Optometrist-Diagnostic Licensure Requirements Snapshot

Pennsylvania Licensure Requirements

Doctoral of Optometry

1 Examination

No Experience Requirement

3 Hours of Continuing Education

$25.00 Initial Fee

$135.00 Renewal Fee

Optometrist with a focus in diagnostics. Diagnostics refers to any means or method compatible with optometric education and professional competence. The term shall encompass the use of pharmaceutical agents for diagnostic purposes classified as miotics, mydriatics, cycloplegics, topical anesthetics and dyes when applied topically to the eye, which pharmaceutical agents shall be approved by the Secretary of Health.

Degree Requirement: 

Doctor of Optometry

An applicant must graduate from an accredited optometric educational institution.  An applicant from an unaccredited optometric educational institution must submit their credentials to an accredited optometric educational institution, make up any deficiencies (if applicable), and obtain certification from the accredited optometric educational institution that the requirement for graduation from the accredited school has been met.  

Examination Requirement: 

1 Examination

Applicant must receive a passing grade on the National Board of Examiners in Optometry exams (Part I, II, and III).


No Experience Requirement
No experience requirement for licensure.

Continuing Education:

3 Hours (for initial licensure) 

Applicants must complete 3 hours of Board-approved continuing education in child abuse recognition and reporting for initial licensure. 


30 Hours (when renewing license)

An applicant for biennial license renewal or reactivation of an Optometrist-Diagnostics license is required to complete, during the 2 years preceding renewal or reactivation, a minimum of 30 hours of acceptable continuing education, which includes 2 hours per biennium in child abuse recognition and reporting. 

Initial Licensing Fee: 


Licensure Renewal Fee: 


Biennial renewal of license.

Licensure By Reciprocity & Licensure By Act 41:

To apply for licensure by reciprocity, the applicant must have practiced optometry for at least 4 years continuously in the state of licensure.

Act 41 allows for portability of out-of-state professional licensees coming to work in Pennsylvania. Act 41 does this by granting all boards and commissions within the Commonwealth the authority to endorse licensees from other states, territories or jurisdictions (with substantially equivalent licensing requirements) who are active, in good standing and without discipline against their license or criminal conviction.