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International Admissions


Start from wherever, finish as a doctor.

ICO welcomes enthusiastic candidates from all over the world. We do our best to make the international application process easy to understand. So, no matter where you’re from, you can smoothly transition into a fantastic doctor.

To apply, international candidates must fulfill all general admission requirements including the OAT and recommendation letters. You must have earned a bachelor’s degree or equivalent with at least 90 semester credit hours of undergraduate coursework.

If you have completed college-level coursework at schools outside the United States or Canada, or if your transcripts are not in English, the transcripts must be submitted to an official evaluation service. ICO accepts transcript evaluations from World Education Services and Educational Credential Evaluators. The evaluation board must send the official copy of the evaluation directly to ICO’s admissions office.

Like domestic applicants, international candidates apply to ICO through the Optometry Centralized Application Service. OptomCAS opens for applications July 1 of the preceding year in which you wish to enroll. At the time you apply, keep in mind that you need not have completed all admissions requirements. We encourage applicants to apply early in the process, as long as you have successfully completed all academic requirements for admission before you enter ICO and taken the OAT by February 15 of your desired year of entry.

In addition to the standard application process, applicants for whom English is a second language must demonstrate proficiency in both written and spoken English. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all applicants for whom English is a second language. If you feel compelled to forego this examination, you may submit a written request that this requirement be waived.

There is no limit on the number of International students ICO can admit. The admissions committee evaluates international applicants using the same criteria by which domestic applicants are evaluated. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the International application process, please contact Admissions.


International students who are selected for admission to the program must present proof of financial responsibility mid-June of their admitted year. Evidence of financial responsibility will allow the College to issue the student an I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility) which must be presented to the US Consular Office in the home country (or, for Canadian citizens, at the port of entry/Canadian border) to apply for an F-1 nonimmigrant visa.

The following documents are used to apply for an F-1 Visa:

  • Form I-20 AB
    • Evidence of English ability
    • Evidence of intent to depart the US after completion of studies
    • Passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of your expected stay
    • Financial support documentation
    • Student and Exchange Visitor Information System fee receipt

In addition, the Department of Homeland Security regulations require that individuals seeking status as an F-1 nonimmigrant student pay a $200 fee to cover the costs for the continued operation of the Student Exchange Visitor Program, including the administration and maintenance of SEVIS. Student and exchange visitors will have the options to pay with a check by mail or with a credit card via the Internet. The DHS will also accept fee payment from a third party, either in the US or abroad. For current SEVIS fee information, please refer to the US Immigration & Customs Enforcement website.