Washington & Jefferson College has a formal agreement with the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus Univeristy for students who are interested in pursuing an optometry education. For students applying to Salus through the traditional application process, the W&J Committee on Health Professions will often provide a supplemental letter of recommendation that is the result of an interview by Committee members with the student who is applying.
Additionally, an accelerated program for students with an interest in optometry has been established by Salus University. The program permits a student to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree and the Doctor of Optometry degree in seven years instead of the usual eight. The first three years are spent at Washington & Jefferson College as an undergraduate student, while the next four years are spent at Salus University in the optometry program. The student is awarded a Bachelor's degree in his or her chosen major at W&J upon the successful completion of the first professional year at Salus and a Doctor of Optometry degree by Salus University at the conclusion of the professional degree program. This means that students leave W&J after their third year without their Bachelor's Degree. Selected courses from Salus then transfer back to W&J to allow the student to obtain the Bachelor's Degree. Typically, this approach requires substantial planning before the student arrives at W&J to determine whether a plan of coursework can be completed in three years at W&J to fulfill a majority of the College and major requirements. Our experience tells us that this plan works most easily with majors in Biology, Chemistry and Psychology.
Further information about the Salus 3-4 Optometry program can be found on the Salus website. Additionally, students may email the Chair of the Committee on Health Professions at W&J to discuss this option. General comments about 3-4 options are also described in the Pre Health Handbook.