The Graduate Program in Physiological Optics/Vision Science confers an M.S. and/or Ph.D. degree and prepares students to embark on a career in teaching and/or research in the basic or clinical science of vision. Students are accepted into the program with a minimum of a B.S. degree (or the equivalent) from a variety of fields such as optometry, physiological optics, vision sciences, medicine, ophthalmology, structural and functional biosciences, neuroscience, psychology, optics, bioengineering, and biophysics.
The need for new knowledge in the vision sciences is great, and teaching and research opportunities are numerous in a spectrum of academic, industrial, and professional settings. Although the program has sufficient structure to provide a broad base of scientific knowledge about vision systems, it is at the same time appropriately flexible to permit students to develop expertise in areas of special interest. Students will join the labs of faculty mentors who are studying normal and abnormal visual processes, diseases and disorders of the eye and visual pathways and the development of treatments to prevent loss of vision using a variety of approaches ranging from molecular and cellular, to behavioral and optical.
The Master of Science track requires about two years of study, including 30 semester hours of courses, teaching experience, and a research project with a written thesis.
The Doctor of Philosophy track normally requires at least four years of study, including 60 semester hours of courses, preliminary examinations, teaching experience, a foreign language or research skill, a qualifying examination, and research with a dissertation. A combined O.D./Ph.D. program, which requires six to seven years of study, is also offered.