Admission Requirements | PhD in Vision Science

Enrollment in the Vision Science PhD program is limited and selective. Applications will be reviewed by the Vision Science Graduate Committee using a holistic review process with a variety of factors considered, including academic achievement and relevant experiences.

Pre-requisites | GRE Exam | English Language Proficiency


A bachelor's degree is required. Satisfactory scholastic performance on certain required bachelor-level courses is required. Details can be found on the Unoffical Pre-requisite worksheet.

GRE Exam

Unless waived by the Vision Science Graduate Committee, all applicants must submit an official GRE score report taken in the last five years. There is no minimum GRE score requirement. 

Institute Code: 4601 (no Department Code)

The GRE report is waived for the following applicants: 

  • Applicants with an OD degree from (or currently enrolled in) an ACOE-accredited Doctor of Optometry Program in North America;
  • Applicants with a master’s or doctorate degree in a discipline or a field related to optometry or vision science;
  • Current MS students in Pacific University Vision Science Graduate program;
  • Applicants who graduated from an institute with a special institutional memorandum agreement on GRE report;
  • An applicant for whom the VSG Committee choose to waive the GRE requirement in exceptional cases;

Note that approval of the GRE waiver does not guarantee admission to the VSG program.

English Language Proficiency

All applicants whose first language is not English must meet the English Language Proficiency requirement prior to matriculation into the PhD in Vision Science Program. This requirement applies to all applicants, including resident aliens and U.S. citizens.

Applicants can demonstrate the English Language Proficiency by one of the following ways:

  • A satisfactory TOEFL score taken with Educational Testing Service (ETS) dated within two years of the application deadline:
    • Paper-based: 550 or better overall
    • Computer-based: 213 or better overall
    • Internet-based: 80 or better overall
  • A satisfactory Institutional Paper-based TOEFL score (550 or better overall) administered by Pacific University the English Language Institute (ELI) within the last two years;
  • A satisfactory IELTS score (6.5 or better overall) taken in the last two years;
  • A bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate, or professional degree from an accredited institution where English is the only language of instruction.

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.

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