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Optometry

Cooperative Program

Program Advisor
Judith Thorn, Biology

This program offers students the opportunity to begin working towards the degree of Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) at Illinois College of Optometry after three years at Knox. Applicants are selected by Illinois College of Optometry in their third year on the condition they successfully complete the curriculum described below and are considered to be admissible. Students so chosen can earn the B.A. degree from Knox and the Doctor of Optometry in seven years. The Knox B.A. is awarded upon satisfactory completion of the first year of postgraduate study at Illinois College of Optometry.

This is a combined program, one designed for outstanding students with a clear goal of practicing optometry. In addition to presenting strong academic records, applicants will be interviewed by a Knox selection committee and by representatives of Illinois College of Optometry prior to admission. This program is principally intended for majors in Biology.

To be eligible for this combined degree program, students must complete an academic major and fulfill all of the general education requirements for the Knox B.A. in their three years at Knox. Specifically, a Knox student must:

  • have received at least 27 credits with at least a 3.1 grade point average
  • have been in residence on the Knox Campus at least 6 terms and have earned at least 18 Knox credits
  • have completed all the requirements for the Knox degree except that the last credit and terms before the degree be in residence 
  • be recommended for the program by the Dean of the College or, upon request, by the faculty program advisor.

In addition, specific requirements for admission are as follows:

  • BIOL 110, 120, 130, 323 or 333
  • CHEM 101, 102 and 211
  • PHYS 110, 120, 130
  • MATH 140 or 151
  • One course in statistics or research methods (STAT 200, BIOL 210, or PSYC 281)
  • One course in psychology
  • One additional course in the social sciences
  • At least one upper-level elective from: BCHM 265, BIOL 325, 328, or 329

All courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher. Grades of C- or lower do not successfully fulfill admissions requirements

Students interested in this program should contact the program advisor early to discuss the specific requirements and to plan their courses accordingly.