Before you Begin
Take a look at the OptomCAS website and find out exactly what is needed to apply using their centralized application. There is also valuable information pertaining to the application and step-by-step instructions on how to apply. All of this information can be found on the OptomCAS website.
Review the application by creating a test account; please make sure to use the word "test" after your username (ex. goodetest). DO NOT SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION.
Beginning the Application
The application opens on July 2, 2012. Deadlines vary by institution; please refer directly to the schools applying to, to learn more about application deadlines.
Create an OptomCAS application account as early as possible at https://portal.optomcas.org/ and record your username and password in a secure and easy-to-remember location. Provide the necessary information needed to complete the application.
OptomCAS will accept the following documents ONLY:
- All US and Canadian Official transcripts
- Complete Letters of Recommendation
- Foreign Evaluations (Foreign Applicants Only)
You are required to send ONE transcript from each institution you have attended, regardless of the number of courses you have taken.
The transcripts from U.S. and Canadian institutions which you are required to send to OptomCAS DO NOT get forwarded on to your designated school(s). They are used in the processing of your application and will remain at OptomCAS.
Copies of foreign evaluations (institutions outside of the U.S. and Canada) will be forwarded by OptomCAS to the designated schools.
Transcripts sent without the appropriate Transcript Request Form may result in the delay of your application.
All previous coursework must be listed (including repeated, failed and withdrawn courses). You must include the course title, prefix and course number exactly as it appears on your official transcript.
Once you have e-submitted your application to OptomCAS, no changes to coursework can be made. If you e-submit your OptomCAS application before your summer and/or fall grades are available, there will be an Academic Update (AU) period in December-January, which will allow you to update your coursework. You can only update your coursework once during the Academic Update period. An email will be sent to applicants when the Academic Update period opens.
Letter and committee packets need to be mailed directly to OPTOMCAS. Each letter sent needs to have a reference request guide included with the letter. OptomCAS will allow a maximum of four letters of recommendation.
Committee packets can only be accompanied with one letter of recommendation and a reference request guide is needed for both letters (committee and individual letter writer. Some schools do not accept a committee letter of recommendation, please be sure and check with each school you apply to as to the types of letters they will accept. For example, UC Berkeley does not accept a committee letter.
NOTE: HPO cannot submit this way, refer to this if you are not going through our office.
Enter the email address and mailing address of the letter writer on your application. An email request from OptomCAS will be sent to the individual recommender directing them to a secured website for completion.
Applicants are encouraged to contact their recommenders to ask them to allow their email systems to "permit" the OptomCAS reference mail address:
Also known as Committee and Letter packet
Applicants should complete the physical mailing address and email address fields, print the appropriate forms (available within the OptomCAS application) and send these to the Recommender(s) to complete. Recommenders must submit their reference request forms with their letters of recommendation, as they are required when mailing to OptomCAS.
For the essay/personal statement you should describe what inspires your decision for becoming an optometrist, including your preparation for training in this profession, your aptitude and motivation, the basis for your interest in optometry, and your future career goals.
The essay should be no longer than 4500 characters. However, you may also create different essays for different programs)
Applicants should print out a copy of the application for their personal records.
The only section you can edit after submitting your application to OptomCAS is your biographic information. If you have any changes to your application other than biographic, please contact your designated programs directly.
All official transcripts, paper letters of recommendation, foreign evaluations, and payments should be sent to:
P.O. Box 9119
Watertown, MA 02471
Monitoring Application Status
It is the applicants' responsibility to monitor the status of their application on a regular basis.
Checking your status:
- Login to your OptomCAS web application
- Select the option that you would like to check the status of (ex: transcripts, LORs, etc.) in the STATUS section.
Information provided in this document was retrieved from the Optometry Centralized Application Service on March 22, 2012.