Academic advisor and thesis advisor
Upon admission to a graduate studies program, the Vision Science MS Program committee will assign an academic advisor to help you prepare a proposed program of study.
- The committee will also assist you in identifying a faculty advisor appropriate to the area(s) of your interest. The thesis advisor will also serve as the chair of your thesis advisory committee, to oversee and provide feedback on your thesis proposal, to provide general guidance and supervise you on thesis progress, to guide your preparing for thesis defense examination, and submit the result of your thesis defense examination to you and to the Director of the Vision Science MS Program after your thesis defense.
- All candidates of the Master of Science in Vision Science degree must submit a proposal for a significant research project. As a MS-degree candidate, you may alternatively submit a proposal for a comprehensive and in-depth thesis.
- You must submit your thesis proposal through your faculty advisor to the Director of Vision Science MS Program before enrolling for Optometry 995 credits (thesis research).
- Your thesis proposal should specify your research hypothesis and/or area of academic inquiry and include adequate literature background to support the hypothesis or need for the contribution.
- Your proposal will also submit to your thesis committee members previously approved by your faculty advisor and the MS program director.
- You should discuss with your faculty advisor to form a thesis committee.
- 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 for your in conducting your thesis project.
- The thesis committee members will discuss and assess your progress and provide additional guidance on research and overall professional development. This committee will comprise the membership of the examination committee for your research progress and final 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. Thesis writing guidelines for the thesis are outlined here.
- 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, your faculty 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.
- Your 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.
- 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.
- In the event that you fail the thesis defense, you may appeal to the Dean of the College of Optometry and to the Provost, or elect to defend a second and final time at least 30 days after the initial thesis defense. If failing the second defense, you will be dismissed from the program.
Application for graduation
- Your graduation is contingent upon successful defense of your thesis which is presented in written and oral form to the thesis committee.
- You must submit an application for graduation with the Registrar. The Registrar must receive the application for graduation no later than January 15 for you to be eligible to receive the degree at the spring commencement.
- As a candidate for the MS in VS degree, you need to submit to your thesis committee, no later than six weeks prior to intended graduation, copies of your thesis prepared in accordance with the formal requirements.
- When approved by the thesis committee and prior to conferring the degree, you shall deliver to each of the thesis committee members, the faculty advisor, and the Director of Graduate Programs a softcopy (an electronic file, preferred in PDF format) of the thesis with a scanned signature page signed by all members of your thesis committee. You should also submit your thesis file to College of Optometry and the University library before departing the program.