Vision Science | MS

Vision science is a broad and growing field. It encompasses numerous disciplines, such as anatomy, physiology, pathology, molecular, cellular, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, optics, psychophysics, eye movements, perception, color vision, engineering, and computational vision, among others.

The Master of Science in Vision Science (MSVS) Program engages students in advanced study and research of the visual system and prepares them for career success in teaching and/or research in academic settings or application in the ophthalmic industry.

Faculty of Pacific University College of Optometry have expertise in numerous fields, including contact lenses, optics, ocular disease, binocular vision and learning, sports vision, vision performance, low vision, and neuroanatomy.

Students are accepted into the program with a minimum of a bachelor of science (or the equivalent). The MSVS program provides an individual with a comprehensive understanding of vision science, in-depth knowledge in a particular area within the field, and a solid training in vision research methodology.

The degree requirements include a minimum of 36 semester hours of coursework and a written thesis based upon original research. It usually takes about two years of study. 

Students who have earned a doctor of optometry degree from an accredited program in the past five years or who are studying in Pacific's OD program may take an abbreviated course of study to complete the MSVS in one year.

Graduates of the MSVS program are prepared to embark on a career in basic and/or applied vision research in an academic or ophthalmic industrial setting, continue working toward a PhD, or as clinical-trial research consultant for research institutes as well as private sectors.

The College of Optometry's Vision Science Graduate (VSG) Program also offers a PhD degree

Contact Us

For additional information and an application packet for the MSVS Program, please contact the Graduate Admission Office at 1-800-933-9308 or gradadmissions@pacificu.edu.

Pacific University College of Optometry is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) of the American Optometric Association.

MSVS Curriculum for Bachelor's Degree-Holders

Students entering with a bachelor of science degree, or the equivalent, can complete the Master of Science in Vision Science Program in two years.

Year 1

Fall Credits
OPT-501: Geometric & Physical Optics with Lab 3
OPT-532: Anatomy of the Visual System with Lab 3
OPT-911: Graduate Seminar in Vision Science I 2
Total 8
Spring Credits
OPT-502: Geometric & Physical Optics II with Lab 3
OPT-531: Ocular Anatomy Physiology & Biochem with Lab 3
OPT-912: Graduate Seminar in Vision Science II 2
Total 8

Year 2

Summer Credits
OPT-991: Research & Data Analysis Part I 2
OPT-992: Research & Data Analysis Part II 2
OPT-913: Garduate Seminar in Vision Science III 2
Total 6
Fall Credits
OPT-662: Visual Info Processing & Perception 4
OPT-914: Discussion of Optometric Clinical Care 1
OPT-995: Thesis Research* 2
Total 7
Spring Credits
OPT-503: Physiological Optics I with Lab 4
OPT-915: Practice of Clinical Skills 1
OPT-995: Thesis Research* 2
Total  

Year 3

Summer Credits
OPT-701: Physiological Optics II 3
OPT-995: Thesis Research * 2
Total 5

* Two credits of OPT-995 are required. OPT-995 can be substititued for OPT 9xx elective.

MSVS Curriculum for OD Students or Degree-Holders

Year 1

OD coursework

Year 2

Summer Credits
OPT-991: Reearch & Data Analysis Methods, Part 1 2
OPT-992: Research & Data Analysis Methods, Part 2 2
OPT-913: Vision Science Seminar III 2
Total 6
Fall Credits
OPT-911: Vision Science Seminar I 2
Total  
Spring Credits
OPT-912: Vision Science Seminar II 2
Total 2

Year 3

Summer Credits
OPT-995: Thesis Research 2
Total 2
Fall Credits
OPT-995: Thesis Research (or other 900-level elective) 2
Total  
Spring Credits
OPT-995: Thesis Research (or other 900-level elective) 2
Total  

Total Credits Toward MS: 16