Thesis Advisor & Thesis Committee | Vision Science (MS)

The thesis advisor is the person who supervises an MS student's thesis research. Students should identify a faculty as their thesis advisor and submit an advisor request form by the end of the first year, if not earlier, with assistance from the VSG Program if needed.

  • How to choose a thesis advisor:
    • Your choice of thesis advisor is one of the most important decisions you'll make as an MS student. The thesis advising process is like an apprenticeship, and the advisor-advisee relationship can be very personal. You and your advisor should fit well enough to get your thesis research done at a proper pace.
    • There is a lot of informal knowledge both of technical aspects of the knowledge field and of the research process that is not published. You may also consider the advisory style that you need, such as how much well-defined direction or guidance you need, how much contact you want, or how much emotional support you desire to have, even the possible help on your career development.
    • You may ask the VSG Committee or the Director for guidance on your advisor's initial choice and then go talk to as many faculty members as you can in person.
    • Try to get a feel for what they are like, what they are interested in, and what their research and supervision styles are like before asking for his/her assistance as your thesis advisor. Still, don't be fully depend on your advisor for your thesis research.
  • Once a thesis advisor is determined, the student must notify the Director of the Graduate Program through email and copy the thesis advisor. Your thesis advisor will then replace the academic advisor's role to advise you on your curriculum, thesis research, and general graduate life.
  • A request of changing of thesis advisor form must be submitted to the VSG Director and be approved before it can take effect. 
  • The thesis advisor will become the academic advisor and serve as the chair of the thesis advisory committee with the following responsibilities:
    • Finalize the student's plan of study,
    • Evaluate his/her academic performance,
    • Oversee the thesis proposal,
    • Choose the thesis committee,
    • Provide guidance on the thesis,
    • Supervise thesis progress and preparation of the oral defense,
    • Submit the result of the thesis examination to the Director of the Graduate Program, and
    • Ensure that all degree requirements are met for graduation.
    • The thesis advisor will serve as the chair of the student's Master’s Thesis Committee and assist and guide the student through the process of thesis production, from selection of the thesis topic and the members of the thesis committee, study design, proposal preparation, submission of IRB proposal, preparation for the experiment, data collection, data analysis and interpretation, thesis writing, planning for thesis defense, and serving as the chair during the thesis defense. The thesis advisor should also check that the student meets all coursework requirements before accepting his/her final thesis.

Thesis Committee

  • Students are expected to form a Thesis Committee and submit an appointment of Research Committee form as soon as they chose a thesis advisor and have settled on the topic and scope of the thesis project, ideally by the beginning of the second year. This is done by consulting with their thesis advisor.
  • Each MS Thesis Committee should have no less than three members, including the student's thesis advisor, and at least two of the committee members must be Pacific University's faculty members. Other committee member(s) may be faculty of other institutes or non-faculty expert(s) in the subject field.
  • Students are required to meet with their thesis committee at least once before the thesis defense, preferably during the stage of preparing their thesis proposal. Students are encouraged to meet with their thesis committee, either individually or as a group, as frequently as possible to get their feedback and guidance on the thesis research.
  • Students are encouraged to take elective courses with faculty members of their thesis committee, including their thesis advisor, on topics related to their thesis. Students may also repeat OPT 995 Thesis Research multiple times with their thesis advisor.