Admission Requirements | Vision Science (MS)

To be eligible for consideration by the MSVS Program Committee, you must meet the minimum requirements.

  • Completed application form
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution
    • Applicants with an OD degree from an ACOE accredited optometric program are encouraged to apply with emphasis on a chosen specialty area
  • Satisfactory performance (C or higher) on all undergraduate prerequisites
  • Valid proof of English language proficiency

The Pacific University College of Optometry has established institutional memoranda of understanding (MOU) with several academic programs worldwide. Graduates or current students of these programs may follow the admissions criteria provided in the individual MOU at your institution. Such agreements will specify the extent to which students from that program meet the admission requirements.

Undergraduate Prerequisites

The following coursework is required to prepare the students to pursue research in vision science.

All prerequisite courses listed above must be completed with a grade of “C” or higher (grades of “C-” or lower are not acceptable). Where possible, all courses should be those intended for science majors. All science prerequisites (biology, physics, chemistry) must include a laboratory.

  • General Biology: a standard two-semester course or the quarter system equivalent of one year of study
  • General Physics: a standard two-semester course or the quarter system equivalent of one year of study. Need not be calculus-based.
  • Chemistry: a standard two-semester course or the quarter system equivalent of one year of study
  • Mathematics: one semester course in calculus (or analytic geometry) or the quarter system equivalent
  • Statistics: one semester or the quarter system equivalent. Statistics must be from a department of Mathematics, Psychology, Sociology or Statistics. A biostatistics course is acceptable. Business and economics courses will not meet this requirement.

Applicants currently enrolled in Pacific University College of Optometry, or with an OD degree from an ACOE-accredited program, will automatically qualify as meeting these undergraduate prerequisites.

International applicants with a bachelor’s degree in optometry or an advanced degree in a discipline related to clinical optometry may be considered, after review of the student application by the Vision Science Program Committee, as meeting the above-listed requirements.

English Language Proficiency Requirement

A satisfactory command of the English language is required for admission to Pacific University. All students whose first language is not English must meet the English language proficiency requirement prior to admission. This requirement applies to all applicants, including resident aliens and citizens.

Requiring valid proof of English language proficiency is a mandate of the College of Optometry. Thus, only the college can approve any exceptions.

Paper-based Computer-based Internet-based
550 overall 213 overall 80 overall 6.5 overall

Proof of English Language Proficiency

  • Qualifying official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), IELTS, or other qualifying English language test
  • Completion of a bachelor's, master's, doctorate or professional degree at a regionally accredited institution where English is the only language of instruction, and English is one of the official languages. 

Invalid Proof of English language Proficiency

The following lists examples of invalid proof for English proficiency:

  • Invalid test score or less than the minimum score
  • Institutional TOEFL score from any school except Pacific University
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) program certificate from any school
  • Associate degrees from community colleges in the U.S.

Conditional Admission

Students whose academic qualifications are sufficient but who need further language training may be given conditional admission, with unconditional admission granted upon reaching a score of 550 (paper) or equivalent by matriculation into the program.

Contact Us

For OD/MS concurrent degree application or applicants currently enrolled in the Pacific University College of Optometry program, please contact:

Yu-Chi Tai, PhD | Director, Vision Science Graduate Program
503-352-2289 |

For other applicants, please contact:

Andrea Lybarger | Assistant Director of Graduate and Professional Admissions                    
Hillsboro Campus Building 2, 192 | 503-352-7217 |
Toll-free: 1-800-933-9308