This is a combined program (3+4) with Salus University

  • Three years at Arcadia University
  • Four years at Salus University
  • B.A. in Interdisciplinary Science and Doctor of Optometry
  • Opportunities to study abroad at some of the top universities around the world

Arcadia University has an accelerated, combined plan with Salus University (formerly the Pennsylvania College of Optometry) that allows students to complete a Doctor of Optometry degree in seven years. The first three years, students study Interdisciplinary Science at Arcadia University. At the start of their third year, students must submit their credentials to a joint Arcadia University-Salus University committee. Salus reserves a minimum of four spots for Arcadia University students. Upon selection, students enroll the following year at Salus.

Arcadia University will award a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Science after completion of a student’s first year at PCO. After successful completion of the four years of professional study, PCO will award a Doctor of Optometry degree.

The curriculum is designed so that Undergraduate Curriculum requirements, including all but one course required for the major in Interdisciplinary Science, can be completed in three years. (The final course will be completed during the first year at Salus.)

Since the Optometry program is very concentrated, students should consider attending at least one summer school session. This can enable them to add CH 203 Equilibrium and Analysis, a normal prerequisite for CH 303 Biochemistry, and/or MA 202 Calculus II, a normal prerequisite for PH 212 Conceptual Physics II. If, however, at the end of three years, students decide not to continue in the program, they can complete a major in Biology, Chemistry, or Interdisciplinary Science in their senior year at Arcadia University.

Adviser: Dr. Emanuele Curotto

Requirements for the Combined Program in Optometry

(96 credits at Arcadia University; four years at Salus University)

1. First year


  • BI 101 General Biology I
  • CH 111 Conceptual Chemistry I, or CH 101 General Chemistry I with permission of the chair
  • EN 101 Thought and Expression I
  • FY 103 First-Year Seminar


  • BI 102 General Biology II
  • CH 112 Conceptual Chemistry II, or CH 102 General Chemisty II with permission of the chair
  • EN 102 Thought and Expression II
  • MA 201 Calculus I

2. Sophomore year


  • BI 206 Human Physiology
  • CH 201 Organic Chemistry I: Structure, Mechanisms and Reactions
  • PH 211 Conceptual Physics I
  • Undergraduate Curriculum requirements


  • BI 205 Human Anatomy
  • CH 202 Organic Chemistry II: Structure, Mechanisms and Reactions
  • MA 141 Elementary Statistics
  • PH 212 Conceptual Physics II

3. Junior year


  • BI 204 Genetics
  • BI 325 Cell Biology
  • Undergraduate Curriculum requirements


  • CH 303 Biochemistry
  • BI 323 Microbiology
  • Undergraduate Curriculum requirements

4. Four years at Salus University


If students choose to remain at Arcadia University for the senior year, they can choose one of these options:

  • Complete a Biology major in consultation with the Chair of the Biology Department.
  • Complete a Chemistry major with CH 203 Equilibrium and Analysis and one elective in Chemistry, then take 24 elective credits.
  • Complete an Interdisciplinary Science major with at least one additional Chemistry, Physics or Biology course and elective credits to total 32.


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