Optometrists are trained to provide eye care to people who have vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Optometrists spend much of their time assessing the vision status of each patient to provide individualized corrective lenses in the form of contact lenses or eyeglasses. They also specialize in low-vision care.

The University of Iowa does not offer a degree program in optometry, but does offer course work to help students prepare to enroll in an optometry program elsewhere.


This is a graduate-level health profession that typically requires specific undergraduate courses and usually an undergraduate degree for admission. Requirements are primarily in the sciences, including one year each of introductory courses in chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and biology, each with accompanying labs. Also required is the mathematics prerequisite to physics.

Acceptance into these programs is competitive, and entrance requirements may change from year to year, so research the requirements for the school(s) you are considering to make sure you have the most current information.

An adviser from our Academic Advising Center will help you plan your Iowa course work. Visit the Academic Advising Center website for more information.

For more information about optometry, visit the websites for the American Optometric Association and the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry.