Public university in the Midwest for 18 years running (U.S. News & World Report)
Pre-Optometry Studies at Truman State University
Selecting a Major
Although most students who are working toward a career in optometry choose to pursue a major in a basic science such as Biology, Chemistry, or Physics, applied health majors are also common such as Health Science and Exercise Science. It is not uncommon for majors in the humanities to be accepted into optometry school and welcomed to the profession.
It is important that you familiarize yourself with the different curricula and sequences available and ask your advisor at Truman how these fit within your interests and goals. Most disciplines have advisors that are specifically selected to advise students interested in optometry and you should make a point to visit them regarding your decision or any questions you might have.
Pursue Your Passion
The path you select to prepare for optometry school will be a journey. Each person's journey will be different and challenge you in ways you have not experienced in the past. Although each path is different, it should provide you with experiences that shape your character and prepare you for the rigors of the optometry school admission process and the challenges of optometric training thereafter.
Even so, we want each student to value and enjoy the journey at Truman in that this really is the beginning of your professional career. Consequently, choosing a major is a personal decision that balances your enjoyment and passion for certain elements of your career while shoring up weaknesses that may be exposed in an assessment of your skill sets or your mastery of important concepts. In the best of all worlds, you should enjoy the subject matter of your courses while strengthening weak elements in your curriculum.
For example, choosing to take "medically-related" courses at the expense of Physics simply because you have an academic phobia of the subject may make for a more enjoyable curriculum, but also may detrimentally affect your OAT scores. In turn, this will ultimately affect your chances of being admitted into optometry school or hinder your development as an optometrist.
Each major available at Truman offers different strengths and variation in approach to pre-optometry. The trick is to select a curriculum that will complement your needs and make you into a more marketable candidate for optometry school and a better prepared optometrist. Try to strike a balance between coursework and experiences that will train you in the core elements of medicine, but allow you to diversify and broaden the content of your knowledge base.
As a liberal arts institution, Truman strives to produce students that are broadly educated. Consequently, this philosophy advocates diversification of the students' curricular and extracurricular experiences and, more specifically, bets that this strategy will better prepare optometrists to synergistically incorporate information in a wider context. We are betting that the cumulative sum of these experiences will lead to optometrists that assess problems and define solutions more efficiently.
"The atmosphere at Truman is warm. People here are friendly and are willing to help you whenever you need it. Also, there are plenty of organizations available to help international students to make new friends, understand new cultures, and enjoy life in America."
– Anh Duc Mai, Mathematics & Economics, Vietnam