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Kentucky College of Optometry

Reserved Student Placement Available

Articulation Agreement between KYCO and SWCC paves the way for SWCC Science students’ admission to the Kentucky College of Optometry


Southwest students who graduate with an AA&S degree in science with a specialization in pre-medical, and Advanced Studies in Science and meet all of the requirements listed in the articulation agreement with SWCC & the University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Optometry (KYCO), will be eligible to attain one of three reserved seats at KYCO. The University of Pikeville will provide to three students preferential admission to UPike’s Doctor of Optometry program through the Reserved Student Placement Program.

The purpose of the program is to provide highly motivated and intellectually capable undergraduate students with a unique opportunity to secure their seats at the University of Pikeville, Kentucky College of Optometry.

Students interested in being considered for a reserved seat at UPike KYCO must first earn an Associate of Arts and Sciences degree in Science with a specialization in pre-medical and an Advanced Studies in Science Certificate and meet the requirements at Southwest Virginia Community College. This is a 90-credit-hour Science/Pre-medical specialization with a Pre-Optometry Track.

To be considered for a reserved seat the SWCC student applicant will:

  1. Successfully complete a minimum of 90 semester hours of college coursework from an accredited institution of higher learning (SWCC)
    *Note: The minimum prerequisite courses obtained at an accredited institution of higher education (SWCC) must be completed by the time of matriculation.
  2. Apply to the program via the centralized application system, OptomCas by January 31st of the academic year in which they wish to be considered
  3. Maintenance of an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.3 or higher with a science GPA of 3.5 or higher at the time of application
  4. Achieve an OAT® score with a minimum of 310 Academic Average and a 300 Science Average
  5. Submit a 500-word personal essay indicating how the applicant fulfills the mission of the program and intends to contribute to the Kentucky College of Optometry Community and the profession of Optometry
  6. Demonstrate service to the community as indicated by volunteering and participation for 20 or more hours in service projects that consider the role of community engagement in healthcare
  7. Shadowing experience of 20 or more hours in an Optometric practice
  8. Letters of recommendation from a faculty advisor or science faculty member who is the health professions advisor, an optometrist, and a community member with whom the applicant has worked closely
  9. Have the certifying official of the partner institution notify the Kentucky College of Optometry that the applicant is one of the individuals designated as a priority applicant.
  10. Complete a successful interview by members of the admissions committee of the University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Optometry

*These requirements are subject to change for each admissions cycle.

Download the program application requirements and the Pre-Optometry track course list. (pdf)

You may also visit the UPike Kentucky College of Optometry website for more information.
Pre-Optometry Track 

Science Pre-Optometry Curriculum – SUMMER SEMESTER YEAR ONE

BIO 101Biology I4 credits
BIO 102Biology II4 credits
MTH 161Pre-Calculus I3 credits
Total 11 credits

Science Pre-Optometry Curriculum – FIRST SEMESTER

ENG 111College Composition I3 credits
PHY 201College Physics I4 credits
CHM 111College Chemistry I4 credits
MTH 261Calculus I3 credits
HLT 143Medical Terminology3 credits
SDV 101Orientation to Science1 credits
Total 18 credits

Science Pre-Optometry Curriculum – SECOND SEMESTER

ENG 112College Composition II3 credits
PHY 202College Physics II4 credits
CHM 112College Chemistry II4 credits
HISHistory3 credits
CST 100Principles of Public Speaking3 credits
Total 17 credits

Science Pre-Optometry Curriculum – SUMMER SEMESTER YEAR TWO

ENG 241Literature3 credits
MTH 245Statistics3 credits
CHM 260Biochemistry3 credits
Total 9 credits

Science Pre-Optometry Curriculum – THIRD SEMESTER

PSYPsychology3 credits
CHM 241/243Organic Chemistry I4 credits
BIO 141Anatomy & Physiology I4 credits
ElectiveMath/Science/Humanities/Social Science3 credits
ElectiveHumanities3 credits
Total 17 credits

Science Pre-Optometry Curriculum – FOURTH SEMESTER

ElectiveMath/Science/Humanities/Social Science3 credits
CHM 242/244Organic Chemistry II4 credits
BIO 142Anatomy & Physiology II4 credits
BIO 205General Microbiology4 credits
ITE 115Intro to Computer Applications and Concepts or approved elective3 credits
Total 18 credits

 Total Minimum Credits for the AA&S in Science Pre-Optometry Track …  90 Credits

*Social science electives include ECO 201-202; PLS 211-212; PSY 200; PSY 231-232; PSY 255; PSY 266; SOC 200; SOC 235; SOC 268; HIS 101-102; HIS 266; HIS 269; HIS 277; GEO 200; GEO 210

** Determine the transfer institution’s requirements prior to selection.

Humanities Electives: ENG 241-242, ENG 243-244, ENG 251-252, ENG 257, ENG 279, HUM 256, PHI 101-102, ART 101-102, MUS 121-122, SPA 101-102, 201-201, FRE 101-102, 201-202, REL 200, REL 210, REL 230, REL 246

Students are encouraged to meet with the pre-optometry Track advisor.

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