The Health Sciences Major may be used as a pre-professional curriculum for students wishing to apply to an Optometry Program. The College of Optometry at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah (NSU-CO) offers an Optometry Program.
The College of Optometry considers applicants with a previous bachelor's degree in an appropriate field of study or those with 90 or more hours of college work.
SWOSU students may choose the Health Sciences Major to complete these 90 hours at SWOSU or obtain their degree in Health Sciences at SWOSU before applying to the Optometry Program.
Optometrists are primary eye care providers who examine people’s eyes to diagnose and in some cases treat vision problems and eye disease. Optometrists prescribe eyeglasses, contact lenses, vision therapy, and low-vision aids.
The majority of Optometrists are in solo practice. Others are in partnership or group practices, treatment optical stores, teachers in schools of optometry or consultants in industrial safety programs, insurance companies, manufacturers of ophthalmic products, and other related business. According to the Optometric Association, net earnings for new optometry graduates in their first full year of practice averages $35,000. Experienced optometrists average $60,000 annually. Incomes vary greatly depending on location, specialization, and other factors. Optometrists who start out by working on a salaried basis tend to earn more money initially than optometrists who set up their own independent practice.
The Doctor of Optometry degree requires completion of a four year professional degree program from an accredited optometric school preceded by 2-3 years or a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. All states require that optometrists be licensed.