Essential Courses

Course # Title
BI 101 General Biology I
BI 102 General Biology II
CH 142 and CH 143 Integrated Chemistry Principles I with Lab
CH 144 and CH 145 Integrated Chemistry Principles II with Lab
CH 232 and CH 233 Organic Chemistry I with Lab
CH 312 Biochemistry
CH 247 Bioanalytical Chemistry Lab
PC 200 OR PC 202 General Physics I or Introductory Physics I
PC 201 OR PC 203 General Physics II or Introductory Physics II
MA 205 OR BI 305 Elementary Statistics or Biostatistics
MA 130 Calculus I
PY 101 Introduction to Psychology
BI 231 and BI 232 Microbiology I with Lab
BI 331 and BI 332 Microbiology II with Lab
EN ___ English Course (writing course preferred)

Important Notes

  • Strongly recommend anatomy and physiology. Also recommend neurobiology, molecular biology, genetics, experimental and physiological psychology, foreign language (especially Spanish), sociology, economics, business courses, communication courses, and ethics.
  • These courses reflect program requirements for our affiliation the Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry only. Although this course list will be sufficient for most other programs, make sure to check requirements of other schools in which you are interested no later than your sophomore year.
  • This course list does NOT represent a POE, nor does it cover College requirements. Design a POE in consultation with your advisor. Note: If you are in a 3 +_ program, course work during the first year of professional school can count toward upper level POE requirements.
  • Make sure to have an advisor on the Health Professions Committee, preferably Dr. James Borgardt.
  • In addition to your course work you are urged to gain some experience in optometry either during the school year or over the summer.


Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry

Regular Progression (4 years at Juniata) OR 3 + 4 B.S./O.D Program

Classes Credits
General Biology with Lab 1 year
General Chemistry with Lab 1 year
Organic Chemistry with Lab 1 year
Organic Chemistry with Lab (1/2 year) and 1/2 year of either Biochemistry or Molecular Biology with Labs optional but recommended 1 year
English composition or literature 1 year
Calculus I* 1/2 year
Microbiology with Lab 1/2 year
General Physics with Lab 1 year
Psychology 1/2 year
Statistics (math, biology, or psychology) 1/2 year

*or one year of any other college level math (algebra, pre-calculus, etc.) One year of Calculus is highly recommended to satisfy math requirement.

Require 90 credits minimum.

Recommend but do not require biochemistry, Calculus II, anatomy, physiology, histology, molecular biology, genetics, and experimental and physiological psychology.

Competitive credentials: In general science and overall GPA of 3.1-3.3; OAT scores of at least 300 in each subsection.
3 + 4 Salus/PCO students; minimum GPA of 3.1 and OAT scores of at least 300 in each subsection;
take the OAT NO LATER than June 1st of the junior year. Apply the summer after junior year through OptomCAS.

Salus/PCO also has a year-round 36 month accelerated professional school pathway known as the Scholars Program

Helpful websites

Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry -
American Optometric Association -
Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry-

General Information:

Suggested Core Progressions for Pre-Optometry*

*If you are planning to study abroad or if you are in accelerated program consult with your Health Professions advisor to plan your course progression

Bolded courses are offered only in the indicated semester and/or require a specific sequence due to Juniata prerequisites. Non-bolded courses are either offered in both semesters or represent open-ended choices, making them more flexible in when they can be taken. Course progressions after the freshman year are not carved in stone. Your particular course sequence may be different, depending on your situation. Consult with your advisor.

Freshman Year BI 101 BI 102
  CH 142/143 CH 144/145
    MA 130
Sophomore Year CH 232/233 CH 312
  PY 101 CH 247
  Statistics English
Junior Year PC 200 or PC 202 PC 201 or PC 203
  BI 231/232 BI 331/332

If you do an accelerated program plan to finish most or all of the prerequisite courses the year before your final year at Juniata. If you have one or two courses to complete your final year at Juniata, you could be conditionally accepted to professional school based on your academic record up to that point and on successful completion of the remaining prerequisite courses.

If you study abroad the SAFEST strategy is to take ALL prerequisite courses for professional school in the U.S., which may require you to take courses in the U.S. over the summer, preferably at a 4 year institution. However, if this is extremely difficult for your situation, check with the professional schools you wish to attend to see if they will accept courses taken abroad and if so, get their response in writing.

Be mindful of your POE courses, which are NOT indicated here.