Optometry Affiliate Program

Villanova University offers high school students interested in the field of optometry the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science degree and a Doctor of Optometry degree in a combined seven-year program. This program is an affiliation program with the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University in Philadelphia, PA.

The students attend Villanova for the first three years completing all Core requirements and most of the Science requirements leading to the Bachelor of Science degree. While at Villanova, the students have the choice between a Biology, Biochemistry or a Comprehensive Science (BSC) major. Upon successful completion of the requirements at Villanova, the students attend Salus University (formerly Pennsylvania College of Optometry). After successful completion of the first year curriculum at Salus University, credits for courses completed are transferred to Villanova University to complete the Bachelor's degree requirements. Upon completion of the degree requirements at Salus students are granted the Doctor of Optometry degree.

Based upon the structure this is NOT a condensed program.  While at Villanova students carry the same credit load each semester as do their peers within that major.  One difference is that students must be prepared to take the OAT placement exam at the end of their sophomore year at Villanova.  Interested students are encouraged to review projected curriculum maps prior to selection of a major upon application to the program.

Criteria to be Considered

  • SAT I score of 1340 or better on the Critical Reading and Math components (taken no later than October of the applicants senior year).  A specific score on the Writing component will not be used at this time.
  • or ACT score of 30 or better; writing portion (taken no later than October of the applicants senior year) also taken into account.
  • Rank in the top 10% of high school class where class rank is reported.
  • GPA of at least 3.7 (weighted) on a 4.0 scale (weighted GPA determined by school's policies regarding honors and AP classes; for schools that do not offer honors and AP classes, unweighted GPS is reviewed).

Students in the program must complete the Core requirements for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the majority of the science requirements as well as the prerequisites for Salus. They will work closely with the Health Professions Advising Office to ensure all requirements are met. They are expected to maintain a 3.2 cumulative GPA during their time at Villanova. They must also take the Optometry Admission Test and receive scores of 300 or higher on each section. Failure to meet the minimum requirements may result in release from the program.

Application and Admission Requirements

  • Submission of Common Application with the Member School Section for Villanova by November 1
  • Application fee
  • Official high school transcript
  • All SAT or ACT scores sent directly from the College Board and/or ACT
  • Secondary School Report and Midyear Report Forms, as well as one teacher recommendation
  • Villanova essay
  • Common Application essay

Standardized Testing

  • Self-Reported Testing
  • Villanova offers you the option to self-report your SAT and/or ACT scores in the testing section of the Common Application. Should you choose, you may also have your official scores sent to Villanova, but this is not necessary for your application to be reviewed.
  •  If you are admitted and choose to enroll, we will require that the official scores be sent directly from the College Board and/or ACT.
  • Any misrepresentation of these scores will result in the denial or recession of admission.

Health Science Affiliation programs are available to first-time freshman applicants only.  To apply to the Health Affiliation programs, you must submit a completed application packet including the Common Application with the Member School Section for Villanova by November 1.  Please Note:  When completing the Academics section of the member screen, the Health Affiliation programs can be found under the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.  Please choose an alternate major that you would pursue as an undergraduate in the event you are not selected as a final candidate for the Health Affiliation Program.

Applicants who meet the criteria above will be asked to submit supplementary material to Salus University; these materials will be requested following receipt of the Villanova application. The Admissions Committee will evaluate all applications and make a decision by approximately March 1. No interview is required. Applicants will be notified shortly thereafter.

Students who are not selected for the second stage are notified by Villanova approximately January 15 and will be evaluated through the regular admission process for the major listed on their application.

For details pertaining to Salus University, view their web site at www.salus.edu. For more information about this unique opportunity at Villanova, please contact the Health Professions Advising Office, at (610) 519-4833 or hpa@villanova.edu.  

Majors Curriculums

* Salus BSOD.pdf
Projected curriculum maps for Biology, Comprehensive Science, and Biochemistry major options in the BS/OD program