Before you Begin
- Please feel free to review the application by creating a test account on http://www.optomcas.org/; please make sure to use the word "test" after your username (ex. SmithTest). DO NOT SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION.
- All official transcripts, paper letters of recommendation, foreign evaluations, and payments (if not by credit card) should be sent to:
PO Box 9119
Watertown, MA 02471
- The OptomCAS website has many resources posted for its users. Please take a moment to explore the site to become familiar to the application process. The site is: http://www.optomcas.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=frontpage&Itemid=1
Beginning the Application
The application opens on Friday, June 29th, 2013. Deadlines vary by institution; please refer directly to specific schools to learn more about application deadlines. Create an OptomCAS application account as early as possible at https://portal.optomcas.org/
July 15, 2013 is the last day the HPAO will upload a committee packet. In order to meet this deadline you are required to submit:
- A copy of your OptomCAS application
- Any additional letters of evaluation not previously received
OptomCAS will accept the following documents ONLY:
- All US and Canadian Official transcripts
- Complete Letters of Recommendation
- Foreign Evaluations (Foreign Applicants Only)
All previous coursework must be listed (including repeated, failed and withdrawn courses).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.
You are required to send ONE transcript from each institution you have attended, regardless of the number of courses you have taken.
Transcripts sent without the appropriate Transcript Request Form may result in the delay of your application.
Request two copies of your transcript, one to be mailed to OptomCAS and one to be mailed to you. This way you ensure successful submission of your transcripts to OptomCAS and can reference your copy to fill in the coursework section of the application.
Letter and committee packets need to be mailed directly to OPTOMCAS (address above). Each letter sent needs to have a reference request guide included with the letter.
Letter packets are allowed a maximum of 4 letters of evaluation to be included.
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 both need a form.) 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.
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.
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.
Dr. Goode is available to review personal statements if you desire her input. If you would like to do this please schedule an appointment with her through the Health Professions website.
The Writing Center in the Pollack Library is also another wonderful resource to aid students in composing and editing their personal statements. The Career Center can provide you with an additional review of your personal statement by their professionally trained counselors. Only current CSUF students are able to utilize the assistance of the Writing Center. A current or recent alumni (less than one year since graduation) can utilize the experiences counselors of the Career Center.
Applicants should print out a copy or digitally save 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
All 21 optometry schools and colleges participate in the centralized application service, OPTOMCAS.
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 April 4, 2013.