Does your future vision include optometry school? Central students succeed on entrance exams and in securing acceptance into optometry schools with help from an on-campus pre-health adviser, internship coordinator and academic advisers to ensure that you complete the required courses, maintain a GPA of 3.6 or higher and take advantage of many opportunities for research and professional development.

Although entrance requirements vary, a strong foundation in the natural and social sciences as part of a well-rounded liberal arts education is considered excellent preparation for optometry school. Central’s pre-professional program prepares you to pursue optometry education in graduate school. With the help of your adviser, you will choose a major that best prepares you for further study.

The Central Difference

Individualized Attention

Thanks to Central's small class and laboratory section size, faculty can provide each student with individualized attention and the opportunity to develop skills necessary for graduate school. Our faculty members also provide personalized advising that ensures students meet the coursework requirements for graduate school. And to help students get into graduate school, faculty provide letters of recommendation that make a vital difference in the decision process for acceptance into medical programs.

I Can See Clearly Now

Initially unsure of herself and her goals, Kayleigh Rohr ’20 graduated with her sights set on optometry.

Heartland Global Health Consortium

Central College is a founding member of the Heartland Global Health Consortium whose mission is to establish and expand multidisciplinary educational, research and service opportunities to inspire and equip students to become leaders in global public health. The consortium provides additional opportunities for students to participate in educational, global research and global medical service experiences.

Hands-On Research

Central faculty provide students with many research and professional development opportunities, of which students are encouraged to take full advantage while on campus. Opportunities include undergraduate research and presentations at scientific meetings, internships, shadowing programs, targeted service-learning opportunities related to career goals and much more.

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to study abroad with one of Central’s international programs to enhance their development as global citizens, or with partner programs in Chicago or Washington, D.C. Learn more about Central’s study abroad programs.


Central’s Vermeer Science Center was awarded the silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating from the United States Green Building Council, the first LEED-rated building in the state. Students have direct access to classrooms and laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation and presentation technology.

Beyond Central

Putting the “Hire” in Higher Education

  • Optometrist, Elegant Eyes Optometry Center, Indio, Calif.
  • Optometrist, Gerhard Cibis, Grain Valley, Mo.
  • Optometrist, Eye Care Center of Newton

Central to Host Women’s Leadership Conference for Students

Central College will introduce “Leadership for the Common Good: Women’s Leadership Conference” for students later this month.


  • SCATE (Students Concerned About The Environment)
  • Tri-Beta (national biological sciences honor society)
  • Health Professions Club

Graduate Placement

  • University of Illinois College of Optometry
  • University of Iowa College of Optometry
  • University of Missouri–St. Louis


Students interested in the optometry program are able to shadow local professionals for limited hours. Shadowing opportunities are available across the state including Pella Regional Health Center, Broadlawns Medical Center and Ottumwa Wellness Center.

Central College student

Courses & Faculty

Students can choose to major in any discipline that fits their personal and professional life goals. Regardless of major choice, students are required to successfully complete a series of courses in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, social sciences, psychology, English/rhetoric and complete the Optometry Admission Test.

The Central College Career Center provides the following activities to help pre-health students narrow career options: individual appointments to identify career options in the health field, job shadowing opportunities with local professionals or Central alumni, assistance with finding and applying for internships and summer opportunities, help with graduate school applications and much more.

Learn more about this discipline in the course catalog.

Meet the Faculty


Learn More

Want to find out more about Pre-Optometry at Central? Contact us to learn more about this discipline and our other strong academic programs.

Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.

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