Optometry Scholars Program (OSP)

The University of Pikeville, in conjunction with the Kentucky College of Optometry (KYCO), presents a cooperative eight-year program (4+4) leading to a bachelor’s degree (B.A./B.S.) and the degree Doctor of Optometry (O.D.).

Applications will be open to qualified high school seniors. Selected students who participate in the program, maintain the required undergraduate GPA, achieve the required score on the OAT and exhibit appropriate ethical conduct are guaranteed admission to the optometry school upon completion of their bachelor’s degree and prerequisite requirements. Admission to the OSP program is competitive and a limited number of scholarships are available for this program.

Application Procedure/Checklist:

  • Applicants must submit an undergraduate application for admissions to the University of Pikeville
  • Applicants must submit high school transcripts and standardized (ACT/SAT) test scores
  • Applicants must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine federal, state, and institutional aid.  The FAFSA application opened October 1st and the UPIKE institutional code is 001980
  • Applicants must submit an autobiographical essay that discusses future plans and aspirations (500 words)
  • Applicants must submit at least three letters of recommendation as outlined below
    • High school administrator (Principal, Assistant Principal, Guidance/College Counselor)
    • Science or math instructor
    • Non-Family Optometrist

You may either drop letters of recommendation off to Kentucky College of Optometry Admissions in the Health Professions Building or mail the letters directly to KYCO Admissions.

OSP Applicants must:

  • Be applying as an incoming freshman (current high school senior)
  • Have a minimum 26 ACT or a 1200 on the two score SAT
  • Be in the top 10% of graduating class or have a 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Be a legal resident of the U.S. Preference given to residents of the Appalachian Area, Rural U.S. or other underserved U.S. area

*** Applicants that meet the minimum listed test score and GPA criteria will be most competitive for an OSP interview.  Due to COVID related testing restrictions, applicants that do not meet the ACT/SAT test minimum requirements may still be considered for an interview.

Completed application packages must be received by April 1 of your senior year in high school.  Applications are reviewed as they are submitted and interviews will be set up and conducted by the KYCO Admissions Committee.

There are 10 seats offered per year for the OSP program and they are awarded on a rolling basis throughout the application cycle. To remain a member of the OSP program and guarantee admissions the applicant must maintain a 3.4 cumulative and science GPA in their undergraduate work and received a grade of “C” or better in all required prerequisites.

Additionally, all applicants will be required to take the Optometry Admissions Test (OAT) and score the minimum score required for the program at the time of application, currently 300. All applicants will be required to participate fully in OSP activities and exhibit proper ethical and professional qualities and conduct.

Additionally, the applicant must submit a complete application through OptomCAS the application cycle prior to matriculating into the optometry program.