry Admission Test (OAT); information may be obtained at the following website: http://www.opted.org

Selected students may need to meet additional requirements prior to entry into the Rosenberg School of Optometry depending upon previous courses they have completed.


Admission to the Rosenberg School of Optometry is a competitive process. In addition to the scholastic requirements listed above, applicants will be considered for admission based on academic and personal qualifications. Additional information regarding specific application procedures and admission requirements may be obtained by contacting the Director of Admissions and Student Services for the Rosenberg School of Optometry at optometry@uiwtx.edu.


Contact Information

Advisement and counseling of students pursuing the B.S. in Vision Science degree is the responsibility of the Rosenberg School of Optometry. Students interested in obtaining additional information about this degree program or the Rosenberg School of Optometry may contact:

Dr. Diane Farrell, Ph.D.
Vision Science Degree Program Coordinator
Rosenberg School of Optometry
The University of the Incarnate Word
9725 Datapoint Drive
San Antonio, TX 78229

UIW Office of Admissions at (210) 829-6005

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Contact Information

The Rosenberg School
Of Optometry

9725 Datapoint Dr

San Antonio, Texas 78229



UIWRSO Clinic Network

210-283-6800 (for appointments)