Q: How many evaluators can I enter?
A: The applicant will provide the names, addresses and email addresses of a maximum of four (4) sources providing evaluations.
Q: What constitutes an evaluation?
A: The evaluation requires both a rating of attributes and a letter.
Q: How and Where Do I Send My Evaluations?
A: Applicants should not send evaluations directly to OptomCAS; all evaluations should come directly from the evaluator to OptomCAS via the online portal. OptomCAS will not accept paper copies of references.
Enter up to four (4) evaluator names on your OptomCAS application. OptomCAS will not determine if you have met the evaluation requirements for a particular optometry program. Therefore, please review programs’ individual websites to determine the number and type(s) of evaluators required by each institution for which you wish to be considered for admission. The applicant will provide the names, email addresses, and phone number for a maximum of four (4) people providing evaluations. OptomCAS will send an email evaluation request to each evaluator with a link to the online evaluation portal.
Q: Who should write my evaluations?
A: Suggested sources for evaluations include:
- Strongly encouraged, an optometrist who can state through documented experience that you know what the profession of optometry entails.
- A professor with whom you have done personal work (such as assisted on a specific project or served as a TA or reader), or with whom you took a course.
- An employer or extracurricular activity advisor who can comment about your maturity, diligence and conscientiousness.
- Do not send evaluations from coworkers, someone you have supervised, relatives, or personal and family friends. These are inappropriate and can be detrimental to the review of your application.
Q: What is an Electronic Letter of Evaluation?
A: Evaluations are required to be completed electronically by your evaluators. It is suggested you contact the individuals writing the evaluations to confirm that they will be able to write your evaluation letter and to confirm their preferred email address. Please enter their email address and mailing address on the application. An email request from OptomCAS will be sent to the individual evaluator directing them to a secured website for completion. After the individual completes the evaluation, they will submit it electronically to OptomCAS. Because OptomCAS evaluation requests may be caught by spam filters, applicants are encouraged to contact their evaluators to ask them to allow their email systems to “permit” the OptomCAS evaluation mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
If the request was not received by your evaluator, contact OptomCAS Customer Service and the email will be sent again.
There are three status notifications:
- Requested – The email request has been sent to the Evaluator.
Accepted – Evaluator has logged onto the online Portal but has not submitted the evaluation.
- Completed – Evaluator has completed the evaluation and has submitted it to OptomCAS.
Q: Can I have different evaluations sent to individual programs?
A: No. Each evaluation will be sent to all programs for which you are applying.
Q: How can I select a different person as an evaluator than those I initially selected?
A: If the status is still “Requested” or “Accepted,” you may delete that individual and add the new source. If the status is “Complete,” changes cannot be made.
Q: What does it mean to waive my right to access the evaluation?
A: You relinquish your access to the provided letter. If you do not waive that right, the evaluator will know that you have access to read it.
Q: How can I view my evaluations?
A: OptomCAS cannot allow you access to your evaluations, nor can applicants view their evaluations during the OptomCAS process. If you have not waived your right to access your evaluations, once you have matriculated to a school or college of optometry, you may be able to then review your letters at that time and at the discretion of the institution.
Q: Can I change my waiver to view my recommendation?
A: No. Once an evaluation has been received by OptomCAS, the waiver cannot be changed.
Q: Can I send a Committee Letter of Evaluation?
A: Yes. Please note some schools and colleges of optometry will not accept a Committee Letter, yet others may require it. If you are submitting a Committee Letter, be sure to check the requirements of each individual program for the types of letters they will accept.
Some pre-health advising offices compile academic/personal information and will also coordinate the collection of evaluations in order to provide a “Committee Letter” for pre-optometry students. If the Committee Letter of Evaluation is a compilation from several individuals and contains one letter, it will be considered as one evaluation. The individual writing the evaluation completes the evaluation matrix on the online portal. OptomCAS will accept the name of a college pre-health profession advisor in lieu of the evaluator(s) on the evaluation form.
Q: Can I send evaluations from a Letter Service?
A: Yes, college and university letter services may submit evaluations to OptomCAS, but it must be done through the electronic evaluation portal.
If you are submitting evaluations through a letter service, you are strongly encouraged to have the original author(s) of the evaluations complete the rating of attributes.
Please note that while OptomCAS will accept the rating of attributes from a college official who is a designee for the college or university’s letter service office, applicants should also check with the individual programs for which they plan to apply to confirm that evaluations completed by a third-party will be accepted.
Q: Can evaluations be sent using Virtual Evals?
A: Only evaluations completed through the OptomCAS online portal can be submitted electronically; therefore, OptomCAS will not be able to accept an electronic Virtual Eval.
Q: Can evaluations be co-signed by a Teaching Assistant and a Faculty member?
A: Yes, an evaluation from a Teaching Assistant must be co-signed or include the name and contact information of a Faculty member within the letter.
Q: Must I wait for my evaluations to be complete before submitting my application?
A: It is not necessary, nor is it suggested, to wait until your evaluators have responded to submit your application.
Q: What types of letters will each Optometry school or college accept?
Please visit the Letters of Evaluation section on the OptomCAS home page for more information about what letters will or will not be accepted by each optometry school or college.