Fredonia SUNY Optometry Combined Degree Program


Health Professions Advising Program
Jewett 205
State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
Ph: (716) 673-3282

Combined Degree (3/4) Program
SUNY Fredonia and
SUNY State College of Optometry

SUNY State College of Optometry
33 West 42nd Street
New York, New York 10036
Telephone: (212) 780-5100
E-mail: admissions@sunyopt.edu
Web: www.sunyopt.edu

General Information and Requirements

The Combined Degree (3/4) Program is a seven-year program developed between the State University of New York at Fredonia and the State University of New York State College of Optometry. This program allows six participating students per year the opportunity to receive a baccalaureate (B.S.) degree in Biology and a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree in optometry. The first three years of the program are completed at SUNY Fredonia and the last four years are completed at SUNY State College of Optometry. Accepted students are admitted into Fredonia's Biology major and simultaneously admitted to candidacy to the SUNY State College of Optometry professional program of study.

A. Selection of Participants

Participants may be selected for the program in one of two ways --

1. High School Students:

  • Must express an interest in and have a basic understanding of the optometric profession.
  • Must have a definite interest in the optometry profession and has explored it.
  • Must submit two recommendation letters to evidence community involvement, communication and interpersonal skills, and motivation for a career in optometry.
  • Must be in the upper one-tenth of their high school graduating class.
  • Must have achieved at least a minimum of 93 high school grade average on a scale of 100.
  • Attain a total score of 1300 (at least 670 Math) or better on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).
  • Prior to consideration for the Combined Degree Program, an applicant must first be accepted to SUNY Fredonia through the normal admissions process as a member of the entering first-year class and paid the Fredonia Admissions Deposit.
  • Prior to the beginning of the freshman year and after all of the above criteria have been met, members of the SUNY State College of Optometry Student Affairs Committee will interview the applicant at the SUNY State College of Optometry. It is the student's responsibility to arrange this interview and to contact the Fredonia Admissions Office to have your supporting application materials forwarded to the State College of Optometry.
  • Following the required interview, the applicant will be reviewed by the State College of Optometry Student Affairs Committee and a decision will be made on acceptance into the Combined Degree Program. In order to be considered for the program, participants must be interviewed at the SUNY State College of Optometry.

2. First- and Second-Year College Students:

  • May apply for the Combined Degree Program following completion of the first full year of study at SUNY Fredonia.
  • A minimum overall 3.3 grade point average and 3.3 grade point average (out of 4.0) in all science and math pre-requisite undergraduate coursework completed at the time of application to the Combined Degree Program. All science and math prerequisite courses must be satisfied with a grade of C or higher.
  • Applicants must submit their SAT or ACT scores (no minimum score is required).
  • Applicants must have explored the optometry profession, show evidence of community involvement, have reasonable communication and interpersonal skills, and submit to an interview by a SUNY Optometry representative.  Applicants must also release their educational records to SUNY Optometry.

B. Continuance in the Program

In order to remain in the program, the participant will matriculate at SUNY Fredonia for three years and must satisfy the following requirements.

  1. Provide evidence of community involvement.
  2. During your three years at SUNY Fredonia, you must visit at least three different professional optometric offices in order to be fully acquainted with the profession of optometry. Submit appropriate documentation (forms available in the Biology Office or a letter from the optometrist) immediately to the Biomedical Professions Council.
  3. Maintain a minimum overall 3.3 grade point average and maintain a 3.3 overall grade point average (out of 4.0) in the math and science prerequisites with no individual grade below a "C".
  4. Completion of all SUNY State College of Optometry pre-requisite coursework for the professional program with individual grades of C or higher.
  5. Completion of the SUNY Fredonia core course requirements.
  6. Completion of additional coursework that can be used, in addition to the above, to place Combined Degree students in proper position to complete their SUNY Fredonia requirements upon successful completion of their first year of professional study at SUNY State College of Optometry.
  7. Participants must gain experience in professional optometric offices during the first three years while enrolled in this program. The participant must visit at least three different professional optometric offices in order to be fully acquainted with the profession of optometry. The participant is solely responsible for ensuring signed documentation of completed hours is on file in the Department of Biology. Required forms are available in the Biology Office for this documentation.
  8. Release official transcripts of all college courses taken on a yearly basis while enrolled in this program to SUNY State College of Optometry.
  9. Attain a Total Science score (TS) above 330 on the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT), with no individual score below 310. The OAT must be taken no later than the Fall Semester of the third year (junior) of the program.
  10. Must be interviewed by the SUNY Fredonia Biomedical Professions Council in the Spring Semester of the third year (junior) and pass reasonable personal interview standards.
  11. Provide a positive letter of recommendation to SUNY State College of Optometry from the SUNY Fredonia Biomedical Professions Council.
  12. Submit all required admission application materials to SUNY State College of Optometry in the Spring Semester of your Junior Year.
  13. Release official transcripts of all college courses taken on a yearly basis while enrolled in this program to SUNY State College of Optometry.
  14. Satisfactorily complete the first year at SUNY State College of Optometry and have a transcript submitted to the Registrar at SUNY Fredonia.
  15. Satisfactorily complete all of the degree requirements for SUNY Fredonia.
  16. Obtain the SUNY Fredonia Application for Degree form from the Registrar's Office. Complete this form and return it directly to the Registrar during the month of January of your senior year (fourth year).
  17. Meet all academic requirements of the SUNY State College of Optometry in order to receive the O.D. degree.
  18. Maintain appropriate moral and ethical standards necessary for the eventual attainment of professional licensure.
    • Failure of the student to achieve or maintain the above standards will result in his or her removal from the program.
    • Failure of the student to be accepted into the Combined Degree Program or discontinuance of the program following acceptance to SUNY Fredonia will not preclude direct application to the SUNY State College of Optometry through its standard application process.
    • Based upon any of the above deficiencies, student will not be considered in any future admissions review process for the Combined Degree Program.

C. Counseling, Advising, and Program

Upon acceptance into the Combined Degree (3/4) Program, the participant will schedule an appointment (required during the month of September) to meet with the Chairperson of the Biomedical Professions Committee at SUNY Fredonia to review the requirements of the program. The Chairperson (or designee) of the Biomedical Professions Committee will act as the Program Advisor to the participants while they are enrolled at SUNY Fredonia. At this meeting, the participant will receive an outline of the program as approved by SUNY Fredonia. The student will be required to sign in triplicate an Agreement of Participation that signifies his or her awareness of the academic standards that must be maintained, the OAT scores that must be achieved, the courses that must be taken while at SUNY Fredonia, and the process and requirements for receiving the baccalaureate degree from SUNY Fredonia following successful completion of the first year (fourth year of the seven-year program) at SUNY State College of Optometry.

D. Course Requirements

- Total of 120 credit hours required for SUNY Fredonia B.S. Degree

SUNY Fredonia - 90 credit hours - as listed on the Combined Degree Checklist and Agreement Form

  • Biology major course requirements
  • Supporting courses
  • College Core Curriculum courses

SUNY State College of Optometry - 30 credit hours
Includes appropriate Biology elective courses to substitute for Fredonia courses for the major as advised by the Biomedical Professions Advisor

E. Clinical Experience and Documentation

Participants must gain experience in clinical optometry while enrolled the first three years of the program. The participant must complete a minimum of one hundred hours of clinical experience. While this requirement can generally be met by volunteering in private optometric clinics, the participant may utilize other clinical experiences in optometry to meet this requirement with the approval of the program advisor at SUNY Fredonia. The participant is solely responsible for ensuring signed documentation of completed hours is on file in the Department of Biology (forms are available in the Biology Office for this documentation).

F. Withdrawal from the Program

Participation by the student in the Combined Degree Program should be regarded as a serious commitment by both parties, only to be abrogated by extenuating circumstances. In such cases, it is the sole responsibility of the student to advise SUNY State College of Optometry officials and the Chairperson of the Biomedical Professions Council at SUNY Fredonia of withdrawal at the earliest possible date.


Page modified 8/4/14