Melbourne Doctor of Optometry FAQs

28 March 2014

FAQ About the Melbourne Doctor of Optometry (OD) Program

University of Melbourne Optometry School
Study optometry at the University of Melbourne

If I want to practice as an optometrist in Canada after completing the Doctor of Optometry (OD) at the University of Melbourne, what do I need to do for registration?

According to The Canadian Association of Optometrists website, international graduates are considered to be those individuals who have obtained their optometric education from a school other than those accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education.
International graduates may be eligible to obtain a license or certificate of registration to practice in a province or territory in Canada. International graduates are encouraged to contact the Canadian Examiners in Optometry’s optometric regulator in the province or territory in which they are interested to determine if they are eligible for a license or certificate of registration to practice in that jurisdiction. International optometry graduates may be referred by an optometric regulator to the Director of the International Optometric Bridging Program of the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario for an evaluation of their educational and professional credentials and an opinion on their equivalency to those required in a particular jurisdiction.

What is the University of Waterloo International Optometric Bridging Program?

The University of Waterloo, in collaboration with the College of Optometrists of Ontario, offers the International Optometric Bridging Program (IOBP).
Designed to provide optometrists educated outside Canada and the United States with a structured orientation to Canadian standards of optometric practice, the program provides all qualified applicants with the critical language, academic and clinical skills necessary for registration in all provinces of Canada.
There are two programs, depending on students backgrounds:

  • Bridging One, an eight-week academic program
  • Bridging Two, a year-long structured academic program

Is there a minimum GPA for entry into the Doctor of Optometry?

The GPA is calculated using academic results from the last two years of study, with a double weighting on the final year of study. While there is no minimum GPA required, selection into the program is highly competitive.

How long does the written statement have to be?

Your written statement need not be more than 500 words. It is important that you articulate your reasons for wanting to become an optometrist in your statement.

What is an externship?

Compulsory overseas and national externships form the capstone experience for students in the Doctor of Optometry.
The externships in the Doctor of Optometry are compulsory placements in metropolitan Melbourne through to rural Australia and overseas. A capstone experience is designed to draw together the various strands of your education to prepare you for life as an optometrist.

University of Melbourne Doctor of Optometry (OD)

The Doctor of Optometry (OD) is four years in duration, and consists of a combination of on-campus teaching and clinical placements, with the clinical component commencing in Year 1 and gradually increasing to full time in the final year. Opportunities exist for clinical-related research to be conducted as a required component of the degree.
Program: Doctor of Optometry (OD)
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Semester intake: Late February or early March
Duration: 4 years
Entry Requirements
The Doctor of Optometry program at the University of Melbourne is available only to those applicants who have successfully completed an undergraduate degree or are in the final year of completing an undergraduate degree.
To be considered for admission into this program, a Canadian applicant must comply with the following:
1. Have completed an undergraduate degree and prerequisite subjects: Successfully completed at least a three-year bachelor’s degree, which includes

  • one university second-year or third-year subject in anatomy or cell biology; and
  • two university second-year or third-year subjects from one or more relevant biological science disciplines.

2. Write the OAT:
Applicants will be required to complete an admissions test, either the Optometry Admission Test (OAT), the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), or or the Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT). OAT test result is valid for two years.
3. Submit a personal statement:
Applicants must provide a written statement (maximum 500 words) in support of the application explaining your motivation to study optometry.
There is no minimum GPA or GAMSAT/MCAT/OAT requirement to apply for the program; however, as there are limited places available, selection is expected to be highly competitive.
The University of Melbourne may conduct interviews with short-listed candidates. The Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences would conduct interviews with Canadian applicants via Skype or teleconference.

Apply to the Melbourne Optometry School!


For more information about the University of Melbourne’s Doctor of Optometry (OD) program, please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Optometry Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady by emailing or calling toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.