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

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. 

1. Valid Proof of English Language Proficiency. There are two ways to show the required proficiency:

  • Achieving satisfactory official test scores on the International Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the Pacific Institutional TOEFL, or the international English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. 
    • Test scores are valid for two years after the test date. Test scores more than two years old will be considered valid if the socre exceeded the minimum requirement and the applicant has maintained continuous residency in the United States since the exam date. 
    • The minimum test score requirements are:
      • TOEFL:Paper version 550 or above; computer based 213 or above; internet version 80 or above 
      • IELTS: 6.5 or above
      • Chinese College English Test Band 6 (CET-6): 520 or above
  • Have a bachelor’s degree or higher from 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 been living in the US 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 degrees from a community college in the United States

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