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B.S. in Vision Science (Pre-Optometry Pathway)


The University of the Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry (UIWRSO) offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Vision Science which includes a pre-optometry pathway. The B.S. in Vision Science provides students the opportunity to earn a degree which satisfies the requirements for entrance into the School of Optometry as well as medical, dental and other health-related professional schools. Furthermore, the curriculum structure and content gives the graduate a strong foundation and credentials to embark on a biomedical graduate research career, or to enter the workforce as a vision-science or ophthalmic-related specialist.

Students in years 3 and 4 of the Vision Science Degree Program will rotate through the UIWRSO Eye & Vision Care Clinic as part of their curriculum. 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. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in outreach programs such as school vision screenings, health fairs, nursing home care and healthcare missions. An Optometry Admissions Test (OAT) preparatory program is under development. This will be an optional four to six week summer program designed to familiarize students with the OAT and to help them focus 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 who 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

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:

  • Doctoral degree in optometry
  • Doctoral degree in medicine, dentistry, podiatry
  • Degrees in other health-related areas such as occupational therapy, speech pathology, audiology, and physicians assistant
  • Graduate degrees in vision science or other biomedical sciences
  • Employment with contact lens or optical lens frames companies: sales, development, research
  • Pharmaceutical sales representative or pharmaceutical research
  • Research assistant in optics, environmental vision, visual ergonomics or any biomedical or physical field
  • Low vision rehabilitation trainer and technician
  • Military vision/ophthalmic specialist
  • Vision insurance staff or auditor
  • Ophthalmic or vision therapy technician certification
  • Ophthalmic office manager or opticianry career
  • Optical project manager

Minimum Scholastic Requirements for Application to the School of Optometry

Applicants from the Vision Science Degree Program may submit applications for consideration of admission to the UIWRSO professional program 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 OAT; (

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 Student Affairs for the School of Optometry at (210) 883-1190.

Direct Admit Options – Your Link to Professional Study at UIW

UIW offers three direct admit programs for highly qualified first-time freshmen students. Students who meet the criteria for either of these programs will be contacted with further information soon after receiving official notification of admission to the university.

Direct Admit Nursing Program– Students in this cohort begin nursing courses during their first year. If an overall GPA of 3.25 and 3.25 in the sciences are maintained at the end of the first year of study, candidates do not need to reapply to enter the nursing clinical courses in the sophomore year. Qualifications for the direct admit option include:

  • Cumulative high school GPA of 3.5
  • High school math and science GPA of 3.5 (minimum of three years each)
  • Combined math/verbal SAT of 1100 or ACT of 24
  • Phone interview with nursing faculty

For further information, contact Dr. Julie Nadeau at or (210) 829-3990, or go to
To apply for admission, go to and click on the Apply Now link.

3+4 Bachelor's of Vision Science/Doctor of Optometry Program – This is an accelerated program for the student who is interested in a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) terminal degree. UIW students need to maintain and meet additional requirements throughout their three years of undergraduate Vision Science coursework (Phase I) in order to be accepted into the O.D. program (Phase II). Upon acceptance into the professional program and successful completion of the 1st Professional Year, the student will be retroactively granted a B.S. in Vision Science degree. At the successful conclusion of the four-year block step professional program, the student will be awarded a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) professional degree. Qualifications for phase I include:

  • Cumulative high School GPA of 3.5
  • High school math and science GPA of 3.5
  • Student must be prepared to begin in pre-calculus (1st semester, freshman year)
  • Combine math/verbal SAT of 1200 or ACT of 27

For further information, contact Dr. Diane Farrell at or (210) 832-2192, or go to
To apply for admission, go to and click on the Apply Now link.


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

Dr. Diane Farrell, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor/Vision Science Degree Coordinator
The University of the Incarnate Word School of Optometry
9725 Datapoint Drive
San Antonio, TX 78229
(210)-832-2192, or the Office of Admissions at (210) 829-6005

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