University of Wisconsin–Madison

Application Process

Application Timeline

Below is a rough timeline for preparing your application.  Click on the arrows for more information.

Fall before you apply

Research Schools

For a list of optometry schools, visit ASCO.  For tips on choosing schools, visit our Selecting Schools page.

Make a list of your activities outside of class

  • hours, dates, locations, contacts
  • what your role was, what you learned

Identify possible letter writers


Spring before you apply

Study for the Optometry Admissions Test

Optometry schools require the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT). To hear how other students have prepared, visit our exam tips page.

Write personal statement

For tips on writing your application essay, check out our Personal Statement page.

Request letters of recommendation

Optometry schools require between 2-4 letters of recommendation. They prefer at least one letter from an optometrist.  For tips on how to build relationships with faculty, visit our Letters of Recommendation page.


Summer that you apply

Complete the centralized application

Optometry schools use a centralized application called OptomCAS.  The OptomCAS costs $125 for the first program and $45 for each additional school. The application opens in early July and includes:

Complete school-specific supplemental application

Some, but not all, optometry programs have a supplemental application.


Some, but not all, optometry programs have finalist interview. For help preparing, visit our Interview Preparation page.