PhD in Vision Science


The PhD in Vision Science program at Pacific University engages the students in advanced study and research in vision science and prepares them to embark on careers in research and/or teaching, in academic institutes or industries, in the areas of vision science, optometry, ophthalmology, bioengineering, psychology, biology, and other related disciplines.

The PhD program immerses the students in the broad understanding of vision science through a wide variety of topics, such as the optics of the eye, anatomy and neurophysiology of the retina and visual pathways, eye movements and vision perception, clinical aspects of vision, sports vision, visual functions in learning, 3D viewing, assistive devices, and more. In addition, the students are trained with the skills to carry out independent research through hands-on experiences in empirical research projects under guidance of faculty members. 

Faculty of the College of Optometry have expertise in numerous fields, including contact lenses, ocular disease, binocular vision, sports vision, vision performance, and low vision, among others. Innovative research facilities and advanced equipment are available to graduate students. Novel educational hands-on research opportunities are offered year-round for students to sharpen their research skills. 

The PhD program is designed for completion over a five-year period (minimum 106 credit hours) for students with a bachelor’s degree or a three-year training (minimum 60 credit hours) for students with a master’s of science degree. Students will devote their time to acquiring the fundamental knowledge in vision science, completing the PhD dissertation with advanced research techniques, and cultivation of proficiency in clinic and/or teaching skills.

Admission to this program requires a bachelor of science degree, preferably in a relevant discipline (such as biology, computer science, engineering, psychology, physics, or other health science field) or a doctoral degree in medicine or optometry.

The College of Optometry's vision science graduate program also offers a master of science (MS) degree in addition to the College of Optometry's doctorate of optometry (OD) program.