Admission Requirements | Vision Science (MS)

Apply to the MS in Vision Science graduate program or inquire today.


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 must have been taken with traditional classroom teaching (online program is not acceptable) and 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: a standard one-semester (3-semester credits or 4 quarter credits) course in analytic geometry or calculus.
  • Statistics: a standard one-semester (3-semester credits or 4 quarter credits) of statistics study from Department of Mathematics, Psychology, Sociology or Statistics. A biostatistics course is acceptable. Courses from Business and Economics Departments will not meet this requirement.

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

International applicants with a Bachelor’s degree in optometry or advanced degree (Bachelor's degree or higher) in a discipline related to clinical optometry may be considered, after review of the student application by the VSG Committee, as meeting the above-listed requirements.

English Language Proficiency 

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.

     1. Valid proof of English language

  • There are two ways to show the required English language proficiency:

  a.  Achieving satisfactory official test score on the International Test of English as a Foreign language (TOEFL), the Pacific Institutional TOEFL, or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam






550 overall

213 overall

80 overall

6.5 overall

     b. Have a bachelor's degree or higher completed in an English-based institution: 

  • Completion of a bachelor's, master's, doctorate, or professional degree at a regionally accredited college or university where English is the only language of instruction. 

2. Insufficient evidence of English language proficiency

  • Test score less than pacific's minimum requirement; 
  • Test score more than two years old (unless applicants have lived in the United States since the exam date);
  • Institutional TOEFL score from any school except Pacific University;
  • Completion of an English as a Second Language (ESL) program at any school;
  • Successful completion of English, writing, or literature courses at any college or university;
  • An associate’s degree from a community college in the United States.

Conditional Admission

  • Applicants whose academic qualifications are sufficient but who do not provide satisfactory proof for English Proficiency may be conditionally admitted, with official matriculation granted upon reaching the required English proficiency
  • The conditional admission is valid for two application cycles, starting from the current application. Afterward, the admission offer will be void and the applicant must reapply for admission.


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:

Caitlin Biddulph | Assistant Director of Graduate and Professional Admissions
503-352-7222 |
Toll-free: 1-800-933-9308 | Fax: 503-352-7290