CSI/SUNY Optometry 3/4 Joint Degree Program

CSI Offers the Doctor of Optometry Degree (OD) via Affiliate Partnership with SUNY College of Optometry

The College of Staten Island is listed with the above professional graduate school as offering an affiliation program whereby highly qualified students may complete a joint Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree conferred by College of Staten Island and a Doctor Optometry (OD) degree conferred by SUNY College of Optometry in just seven years instead of the usual eight. Selected academically talented high school seniors and college freshmen can be admitted to an approved joint degree track at CSI and, simultaneously, to candidacy for admission to the professional OD program at SUNY College of Optometry.


Contact Information

Grozdena Yilmaz,MPAS,PA-C

Director of Pre-MD/Pre-Health Advisement

Building 6S-137
Email Grozdena Yilmaz,MPAS,PA-C

Program Overview

Students can pursue several options with established CSI to SUNY Optometry pathways with a 3/4 accelerated option.

All options begin with taking prerequisite degree requirements at CSI in Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry or BS in Psychology and completing the Doctor of Optometry (OD) at SUNY College of Optometry. (Students may choose to major in a program other than the ones recommended as long as they complete the required prerequisites.) A CUNY-SUNY partnership ensures a world-class education with significant cost savings of up to $150,000 compared to the equivalent degrees offered by private colleges.

How does it work?

After three years of undergraduate work at College of Staten Island, upon maintaining the required academic standing, the qualified student is admitted to the SUNY College of Optometry. After the first year at SUNY Optometry, the student receives his or her baccalaureate degree from the undergraduate college. The OD degree is awarded after completing the four years at SUNY Optometry.

A student saves one year in tuition, travel and books. In addition, students who are accepted into the program simultaneously establish a candidacy for admission to the professional program. The student also receives continuous guidance and advisement from both institutions throughout the seven-year program.


Prerequisites, to be met during the three years of undergraduate college, for the professional optometry program are:


General Biology with Laboratory: 1 year*

General Chemistry with Laboratory: 1 year*

General Physics with Laboratory: 1 year*

Organic Chemistry with Laboratory: 1 year*

Calculus I: 1 semester

English Composition and Literature: 1 year

Social Science: 1 year

General Psychology: 1 semester

Statistics: 1 semester

Optometry Admission Test (OAT)


3/4 CSI to SUNY Optometry Collaborative Program

Spend 3 years at CSI, transfer to SUNY Optometry for the 4-year doctoral portion of the program, earn the BS from CSI in your fourth year of the program

To be considered when applying to undergraduate school directly from high school:

  1. Must be accepted to CSI as a frosh (first year student)
  2. Must have total SATs of at least 1360 with the math score of at least 700, or 29 on the ACT
  3. Must have a high school grade average of at least 93 out of a 100
  4. Should be in the upper 10% of their high school class (depending on the reputation of the high school)
  5. Must have a definite interest in the profession of optometry and have explored it
  6. Must show evidence of community involvement
  7. Must have reasonable communication and interpersonal skills
  8. Must submit to an interview

To be considered once attending a college or university:

  1. Must complete at least 24–30 undergraduate credits and apply no later than the fall of Sophomore year
  2. Must have an overall GPA of at least 3.30
  3. Same as numbers 5–8 above

If admitted into the 3/4 programthe following are required while attending the undergraduate college/university:

  1. Maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.30;
  2. Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.30 in the science and math prerequisite courses of the SUNY College of Optometry, with no grade below a C;
  3. Take and pass the Optometry Admission Test (OAT) with all section scores of at least 330;
  4. Have the Pre-professional Committee at your undergraduate institution submit a positive recommendation;
  5. Become well-acquainted with the practice of optometry by shadowing at least two different optometrists;
  6. Meet with the Admissions Committee at the SUNY College of Optometry during your last undergraduate year and demonstrate that you have satisfied all other regular admission requirements of the SUNY College of Optometry, including transcripts, an OptomCAS application and a final interview during which good interpersonal and communication skills are evident;
  7. Meet at least once a year with a representative of the SUNY College of Optometry and make available undergraduate transcripts.


Students who leave the 3+4 program for legitimate reasons while in their fourth year at SUNY College of Optometry may opt to return to CSI to complete their Bachelor’s degree.

Quick Advice
Plan early, act quickly and study diligently.

The College of Staten Island/SUNY Optometry collaborative program offers an appealing academic path for CSI students, leading to their future Optometry career. Students who are interested in this program are encouraged to plan early since timing to complete required courses, OAT exam and application packet is essential. Their devotion to course studies will be the first step building a strong portfolio for the application to the OD program.

High School Senior

•    January 1st:
Application deadline to submit the SUNY Optometry Application online.

•    January 15th– March 31st:
SUNY Interviews will be conducted (on SUNY’s campus or Undergraduate institution).

•    April 1st–April 30th:
Applicants will receive a final decision from undergraduate institution. SUNY will notify Program Advisors of our decision

•    May 1st:
Accepted Students must notify undergraduate institution of their commitment by submitting tuition deposit.

•    May 15th:
Enrolled Students must notify SUNY Optometry of their decision.

•    May 30th:
SUNY Optometry will submit all signed contracts from enrolled students to program advisors at the affiliate institutions.

College Frosh (First-Year)

  • June 15th – October 15th:
    Electronic application should be submitted via the SUNY Optometry website.
  • July – November:
    SUNY Interviews will be conducted (on SUNY’s campus or Undergraduate institution).
  • 2 – 3 Weeks after Candidate Interview:
    SUNY will notify applicants of our decision. Accepted students will receive a contract in which they will need to sign and submit to us.
  • By the end of the Fall Semester of Sophomore Year:
    Accepted contracts should be submitted by the applicant. SUNY Optometry will then forward contracts to program advisors at the affiliate institutions.

Interested in this program? Please complete our inquiry card


Please contact Professor Grozdena Yilmaz, Pre-Med/Pre-Health program advisor for students majoring in Biology, or Holly Block, Assistant Director for Recruitment.