Academic Procedures | Vision Science

Academic Advisor and Thesis Advisor

  • Upon admission to a graduate studies program, the Vision Science Program Committee will assign an academic advisor to help you prepare a proposed program of study until a thesis advisor is selected and reported the Director of the Graduate Program.

  • With assistance form the Vision Science Program Committee or the Director of the Graduate Program, the student will identify a faculty advisor appropriate to the area(s) of interest by the end of the first year. This faculty may or may not be the same as the initial academic advisor. The student must notify in writing the Director of the Graduate Program.

  • The thesis advisor will become the academic advisor and serve as the chair of the thesis advisory committee with the following responsibilities:
    • Finalize the student's plan of study,
    • Evaluate his/her academic performance
    • Oversee the thesis proposal
    • provide guidance on the thesis
    • Supervise thesis progress and preparation of oral defense
    • Submit the result of the thesis examination to the Director of the Graduate Program, and
    • Ensure that all degree requirements are met for graduation.

Thesis proposal

  • All M.S. candidates must submit a proposal for a significant original research project. Students may alternatively submit a proposal for a comprehensive and in-depth topical review thesis.
  • As soon as the thesis committee is formed, the proposal should be submitted to the committee for review. It is advised that the thesis proposal should be submitted for review no later than the end of the fourth semester after matriculation.
  • The thesis proposal should specify the research hypothesis and include adequate background information to support the hypothesis or the need for research.

Thesis Committee

  • Student should discuss with your faculty advisor to form a thesis committee prior to the commencement of research.
  • The thesis committee must have a minimum of 3 members, two of whom must be Pacific University faculty members; a third member may be a non-faculty expert in the subject matter. The thesis committee provides academic support and guidance in conducting thesis project.
  • The thesis committee will comprise the membership of the examination committee for the student's oral thesis defense.
  • Note that each faculty member may serve on a limited number of thesis committees to ensure that he/she can provide the appropriate amount of attention to each student.

Thesis Preparation and Defense

  • The written thesis must be based upon original scholarly research. Either as an original empirical research or an in-depth review of a topic, it must contribute new knowledge to the scientific community.
  • You should discuss with your faculty advisor the preparation of the thesis. Please refer to the Thesis writing format for a format sample.
  • A successful defense of the thesis, presented in written and oral form to the thesis committee, is required for graduation. The written thesis shall be suitable, perhaps in condensed form, for publication. Presentation of the project at local and national meetings is strongly encouraged.
  • Prior to the application of thesis defense, the advisor need to determine if the research is sufficient, all courses on the plan of study have been taken, and the thesis draft is in satisfactory condition for defense.
  • The thesis committee must be given sufficient time to review and approve the thesis for defense prior to the defense, preferred two weeks before the intended defense date, and no later than six weeks prior to the intended graduation date with copies of thesis prepared in accordance with the format requirements.
  • Upon completion of the thesis defense, you will be excused while the thesis advisory committee determines the outcome of the defense (Pass or Fail). You will be notified immediately following the thesis defense of your success or failure. The chair of your advisory committee will provide written notification of the defense outcome to you and the Director of the Vision Science MS Program.
  • Passing the thesis defense requires unanimous committee agreement. The advisory committee may elect to pass you with conditions such as recommending minor changes to their thesis. If so, the required changes the must be made before your thesis will be given final written approval by the thesis committee.
  • Non-approval of a thesis may be appealed by the student to the Dean of the College of Optometry and to the Provost, or elect to defend at least 30 days after the initial thesis defense. If failing the second defense, the case will be sent to the APS committee.
  • When approved by the thesis committee and prior to conferring the degree, the student shall deliver to each of the thesis committee members, the director of the graduate program, and the University Library a softcopy (an electronic file) of the thesis with a scanned signature page signed by all members of the thesis committee before departing the program.

Application for Graduation

  • The student must submit an application for graduation with the Registrar office no later than January 15 for the student to be eligible to receive the degree at the spring commencement.
  • Thesis defense and thesis submission should be completed prior to the intended graduation, with copies of the thesis prepared in accordance with the formal requirements. The student should notify the thesis advisor and the director of the graduate program while submitting approved thesis to the University Library. Failure to do so may result in delay of graduation.