Focus on Your Future
Focus on Your Future
July 15-19, 2013
Focus on Your Future is a weeklong program aimed at introducing ICO and the profession of optometry to underrepresented minority undergraduates. Participants will be meet ICO staff, faculty, students and alumni, and get to know the wonderful city of Chicago. The program includes:
- Sample lectures of optometry courses
- Overview of the admissions process
- Career and leadership development
- Clinical exposure
- Student and OD panels
Participants are housed at no charge in ICO's Residential Complex, located across the street from the college. At the end of the program, participants will receive a certificate of completion.
To review last year's program, click here.
Open to underrepresented minorities who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate program either in their first, second or third year. We will also accept applications for students who are enrolled in a community college, post-baccalaureate or graduate program. There is no cost to participate in this program. Participants are only responsible for their travel expenses and/or transportation to and from ICO.
We've extendend our application deadline. If you're submitting online, all materials must be in by Monday, April 8. If you're submitting by mail, your application must by postmarked by this date.
Students interested in the program must submit the following:
- Online Application
- Completed application & Pre-Optometry Coursework Sheet
- One page personal statement describing your interest in participating in the program and your motivation to pursue optometry
- Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
- One academic letter from a faculty member or advisor
- Optional: 2x2 photo
Applicants will be notified of acceptance no later than Friday, May 3.
For questions about the Focus on Your Future, please contact:
Teisha Johnson, MS
Director of Admissions/Marketing
Illinois College of Optometry
3241 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616
Practice Opportunities Symposium 2013
On Friday, April 5, more than 50 optometrists and 250 students gathered for ICO's annual Practice Opportunities Symposium. Following a VIP lunch for OD panelists and sponsors, the panelists headed to classrooms and divided into groups according to area of expertise: Canadian practitioners, corporate practice, externship preceptors, practice management, private practice, residencies and specialty/multidisciplinary practice. The panelists fielded questions from students and addressed such subjects as hiring staff, expectations of externs and working in VA hospitals. Following the panels, students networked with panelists and representatives from more than 20 companies at the exhibitor fair in the Gym.
Candidates Invited to Complete the Supplemental Application*
Congratulations on being selected to complete the supplemental application for ICO!
*The following information is intended only for candidates who have been invited to complete the supplemental application.
The supplemental application is a very quick process. The Supplemental Application includes the online Supplemental Application Form, Pre-Optometry Coursework Sheet, and the Supplemental Application Fee of $50 USD (payable online).
Supplemental Application Steps:
- Complete the online Supplemental Application and pay the $50 USD Supplemental Application Fee (payable online).
- Download the Pre-Optometry Coursework Sheet and return to the Office of Admissions. The Pre-Optometry Coursework Sheet is a fillable PDF and can be returned to our office via email, fax, or mail.
Office of Admissions
Illinois College of Optometry
3241 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60615
Below are examples for your reference.
- Request official OAT scores be released to ICO
- Request official TOEFL scores, if English is your second language. (ICO’s institutional code is 1317.)
- Optional: 2x2 recent photograph of yourself (include your name on the back)
Re-applicants will need to include a one page re-applicant statement addressing what you have done or plan to do to improve your application since last applying to ICO (if not already submitted via OptomCAS).
Upon receipt of your online Supplemental Application, Pre-Optometry Coursework Sheet and letters of evaluation from OptomCAS, the Admissions Committee will conduct an initial review of your materials. You can expect to hear from us within 4-6 weeks of receiving all application materials.
After the initial review of your file has been completed, the Admissions Committee may request that you schedule an interview and/or submit additional information.
You must complete all parts of the Supplemental Application to move on in the application process.
Supplemental Application Deadline: March 1, 2013
Candidates Invited for the Admissions Interview*
*The following information is intended only for candidates who have been invited to the admissions interview.
Congratulations on being selected for an interview for the 2013 Entering Class! This site will provide you with some useful information as you prepare for your on campus interview. We encourage you to call us as soon as possible to schedule your interview. When you call, be prepared with a couple of dates in mind as your first choice for the interview day may be filled.
Applicant Host Program
ICO's Applicant Host Program allows you a FREE 1-night stay in the Residential Complex (RC) the night prior to your admissions interview. Please refer to the flyer for more details. Space is limited, so sign up early.
Please refer to the Visitor section of our website for hotel, transportation, and other information before your visit to Chicago!We look forward to seeing you on your Interview Day!
Admissions Open House
DATE: Saturday, June 8
TIME: 8:15 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
PLACE: Illinois College of Optometry, 3240 S. Indiana Ave.
Thank you for your interest in our annual Admissions Open House. Please register via our online form. We hope to see you there!
Events for Prospective Students
The Illinois College of Optometry offers a number of events and services for prospective students to learn more about the profession of optometry and ICO’s unique program. Get to know our admissions staff and students by attending these events. The admissions staff at ICO is here to assist you as best as we can throughout the application process. Take advantage of the many opportunities to connect with us!
ICO On the Road
Tour of Campus
Come and experience ICO’s campus first-hand by scheduling a tour of campus. From mid-September until the end of April, tours are offered Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from noon until 1:00 pm. During the months of May through mid-September, individual appointments can be scheduled during office hours depending on availability of tour guides.
Typically on a Saturday in June each year, the Office of Admissions holds its annual Open House. The Open House includes a presentation on ICO’s program and admissions process, mini-sessions on financial aid and strengthening your application, a student panel with a question and answer time, optometric entrance exam demonstrations, and a tour of the school. Students and guests are encouraged to attend this event.
The Office of Admissions holds one or more information sessions on campus each application year. This type of session includes a presentation on ICO’s program, the application process, and a tour of the facilities. Prospective students are encouraged to attend. Please keep checking this page for the next session and the ability to RSVP.
Admissions Counseling Session
Are you feeling anxious about the application process for optometry school? Do you want to talk through your current coursework and ICO’s prerequisite requirements? Are you interested in making a career change and want to know if optometry school is for you? All these questions and more can be addressed in a one-on-one admissions counseling session.
Counseling sessions can be conducted in-person or via phone. Admissions staff will provide you with tips on strengthening your application, getting your coursework on track for optometry school, and preparing a competitive application for the Admissions Committee to review. We encourage individuals to review ICO’s web site, especially the required pre-optometry curriculum and the application process prior to scheduling an appointment. Students are encouraged to share a copy of their college transcript prior to the appointment and to come prepared with questions. Contact the Office of Admissions at 312-949-7400 or 1-800-397-2424 to schedule your appointment.
Living in Chicago
Chicago is an exciting cultural center featuring sports, theater, recreation, and world-class dining. Located only minutes from Chicago’s famous Loop and Gold Coast, ICO is one of over 50 colleges and universities that reside in metropolitan Chicago, including many dedicated to the health care disciplines.
ICO is in the heart of it all and near such attractions as Buckingham Fountain, Museum of Science and Industry, Navy Pier, and Soldier Field (home of the Chicago Bears). ICO is also close to Lake Michigan, an enticing lakefront of beaches and parks; with boat facilities, tennis courts, and jogging and bicycle trails.
Visitors to the College enter the campus through the Indiana Avenue entrance (3240 S. Indiana).
It is important that all visitors sign in at the Indiana Avenue entrance. Visitor parking is available in the circular driveway on the Indiana Avenue side of the campus.
Please note that there are a number of excellent hotels short distance from the College. There are also several options for ground transportation from the airports to the College. Driving directions to ICO are also available.
Illinois Eye Institute
The Illinois Eye Institute – located right onsite at ICO – offers training that students will not find anywhere else in the world. The IEI provides students with the patient volume, complexity and diverse care experiences that are integral to becoming a well-rounded clinician. With 61 fully equipped examination lanes, the IEI is one of the largest providers of vision and eye care services in the United States, offering students access to more than 90,000 patient visits each year.
All ICO students rotate through primary eye care at the IEI, as well as optometric specialty service areas, including advanced ophthalmic care, contact lenses, low vision rehabilitation and pediatrics/binocular vision. In the first year, students enter the Patient Advocate Program and assist patients in making their way through the vast IEI. Second-year students expand their role through rotations in the IEI Community Screening Program and Eyewear Center. Students take on more responsibility for patient care sessions in the third year, while also continuing the didactic program. The entire fourth year comprises hands-on patient care at IEI and rotations through affiliated externship sites. We believe training in various practice settings helps develop a primary care optometrist that can master any type of clinical environment.
In addition to the IEI, students have clinical opportunities in the Eyepod and Adams Center for Clinical Learning. They also are exposed to a wide variety of health care delivery systems through ICO's affiliation with the University of Chicago Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.
View the “Day in the Life” video
Sample ICO Student Schedule