College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions

BS in Health Sciences, Pre-Optometry

The combined Bachelor of Science/Doctor of Optometry (BS/OD) program between the University of Hartford and the New England College of Optometry (NECO) provides a unique opportunity for students with career goals in optometry. The accelerated program typically allows for the completion of the BS/OD degrees in a seven-year period.

About the Major

Optometry students in lab

The BS/OD program is for the academically outstanding student with strong, realistic motivation toward the optometric profession. Initial study at the University of Hartford allows you to complete the general education and basic science requirements for the BS in health science degree and the prerequisites necessary for professional study.

The BS degree is awarded by the University of Hartford following the successful completion of the first year of graduate study. Students who are not in the accelerated program typically complete the BS degree in four years at the University of Hartford.

The optometry program requires four years of combined academic and clinical training leading to the OD degree, which is a prerequisite for licensure eligibility in the United States. The New England College of Optometry provides students with an accredited four-year professional optometry curriculum.

Admission to the University of Hartford does not guarantee admission to the graduate program. You must complete an application for the graduate program after the second year of study at UHart.

Degree Requirements

Prior to attendance at the New England College of Optometry, students must complete 101 credits. A sample of courses is listed below; view the full curriculum in the course catalog.

Core Science Courses

Pre-Optometry science courses include:

Introductory Biology
Human Anatomy and Physiology
College Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
Algebra-Based Physics

Students also complete 3 credits of Premedical Professions Studies.

General Education Requirements

General education courses may include:

Academic Writing
Introduction to Computers
Precalculus with Trigonometry
Business and Professional Communication
Introduction to Psychology

Alyssa Clifford

BS in Health Sciences Pre-Professional, '20

UHart’s Pre-Professional Studies (PPS) classes helped Alyssa Clifford get a head start on the graduate school application process. She learned how to write a medical resume, a personal statement, and successfully interview for an optometry job. Alyssa is heading to the New England College of Optometry in Boston to pursue a Doctor of Optometry degree.

Read more

If it weren’t for the PPS courses, I'm certain I would have fallen behind and applied to optometry schools later than I should have. And If it weren’t for my advisor's constant feedback and words of encouragement, I would not be where I am today."

Admission Requirements

BS in Health Sciences Pre-Optometry student in classroom

Applicants to the Health Science Pre-Optometry articulation program between the University of Hartford and the New England College of Optometry (NECO) must be academically outstanding students with strong, realistic motivation toward the optometric profession.

Acceptance to the program normally requires a student to:

  • Maintain at least a B average overall and in the sciences during the first three years of high school;
  • Rank in the upper 10 percent of the student's high school class;
  • Obtain a combined score of at least 1100 (Verbal and Math) on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).

To be eligible for admission to NECO, a student must meet the following criteria:

  • Send a letter of intent to NECO upon matriculation at the University of Hartford.
  • Complete at least 90 credits of coursework, including all necessary prerequisites, by the end of the third year at UHart.
  • Achieve a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.4 overall, with a minimum grade of C in all required courses.
  • Submit an application for admission to NECO at the beginning of the final year of pre-professional studies at UHart.
  • Satisfactory performance on the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT).
  • Obtain a recommendation for admission to NEWENCO from the health science, pre-optometry advisor and/or a letter of recommendation from the University Premedical Professional Advisory Committee.
  • Complete all application procedures including a satisfactory interview with members of the Admissions Committee at NECO.


If you are applying as a transfer student, you will submit your application and documentation to our Office of Admission. The staff are knowledgeable about credit articulation agreements that we have with other institutions and work closely with the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions to provide transfer students with the information they need to make a smooth transition.

Program Contact

Linda Dahlin
Program Director, Health Sciences


The University of Hartford is accredited by the Board of Higher Education of the State of Connecticut and by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). The New England College of Optometry is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) of the American Optometric Association (a member of the Council of Post-Secondary Accreditation) and NECHE.

Making a difference is the ultimate reward.