Catalogue 2017 - 2018

Pre-Optometry Concentration in Health Sciences

General Information

The Pre-Optometry program offered by the College of Arts and Sciences is an accelerated track of the Health Sciences major that provides an opportunity for qualified students to prepare for early admission to the New England College of Optometry (NECO) in Boston through our articulation agreement.  In addition, students who successfully complete their first year at NECO will have the option of receiving a B.S. in Health Sciences from Western New England University (WNE).

To successfully satisfy the requirements of the Western New England University Pre-Optometry program, a student must:

  • Complete the required 101 credits within three academic years as listed below for each fall and spring semester.
  • Transfer in no credits (including AP credits) of science coursework completed prior to matriculation at Western New England University and, following matriculation, transfer in no credits for any science or mathematics courses satisfying a requirement for the Pre-Optometry program.
  • Maintain a sufficiently high GPA for all Pre-Optometry course work with no grade in any course less than a “C”. (See below for the specific GPA requirements for NECO.)
Entry points into the program:
  1. Qualified students can be admitted into the Pre-Optometry program as freshmen by WNE Admissions for the fall semester of a given year.
  2. Students that have followed the course sequence of the Pre-Optometry program at WNE during their freshman year can apply to the WNE Pre-Optometry advisor prior to October 1st in the fall semester of the sophomore year for official admittance into the program. To be eligible:
    • A student must have shadowed the Pre-Optometry program during their first year at WNE and earned a 3.3 overall GPA with a Science/Math GPA of 3.1 for all course work with no grade in any course less than a “C”.
    • A student must not have transferred in credits (including AP credits) of science coursework completed prior to matriculation at Western New England University and, following matriculation, transferred in no credits for any science or mathematics courses satisfying a requirement for the Pre-Optometry program.
    • If accepted into the program, a student has to complete the required 101 credits of the Pre-Optometry program during their second and third year at WNE while maintaining a sufficiently high GPA for all Pre-Optometry course work with no grade in any course less than a “C”.


Agreement with NECO:

Students who have successfully completed the Western New England University Pre-Optometry program requirements can be considered for early admission to the four-year optometry program (OD04) of the New England College of Optometry in Boston, which leads to the Doctor of Optometry degree.

Third-year students (juniors) of Western New England University will receive early admissions status to NECO’s OD04 program under the agreement once they have:

1. Completed at least three (3) years of coursework as outlined below.

2. Met the academic prerequisites for NECO admission in place at the time of their formal admission into this WNE Pre-Optometry program.

3. Adhered to the current admission standards of NECO (refer to the NECO web site for current standards).

4. Earned an overall cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.3 and a science/math undergraduate GPA of 3.1 at the time of matriculation at NECO.

5. Completed the Optometry Centralized Application Service (OptomCAS) application by October 15 prior to the intended fall entrance date.

6. Taken the Optometry Admission Test (OAT) by September prior to the intended fall entrance date.

7. Received a 320 or above for the Academic Average on the Optometry Admission Test (OAT) with no OAT sub-score below 290.

8. Demonstrated strong evidence of commitment to the field of optometry through a shadowing experience with a practicing optometrist (details provided on the NECO’s website and related literature).

9. Obtained three letters of recommendation from faculty and the optometrist who was shadowed.

10. Interviewed successfully (by NECO standards, as detailed on the NECO websites) with NECO faculty prior to receiving a final admissions decision.

Note: NECO reserves the right, at their sole discretion, to withdraw or reverse an admit status for any Western New England University 3+4 student who, subsequent to the offer of admissions, fails to remain in good academic and disciplinary standing.

In order to receive the B.S. in Health Sciences from Western New England University, students must provide WNE with the NECO transcript after successful completion of the first year of the OD04 program.

If a student has been admitted into the WNE Pre-Optometry program, and then decides to first complete the B.S. in Health Sciences at WNE before moving on to NECO, NECO will still give that student’s application special consideration.


Physical and Biological Science Faculty